Why does nobody sell 22" 4K monitors?

As both people who read this blog know, I am a Macbook user. I have used various models for years now, but I got my first "Retina" Mac back in 2016. Retina is a mildly useful marketing term meaning that your eye can't make out the individual pixels when looking at the device. I loved the display on that Mac, and the display on my current Mac (2021 model) is even better. Thus, I went on the hunt to get a retina display for my desktop computer. Currently, I have three 1080p monitors, all around ~22", two of which I got for free. Doing some quick math on that determines that the displays are ~100 pixels per inch (freedom units 🦅). Comparing that to my 14" Macbook, which has a resolution of 3024x1964 (???), I get a result of ~258 pixels per inch.

So if I were to get a 22" monitor that was 258ppi, what resolution would it have to be? 4902 x 2786. An almost 5K monitor, at 22"? That's a little too much. Pushing my standards down to 200ppi, I get 3840 x 2160. Great! That's literally just 4K resolution. There's tons of 4K monitors on the market!

So to get that retina experience, all I need is a 22" 4K monitor. Easy enough, right?


screenshot of monitor search for 21 to 23 inches at 4K resolution. One result: Asus ProArt PQ22UC

One result. Let's see how much it costs.

screenshot of product page, Asus ProArt PQ22UC 21.6" 3840 x 2160 60 Hz Monitor, Out of stock, $3999

What in the actual fuck? FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS?? And it's not even in stock??

For that price, I might as well get an 8K display!

screenshot of Dell website product page, Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor - UP3218K, $4023.99

I'm not going below 200ppi, so I'm a bit stuck here. There's some stuff ~175ppi, but that would be lowering my standards more than I would like. Remember, I'm trying to get the same quality as my 258ppi display. 200ppi is already a decent hit to quality.

So anyway, if anyone manages to find a reasonable >200ppi display for not $4000, then shoot me an email! I would love to check it out.

Okay so turns out Apple made a 4K 21.5" iMac, which I should be able to, in theory, harvest for a panel.

screenshot of tech specs page for iMac, Retina 4K, 21.5", 2019

I could then pair it with a controller, and make a custom chassis for the monitor. Seems like a bit of work, but also seems quite a bit cheaper than $4000 to buy a 5-year-old iMac and a driver board. Hell, the iMac can be dead for all I care, so long as the display works.