CES 2015: Monoprice Announcements

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2015 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2015, monoprice, ips, 4k, 120hz, mechanical keyboard, touch screen, drawing

So CES has ended over a week ago, but somehow we missed Monoprice. While they are known for cheap cables that are also good and reliable, the retailer has been pushing out some interesting, self-branded products. At this year's CES, they advertised a multi-touch pen display, a cheap 4K 60Hz monitor, a 30-inch IPS panel that is guaranteed to work at 120Hz 1600p (16:10), and an RGB-backlit mechanical keyboard.

monooprice-touch-tablet.jpg

First up is their 22-inch multi-touch pen display. Not too long ago, I noticed that they had a 22-inch pen display without a touch screen, similar to my Wacom Cintiq 22HD, for under $600. Of course, this got me looking at its product page because that is significantly cheaper than what I paid for mine -- like, several times cheaper. In that page was a warning that it was not suitable for multi-monitor setups, and suggested that users clone it (rather than extending their desktop). Yikes. Okay. That's problematic.

Well now it no longer has that warning, and neither does their new, higher-end version with built-in multi-touch. Hopefully this means that they sorted out their driver (or configuration) issues under Windows.

The display itself is a 22-inch, 1080p, IPS panel with 16.7 million colors (so not 10-bit). It has a 5ms response time, which is good for IPS, but no listing of sRGB or AdobeRGB coverage. This could be problematic for someone looking to use it for professional applications, but being an IPS display it might be okay.

The current price is $550 for the pen-input monitor, and $750 for the pen or 10-point touch model. Both are also compatible with 75mm x 75mm VESA wall mounts, because the writing's on the wall or some pun like that.

monoprice-4k.jpg

Also launched is a 28-inch 4K display for $449. They do not state the panel technology, but with a reduced vertical viewing angle, which is bad, and a 1ms response time, which is good, it pretty much must be TN. It is a bit sad that it is not IPS, IGZO, PLS, or another high-end panel type, but it is also $449.

Monoprice-120.jpg

Image Credit: Anandtech

Keeping on the topic of displays, Anandtech was shown a 30-inch, 1600p panel that is guaranteed to run at 120Hz. While we are starting to see a few high refresh rate IPS panels pop up this year, it was the domain of display overclockers before then. Enthusiasts would purchase monitors that were shipped directly from smaller South Korean manufacturers (who typically purchase lesser-binned panels from LG, and so forth) and cross their fingers when they give it a higher refresh rate. This one is guaranteed by Monoprice to run at 120Hz, but it does not yet have pricing and availability.

Monoprice-keyboard.jpg

Image Credit: Anandtech

Lastly, Anandtech also saw a mechanical keyboard with programmable RGB backlighting. It uses Kailh RGB switches, which are based on the Cherry MX design after the patents expired. Again, no pricing or availability on this one.

Source: Monoprice

WobbleWorks Launches $75 Pen-Sized 3D Printer on Kickstarter

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2013 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: drawing, art, 3d printer

3D printers have become much cheaper in the last couple of years with big pushes from systems like MakerBot to bring 3D printers to the home. Those printers are much cheaper than previous designs, but are still into the thousands of dollars. A new company called WobbleWorks has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new 3D printing pen–called the 3Doodler–that costs a mere $75. Resembling a hot glue gun, the 3Doodler can melt ABS or PLA plastic and allows users to draw plastic parts on surfaces or even in three dimensions.

3Doodler Pen.jpg

The 3Doodler pen measures 180mm x 24mm and weighs approximately 200 grams. Up to 2ft of 3mm ABS or PLA plastic can be fed into the pen, where the tip heats up to 270°C to melt the plastic. It has two temperature settings and two speed settings that allow it to use either ABS or PLA plastic and feed it through slowly for intricate drawings or faster for filling in areas (like bases for figures and 3D models).

The Kickstarter campaign has a goal of $30,000, but it has blown past that goal with current contributions of $207,734 and 33 days remaining. Needless to say, it has been much more popular than WobbleWorks expected!

WobbleWorks 3D Printer Pen.jpg

The designers have teamed up with a couple of Etsy artists to showcase what the 3Doodler pen is capable of. So far, they have created wire-frame artwork and miniature 3D animal figures. The WobbleWorks team has also created stencils for putting together an Eiffel Tower replica. The Eiffel tower is created by drawing out the various pieces on paper, and then welding them together with more plastic to assemble them into a 3D model. The designers further claim that the pen is capable of drawing in the air, provided you have the patience and steady hand to do so.

 

WobbleWorks 3D Printer Pen Artwork.jpg

As of now, the 3Doodler is expected to launch sometime in October 2013. No word yet on retail availability or price, but if you want a 3D printing pen, you can get in on the Kickstarter for $75 and get a free pen if it launches.

More information is available on the 3Doodler Kickstarter page.

Source: Kickstarter