CES 2017: ASUS ProArt HDR and Designo Curve Monitors

Subject: Displays | January 4, 2017 - 02:30 PM |
Tagged: UHD, ProArt, PA32U, PA27AQ, MX38VQ, monitors, hdr, displays, Designo Curve, DCI-P3, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has announced a pair of large monitors at CES, beginning with the impressive 32-inch ProArt PA32U, a UHD HDR Thunderbolt 3 display which offers 384 (direct) backlighting zones, 95% DCI-P3 coverage, and peak brightness of 1,000 nits.

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The ASUS ProArt PA32U

“The 32-inch ASUS ProArt PA32U is the world’s first professional direct-lit LED 4K UHD HDR monitor, delivering breathtaking levels of detail. It has a full-array LED backlight with the all-new ASUS LED-driving technology, featuring 384 LED zones and capable of a peak brightness of 1,000cd/m2, which offers a wide range of dynamic luminance for a much richer, nuanced image. The use of quantum dot technology provides a wide color gamut, enabling ProArt PA32U to deliver 99.5% Adobe RGB, 85% Rec. 2020, 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color-space performance for high-end video-editing and production.”

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HDR in full effect on the ProArt PA32U

The use of direct backlighting with individual zones - with what sounds like local dimming (“a wide range of dynamic luminance”) - should put the ProArt PA32U high on an HDR enthusiast’s list.

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Back view of the ProArt PA32U

Next we have the Designo Curve MX38VQ, a massive 37.5-inch monitor a 2300R curved IPS panel that boasts ultra-wide QHD (3840x1600) resolution. The MX38VQ also features a Harman Kardon branded 8-watt stereo speaker system and Qi wireless charging base built into the stand.

The ProArt PA32U will be available in Q3 2017, with pricing to fall in the $1799-$1999 range. The Designo Curve MX38VQ will also be available Q3 2017, with pricing set at $1099.

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: ASUS

CES 2017: Acer Announces Predator Z301CT and XB2 Series Displays

Subject: Displays | January 3, 2017 - 06:06 PM |
Tagged: Predator, monitor, display, curved, CES 2017, CES, acer, 30-inch

Acer has announced a trio of Predator gaming monitors, beginning with the 30-inch Predator Z301CT display, which is "the world’s first 21:9 curved monitor with eye-tracking functionality". In addition to Tobii Eye Tracking this ultra-wide gaming monitor offers a curved 21:9 VA panel with a 200 Hz refresh rate, NVIDIA G-Sync variable refresh-rate support, and is equipped with Acer's "ErgoStand" full-motion stand (height, swivel, tilt).

Acer Predator Z301CT 1.jpg

Predator Z301CT Specifications:

  • Size: 30-inch 21:9 Gaming Monitor 
  • Curvature: 1800R
  • Panel Type: VA (8-bit)
  • Maximum Resolution: 2560x1080 @ 200Hz 
  • Refresh Rate: 200Hz
  • Response Time: 4ms 
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2 
  • Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1 (Native) 
  • Color: 100% sRGB 
  • Colors: 16.7 Million
  • Support: Tobii Eye Tracking, NVIDIA G-Sync, Acer DarkBoost, BlueLightShield and Flicker-less Technologies 
  • Other Key Features: GameView OSD Navigation Key, Cable Management 
  • Viewing Angles: 178 Degrees (H) 178 Degrees (V) 
  • Input signal: DisplayPort v1.2a, HDMI v 1.4, USB Hub 3.0 x 4 (1 Up, 4 Down), Audio Out 
  • ErgoStand: Tilt -5 ~25 Degrees; Swivel +25 Degrees, Height Adjustment Up to 4.7 Inches 
  • Audio: Powerful DTS Sound, Two 3W Speakers 
  • VESA Wall Mounting: 100x100mm

The Predator Z301CT carries an MSRP of $899 and will be available in February.

Next we have the Predator XB2 Series, which includes the 24.5-inch Predator XB252Q and 27-inch Predator XB272.

Acer Predator XB2 pair.jpg

These 1920x1080 monitors offer NVIDIA G-Sync with NVIDIA's ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) technology, 1 ms response time, and a 240 Hz refresh rate. Both displays feature Acer's "ZeroFrame" design with minimal bezels for multi-monitor setups and the same "ErgoStand" as the larger Z301CT above.

The two Predator XB2 Series displays have identical specs other than display size, including:

  • Design: ZeroFrame
  • Maximum resolution: 1920x1080 @ 240Hz
  • Refresh Rate: 240Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Color: 100% sRGB
  • Panel Type: TN (8-bit)
  • Brightness: 400 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Support: NVIDIA G-Sync, NVIDIA ULMB, Acer Dark Boost, BlueLightShield and Flicker-less Technologies
  • Other Key Features: GameView OSD Navigation Key, Cable Clip
  • Viewing angles: 170 Degrees (H) 170 Degrees (V)
  • Input signal: DisplayPort v1.2, HDMI v 1.4, USB Hub 3.0 x 4 (1 up, 4 down), Audio Out
  • ErgoStand: Tilt -5 -20 Degrees; Swivel +45 Degrees, Height Adjustment 4.5 Inches, Pivot 90 Degrees Clockwise
  • Audio: Powerful DTS Sound, Two 2W Speakers
  • VESA Wall Mounting: 100x100mm

The XB2 Series displays will start at $549 (presumably for the 24.5-inch model) and will be 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: Acer

AMD FreeSync 2 Brings Latency, LFC and Color Space Requirements

Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | January 3, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: srgb, lfc, hdr10, hdr, freesync 2, freesync, dolby vision, color space, amd

Since the initial FreeSync launch in March of 2015, AMD has quickly expanded the role and impact that the display technology has had on the market. Technologically, AMD added low frame rate compensation (LFC) to mimic the experience of G-Sync displays, effectively removing the bottom limit to the variable refresh rate. LFC is an optional feature that requires a large enough gap between the displays minimum and maximum refresh rates to be enabled, but the monitors that do integrate it work well. Last year AMD brought FreeSync to HDMI connections too by overlaying the standard as an extension. This helped to expand the quantity and lower the price of available FreeSync options. Most recently, AMD announced that borderless windowed mode was being added as well, another feature-match to what NVIDIA can do with G-Sync.

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The biggest feather in the cap for AMD FreeSync is the sheer quantity of displays that exist on the market that support it. As of our briefing in early December, AMD claimed 121 design wins for FreeSync to just 18 for NVIDIA G-Sync. I am not often in the camp of quantity over quality, but the numbers are impressive. The pervasiveness of FreeSync monitors means that at least some of them are going to be very high quality integrations and that prices are going to be lower compared to the green team’s selection.

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Today AMD is announcing FreeSync 2, a new, concurrently running program that adds some new qualifications to displays for latency, color space and LFC. This new program will be much more hands-on from AMD, requiring per-product validation and certification and this will likely come at a cost. (To be clear, AMD hasn’t confirmed if that is the case to me yet.)

Let’s start with the easy stuff first: latency and LFC. FreeSync 2 will require monitors to support LFC and thus to have no effective bottom limit to their variable refresh rate. AMD will also instill a maximum latency allowable for FS2, on the order of “a few milliseconds” from frame buffer flip to photon. This can be easily measured with some high-speed camera work by both AMD and external parties (like us).

These are fantastic additions to the FreeSync 2 standard and should drastically increase the quality of panels and product.

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The bigger change to FreeSync 2 is on the color space. FS2 will require a doubling of the perceivable brightness and doubling of the viewable color volume based on the sRGB standards. This means that any monitor that has the FreeSync 2 brand will have a significantly larger color space and ~400 nits brightness. Current HDR standards exceed these FreeSync 2 requirements, but there is nothing preventing monitor vendors from exceeding these levels; they simply set a baseline that users should expect going forward.

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In addition to just requiring the panel to support a wider color gamut, FS2 will also enable user experience improvements as well. First, each FS2 monitor must communicate its color space and brightness ranges to the AMD driver through a similar communication path used today for variable refresh rate information. By having access to this data, AMD can enable automatic mode switches from SDR to HDR/wide color gamut based on the application. Windows can remain in a basic SDR color space but games or video applications that support HDR modes can enter that mode without user intervention.

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Color space mapping can take time in low power consumption monitors, adding potential latency. For movies that might not be an issue, but for enthusiast gamers it definitely is. The solution is to do all the tone mapping BEFORE the image data is sent to the monitor itself. But with varying monitors, varying color space limits and varying integrations of HDR standards, and no operating system level integration for tone mapping, it’s a difficult task.

The solution is for games to map directly to the color space of the display. AMD will foster this through FreeSync 2 – a game that integrates support for FS2 will be able to get data from the AMD driver stack about the maximum color space of the attached display. The engine can then do its tone mapping to that color space directly, rather than some intermediate state, saving on latency and improving the gaming experience. AMD can then automatically switch the monitor to its largest color space, as well as its maximum brightness. This does require the game engine or game developer to directly integrate support for this feature though – it will not be a catch-all solution for AMD Radeon users.

This combination of latency, LFC and color space additions to FreeSync 2 make it an incredibly interesting standard. Pushing specific standards and requirements on hardware vendors is not something AMD has had the gall to do the past, and honestly the company has publicly been very against it. But to guarantee the experience for Radeon gamers, AMD and the Radeon Technologies Group appear to be willing to make some changes.

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NVIDIA has yet to make any noise about HDR or color space requirements for future monitors and while the FreeSync 2 standards shown here don’t quite guarantee HDR10/Dolby Vision quality displays, they do force vendors to pay more attention to what they are building and create higher quality products for the gaming market.

All GPUs that support FreeSync will support FreeSync 2 and both programs will co-exist. FS2 is currently going to be built on DisplayPort and could find its way into another standard extension (as Adaptive Sync was). Displays are set to be available in the first half of this year.

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 http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: AMD

Lenovo Announces ThinkVision P27h and P24h Displays

Subject: Displays | December 28, 2016 - 12:01 AM |
Tagged: thinkvision, qhd, P27h, P24h, monitor, Lenovo, display, CES 2017, CES, calibrated, 2560x1440, 100% sRGB

Lenovo has announced a pair of new desktop displays with the ThinkVision P27h and ThinkVision P24h ahead of next month's CES.

ThinkVision P27h 1.jpg

ThinkVision P27h - front view (Image credit: Lenovo)

Both of these displays offer QHD (2560x1440) resolution, factory-calibrated with 100% sRGB coverage. The P27h and P24h connect with a single cable USB Type-C cable, which provides power, video, and data. Both monitors also offer an onboard 4-Port USB hub and digital display ports. (No photos of the P24h are available. Further details and specifications to come.)

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ThinkVision P27h - rear view (Image credit: Lenovo)

The ThinkVision P27h will retail for $329, with no announced pricing for the smaller P24h just yet. PC Perspective will be closely covering CES 2017, so stay tuned for more details and product announcements!

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 http://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

AOC Announces AGON AG251FZ 240Hz FreeSync Monitor

Subject: Displays | November 25, 2016 - 08:29 PM |
Tagged: AOC, 240Hz, freesync

This is just getting silly. While TN, 1080p monitors have been fading into the background, they are fast switching, and AOC is pushing that advantage. The AOC AGON AG251FZ is a 25-inch FreeSync display that can support up to 240 Hz refresh rates. They’re not the first monitor to reach this milestone, as Acer made a similar announcement back in August, but this display should be bright and smooth, especially for our readers with AMD GPUs.

AOC-2016-240hz-freesync.jpg

If you like to smoothly scroll documents, then you may also appreciate that its stand can pivot into portrait mode. I doubt it will have the best color representation, though, so those who want to photo edit, especially outside of sRGB, may want to look elsewhere. In fact, they don’t even list their sRGB (web and video) or AdobeRGB (video and print) coverage. I’d hope it would at least have 100% sRGB, but I can’t say for sure.

TechPowerUp claims that it will launch in January for about £449 GBP.

Source: AOC

Acer BE270U; a 27" 1440p ZeroFrame display

Subject: Displays | November 8, 2016 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: ZeroFrame, ips, Acer BE270U, acer, 75hz, 1440p

Acer has just release a new model in their ZeroFrame series of displays, the BE270U.  It is a 27" IPS 100% sRGB display @ 1440p resolution with a refresh rate of 75Hz and a 6ms response time.  For connectivity you can choose between a pair of Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) ports for charging and displaying from portable devices, DisplayPort 1.2 in and out which allows you to chain displays, MiniDP and a USB 3.0 hub with one up and four down).  Two 2W speakers are slipped into the display as well, if you so desire to make use of them as well as Picture in Picture functionality.  The display is aimed for content creators and other professionals but it is still capable of offering decent performance when gaming.

It is available for $500 from Acer. PR after the picture.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2016) Acer America today announced the U.S. availability of the Acer BE270U monitor, boasting stunning images with a brilliant WQHD 2560x1440@75Hz resolution and a ZeroFrame design in a 27-inch panel.

This premium, feature-rich display is ideal for graphics professionals, such as art directors, photographers, videographers and website designers as well as enthusiasts who enjoy photography and video editing as hobbies. Thanks to an IPS panel, wide 178-degree viewing angles enhance visual collaboration with others on joint projects or simply sharing photos and videos with friends.

“Our newest monitor delivers gorgeous images in a feature-rich, ergonomic design for customers wanting a no-compromise viewing experience,” said Ronald Lau, Acer America director – stationary computing. “In addition to optimizing viewing comfort, it provides superb ability for multi-tasking with multi-streaming and picture-in picture capability in an energy-efficient design.”

Picture-in-Picture, Multi-Streaming Increase Productivity
Picture-in-picture capability allows customers to watch a movie or video while working. Multi-stream technology supports up to three additional monitors through a single cable leveraging a video hub or daisy-chainable displays via DisplayPort. Thanks to the ZeroFrame design, it provides seamless viewing among all linked monitors.

The Acer BE270U meets the highest standards for color accuracy with 100 percent sRGB coverage and 6-axis color adjustment. It boasts a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 350 cd/m2 brightness and 16.07 million colors. A crisp 100,000,000:1 maximum contrast ratio and a 6ms response time contribute to the stunning picture quality. Acer EyeProtect may help reduce eye fatigue, incorporating several features that take into consideration prolonged usage by heavy users such as programmers, writers and graphic designers. Ergonomic, a multi-function ErgoStand tilts from -5 - 35 degrees, swivels up to 60 degrees, tilts up to 5.9 inches and pivots + 90 degrees. A quick release design lets users separate the monitor from its stand, so it can be VESA wall-mounted to conserve desk space.

Fast Connectivity
This practical monitor provides an array of connectivity options including MHLx2 for charging portable devices, DisplayPort (v1.2), Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort out+SPK, and a USB 3.0 hub (1 up/4 down) for connecting multiple peripherals simultaneously. Two 2W speakers deliver quality audio.

In addition to being ENERGY STAR and TCO 7.0 qualified, the Acer BE270U monitor is EPEAT Gold registered, the highest level of EPEAT registration available. Mercury-free and LED-backlit, the Acer BE270U reduces energy costs by consuming less power than standard CCFL-backlit displays making them safer for the environment.

Pricing and Availability
The new Acer BE270U monitor is offered through online channel partners in the United States with a three-year limited parts and labor warranty. Estimated selling prices begin at $499.99.

Source: Acer

Dell Teases "Smart Desk"

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Systems | November 3, 2016 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: dell

Update November 3rd @ 2:20pm: As noted in the comments, the video and article are back from 2014. As I said in the article, the concept was teased in Adobe MAX, but I must have found an old source and misread the date. I've also embed the new video just below.

Original post below

Adobe MAX started yesterday, and Dell used it as a venue to announce their Smart Desk concept. While it draws comparisons with Microsoft's Surface Studio, especially with their dial-based input accessory, it's unclear whether the similarities stop. For instance, while they promote how it uses “Dell Precision workstation performance,” they don't explicitly state that it is a PC itself. Unlike the Surface Studio, it might be a peripheral to be paired with a full desktop, which its thin profile suggests, unless it requires a specific device that's just not pictured.

I mean, it would be possible to fit a laptop into a twenty-some-inch tablet that's designed to permanently sit on a desk, but, unless the software requires deep OS integration, you would think that going the Wacom route would be a win for both parties. While powering hardware wouldn't be an issue, you would still need to use slower-for-the-price laptop components to dissipate heat and exist in a small volume. If it does contain a PC, it would be running Windows 10, too, because that was clearly shown on the secondary UltraSharp 27 monitor attached to it. On the other hand, the interface, while nothing about it excludes being a complex driver for everyday desktops, is the sort of thing that a company would do if they're shipping it in a full PC.

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We'll know more in the future as Dell spills the beans (and probably develops a marketable product to have beans spilled over). What would you be more interested in? An all-in-one or a peripheral?

Source: Dell

AOC Announces US Availability of Premium Gaming Monitor Line - AGON

Subject: Displays | September 27, 2016 - 06:23 PM |
Tagged: TN, ips, g-sync, AOC, AGON, AG271QX, AG271QG, adaptive sync, 1440p

AOC has announced two new 27" 1440p gaming monitors specifically designed to minimize input lag and to support the higher refresh rates than many gamers now demand.  The model numbers are similiar but the monitors themselves are very different and each wears a red or green stripe proudly.

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The AG271QX is a TN panel with a 1ms response time and a top refresh rate of 144Hz, it supports Adaptive Sync for those using AMD GPUs.  This panel is great for those who place zero lag ahead of colour reproduction and viewing angle.  It is to retail at $600.

The AG271QG is an IPS panel with four times the response time, still a mere 4ms, a top refresh rate of 165Hz and support for G-SYNC.  This one should have a better colour gamut and truer blacks for those more concerned with fashion over function.  You should expect to see this model at $800. 

Full PR below the specs.

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Source: AOC

Pimax offers a $300 VR headset to compete with Rift and Vive

Subject: Displays | September 27, 2016 - 03:35 PM |
Tagged: pimax, vr headset, steam vr

 As Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN asks in the title, can the $300 Pimax VR headset be too good to be true?  It ships without headphones, or you can buy the $350 which includes audio of moderate quality or provide your own if they fit comfortably under the headset.  It also does not ship with any controllers, which means that Steam games which require anything other than a mouse and keyboard will simply not work; not an empty catalogue of games but definitely more limited than the two more expensive competitors.

The headset does offer better resolution, 1920x2160 per eye, which the reviewer noticed immediately as being clearer than the competition ... as long as you were looking directly at the text or object.  There were issues at the edges of your view however, as well as with quickly turning your head which is likely due to the 60fps refresh rate.  This is less than the 90fps the Vive or Rift can manage as well as creating concerns about reprojection and dropped frames.  There were a few other concerns mentioned in the review which you should familiarize yourself with, but the Pimax is very interesting, a light VR headset with great resolution and only two connecting cord for $300.

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"In the interim, here’s Chinese outfit Pimax, who are selling what they label as the first 4K VR headset for PC, which works with SteamVR. It’s also $350 (or $300 without headphones), compared to the Rift’s $599 and Vive’s $799"

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Acer Announces Trio of G-Sync Gaming Monitors with Eye-Tracking Tech

Subject: Displays | August 31, 2016 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: Z271T, XB271HUT, XB251HQT, Tobii, Predator, montior, gaming, g-sync, eye-tracking, display, curved, acer, 240Hz, 165hz, 144hz

Acer has announced three new G-Sync gaming monitors, all of which come equipped with eye-tracking technology from Tobii. The displays announced range from 24.5" to 27" in size, with refresh rates ranging up to 240 Hz.

Z271T_03.jpg

Acer Predator Z271T

"Each new monitor features NVIDIA G-SYNC and high refresh rates for smooth gaming experiences without lag. The new Predator gaming monitors are available in different sizes and configurations to meet the needs of a wide range of users looking to take their gaming experiences forward." 

  • Predator Z271T: 27”, curved screen (1800R curvature), FHD 1920 x 1080, 144 Hz)
  • Predator XB251HQT: 24.5”, flat ZeroFrame screen, FHD 1920 x 1080, 240 Hz)
  • Predator XB271HUT: 27”, flat ZeroFrame screen, WQHD 2560 x 1440, 165 Hz)

XB271HUT_01.jpg

Acer Predator XB271HUT

The Z271T is the sole curved display option, offering an 1800 radius curve and standard 1920x1080 resolution at 144 Hz. The flat-paneled versions provide a choice between very high refresh rates (240 Hz with the 1920x1080 XB251HQT) and higher resolution (2560x1440 at 165 Hz from the XB271HUT).

XB251HQT_Side_Rear.jpg

Acer Predator XB251HQT back, side view

U.S. pricing and availablity have not been announced.

Source: Acer

IDF 2016: Intel Project Alloy Promises Untethered VR and AR Experiences

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Displays, Shows and Expos | August 16, 2016 - 01:50 PM |
Tagged: VR, virtual reality, project alloy, Intel, augmented reality, AR

At the opening keynote to this summer’s Intel Developer Forum, CEO Brian Krzanich announced a new initiative to enable a completely untether VR platform called Project Alloy. Using Intel processors and sensors the goal of Project Alloy is to move all of the necessary compute into the headset itself, including enough battery to power the device for a typical session, removing the need for a high powered PC and a truly cordless experience.

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This is indeed the obvious end-game for VR and AR, though Intel isn’t the first to demonstrate a working prototype. AMD showed the Sulon Q, an AMD FX-based system that was a wireless VR headset. It had real specs too, including a 2560x1440 OLED 90Hz display, 8GB of DDR3 memory, an AMD FX-8800P APU with R7 graphics embedded. Intel’s Project Alloy is currently using unknown hardware and won’t have a true prototype release until the second half of 2017.

There is one key advantage that Intel has implemented with Alloy: RealSense cameras. The idea is simple but the implications are powerful. Intel demonstrated using your hands and even other real-world items to interact with the virtual world. RealSense cameras use depth sensing to tracking hands and fingers very accurately and with a device integrated into the headset and pointed out and down, Project Alloy prototypes will be able to “see” and track your hands, integrating them into the game and VR world in real-time.

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The demo that Intel put on during the keynote definitely showed the promise, but the implementation was clunky and less than what I expected from the company. Real hands just showed up in the game, rather than representing the hands with rendered hands that track accurately, and it definitely put a schism in the experience. Obviously it’s up to the application developer to determine how your hands would actually be represented, but it would have been better to show case that capability in the live demo.  

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Better than just tracking your hands, Project Alloy was able to track a dollar bill (why not a Benjamin Intel??!?) and use it to interact with a spinning lathe in the VR world. It interacted very accurately and with minimal latency – the potential for this kind of AR integration is expansive.

Those same RealSense cameras and data is used to map the space around you, preventing you from running into things or people or cats in the room. This enables the first “multi-room” tracking capability, giving VR/AR users a new range of flexibility and usability.

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Though I did not get hands on with the Alloy prototype itself, the unit on-stage looked pretty heavy, pretty bulky. Comfort will obviously be important for any kind of head mounted display, and Intel has plenty of time to iterate on the design for the next year to get it right. Both AMD and NVIDIA have been talking up the importance of GPU compute to provide high quality VR experiences, so Intel has an uphill battle to prove that its solution, without the need for external power or additional processing, can truly provide the untethered experience we all desire.

Dell Releases the SE2717H Display: 27-inch IPS and FreeSync for $249

Subject: Displays | August 4, 2016 - 09:20 PM |
Tagged: vrr, variable refresh rate, SE2717H, monitor, ips, freesync, display, dell, 27-inch

Dell's newest monitor is the SE2717H, a 27-inch display with AMD's FreeSync technology and an IPS panel - all for just $249.

dell-se2717h-monitor-overview-1.jpg

The matte-finish display offers 1920x1080 resolution, with a variable refresh-rate range from 48 Hz - 75 Hz, with a 6 ms response time. The 6-bit panel achieves 16.7 million colors via FRC (frame rate control, A.K.A. dithering), so it perhaps wouldn't be appropriate for color-accurate work, but just fine for gaming.

dell-se2717h-monitor-overview-3.jpg

Dell SE2717H Specifications:

  • Display Size: 27 Inches
  • Aspect Ratio: (16:9)
  • Backlight Technology: LED
  • Display Screen Coating: Antiglare with 3H hardness
  • Panel Type: In-Plane switching Technology
  • Panel Bits: 6-bits + FRC panel
  • Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Viewing Angle: 178° vertical / 178° horizontal
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000: 1 (typical), 8 Million: 1 (Dynamic)
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.3114 mm
  • Pixel Per Inch (PPI): 82
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2 (typical)
  • Response Time: 6ms (gray to gray)
  • Free Sync support frame frequency: Yes, 48-75Hz
  • Color Support:
    • Color Gamut (typical): 84% (CIE 1976), 72% (CIE 1931)
    • Color Depth: 16.7 Million colors
  • Narrow Bezel (Edge of Monitor to Edge of viewable screen) 11mm
  • Stand
    • Tilt (-5° to 21°)
    • Built in cable-management

The Dell SE2717H montitor is priced at $249.99 and available now on Dell's website, with the Amazon listing live, but not in stock yet.

Source: Dell

Dell's New 30" 4K 120Hz UP3017Q OLED Monitor Coming Soon

Subject: Displays | July 14, 2016 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: USB 3 Type-C, up3017q, oled, DisplayPort, Dell 4K, dell, 4K 120

Initially teased at CES earlier this year, Dell’s UP3017Q is an amazing 30-inch 4K monitor with an OLED panel capable of running at 120Hz. The thin bezeled UltraSharp is also extremely thin at less than 0.5” at the edges. Running a resolution of 3840 x 2160, the 30” monitor comes in at 146 PPI (pixels per inch). The UP3017Q was originally slated for a March release, but it ended up not being available. Reportedly, Dell is still fine tuning the monitor and it will be available soon though the company has not given a new specific launch date when you will actually be able to buy it.

It has some rather impressive specifications, and I am really interested in seeing it in person! The panel manufacturer is still unknown (though many have guessed it is one from LG), but it offers up a resolution of 3840 x 2160, refresh rate of up to 120Hz, 0.1ms response time, and 400,000:1 contrast ratio. Being OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode), the monitor will be able to deliver true blacks and excellent colors in a very thin profile thanks to not needing a separate backlight (the pixels themselves emit light). Dell claims that the UP3017Q 4K monitor fully supports 100% of the Adobe RGB and 97.8% DCI-P3 color spaces. At a claimed 1.07 billion colors this is a 10-bit color monitor which will be useful in professional applications where color accuracy is paramount.

Dell has further claimed that it has mitigated burn in on this monitor by implementing a “pixel shifting algorithm” as well as placing a sensor on the monitor that can detect when you are looking at it and turn off when no one is watching anything on it (which some might find a bit creepy but it can likely be turned off heh). There are five buttons on this monitor, four on the bottom edge for OSD controls and one on the back to release the monitor from its stand.

Dell UP3017Q.jpg

One interesting hang up lies in the video inputs on this monitor. It only has HDMI 2.0, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, and USB Type-C. As posters over at [H] pointed out, the HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.2 connections do not have enough bandwidth to support the panels 3840 x 2160 resolution at 120Hz. Fortunately the refresh rate is not a lie. There is a a way to do it, but users will need to use the USB Type-C connector and it’s DisplayPort Alternate Mode feature to do it. At DisplayPort 1.2, the DisplayPort Alt Mode can give you 5.4 Gbps per lanes and using all four available lanes can hit a total of 21.6 Gbps which would be enough to support 4096x2160@60Hz. However, the DisplayPort 1.3 standard (which this monitor and it’s USB Type-C port seems to support) can give up to 8.1 Gbps for up to 32.4 Gbps of bandwidth (25.92 Gbps after 8b/10b encoding overhead) which should allow the full 3840x2160@120Hz to be used. It is unfortunate that Dell opted to go with this odd port arrangement and not include a direct DP 1.3+ port though!

This monitor has a lot of potential, but this massive OLED comes at a price: when it comes to market it will have a MSRP of $4,999! As much as many would want this to be their new gaming PC monitor, I think it will be mainly for commercial and design applications especially with the input lag being unknown and no support for the various variable refresh rate technologies (AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync) If that is what you are looking for there are much cheaper options, but if you want an all out OLED monitor for work and media and price is no object I would be very eagerly waiting for reviews on this!

What are your thoughts on this monitor and OLED?

Source: HardOCP

Oculus Backs Down on Hardware Check

Subject: Displays | June 25, 2016 - 02:23 AM |
Tagged: valve, oculus rift, Oculus, htc vive

Facebook has disabled their software check that prevents Oculus Store games from running without an Oculus Rift being connected. Further, Motherboard has directly quoted an Oculus spokesperson as saying “We won't use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future”. This check prevented these games from running on the HTC Vive using the user-created tool, Revive, until the creator of Revive disabled the DRM in response.

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Oculus will continue to develop their DRM itself, of course. They have also been approaching developers to make Oculus-exclusive content, and I expect that will continue. This is where we get into a little bit of a debate that has been brewing online. Some believe that, due to the size of the potential market, exclusivity could bring content to life that otherwise would not be viable. While that does have some merit to muse over, I cannot see how that would be any better (for society) than all the platform holders pitching in to an open incubation fund. This way, art will not locked away unless it absolutely requires a specific feature that some platforms cannot provide, and consumers will have a larger pool of content to justify the initial purchase.

That topic aside, Oculus has not pledged that they won't interfere with third-parties that want to support Oculus-exclusive titles on other headsets. A hardware check will not be involved, now or in the future, though.

Source: Motherboard

ASUS Plans a 27-Inch, 144Hz, 4K, IPS Gaming Monitor

Subject: Displays | June 9, 2016 - 02:55 AM |
Tagged: asus, 4k 144hz, ips

Well this will be an impressive set of features some day. People have been asking for high-refresh, 4K panels with good colors for quite a while. It was almost a running joke in some of our comments. Apparently, ASUS took it seriously, and they are looking to release a 144Hz, 4K, IPS Gaming monitor, and they had a prototype on the show floor at Computex 2016.

ASUS-2016-4k-144hz-monitor-vrzone.jpg

Image Credit: VR-Zone

Okay then. That checks off just about every box on the enthusiast wishlist, except maybe OLED (depending on whether the specific enthusiast loves its contrast or fears it color accuracy). Also, it is unclear whether they will support the FreeSync or G-Sync, but either could happen -- or both! Or neither.

We won't know until they make an official announcement... again, some day.

Source: VR-Zone

Computex 2016: ASUS Announces ROG Swift PG248Q 180Hz G-Sync Monitor

Subject: Displays | May 30, 2016 - 07:12 AM |
Tagged: computex, asus, ROG, swift, pg248q

During the company's Republic of Gamers event at Computex 2016, ASUS officially announced the release of the ROG Swift PG248Q monitor. Though we have seen it teased previously, today's information release has some interesting new details.

pg248q.jpg

Based on a 24-inch 1920x1080 TN panel, the PG248Q was specifically built for gamers that desire a smaller display, to avoid being forced to move their head to find a specific target. The idea here is that eSports players, and those aspiring, need to have the entire monitor in their field of view at all times. 

The small size and 1080p resolution don't mean the display is devoid of impressive features though. It is a G-Sync monitor, so gamers can enjoy tear-free, smooth gaming with GeForce graphics cards as well as a 180Hz refresh rate! Add to that combination a rated response time of 1ms (grey to grey) and you have an incredibly high performance gaming panel.

The PG248Q will be the official display of some impressive gaming events including the ESL One 2016 and The International 2016, so I expect ASUS to have a ground swell of interest in this model.

No specifics on pricing or availability quite yet, but I've put in the requests accordingly.

Source: ASUS

Soon to be observed - AOC Bringing Quantum Dot Monitors to North America

Subject: Displays | May 25, 2016 - 05:20 PM |
Tagged: quantum dots, QD Vision, AOC

AOC is partnering with QD Vision to bring QLED displays to market in the near future.  If the term does not seem familiar you can revisit our older coverage, but essentially they are tiny particulates which radiate colour when excited based on size with larger dots fluoresce red, mid-sized dots green and the smallest blue.  This property allows a much wider colour gamut to be produced and requires a lot less energy to do so.  AOC will be launching a series of PLS/PLS-ADS displays in the near future which will provide up to 98% Adobe RGB colour reproduction, the first generation will be 1080p but expect to see this change as the technology matures.  We don't have set dates or prices as of yet but we do have the PR which you can read below.

QD-Vision_2.jpg

San Francisco, California – May 25, 2016 – Today AOC, one of the world’s leading monitor brands, announced that their latest quantum dot-based monitors will be available in North America this year. The new monitors, which were introduced in China last month, integrate QD Vision’s Color IQ™ technology to deliver the most vivid color viewing experience commercially available today, enabling 50 percent better color performance than a typical LCD monitor, at a competitive price point.

AOC will sell its 27-inch and quantum dot displays, which deliver 98 percent Adobe RGB color, making them ideal for entertainment, photography and gaming. The new AOC Quantum Dot monitors will be available later this year online and at AOC retailers.

“Given the overwhelming positive feedback we’ve received from customers and reviewers alike, we are thrilled to expand our distribution to North America,” said Mr. Lidong Yan, general manager of monitor BU, OBM China, TPV Group. “QD Vision has helped us deliver the widest color gamut displays available today with their leading-edge quantum dot technology, and we can now bring the latest product innovations and display technology to a broader global audience.”

QD Vision’s Color IQ solution enables the widest, more accurate color gamut across screens by utilizing semiconductor nanocrystals, called quantum dots, to precisely and efficiently convert light emissions and create virtually any color of the visible spectrum. Color IQ Optics lead in green chemistry nano-material innovation and deliver the most brilliant, full gamut color displays, providing a superior viewing experience over any other commercial technology, including OLED, but at a much lower overall cost.

“Quantum dot technology provides far more natural and vivid viewing, and these new monitors from AOC will enhance performance, accuracy and user experience for consumers worldwide,” said John Volkmann, chief marketing officer at QD Vision. “AOC is one of the leaders in delivering the most accurate, wide color gamut experience and by integrating QD Vision’s Color IQ optics, these monitors deliver incredible performance at affordable price points.”

Today, most high-end monitors can only display 95 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut while many mainstream models are limited to illustrating, at most, 70 percent of the Adobe spectrum. Using QD Vision's Color IQ solution, AOC quantum dot displays deliver nearly 100 percent of the full Adobe RGB spectrum, resulting in remarkably crisp images with vivid, life-like colors, making them ideally suited for binge-watching television shows, online gaming, personal photography or other activities that would benefit from the highest degree of color accuracy and brightness consistency.

The PLS/PLS-ADS wide view angle panel offers perfect image performance and real color uniformity at an extremely large viewing angle of 178°, and flicker-free technology provides critical eye support for photographers who are used to long-time photo editing, providing a more comfortable viewing experience that promotes greater eye health. The AOC 27” quantum dot monitors features 1920 x 1080 resolution, ?E<3 color deviation, 50 million:1 dynamic contrast and support for multiple I/O ports including VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and an audio line output. The series is compatible with Blu-ray players and most gaming consoles, including PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360.

Source: AOC

AMD adds panel types and frequency ranges to their FreeSync page

Subject: Displays | May 2, 2016 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: freesync, amd, about damn time

Better late than never, our friend Robert Hallock has informed the world that AMD has updated their FreeSync display list with response ranges and panel types.  Having the physical size of the display, the resolution and the accepted inputs are necessary but this update offers a much better look at the displays you will be getting.  If you are unwilling to give up the colour reproduction of a IPS panel for the speed of an TN this is invaluable to you, as is pointing out the few VA based monitors.

FreeSync_technology.png

Listing the top and bottom frequencies of the variable refresh displays is arguably even more important.  We now know that currently only the Acer XR341CK and BX340CK, the Nixeus NX-VUE24 and the Viewsonic XG2701 are capable of dropping to 30Hz and that a total of 17 models can reach 144Hz.  Check out the list for the available 4K displays as well as regular 1440p and ultra-wide 1440p displays in the list and refer back to it regularly as there are a few monitors awaiting final specifications and more coming out in the near future.

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Source: AMD

LG Display Further Invests in OLED

Subject: Displays | April 30, 2016 - 01:33 AM |
Tagged: LG, lg display, oled

According to a spokeswoman for LG Display, via Reuters, the display panel company will increase their investment in OLED production by $395.99 million USD. Back in November, we reported on their plans to produce an $8.7 billion USD facility that was expected to manufacture panel sizes that range between smart watch and large TV.

lg-31MU97_large_02.jpg

Just displaying an LG Display display.

Okay then.

It's awesome that OLED is getting even more attention. The display technology is better suited than LCD/LED in terms of both real contrast and high refresh rate / low persistence, with the former good for deep blacks and saturated colors, and the latter for VR, 3D, and generated content like games. We've seen a few professional monitors announced at CES, but they are still in the “decent used car” price range. That's a welcome change from “decent new car” however, but availability is still basically non-existent. This is before LG Display's production facility wakes up in 2018, and LG is known to push lower prices into markets. Just a couple years!

Source: Reuters