Professional quality colour from Acer's new $300 IPS panel

Subject: Displays | September 11, 2012 - 04:17 PM |
Tagged: acer, B243PWL, ips monitor, led lcd

IPS panels are overtaking TN monitors in popularity as the prices begin to decline and people familiarize themselves with the quality and viewing angles of IPS displays.  Acer has introduced their $300 B243PWL 24" 1920 x 1200 display into this crowded market, a fairly simple looking display which sports speakers that utilize ports cut into the back of the monitor as opposed to enlarging the bezel to provide space.  It has DVI, DisplayPort, and VGA ports but no HDMI if that is your connector of choice.  Hardware Canucks found the performance in gaming to be less than perfect as they witnessed moderate ghosting while playing games but for professional usage when colour gamut and accuracy matters more than speed.  Check out the full review here.

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"With an IPS panel, low power consumption and a sub-$300 price point, Acer's new 24" B243PWL monitor seems to have what it takes for success. However, in a field that's saturated with competitors, does it have the necessary combination of features and quality to stand out?"

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Displays

Someone got to play with the Oculus Rift

Subject: Displays | August 8, 2012 - 06:46 PM |
Tagged: oculus rift, virtual reality, glasses, quakecon

Legit Reviews were lucky enough to have some hands on time with the prototype Occulus Rift, the surround gaming headset at QuakeCon.  It is impossible to really show you what it looks like to game with these glasses on but everyone who tried them were amazed.  The 1280x800 resolution is actually 640x800 per eye thanks to the limits of both the HDMI standard and in an attempt to keep costs down.  As well the only game currently supporting the prototype is Doom III BFG Edition but it is still a good excuse to replay the game.  The Kickstarter project has hit its goal, though you can still donate if you wish and you can get a kit to build your own glasses for around $300 if you can't wait for them to hit retail.

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"Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality (VR) headset designed specifically for video games that will change the way you think about gaming forever. With an incredibly wide field of view, high resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking, the Rift provides a truly immersive experience that allows you to step inside your favorite game and explore new worlds like never before. Read on to see what we found out when we tried one in person."

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Displays

Deals for August 8th - 27-in Planar 1080p Display for $209

Subject: General Tech, Displays | August 8, 2012 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: deal of the day, planar, monitor

Today's deals are quite assorted but the highlight for me is the 27-in Planar PX2710MW 1080p monitor that you can grab for an impressively low price of $209.99!!

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Check out the other deals available today!

Laptops

17.3" Alienware M17x Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 2GB Radeon HD 6970M for $1,449 with free shipping (normally $1,849 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

17.3" HP Pavilion dv7t-7000 Quad Edition Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Blu-ray & GeForce GT 630M for $800 with free shipping (normally $1000 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

15.6" Samsung Series 3 AMD A63420M 1.5GHz Quad-core Laptop w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $400 (normally $530).

15.6" Toshiba Satellite L750D AMD A6-3420M 1.5GHz Quad-core Laptop w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $400 (normally $550).

15.6" HP ProBook 4535s AMD E2-3000M 1.8GHz Dual-core Laptop w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD & Windows 7 Professional for $430 (normally $550).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 470 Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-core Mini Tower w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD & Wireless-N, Bluetooth for $529 with free shipping (normally $679 - use coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).

Acer Predator AG3610-UR10P Core i7-2600 3.4GHz Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 2GB GeForce GT 530 for $900 (normally $1,050).

23" HP Pavilion 23-1000z AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-core 1080p All-in-one PC w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $630 with free shipping (normally $750 - use coupon code 20LOGICBUY).

Monitors

27" Planar PX2710MW 1080p 2ms LCD Monitor w/ HDMI & 3-year warranty for $210 with free shipping (normally $470 - use coupon code D84NDZ3JCT3K3K).

27" ASUS VE278Q 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor w/ DisplayPort for $300 with free shipping (normally $330 - use coupon code SOD68788).

22" Dell E2213 1680 x 1050 LED-backlit LCD Monitor w/3-year warranty for $151 with free shipping (normally $199 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Peripherals

EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2Win (Fermi) 2GB GDDR5 Dual GPU Video Card for $170 with free shipping (normally $250 - use this form).

4TB (2 x 2TB) Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage Cloud Edition for $325 with free shipping (normally $469.99 - use coupon code USMEDALS).

240GB SanDisk Extreme 2.5" SATA III SSD (SDSSDX-240G-G25) for $170 with free shipping (normally $230).

120GB Kingston HyperX 3K 2.5" SATA III SSD for $80 with free shipping (normally $150).

Sony Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard (VGP-BKB1) for $70 with free shipping (normally $99).

Targus Meridian II 15.6" Roller Laptop Case for $75 with free shipping (normally $90).

Dell 1355cn Multifunction Color Printer for $237 with free shipping (normally $300).

Tablets

10.1" Toshiba Excite 16GB Quad-core Tegra 3 Android 4.0 Tablet for $384 with free shipping (normally $399 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

10.1" Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T 32GB Tablet + Dock Bundle for $608 with free shipping (normally $650).

Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard Case (iPad 2) for $44 with free shipping (normally $60 - use coupon code).

Gaming:

GUNNAR Call of Duty MW3 Gaming Eyewear for $50 with free shipping (normally $100).

Devil May Cry Collection (360/PS3) for $30 with free shipping (normally $40).

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (360/PS3) for $30 with free shipping (normally $40).

Home Entertainment:

47" LG 47LD950C 1080p 240Hz 3D LCD HDTV for $700 (normally $849 - use this form).

46" Westinghouse LD-4680 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $570 with free shipping (normally $800).

46" Sharp LC-46SV49U 1080p LCD HDTV for $480 with free shipping (normally $600).

46" Samsung UN46D6000 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $827 with free shipping (normally $1,099).

32" Proscan PLED3204A720p LED HDTV for $190 (normally $250 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Personal Portables & Peripherals:

Sony In-Ear Headphones iPod/iPhone Remote for $80 with free shipping (normally $99).

12MP Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Red Digital Camera for $194 with free shipping (normally $229 - use coupon code Learn2SaveBG5).

14MP Olympus Tough TG-320 Digital Camera Bundle for $131 with free shipping (normally $159).

Source: LogicBuy

Gigabyte Unveils GA-H77N-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Chipsets, Memory, Displays | August 7, 2012 - 10:07 AM |
Tagged: Z77, motherboard, mini-itx, Intel, gigabyte, ga-h77n-wifi

During a European roadshow, Gigabyte showed off a new Mini-ITX form factor motherboard for the first time. Called the GA-H77N-WIFI, the motherboard is well suited for home theater and home server tasks. Based on the H77 chipset, it is compatible with the latest Intel Core i3 (coming soon), i5, and i7 "Ivy Bridge" processors. The board goes for an all-black PCB with minimal heatsinks on the VRMs, and the form factor is the same size as the motherboard that Ryan recently used in his Mini-ITX HTPC build.

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The GA-H77N-WIFI features a LGA 1155 processor socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots, PCI Express slot, two SATA 3Gbps ports, two SATA 6Gbps ports, and an internal USB 3.0 header. There are also two Realtek Ethernet controller chips and a Realtek audio chip.

Rear IO on the Mini-ITX motherboard includes:
  • 1 PS/2 port
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 HDMI ports
  • 1 DVI port
  • 2 Antenna connectors (WIFI)
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 Optical S/PDIF port
  • 5 Analog audio jacks

The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are interesting. It could easily be loaded with open source routing software and turned into router/firewall/Wi-Fi access point. To really take advantage of the Ivy Bridge support, you could put together a nice media server and HTPC recording/streaming box (using something like SiliconDust's HDHomeRun networked tuners or Ceton's USB tuner since this board is very scarce in the way of PCI-E slots). What would you do with this Mini-ITX Gigabyte board?

Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability, but the motherboard is likely coming soon. You can find more information on the motherboard over at tonymacx86, who managed to snag get some photos of the board.

Source: Tony Mac X86

Asus VG278HE Is 27" 1080p, 144 Hz Gaming Monitor

Subject: Displays | July 26, 2012 - 11:17 PM |
Tagged: tn monitor, nvidia, monitor, asus, 3d vision 2, 144hz, 1080p

ASUS has a new 27” desktop monitor that should be hitting shelves soon. The VG278HE is an LED-backlit TN display with 1920x1080p resolution. So far, the specs are fairly lackluster, especially considering it is a 27” monitor. What is impressive about the display is the refresh rate. At 144 Hz, it offers up some promising 3D benefits, and as such it is compatible with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision 2 technology (the necessary glasses and transmitter are sold separately).

For 3D, the 144 Hz refresh rate means that you can get 72 Hz per eye, which should make it a much smoother experience that cuts down on flicker. It also suggests benefits for 2D gamers as well, because you can enable V-Sync to reducing tearing and still get respectable frame rates. Sure, 240 hertz would be really nice, but at least this is a step in the right direction for desktop monitors that seem to be perpetually stuck at 1080p resolutions (unless you go Korean, of course – as Josh would put it). The TN panel and resolution are drawbacks, but depending on price this may still be a good buy. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability according to Flat Panels HD.

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Other features of the monitor include a swivel, tilt, and height-adjustable stand, and HDMI, DVI, and VGA video inputs. Further, the monitor offers up two three watt speakers – and better yet – a headphone jack to connect powered speakers or headphones to. (At least that’s the reported spec, I hope that it’s not simply an input like my ASUS monitor has).

Personally, I think that I would rather have a higher resolution monitor than one with a faster refresh rate, but it seems to be a highly debated topic. I’m interesting in what you think. Which do you prefer, resolution or refresh rate (3D aside)?

Granted, as Ken reported earlier this month, if you are lucky you may be able to get the best of both worlds and snag an overclockable IPS monitor – but you’ll pay for the privilege.

Philips brings affordable IPS technology to your desktop

Subject: Displays | July 17, 2012 - 07:13 PM |
Tagged: philips, blade 2, ips display

Continuing the theme Ken started, of examining unfamiliar yet high quality displays, is a new monitor from Philips called the Blade 2.  Currently available across the pond in the UK, it retails for the equivalent of $260USD which puts it close to the price of the Achieva Shimian but nowhere near the pixel count as it is a 1080p monitor.  Hardware.Info was impressed by the smooth looks of the monitor but when it got down to testing there was little about the monitor that stood out.  That is partially a good thing as there was nothing wrong with the monitors performance but it does cost more than the competition so it is up to you to decide if the aesthetics are worth the extra investment.

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"The market for PC monitors is dominated by very similar-looking designs, but once in a while a new display will come out that stands out against the crowd. Philips, for example, has its Blade series which are thin screens with an elegant design. We are witnessing more and more IPS- and VA-based panels being used in computer monitors, but the majority still feature the traditional TN panel. Philips is now part of the growing trend of non-TN panels, with the launch of the Blade 2."

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From Viewers Like You...

About two months ago, a viewer of the podcast that Ryan co-hosts on the This Week in Tech network, This Week in Computer Hardware, wrote in with some information that immediately excited the staff here at PC Perspective. Ryan for a long time has been of the opinion that the proliferation of 1080p displays, and prohibitive cost of high resolution monitors has been holding the industry back as a whole. With talk of 4K displays being introduced for consumers this year, a major topic on the podcast in the weeks prior to this viewer email had centered around why we haven't seen affordable 2560x1440 (or 2560x1600) displays.

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This brings us back to the knowledge which the listener Jeremy bestowed upon us.  Jeremy brought to our attention that various eBay sellers were reselling and exporting generic 27", IPS, LED backlight, 2560x1440 monitors from South Korea. What is remarkable about these displays however is that various models can be found for just around, or even under $350. Everyone listening, including Ryan and his co-host Patrick Norton became immediately interested in these monitors, and I went into research mode.

Continue reading our review of the 27-in Achieva Shimian 2560x1440 monitor!

Just Delivered: Achieva Shimian 27" 2560x1440p Display

Subject: Displays | June 27, 2012 - 06:15 PM |
Tagged: yamakasi, shimian, korean, just delivered, catleap, achieva, 27, 1440p

If you've been paying attention to either the PC Perspective Podcast or This Week in Computer Hardware for the past few weeks, our talk of a new crop of low cost, 2560x1600, 27" monitors rising out of South Korea has been unavoidable.

Well, late last week I decided that it was time I get out of the 1080p era, and into the world of higher resolution displays.

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After an impressive shipment time of only 3 days, I recieved a package directly from Seoul this afternoon, and rushed straight to the office to open it and inform PC Perspective readers.

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For those of you not in the know, we recieved a tip a few weeks back from a reader about inexpensive 2560x1440 displays popping up on eBay for around $350. Of course this excited the staff at PC Perspective, and we immediately went into research mode, looking for all of the information we could find about these displays. While the initial impressions we saw all over forums were generally positive, we decided to give these displays the real PC Perpsective review treatment.

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While the Yamakasi Catleap is the most well known of these monitors, I decided to go with the $315 (Shipped!) Achieva Shiminan, for reasons to be expanded upon later in the full review.

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However, before we began our strenuous testing process, I wanted to give the dedicated PC Per readers a sneak peak of such an interesting product. Out of the box, we hooked it up an AMD Radeon 7950 on our GPU testbed, which had no issues at all.

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Also, just because the poorly translated eBay listings said it would not work, despite our best inclinations, I plugged this display into my Late 2011 MacBook Air with Intel HD 3000 graphics. Even using the not so reliable Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI adapter, my MacBook detected the display with no issue. While I certainly won't be gaming on this machine, the display has been working flawlessly so far.

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I know readers must have a million questions about these displays, so feel free to leave them in the comments of this post, and I will try to address them all in the full review coming soon!

A passive 60Hz 3D monitor from AOC

Subject: Displays | June 19, 2012 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: 3d vision, AOC, d2357Ph, passive 3d, 1080p, led backlight

The AOC d2357Ph has a nice array of inputs, D-Sub, DVI-D/HDMI, Composite, Component S-Video and Display Port are all present which will allow you to use this on almost any system.  On the other hand as it is a passive 3D monitor and not a 120Hz display, which R&B Mods refers to as 'poor man's 3D' and while it does offer 3D it is not as impressive as active solutions.  2D picture quality was quite good, with a minimum of backbleed and the screen is physically quite thin which could be an advantage for some users. Check out the full review for more information.

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"3D is the latest trend and today we are looking at a 3D screen from AOC; who is also one of our new sponsors. AOC’s d2357Ph is an incredibly thin monitor with LED backlighting, a Full HD resolution and the ability to display passive 3D images. What kind of 3D quality can we expect from it? Stay tuned and we will figure it out."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

 

AFDS 2012: AMD Wireless Display to compete against Intel WiDi with open standards

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Displays | June 10, 2012 - 06:45 PM |
Tagged: widi, Intel, awd, amd wireless display, amd, AFDS

While perusing through the listings and descriptions of sessions and presentations for the upcoming AMD Fusion Developer Summit, I came across an interesting one that surprised me.  Tomorrow, June 11th, at 5:15pm PST, you can stop by the Grand Hyatt in Bellevue to learn about the upcoming AMD Wireless Display technology.

AWD (AMD Wireless Display) is a multiple-platform application family to enable wireless display technologies much in the same way that Intel has been pushing with WiDi.  While Intel's take on it requires very specific Intel wireless controllers and is only recently, with the release of Ivy Bridge, getting the full-steam push from Intel, AMD's take on it is quite different.

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Intel introduced WiDi in 2010

According to the brief on this AFDS session, AMD wants to create an API and SDKs for application developers to integrate AWD into software and to leverage the WiFi Alliance for an open-standards compliant front-end.  Using AMD APUs, the goal is provide lower latency for encoded video and audio while still using the required MPEG2TS wrapper.  We are also likely to learn that AMD hopes to make AWD open to a wider array of wireless devices.

AMD often takes this "open" approach to new technologies with mixed results - CUDA has been in place for many years while the adoption of OpenCL is only starting to take hold and 3D Vision still is the standard for 3D gaming on the PC.  

After having quite a few chances to use Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology myself I can definitely say that the wireless approach is the one I am most excited with and that has the most potential to revolutionize the way we work with displays and computing devices.  I am eager to see what partners AMD has been working with and what demonstrations they will have for AWD next week.