Twisted Vertical Switching ... a look behind the screens

Subject: Displays | February 8, 2019 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: TN, ips, va, display types

It has been a while since we linked to a description of the various panel types offered for those shopping for a new monitor, which is why your eyeballs are directed to TechSpot's recent article.  A lot of discussion goes on about the disappointment some express when they see a new variable refresh rate display which is using a 'mere' TN panel; or how someone feels only VA panels offer a true black. 

Take a look at the technology behind the three most common display types and the strengths and weaknesses of them, or just head down to the comments to discuss your choice for the one true panel type.

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"By far the most common types of display panels used on PC monitors are TN, IPS and VA. We're sure you've heard these terms before if you've researched monitors to purchase, and to be clear, the type of panel is a key piece of information that reveals a lot about how the monitor will behave and perform."

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Source: TechSpot

Acer's new FreeSync Nitro displays

Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: VG0, RG0, nitro, ips, freesync, acer

Acer announced two new series of IPS displays in their recent press conference, the 4k Nitro VG0 and 1080p Nitro RG0.  The VG0 is available in 21.5", 23.8" and 27" models, all of which are available in 4k resolution, Freesync capable with a top refresh rate of 144Hz and a variety of colour management features, from six axis colour adjustment to 11 different black levels. 

Nitro_VG0_(VG270U- VG270K-VG240YU)_blue_right facing.jpg

The Nitro RG0 features a impressively svelte .27" profile on both its 27" and 23.8" displays.  The maximum variable refresh rate is a bit lower, at 75Hz as is the 1080p resolution.  This display is more appropriate for those lacking the GPU power to run at higher resolutions or those who opt for multiple displays. 

Nitro_RG0_(RG240Y-RG270-RG270Y)_left facing.jpg

These Nitro displays offer 72% NTSC colour coverage and ship with a pair of 2W speakers inside the bezel.  HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections are available, depending on your preference and they offer a variety of display modes as well as Acer's VisionCare which includes Flickerless, BlueLightShield and ComfyView.  As these are Freesync displays, the pricing is quite reasonable, the VG0 starts at $130 while the RG0 can be yours for $170. 

You can watch the full press conference here.

Source: Acer

CES 2018: Dell S2419HM and S2719DM IPS HDR Monitors

Subject: Displays | January 9, 2018 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ips, hdr, dell

Dell is announcing a pair of consumer monitors at this year's CES. Each SKU uses an HDR-ready IPS panel, which covers over 85% of the DCI-P3 color space and does so with up to 600 cd/m2 peak brightness. As far as I can tell, the only technical difference between the panels is that the 24-inch one has a 1080p resolution, while the 27-inch one has a 1440p resolution.

S2419HM And S2719DM.png

As for a possible difference: the 27-inch is also listed as being VESA certified DisplayHDR 400, which means that it will provide at least 400 nits of brightness in HDR content. I’m not sure why the 24-inch is not listed as DisplayHDR 400, because it has the same backlight, but that could be something as simple as “one finished the certification process before the other”.

Ultrathin Monitors.jpg

Regardless, the main features of this monitor is that it’s bright, it’s thin, it has a thin bezel, and it is HDR-ready. If that is what you’re looking for, then consider these monitors when they launch on February 6th. The 24-inch (S2419HM) has an MSRP of $299.99 while the 27-inch (S2719DM) has an MSRP of $499.99.

Source: Dell

Acer Releases PE320QK Pro 4K IPS Display

Subject: Displays | December 9, 2017 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: acer, ips, professional monitor

Acer announced their PE320QK professional display several months ago, but it is now available. Before we get too far into the specifications, and there are some things that need to be discussed about them, the MSRP is $1199.99 USD, but it’s apparently above that in practice. The third-party seller on Newegg, TELeasy, is currently sold out at a listed price of $1330.17.

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As for the specifications? Here’s where it gets interesting. First, the press release states that the PE320QK can do 130% of sRGB. This is nonsense. sRGB is a color space that you calibrate down into. You cannot cover more than it, because otherwise you wouldn’t be calibrated to it. Either your potential color space covers the whole gamut, or it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter what else it covers, just that it doesn’t miss anything inside the fenced-in area that the spec cares about. In fact, saying that it’s 130% makes me question whether it will end up less than 100% of the post-calibration gamut.

That’s not a concern that you want to have with a $1200 monitor.

The other issue is with the contrast ratio, although this is a number that every display manufacturer, especially TVs, screw with. It is listed as 100,000,000 : 1. Yeah… no. That number is meaningless. Again, it hasn’t meant anything for over a decade at this point, so I can’t really knock on Acer too much for this.

That said, the monitor is probably good. I just can’t quantify how and why from the information we’re given. I do like the light-hood flaps on the side, though.

Source: Acer

ViewSonic Introduces a Trio of Monitors with Pro Color

Subject: Displays | September 28, 2017 - 11:25 AM |
Tagged: VP3881, VP3268-4K, VP2785-4K, viewsonic, usb type-c, ultrawide, UHD, ips, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB, 4k

ViewSonic has announced three new monitors in their VP series featuring factory-calibrated professional grade color, with the VP3881, VP2785-4K, and VP3268-4K.

The VP3881 features a 37.5-inch curved 21:9 aspect display with 3840x1600 resolution and HDR10 support.

VP3881.jpg

"Featuring a unique ergonomic design, ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, and integrated speakers, the VP3881 delivers a panoramic viewing experience ideal for video editing, content development, high-end entertainment, and other color-critical applications."

The 27-inch VP2785-4K offers the most impressive color specs of the group, with 99% Adobe RGB and 96% DCI-P3 from its Ultra HD (3840x2160) panel.

VP2785-4K.jpg

"This 27-inch 4K Ultra HD monitor delivers unmatched color accuracy for photographers, graphic designers, content developers, and other design pros and multimedia creatives. That means you get true images with vivid colors from real life, to camera, to screen. With USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity options, the VP2785-4K can be used with a variety of external devices as well."

Finally we have the VP3268-4K, a 32-inch Ultra HD monitor with an IPS panel and minimal bezel design.

VP3268-4K.jpg

"The newest member of the VP68 family, this monitor balances ultra-high definition and a large 32-inch display to deliver the ultimate in detail, clarity, and screen real estate – perfect for limitless creativity. With a SuperClear® IPS panel and 4-sided frameless design, this monitor provides a near-seamless viewing experience ideal for multi-display setups. It also includes HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, Mini-DisplayPort, and USB hubs for flexible connectivity to a variety of computing devices and peripherals."

ViewSonic states that "all three of these VP series monitors are factory calibrated to deliver an amazing Delta E" of <2, making them ready for color-critical work out of the box. The monitors are available now, with list prices (USD) as follows:

  • VP3881: $1329.00
  • VP3268-4K: $989.00
  • VP2785-4K: $989.00
Source: ViewSonic

ASUS Launches the ZenFone 4 Max Smartphone

Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2017 - 12:03 PM |
Tagged: ZenFone 4 Max, zenfone, Snapdragon 430, smartphone, ips, dual camera, asus, Android

The midrange phone market has a new contendor with the ZenFone 4 Max, launched today by ASUS and featuring some impressive specifications - particularly in the camera department - for an unlocked device with an MSRP of $199.

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The phone offers a 5.5-inch display - though likely due to the price target it is just 1280x720 - and the metal and glass construction gives it a more premium (if familiar) look. It's the back of the device where the dual camera sensors really set this apart from the majority of ~$200 unlocked phones: a pair of 13 MP sensors reside behind both a wide-angle and telephoto lens, which allows for more flexibility in composing shots.

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"ZenFone 4 Max features an advanced dual-camera system designed to take your mobile photography to new heights. Its 13MP main camera is equipped with the wide, F2.0 aperture lens to capture clearer photos. Its 120° wide-angle camera lets your fit more scenery and people in the frame for dramatic landscape shots, better group photos, and a more convenient photography experience in confined indoor spaces."

The application processor is the Snapdragon 430, a capable 8-core design with Adreno 505 graphics which also crucially offers 2x image signal processors for a dual camera setup. One area that is decidedly not midrange is the battery - which is a whopping 5000 mAh (!). Not only does this massive capacity allow for the unusual feature of turning your smartphone into a battery pack to charge other devices, but it should provide some really outstanding real-world battery life as well. The onboard Snapdragon 430 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, so refilling that huge battery should be efficient as well.

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The unlocked ZenFone 4 Max is available now for $199 on Amazon.com in a 32GB capacity.

Source: ASUS

IFA 2017: Lenovo Announces Yoga 920 and 720 2-in-1 Laptops

Subject: Mobile | August 31, 2017 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: Yoga 920, Yoga 720, yoga, watchband, Star Wars, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, ips, Gorilla Glass, digitizer, Active Pen 2, 4k, 2-in-1

The Yoga 920 is Lenovo’s new “flagship consumer 2-in-1”, and features 8th-generation quad-core processor and a big emphasis on voice control with what Lenovo describes as “far-field microphones for Cortana which will recognizes voice commands in standby mode and from up to 4 meters away”.

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There is also optional digitizer/pen capability with the Yoga 920, featuring Lenovo’s Active Pen 2:

“In the case of the Yoga 920, an optional Lenovo Active Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pen sensitivity dramatically expands the creative and cross-application potential of the PC. Offering pen-on-paper precision designed to give you no discernible lag, the Lenovo Active Pen 2 with Windows Ink lets you sketch and paint original schematics or annotate existing graphics and documents on the fly. Working on a presentation? Use the pen’s shortcut button to open and check email for any last-minute contributions from the team, sketch them into the presentation, add some color and annotations, then send – all without setting down the pen.”

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The display is ‘nearly bezel-less’ and offers a 13.9-inch 4K IPS panel. The familiar ‘watchband’ hinge is back for this new model, and the machine is quite thin at 13.95 mm (0.55 inches), weighing in at 3.02 lbs.

SW_920_Laptops.jpg

Special Star Wars designs are also going to be available with the Yoga 920, as Lenovo explains:

“We are particularly excited to bring to customers limited edition Gorilla Glass cover designs: Yoga 920 Vibes, Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Rebel Alliance and Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Galactic Empire.”

The Yoga 720 is a compact 12-inch design which will be offered at a significantly lower price than the 920, and it is also digitizer/pen capable and offers a fingerprint reader as well.

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The Yoga 920 will be offered with a starting price of $1329.99, while the Yoga 720 will start at $649.99.

Source: Lenovo

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces new ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: x1 carbon, wigig, thunderbolt 3, Thinkpad, notebook, LTE-A, Lenovo, laptop, ips, CES 2017, CES, 14 inch

Lenovo's 2017 version of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is “the lightest 14-inch business notebook” on the market at 2.5 lbs, and fits its 14-inch IPS display into a compact 13-inch laptop form-factor.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon.jpg

"Featuring a carbon-fiber reinforced chassis, the X1 Carbon is as durable as its predecessor, and features a smaller footprint—making it the lightest, thinnest X1 Carbon. Yet it’s power-packed with: Windows 10 Pro, 7th generation Intel Core processors, lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3, and a 14” Quad-HD display. All that—plus our legendary ThinkPad heritage and support."

Lenovo still left room in the slim chassis for plenty of battery capacity, as they claim “more than 15 hours of battery life” from this new X1 Carbon, which is available in both the traditional “ThinkPad Black” and a new metallic silver color. Another new addition to the X1 Carbon is Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, with wireless options including LTE-A and WiGig.

X1 Carbon black silver.jpg

Specifications from Lenovo:


  • Display
    • 14” WQHD IPS (2560 x 1440) 300 nits
    • 14” FHD IPS (1920 x 1080) 300 nits
  • Processor: Up to Intel Core 7th gen
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Memory: Up to 16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3
  • Storage
    • 128GB SSD SATA
    • 180GB SSD Intel® SATA
    • 256GB SSD Intel® PCIe TLC OPAL2 256GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 512GB SSD Intel® PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 512GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 1TB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
  • Connectivity
    • I/O Ports
      • 2 x Intel® ThunderboltTM 3, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI,
      • native RJ45, microSD, microSIM
    • WLAN
      • Intel® Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265
      • 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.2
    • WWAN
      • Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X7 LTE-A EM7430
      • Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X7 LTE-A EM7455
    • WiGig
      • Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265 (WiGig +
      • WiFi 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.2
    • NFC option
    • LTE-A (4G)
  • Security
    • dTPM 2.0 Display
    • Touch fingerprint reader option
    • Windows Hello
  • Audio: Dolby Audio Premium
  • Webcam: HD 720p, IR camera option
  • Battery: Up to 15.5 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 323.5 x 217.1 x 15.95 mm / 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 2.49 lbs / 1.12 kg
  • Colors: Black, Silver

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 1.jpg

As to pricing and availability, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon will start at $1,349, and will available in February.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

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

Source: Lenovo

LG to Introduce Their First HDR Computer Monitor at CES

Subject: Displays | December 14, 2016 - 05:46 PM |
Tagged: monitor, LG, ips, high dynamic range, hdr, display, 4k

Ahead of CES 2017 LG has announced their upcoming monitor lineup, which features an HDR (high dynamic range) model. The 32UD99 is a 32-inch, 3840 x 2160 IPS display that offers 95% DCI-P3 color and HDR10 support. (Specifics as to peak brightness, rated black levels have not been released.)

LG_Monitors.jpg

From LG's press release (pdf):

“As the availability of HDR (high dynamic range) content continues to expand across a wide range of categories, from movies to games, LG is leading the way in bringing this enhancement to desktop monitors,” said to Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA. “The enhanced picture quality offered by HDR technology is instantly recognizable to even the most casual user, and manufacturers are already pushing this promising technology to its fullest potential. From high-resolution displays compatible with HDR technology, to UltraWide monitors optimized for multitasking and gaming, LG is committed to delivering the most state-of-the-art and premium monitors in the industry today.” 

HDR is a somewhat complex standard, incorporating requirements for bit depth and supported color space, brightness level, and black levels for the display - along with compatibility with one of the HDR standards; HDR10 or Dolby Vision. The fact that LG is using IPS for their new montior seems problematic given the high black levels associated with IPS (unless sophisticated local dimming is employed, such as with LG's Infinia televisions of a few years ago), as most HDR sets employ a VA panel of some kind. Of note, rival Panasonic only recently announced their work on very high native contrast IPS panels, but there is no indication that LG has developed a similar technology at this point.

HDR is all the rage in the 4K television world, and for gaming both Sony and Microsoft's latest consoles support the more common HDR10 implementation - with compatible games, UHD Blu-ray, and streaming content, that is. It was inevitable that HDR would make its way into the computer display space, and presumably more and more PC games will be offering support going forward (Shadow Warrior 2 was the first title to support HDR on PC). A quick primer on HDR (with respect to the "Premium" standard from the UHD Alliance) can be found here, and only time will tell if the HDR10 standard will win out over Dolby Vision, though at this point it seems likely.

Source: LG

Acer's Predator XB321HK, the highest resolution G-SNYC monitor you can hope for until DP 1.3?

Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2016 - 02:38 PM |
Tagged: g-sync, Predator XB321HK, acer, 4k, ips

Thanks to DisplayPort 1.2's bandwidth being limited to a maximum of 17.28Gbit/s, shoppers looking for a high end variable refresh rate gaming monitor have a tough choice to make.  Leave aside aspect ratio, colour depth and panel type for the immediate question; do you prefer the higher definition of a 4K display but with a limited maximum refresh rate or will you be satisfied by 1440p or 1080p with a refresh rate that can hit upwards of 200Hz?  The Predator XB321HK chooses path of greater resolution, offering 3840x2160 but with a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, on an IPS screen with 4ms grey to grey response time.  If you prefer an MVA ultra-widescreen with a higher resolution, perhaps investigate the Acer Z35, if the XB321HK is closer to what you are looking for check Hardware Canucks full review here.

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"With a sensible 4K form factor, a G-SYNC module and a stunning IPS panel, Acer's Predator XB321HK is the stuff gaming monitor dreams are made of. Unfortunately its refresh rate is limited by today's interface technology."

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