Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2018 - 09:07 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: video, ultrawide, podcast, Optane, Intel, Huawei, GeForce Partner Program, FreeSync2, cts labs, caldigit
PC Perspective Podcast #491 - 03/14/18
Join us this week for discussion on Intel Optane 800P, UltraWide Monitors, and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath,Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous
Program length: 1:34:30
When PC monitors made the mainstream transition to widescreen aspect ratios in the mid-2000s, many manufacturers opted for resolutions at a 16:10 ratio. My first widescreen displays were a pair of Dell monitors with a 1920x1200 resolution and, as time and technology marched forward, I moved to larger 2560x1600 monitors.
I grew to rely on and appreciate the extra vertical resolution that 16:10 displays offer, but as the production and development of "widescreen" PC monitors matured, it naturally began to merge with the television industry, which had long since settled on a 16:9 aspect ratio. This led to the introduction of PC displays with native resolutions of 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, keeping things simple for activities such as media playback but robbing consumers of pixels in terms of vertical resolution.
I was well-accustomed to my 16:10 monitors when the 16:9 aspect ratio took over the market, and while I initially thought that the 120 or 160 missing rows of pixels wouldn't be missed, I was unfortunately mistaken. Those seemingly insignificant pixels turned out to make a noticeable difference in terms of on-screen productivity real estate, and my 1080p and 1440p displays have always felt cramped as a result.
I was therefore sad to see that the relatively new ultrawide monitor market continued the trend of limited vertical resolutions. Most ultrawides feature a 21:9 aspect ratio with resolutions of 2560x1080 or 3440x1440. While this gives users extra resolution on the sides, it maintains the same limited height options of those ubiquitous 1080p and 1440p displays. The ultrawide form factor is fantastic for movies and games, but while some find them perfectly acceptable for productivity, I still felt cramped.
Thankfully, a new breed of ultrawide monitors is here to save the day. In the second half of 2017, display manufactures such as Dell, Acer, and LG launched 38-inch ultrawide monitors with a 3840x1600 resolution. Just like the how the early ultrawides "stretched" a 1080p or 1440p monitor, the 38-inch versions do the same for my beloved 2560x1600 displays.
The Acer XR382CQK
I've had the opportunity to test one of these new "taller" displays thanks to a review loan from Acer of the XR382CQK, a curved 37.5-inch behemoth. It shares the same glorious 3840x1600 resolution as others in its class, but it also offers some unique features, including a 75Hz refresh rate, USB-C input, and AMD FreeSync support.
Based on my time with the XR382CQK, my hopes for those extra 160 of resolution were fulfilled. The height of the display area felt great for tasks like video editing in Premiere and referencing multiple side-by-side documents and websites, and the gaming experience was just as satisfying. And with its 38-inch size, the display is quite usable at 100 percent scaling.
There's also an unexpected benefit for video content that I hadn't originally considered. I was so focused on regaining that missing vertical resolution that I initially failed to appreciate the jump in horizontal resolution from 3440px to 3840px. This is the same horizontal resolution as the consumer UHD standard, which means that 4K movies in a 21:9 or similar aspect ratio will be viewable in their full size with a 1:1 pixel ratio.
Subject: Displays | September 28, 2017 - 11:25 AM | Sebastian Peak
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.
"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.
"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.
"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
Subject: Displays | September 11, 2017 - 11:38 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: va, ultrawide, productivity, philips, business, 32:9, 1080p gaming
Philips recently revealed a massive 49” ultra-wide monitor slated for release in the second half of next year. The so-called Philips 492P8 takes the bigger is better approach with its 32:9 aspect ratio ultra-wide monitor based on the same VA (vertical alignment) panel as Samsung’s more expensive (and feature-full) CH90 QLED. With a planned MSRP of $1,077, Philips has cut a few features in its model namely support for AMD’s FreeSync 2 and Samsung’s QLED backlighting. It Is not yet clear whether or not the monitor will retain the same 144Hz refresh rate and high dynamic range (HDR).
The 49-inch diagonal monitor features a 3840 x 1080 resolution and a 1800R curvature. The 492P8 is rated at a maximum brightness of 600 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 5,000:1. The monitor is based on a VA panel which is a compromise between the fast response times and refresh rates of TN and the colors and viewing angles of IPS (and PLS) with strong contrast, good viewing angles, decent refresh rates (response times can be an issue in gaming as far as possible motion blur), and the ability to crank up the brightness. With the axing of FreeSync 2 support, this may not be the best option for gamers wanting an ultra-wide, but this monitor is sure to find a place in the corporate world with lots of side-by-side windows open in brightly lit office environments. Depending on reviews it could also be good for flight sims, 4X games, and other gaming as well.
The monitor features DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, and USB Type-C display inputs (one each) as well as (using the USB Type-C port to connect to a PC) a two port USB 3.0 hub, one Ethernet jack, and two 3.5mm audio jacks (one headphone and one microphone).
The Philips 492P8 32:9 VA monitor is slated for a Q2 2018 release with a MSRP of $1,077 (C899). OF course, there is plenty of time for specifications and pricing to change between now and then, but it seems Philips is aiming for a budget option under $1100.
I would have liked to see more vertical resolution (I mean, why not at least 1200p? heh) but you can’t have everything, especially for cheap. What do you think about the 32:9 aspect ratio? Also, would you put a 49" ~34 pound monitor on your desk?
Subject: Displays | May 31, 2017 - 04:36 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: ultrawide, hdr, gaming monitor, g-sync, computex 2017, ASUS ROG, asus
After first teasing HDR monitors earlier this year at CES, ASUS is using Computex to announce a new high-end gaming monitor that incorporates nearly all of the latest display technologies into one impressive package. The ROG Swift PG35VQ is a 35-inch curved UltraWide display with a 3440x1440 resolution, HDR support, a 200Hz refresh rate, and NVIDIA G-Sync technology.
ASUS is using Quantum Dot technology to power the PG35VQ, which results in a display that handles the DCI-P3 color space, conforms to the HDR10 standard, and can reach a "retina-searing" 1000 nits maximum brightness. Thanks to an array of 512 individual LED backlights, the PG35VQ can also utilize local dimming for significantly better black levels than you'll find on previous generation displays. This is the same approach ASUS utilized on the 27-inch PG27UQ that it announced back at CES, there are just more LEDs to accommodate the larger screen area of the PG35VQ.
Fans of RGB lighting will happy to hear that the PG35VQ also offers support for the ROG Aura lighting platform, allowing users to control and sync RGB lighting effects between all of their compatible devices. Want the RGB lights on your new UltraWide monitor to pulse in sync with your keyboard, motherboard, and headset? ASUS has you covered.
ASUS has not yet provided an official release date, but a blog post over at NVIDIA's website claims that the PG35VQ will hit retailers in the fourth quarter. As for pricing, don't expect this flagship display to come cheap. ASUS's current high-end UltraWide gaming monitor, the ROG PG348Q, retails for about $1200, but is an inch smaller diagonally, has half the refresh rate (100Hz), and lacks local dimming and HDR support. So plan accordingly and expect to pay a premium for these cutting edge features.
UltraWide G-Sync Arrives
When NVIDIA first launched G-Sync monitors, they had the advantage of being first to literally everything. They had the first variable refresh rate technology, the first displays of any kind that supported it and the first ecosystem to enable it. AMD talked about FreeSync just a few months later, but it wasn't until March of 2015 that we got our hands on the first FreeSync enabled display, and it was very much behind the experience provided by G-Sync displays. That said, what we saw with that launch, and continue to see as time goes on, is that there are a much higher quantity of FreeSync options, with varying specifications and options, compared to what NVIDIA has built out.
This is important to note only because, as we look at the Acer Predator X34 monitor today, the first 34-in curved panel to support G-Sync, it comes 3 months after the release of the similarly matched monitor from Acer that worked with AMD FreeSync. The not-as-sexyily-named Acer XR341CK offers a 3440x1440 resolution, 34-in curved IPS panel and a 75Hz refresh rate.
But, as NVIDIA tends to do, they found a way to differentiate its own products, with the help of Acer. The Predator X34 monitor has a unique look and style to it, and it improves the maximum refresh rate to 100Hz (although that is considered overclocking). The price is a bit higher too, coming in at $1300 or so on Amazon.com; the FreeSync-enabled XR341CK monitor sells for just $941.
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2015 - 02:12 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: yoga 900, xr321ck, western digital, video, valve, ultrawide, steam link, Steam Controller, sandisk, podcast, Lenovo, freesync, acer, 3440x1440
PC Perspective Podcast #372 - 10/22/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Steam Controller and Steam Link, Acer XR321CK Ultrawide Freesync Display, and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:29:18
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Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Specs, Physical Design
Over the past 2 years or so we have noticed a trend in PC gaming: more and more gamers are realizing the importance of the display in the total gaming experience. Having been in the reviews game for nearly 16 years, I am just as guilty as most of you reading this of falling into the trap of "good enough" monitors. Steam surveys and our own data from readers shows that most of you have found some form of 1920x1080 screen and have stuck with it. But the truth is changing your monitor can and will dramatically impact how you game, how you work and just how impressed you feel each and every time you sit down in front of your PC.
Today we are looking at one of the monitors that promises to change how you view productivity and gaming. The Acer XR341CK continues the momentum of a new aspect ratio of monitors, 21:9. Otherwise known as UltraWide displays, they are available in both 2560x1080 and 3440x1440 resolutions, though our testing model today uses the latter, larger option. This Acer has a slight curve to it as well, just enough to be enjoyable without changing viewing angles for the primary user. With a 34 inch diagonal measurement, IPS panel technology and AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate support, the Acer XR341CK is likely to be our new favorite monitor for AMD Radeon users.
This doesn't come without a cost though: the XR341CK retails for just over $1,000 on Amazon. For many of you that will be a breath-taking price, and not in a good way. But consider the length of time that users tend keep monitors, I think we can make the case that type of investment is actually worthwhile.
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!
Subject: Displays | January 5, 2015 - 12:08 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: uwqhd, ultrawide, philips, ips, curved lcd, ces 2015, CES, 3440x1440, 21:9
Philips is showing a new 34-inch, 21:9 monitor at this year's CES, and the ultra-wide monitor will feature a curved IPS panel with 3440x1440 resolution.
The BDM3490UC monitor has a 60 Hz IPS panel with a native response time of 14 ms, though this can be adjusted down to 5 ms using the "SmartResponse" control. This model also features MultiView technology which enables two active connections to be used simultaneously, allowing multiple devices to share the screen.
- Panel Type: AH-IPS
- Backlight: W-LED
- Panel Size: 34.1"
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 @ 60 Hz
- Response time (typical): 14 ms (Grey to Grey)
- SmartResponse (typical) 5 ms (Grey to Grey)
- Brightness (typical): 300 cd/m²
- Contrast ratio (typical): 1000:1
- Viewing angle: 178° (H) x 178° (V) @ C/R > 10
- Display colors: 1.07 billion colors (8-bits + FRC)
- Display inputs: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, HDMI 1.4 (w/MHL) x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1
- USB: USB 3.0 x4 (1 with BC 1.2 Fast Charging)
- Audio in/out: PC audio in, headphone out
- Built-in speakers: 7 W x2 with DTS sound
- Tilt: -5/20 degree
- Power supply: External
- Color: Black
No word on pricing or availability just yet.
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