Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Monoprice

It Begins

3D printing has been an interest of the staff here at PC Perspective for a few years now. Seeing how inexpensive it has gotten to build your own or buy an entry level 3D printer we were interested in doing some sort of content around 3D printing, but we weren't quite sure what to do.

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However, an idea arose after seeing Monoprice's new 3D printer offerings at this year's CES. What if we put Ryan, someone who has no idea how 3D printers actually work, in front of one of their entry level models and tell him to print something.

Late last week we received the Maker Select 3D printer from Monoprice, along with a box full of different types of filament and proceeded to live stream us attempting to make it all work.

And thus, the new series "Ryan 3D Prints" was born.

While I've had some limited 3d printing experience in the past, Ryan honestly went into this knowing virtually nothing about the process.

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The Maker Select printer isn't ready to print out of the box and requires a bit of assembly, with the setup time from unboxing to first print ultimately taking about 90 minutes for us on the stream. Keep in mind that we were going pretty slow and attempting to explain as best as we could as we went, so someone working by themselves could probably get up and running a bit quicker.

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I was extremely impressed with how quickly we were printing successful, and high-quality objects. Beyond having to take a second try at leveling the print bed, we ran into no issues during setup. 

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Monoprice includes a microSD card with 4 sample models you can print on the Maker Select, and we went ahead and printed an example of all of them. While I don't know at what resolution these models were sliced at, I am impressed with the quality considering the $350 price tag on the Maker Select.

This certainly isn't the end of our 3D printing experience. Our next steps involve taking this printer and hooking it up to a PC and attempting to print our own models with an application like Cura.

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Beyond that, we plan to compare different types of filament, take a look at the Dual Extruder Monoprice printer, and maybe even future offerings like the SLA printer they showed off at CES. Stay tuned to see what we end up making!

Monoprice Graphics Tablets Are Available

Subject: Displays | February 6, 2016 - 10:41 PM |
Tagged: monoprice, pen display, touch screen, drawing

A couple of CESes ago, Monoprice launched a couple of 22-inch pen displays to compete with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD. Shortly afterward, the products disappeared from their website and line-up, so I assumed, at the time, that they changed their mind or otherwise refocused.

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Turns out, it was only temporary. There are now two models on their product list, one for $499.99 and another for $599.99, although I have a feeling that the cheaper model might be discontinued. The only real, concrete difference that I can see is the $599.99 model uses “battery-free” pens, which I'm assuming is powered by induction from the display surface. The cheaper model is out-of-stock with an estimated availability of “TBD”. That one uses rechargeable pens. The $599.99 model also lists Linux drivers. The $599.99 version also has a slower response time (12ms vs 5ms) and higher viewing angles, although both are listed as IPS.

Whether or not the $499.99 model will become available again, the $599.99 one is still about a third of the price of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD. Also, unlike the Wacom, it supports Linux as mentioned above. They used to offer a pen display with a ten-finger capacitive touchscreen, which competes with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch, but that has not been relaunched, at least not yet.

Source: Monoprice

CES 2016: Monoprice Announces 21:9 and 4K Displays

Subject: Displays | January 7, 2016 - 02:37 AM |
Tagged: ultra wide, monoprice, monitor, ips, display, CES 2016, CES, 4k, 21:9

Monoprice announced a pair on monitors today at CES, beginning with their new ultra-wide 21:9 display.

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The monitor features a 3440 x 1440 IPS panel with a 75 Hz refresh rate, but the big story with this monitor is going to be cost, as Monoprice will be selling this for $499 – the lowest we’ve seen for a 3440 x 1440 by far. (LG is currently the only supplier of these curved 34-inch 3440x1440 IPS panels, so this should be the same panel found in similar monitors on the market.)

Monoprice also announced a new 27-inch 4K display at CES, and this USB-C monitor uses an LG IPS panel with 99% Adobe RGB color support. Also $499, the monitor offers 100 watt USB-C power delivery for device charging for laptops and other devices, as well as USB 3.0 connectivity. (The display was not available to photograph.)

It was a point of emphasis that Monoprice is only using A+ panels for these new monitors (which means they are the same grade as the big name brands), and the company really seems to be working to establish itself in the display space. Both of these monitors will be available in Q1 2016.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

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

Source: Monoprice

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

E3 2013: Monoprice Shows New 27-in and 30-in High-Res, Low Cost Monitors

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 07:58 PM |
Tagged: wqxga, wqhd, monoprice, ips, E3, 2560x1440

While wandering the halls at E3 to talk with NVIDIA and AMD about the future of gaming, I ran across a small booth with Monoprice in it.  If you don't know Monoprice, it is an online seller of electronics and cables and much of its merchandise can be found throughout the offices at PC Perspective.

In recent months Monoprice made news with PC gamers as one of the first major retailers to begin selling the low-cost 27-in 2560x1440 monitors shipping from Korea.  While the monitors are likely very much the same, buying from a local company in the US rather than trusting an eBay buyer in Korea brings a lot of peace of mind to the transaction.  Getting a dead pixel and 1 year warranty along with it helps too.

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On hand at E3 was the Monoprice IPS-ZERO-G Monitor that runs at a 2560x1440 resolution with a single dual-link DVI input.  This is an updated to the first model Monoprice shipped with a newer, thinner design and an even better $390 price point

Monoprice also is offering a model with an internal scalar that allows the display to include additional inputs like HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort.  The 27-in IPS-G Pro will sell for $474 and will also be tuned for AdobeRGB and sRGB options. 

In addition to the two 27-in models, Monoprice also has added 30-in 2560x1600 monitors: the IPS CrystalPro and the IPS Pro with the same primary differentiation - input support. 

I am looking forward to getting my hands on these Monoprice display options to see if they can live up to the levels of the other Korean-built displays we have in the office.  If they do, then I think we have a new reason for PC gamers to celebrate.

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Another interesting find at the booth were some new HDMI cables using a RedMere controller on the connector to allow for extremely thin (and long) runs.  First shown at CES in 2008, the RedMere RM1689 chip runs solely on the power provided by the HDMI output and allows cables to use much less copper to create thinner designs.  They will obviously cost a bit more than standard options but you can see from the photo above the difference is striking. 

Monoprice 27" IPS back in stock!

Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 25, 2013 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: monoprice, ips display, ips monitor, ips

Tim did a post on cheap 27" IPS 1440p monitors from Monoprice within the opening days of the calendar year. These panels are derivative of the type you would see on Dell Ultrasharp or Apple Cinema Displays. We say derivative because LCD panel manufacturing is very imprecise: completed panels get graded, bin-sorted, and sold to bidders. A panel which does not grade high enough for Dell, Apple, HP, and other professional companies is probably still a perfectly good panel and suitable for other bidders. Monoprice is putting their branding on one of those bidders and selling it for under $400, about a third of the cost of the A+-sorted panels.

And they're gone.

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Now, almost three months later, Monoprice has caught up and will start shipping the new batch as early as tomorrow. How long that will last, who knows? If you wish to have a high end monitor on the cheap, you will probably want to run and not walk.

The Monoprice CrystalPro WQHD monitor is available for $390.60. Monoprice advertises the display to be perfect for Eyefinity setups... except that it is limited to one per customer. Oh well, troll well.

Source: Monoprice

CES 2013: Monoprice Launches Cheap 2560x1440 IPS Monitor

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2013 - 04:50 PM |
Tagged: monoprice, LG, korean monitor, display, ces 2013, CES, 1440p

Monoprice is now selling 1440p monitors with LED-backlit IPS displays for $390. They are proving a hot item though as they are already back-ordered to March 2nd!

Last year, many enthusiasts and tech writers learned of high resolution monitors with IPS displays available from Korea for a relative pittance compared to the usual $700+ price tag placed on IPS monitors sold in the US. The Korean panels were manufactured by LG and were panels that did not quite make the cut to be used in Apple’s Cinema displays. Instead of letting the panels go to waste, various Korean companies used the still-high quality panels in their own rebranded monitors. Crossover, Achieva, and Yamakasi (and others) all produce IPS monitors with 2560 x 1440 resolution and LED backlighting. The panels are still of good quality and while the monitors generally lack on screen controls and scaling hardware (and analog inputs), the price more than makes up for those shortcomings.

In order to get the cheap monitors though enthusiasts have traditionally had to turn to ebay and deal with third parties in Korea who purchase the monitors there and ship them to the US. Some US companies have since started offering cheap 1440p rebranded monitors of their own, but ebay remained the cheapest way to grab a Korean monitor.

 

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It seems that Monoprice is looking to change that by introducing a new high resolution monitor of its own with the 27” IPS LED CrystalPro. It offers a LED-backlit IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 for $390.60. It has a 6ms response time and 178-degree viewing angle (horizontal and vertical). The monitor supports dual link DVI inputs and uses an external AC power supply. The CrystalPro montior reportedly uses 65W while in use and 1W in standby mode. Further, the 1440p monitor comes with a VESA mount and included table stand that can tilt.

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The real value here comes from the fact that it is sold by a US retailer and ships within the US. It comes with a 1 year limited warranty and 30 day money back guarantee. Monoprice will replace your monitor if it has more than 5 dead pixels--a policy that is not spectacular (though all monitor manufactures have similar policies) but within reason considering the price. Monoprice has stated that it is using the same LG panels as the Achieva Shimian and other popular Korean imports.

Unfortunately, the Monoprice CrystalPro is currently on back order, and new units are not expected to be available until at least March 2, 2013. However, if you have been wary about ordering one off of ebay and are currently using a 1080p TN panel the Monoprice offering might just be worth the wait!

Interested in 1440p IPS monitors? Check out our full review of the Achieva Shimian monitor at PC Perspective.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

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

Source: Monoprice