Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: LG

A monitor for those that like it long

It takes a lot to really impress someone that sits in front of dual 2560x1600 30-in IPS screens all day, but the LG 34UM95 did just that. With a 34-in diagonal 3440x1440 resolution panel forming a 21:9 aspect ratio, built on LG IPS technology for flawless viewing angles, this monitor creates a work and gaming experience that is basically unmatched in today's market. Whether you need to open up a half-dozen Excel or Word documents, keep an eye on your Twitter feed while looking at 12 browsers or run games at near Eyefinity/Surround levels without bezels, the LG 34UM95 is a perfect option.

Originally priced north of $1200, the 34UM95 and many in LG's 21:9 lineup have dropped in price considerably, giving them more avenues into users' homes. There are obvious gaming advantages to the 34-in display compared to a pair of 1920x1080 panels (no bezel, 20% more pixels) but if you have a pair of 2560x1440 screens you are going to be giving up a bit. Some games might not handle 21:9 resolutions well either, just as we continue to see Eyefinity/Surround unsupported occasionally.

Productivity users will immediately see an improvement, both for those us inundated with spreadsheets, web pages and text documents as well as the more creative types with Adobe Premiere timelines. I know that Ken would definitely have approved us keeping this monitor here at the office for his use.

Check out the video above for more thoughts on the LG 34UM95!

Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: AMD

What is FreeSync?

FreeSync: What began as merely a term for AMD’s plans to counter NVIDIA’s launch of G-Sync (and mocking play on NVIDIA’s trade name) has finally come to fruition, keeping the name - and the attitude. As we have discussed, AMD’s Mantle API was crucial to pushing the industry in the correct and necessary direction for lower level APIs, though NVIDIA’s G-Sync deserves the same credit for recognizing and imparting the necessity of a move to a variable refresh display technology. Variable refresh displays can fundamentally change the way that PC gaming looks and feels when they are built correctly and implemented with care, and we have seen that time and time again with many different G-Sync enabled monitors at our offices. It might finally be time to make the same claims about FreeSync.

But what exactly is FreeSync? AMD has been discussing it since CES in early 2014, claiming that they would bypass the idea of a custom module that needs to be used by a monitor to support VRR, and instead go the route of open standards using a modification to DisplayPort 1.2a from VESA. FreeSync is based on AdaptiveSync, an optional portion of the DP standard that enables a variable refresh rate courtesy of expanding the vBlank timings of a display, and it also provides a way to updating EDID (display ID information) to facilitate communication of these settings to the graphics card. FreeSync itself is simply the AMD brand for this implementation, combining the monitors with correctly implemented drivers and GPUs that support the variable refresh technology.

disp4.jpg

A set of three new FreeSync monitors from Acer, LG and BenQ.

Fundamentally, FreeSync works in a very similar fashion to G-Sync, utilizing the idea of the vBlank timings of a monitor to change how and when it updates the screen. The vBlank signal is what tells the monitor to begin drawing the next frame, representing the end of the current data set and marking the beginning of a new one. By varying the length of time this vBlank signal is set to, you can force the monitor to wait any amount of time necessary, allowing the GPU to end the vBlank instance exactly when a new frame is done drawing. The result is a variable refresh rate monitor, one that is in tune with the GPU render rate, rather than opposed to it. Why is that important? I wrote in great detail about this previously, and it still applies in this case:

The idea of G-Sync (and FreeSync) is pretty easy to understand, though the implementation method can get a bit more hairy. G-Sync (and FreeSync) introduces a variable refresh rate to a monitor, allowing the display to refresh at wide range of rates rather than at fixed intervals. More importantly, rather than the monitor dictating what rate this refresh occurs at to the PC, the graphics now tells the monitor when to refresh in a properly configured G-Sync (and FreeSync) setup. This allows a monitor to match the refresh rate of the screen to the draw rate of the game being played (frames per second) and that simple change drastically improves the gaming experience for several reasons.

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Gamers today are likely to be very familiar with V-Sync, short for vertical sync, which is an option in your graphics card’s control panel and in your game options menu. When enabled, it forces the monitor to draw a new image on the screen at a fixed interval. In theory, this would work well and the image is presented to the gamer without artifacts. The problem is that games that are played and rendered in real time rarely fall into a very specific frame rate. With only a couple of exceptions, games frame rates will fluctuate based on the activity happening on the screen: a rush of enemies, a changed camera angle, an explosion or falling building. Instantaneous frame rates can vary drastically, from 30, to 60, to 90, and force the image to be displayed only at set fractions of the monitor's refresh rate, which causes problems.

Continue reading our first impressions of the newly released AMD FreeSync technology!!

MWC 15: LG Demos WebOS Smartwatch ("Urbane LTE")

Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | March 1, 2015 - 09:46 PM |
Tagged: webOS, smartwatch, mwc 15, MWC, LG

A while ago, LG licensed WebOS from HP for use in their smart TVs and, as we found out during CES, smart watches.

The LG Urbane LTE is one such device, and we can finally see it in action. It is based around (literally) a circular P-OLED display (320 x 320, 1.3-inches, 245 ppi). Swirling your finger around the face scrolls through the elements like a wheel, which should be significantly more comfortable to search through a large list of applications than a linear list of elements -- a lot like an iPod (excluding the Touch and the Shuffle). That said, I have only seen other people use it.

lg-smartwatch-urbane-lte.jpg

The SoC is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, clocked at 1.2 GHz. It supports LTE, Wireless-N, Bluetooth 4.0LE, and NFC. It has 1 GB of RAM, which is quite a bit, and 4GB of permanent storage, which is not. It also has a bunch of sensors, from accelerometers and gyros to heart rate monitors and a barometer. It has a speaker and a microphone, but no camera. LG flaunts a 700 mAh battery, which they claim is “the category's largest”, but they do not link that to an actual amount of usage time (only that it “go[es] for days in standby mode”).

Video credit: The Verge

Pricing has not yet been announced, but it should hit the US and Europe before May arrives.

Source: LG

CES 2015: Audi & LG Partner on Smartwatch Running webOS

Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2015 - 03:26 AM |
Tagged: smartwatch, LG, ces 2015, CES, audi

There is a unique smartwatch at CES this year, which unfolds to become a camera quadcopter. I guess surprisingly, for some people, a selfie stick is not offbeat enough. And that's fine, more power to them.

lg-audi-watch-webos-13m.jpg

Image Credit: Android Central

There is also a second, unique smart watch at CES this year because it does not run Android (or iOS). The unnamed device, which is a collaboration between LG and Audi, is powered by webOS. In case you missed it, LG has licensed webOS from HP for use in its smart TVs. The operating system is open source under the permissive Apache license.

When Android Central was playing around with the watch, they noticed the listing of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC (MSM8626). The 8626 is a quad-core, ARM Cortex A7-based processor (up to 1.2 GHz) with a Qualcomm Adreno 305 GPU. This is a fair amount of power for a smartwatch, although core count and frequency could be reduced for battery life.

With Mobile World Congress coming up in February (update Jan 9th @ 11:30am: sorry for the mistake... it's the first week of March), we might see more details soon.

Coverage of CES 2015 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2015 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Podcast #331 - Hardware Picks of the Year, Acer's 1080p G-SYNC Display, a new Drobo and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 31, 2014 - 05:35 PM |
Tagged: video, Samsung, podcast, nvidia, Lian Li, LG, Intel, gigabyte, g-sync, freesync, drobo, bitfenix, asus, amd, acer, 850 EVO

PC Perspective Podcast #331 - 12/31/2014

Join us this week as we discuss our Hardware Picks of the Year, Acer's 1080p G-SYNC Display, a new Drobo and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak

Program length: 1:54:53

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
      1. Ken is an idiot, don't try to use the Hyper 212 Evo in the Air 240.
  2. News items of interest:
  3. PC Perspective Hardware Picks of the Year
    1. Graphics Card of 2014
      1. GTX 980
      2. Winner: GTX 970
      3. R9 285
      4. GTX TITAN Z (lulz)
      5. R9 295 X2
      6. Runner-up: GTX 750 Ti
    2. CPU of 2014
      1. Winner: Core i7-4790K
      2. Pentium G3258
      3. Core i7-5960X
      4. Core M 5Y70 (Broadwell-Y)
      5. AMD AM1 Athlon 5350
      6. AMD A8-7600 Kaveri APU
      7. Tegra K1
      8. Runner-up: Athlon X4 860K
    3. Storage of 2014
      1. Samsung 850 Pro
      2. Winner: Samsung 850 EVO
      3. Crucial MX100
      4. Runner-up: Intel P3700
      5. 6TB HDDs
      6. Intel SSD 730 Series
      7. Silicon Motion SM2246EN (Force LX, Angelbird ssd wrk, Adata 610)
    4. Case of 2014
      1. Winner: NCASE M1
      2. Runner-up: Corsair Carbide Air 240
      3. Fractal Design Define R5
      4. SilverStone Raven RVZ01
      5. PHT Ultra Low-Profile HTPC Case
    5. Motherboard of 2014
      1. Runner-up: ASUS Crossblade Ranger FM2+
      2. ASUS Z97 Deluxe
      3. Gigabyte Z97X Gaming G1 Black Edition
      4. X99 Deluxe
      5. Winner: Z97 Maximus VII Formula
    6. Price Drop of 2014
      1. Winner: AMD R9 290X/290
      2. R9 295 X2
      3. Good Displays
      4. GTX Titan Z (lulz)
      5. Runner-up: SSDs (again)
      6. Gasoline
    7. Best Trend of 2014
      1. Variable Refresh Rate Monitors / Tear-free Gaming
      2. Smart Watches
      3. Runner-up: PCIe/NVMe storage
      4. Gigabit Internet
      5. Custom Watercooling
      6. Winner: 21:9 Monitors
    8. Worst Trend of 2014
      1. Smart Watches
      2. Locked GPU Voltages
      3. DDR4
      4. Winner: 840 Evo Performance Issues
      5. Runner-up: G-SYNC Monitor prices
      6. Curved Displays
      7. GPU Mining BitCoins
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

/p>

LG Announces 34UM67 UltraWide Gaming Monitor with AMD FreeSync

Subject: Displays | December 31, 2014 - 10:29 AM |
Tagged: LG, 34um67, ultrawide, 21:9, CES, ces 2015, freesync, adaptive sync

Let the variable refresh rate monitor battle begin! This week LG has announced a gaming-specific 21:9 aspect ratio monitor that features support for AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. LG joins Samsung as monitor vendors that have officially thrown in hats with the AMD-backed and VESA standard Adaptive Sync technology rather than NVIDIA's G-Sync (or maybe in addition to). 

The new 34UM67 is a flat, 34-in 21:9 aspect ratio display; a style that is becoming increasing popular among enthusiast and gamers as they offer expanding views in some games without the need to use multiple monitors in a Eyefinity or Surround configuration. LG has not announced the resolution yet but I assume that since they aren't bragging about it openly, that we are looking at a 2560x1080 screen rather than 3440x1440. Still, coupling that resolution with support for a variable refresh technology should provide an impressive gaming experience. 

lg34um67.jpg

Here is what the official press release has to say about the new LG 34UM67 being shown next week at CES:

LG's UltraWide Gaming Monitor (34UM67) is the company's first 21:9 monitor specifically developed for graphics-intensive gaming. AMD's FreeSync technology eliminates the screen tearing that occurs when the monitor and graphics card are out of sync. Furthermore FreeSync technology guarantees the smoothest and most seamless gaming experience, generating fluid motion without any loss of frame rate.

"AMD FreeSync technology is an innovative monitor technology, based on free and open industry standards, to eliminate the tearing and stuttering that has plagued PC gaming for 30 years," said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president of ISV/IHV Partner Group, AMD. "We are pleased that LG Electronics stands with us with truly exciting  AMD FreeSync-ready displays like the LG UltraWide Gaming Monitor."

The 34UM67 also has an exceptional UltraWide field of view (FOV), allowing gamers to gain the upper hand by revealing hidden spaces that were invisible on regular 16:9 monitors. The monitor's Black Stabilizer illuminates dark scenes and helps to clearly define the deep black areas where objects and enemies could be hidden. The Dynamic Action Sync mode minimizes input lag, enhancing users' real time gaming experience. Many popular games such as Battlefield 4, World of Warcraft and ArcheAge currently support 21:9 resolution with more games expected to support this resolution in the future.

Support for 21:9 resolutions is still spotty in most PC titles and can result in the same kind of FOV scaling issues we see with Eyefinity. More games are including direct support for these monitors and hopefully 2015 will see a focus on that with each game release. 

I still have a lot of questions about AMD's FreeSync technology and how it will stand up to the effectiveness of NVIDIA G-Sync, but I am eager to see it first hand. CES will provide the first opportunity for us but we will obviously need extended time with panels in our offices to make a final decision.

Source: PRNewsWire

LG 31MU97 Professional DCI 4K Monitor Now Available

Subject: Displays | November 3, 2014 - 08:36 PM |
Tagged: LG, digital cinema 4k, digital cinema, adobergb, 4k

When we mention 4K monitors, they typically have a resolution of 3840x2160. Digital Cinema 4K adds an extra 256 pixels horizontally, yielding 4096x2160 (an aspect ratio between 17:9 and 19:10). LG Electronics has just released a monitor at this resolution for video and graphics professionals, and its feature set is strongly focused on that market.

lg-31MU97_large_02.jpg

First, with a Digital Cinema 4K resolution, the monitor is capable of previewing content in that resolution without scaling or cropping. Alternatively, software could preview consumer 4K ("UltraHD") and have a little leftover room for user interface elements.

What really sets this apart from other monitors is its color space features. This is an actual IPS panel, providing wide viewing angles, and it supports 10-bit color input for smoother gradients. Its color space is large, too. Beyond sRGB, it also covers 99.5% of the AdobeRGB color space and 97% of the DCI-P3 gamut. LG even has a mode that splits the monitor into two, one side in AdobeRGB and the other in sRGB. This is intended for artists and publishers to see content both in the color space of professional printers (AdobeRGB) and websites on consumer displays (sRGB).

lg-31MU97_large_13.jpg

While I believe this panel is rated at 60 Hz, it does not explicitly say that anywhere (that I found). I emailed LG for clarification and I will update if/when they reply. Update (Nov 4 @ 7:45pm EST): Still no word from LG, but one reader pointed me to an Overclockers UK product page that claims 60 Hz over DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort. A second reader claims to own one of these monitors, which is running at 60Hz over Mini DisplayPort. It sounds like it supports 60Hz SST.

If it is a 60 Hz panel, this is an interesting, 31-inch display, especially at an MSRP of $1399.99. It undercuts competitors, like the Dell Ultrasharp 32, by over a thousand dollars. The LG 31MU97 is available now at a few online retailers.

Source: LG

The abysmal adoption rate of desktop and mobile touchscreens

Subject: General Tech | September 22, 2014 - 12:34 PM |
Tagged: win 8, dell, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, hp, touchscreen, IDC

The International Data Corporation's latest Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker shows that there were a mere 32.5 million touchscreen monitors shipped in Q2 2014, which accounts for 0.4% of the discrete monitors sold.  This may have been a direct influence on the pitiful market penetration of Win 8 in SMB and Enterprise, as the much touted touchscreen support was meaningless to their users interaction with computers.  The mobile side is a bit better but not much; DisplaySearch pegs the percentage of laptops with a touchscreen sold in 2013 was about 11% with a predicted 40% share by 2017 which still falls short of representing half of the market.  You can pop by The Register for a link to some of the findings.

IDC_logo.png

"Market monitor IDC's latest word on monitors goes some way to explaining limp enthusiasm for Windows 8: people just aren't buying touch-screen monitors.

Windows 8's user interface was designed to work on mouse-driven and poke-enabled devices. It's racked up plenty of sales, but not much love."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

CES 2014: LG Launching Updated Mobile PCs

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | January 3, 2014 - 10:49 PM |
Tagged: tablet, tabbook 2, LG, laptop, hybrid, CES 2014, CES

CES 2014 is not until next week, but that has not stopped several companies from offering a bit of a “sneak peek” of what they will be showing off in Las Vegas on the show floor. One such company is LG Electronics, which is launching at least three new mobile devices of the convertible tablet and laptop flavors. Specifically, LG is introducing a new Ultra PC L3Z940 laptop and two Tab-Book 2 tablets (11T540 and 11T740). The devices in the updated lineup are powered by Intel's latest Haswell CPU, run the full version of Windows 8.1, features LG IPS displays, and are lighter and faster performing than their predecessors.

LG_T5402.jpg

The LG Ultra PC L3Z940 is a 13” notebook weighing 980 grams and measuring up to 13.6mm thick. It has a full keyboard and a 13.3” 1080p IPS display and 4.4mm bezels. The display has a reading mode that adjusts the screen to make reading easier on the eyes. Internal specifications include a Haswell Core i5 processor and a 128GB or 256GB SSD.

The new Tab-Book 2 convertible tablets are mobile devices with a slider-style hardware keyboard and laptop-class internals. The PCs have 11.6” 10-point multi-touch displays as well. The LG Tab-Book 2 11T740 is an 11.6” tablet measuring 16.7mm thick and weighing 1.05 kg. It is powered by an Intel Haswell Core i5 processor. It has a 400 nit screen. The Tab-Book 2 11T540 is the smaller brother to the 11T740 with slightly reduced hardware specifications. However, the tradeoff allows LG to offer a convertible tablet that is slightly thinner and lighter at 13.7mm and 930 grams.

LG has not yet released further details on its updated hardware, but expect at least some of those details to be released at CES next week. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more CES 2014 goodness as it hits our (virtual) desks!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: LG

LG V960 All-In-One PC Announced at IFA 2013

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Systems | August 31, 2013 - 03:25 PM |
Tagged: LG, AIO, 21:9

HDTVs have an aspect ratio, the proportion between width and height, of 16:9. This, more noticeably rectangular, format was seen as a suitable compromise between 4:3 tradition and the many widths of theatrical releases. Computers, high resolution since the 90s (give-or-take) to fit more stuff on screen, first adopted many HD innovations.

Widescreen, however, was firmly resisted. Internet video was not popular or even known to the general public. Vista, with its sidebar optimizations, was expected to make 16:10 tolerable. 16:9 was too wide to even be considered an effective option for documents and websites.

LG_IPS_Monitor_MA731.jpg

I must say: I don't know how I'd live without Sidebar making my monitor feel wastefully narrow and...

... normal.

Now that the public is comfortable with 16:9, because at some point it ceased to be scary for display manufacturers, some are experimenting with even wider niches. 2560x1080 has about a third more width than a "FullHD" panel to add another side-by-side-by-side document to edit or snapped website to refer to. At this point, if people want to buy it, do it.

LG, at IFA 2013, unveiled their V960 all-in-one (AIO) desktop. This computer is housed inside a 29" 21:9 (technically 64:27, but those numbers are big and scary) IPS display. Despite lacking a touchscreen, and despite OSX screenshots for its also announced plain monitors in its promo image, the AIO comes with Windows 8 pre-installed. It houses a mobile GeForce GT 640M GPU and... well that is about all we know of its internals.

The company believes that you might use some screen width for picture-in-picture TV browsing. LG is not too clear on what functionality will be available to the V960. Other monitors in the line contain a TV tuner, but they never specified whether the AIO would have a tuner or just an HDMI input. Also unclear, whether video inputs are accessible to the computer for DVR functionality or whether it is delivered straight to the display.

The LG V960 was on display at IFA 2013. No pricing and availability information has been announced by LG.

Source: LG