CES 2016: Oculus Price Announced and Pre-Orders Open

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2016 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: Oculus, oculus rift, oculus touch, CES, CES 2016

Oculus has finally announced that the Rift will launch on March 28th for $599 USD. If you were an original backer on Kickstarter, then this kit will be given to you for free. DK2 purchasers do not receive this gift, but I guess the company was relatively established by that point. Pre-orders have now opened, although the kit will be available (albeit at “limited locations”) through typical retail channels in April. Finally, making good on their “$1500” announcement earlier this year, systems that meet the minimum requirements, and bundle the Oculus Rift, will be available for pre-order that start at $1499.

oculus-2016-riftkit.jpg

Okay, so let's unpack this.

The elephant in the room is the price. It's steep. If you are even moderately patient, you can pick up a GeForce 980 Ti for the same amount. (As I write this, I'm looking at a Gigabyte 980 Ti with a custom cooler for $599.99 on Amazon.) For that price, you get the headset (with its two 1080x1200 OLED screens, microphone, and headphones), an Xbox One controller, a sensor, and a newly-announced Oculus Remote. You cannot purchase the Oculus Rift without an Xbox One controller, which is unfortunate for current owners of Xbox One controllers.

Who has two thumbs and bought an Xbox One Elite controller? This guy.

The benefit of including a (regular) Xbox One controller is that Oculus Rift developers can rely on each customer having access to a solid PC gamepad. Without it, some percentage of users might (and when you deal with large sample spaces, probability increasingly becomes a distribution) have just a mouse and keyboard. I'd also expect that Microsoft would provide them a bit of a discount for at least the volume, with the ties between Microsoft and Facebook possibly coming into play, too.

Unlike the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift will not ship with its motion controller (called the “Oculus Touch”). That will be delayed until later in the year, which also means that some fraction of the user base will never have it. This is a concern for cross-compatibility between the Rift and the Vive, but not nearly as bad as it would have been if Oculus didn't have any motion control option at all. Developers would be looking at a “release on both Wii and PS2” situation, only with a (likely) much smaller install base.

And a final point: What about the other uses of Oculus?

oculus-2016-remote.jpg

The Oculus Remote controls the interface and media.

This announcement is gaming-centric, to say the very least. Oculus has said that the Rift is “primarily a gaming device” and, apparently, Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus, strongly believes in gaming for the device. In my opinion though, it could be very useful, especially in professional applications. If the OLED screens have sufficient color and resolution, then desktop space becomes infinite. You don't need an additional monitor to map additional virtual space to your environment. While that's probably not something that Facebook could do alone, they could encourage the parties who influence these decisions with tech demos, peripherals, and so forth.

They still don't seem to be. This could be a concern since their primary competitors, Microsoft and even Valve/HTC, already have non-zero amounts of progress in that space. I'd be curious to hear whether they have any plans at all moving forward, even if those plans are to be reactionary.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

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

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

Source: Oculus

CES 2016: ASUS Announces MB169C+ USB Type-C Monitor

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2016 - 08:53 PM |
Tagged: usb monitor, usb 3.0, mb169c+, CES 2016, CES, asus

I somehow missed the ASUS MB168B+ USB 3.0 monitor. It is a 15.6-inch, 1080p, TN display that connects to the PC by a single USB 3.0 cord. This provides both power and video, so you can have multiple monitors on the go without struggling to find a wall outlet. At the very least, you can reduce it to just the one charging your laptop.

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This was upgraded at CES to the MB169C+. It has a few differences. First, it uses an IPS display instead of the MB168B+'s TN panel. This should provide better color and viewing angles. It also switches from a USB 3.0 Type-A connector to a USB 3.0 Type-C one, which is starting to arrive in smaller laptops and tablets (which have to be running Windows for this device). The display is 8.5mm thick and weighs 1.76 lbs.

Pricing and availability vary by region.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

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

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

Source: ASUS

CES 2016: ASUS Announces MG Line of 4K Monitors

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2016 - 08:20 PM |
Tagged: asus, CES, CES 2016, mg28uq, mg24uq, vrr, freesync, adaptive sync

Two 4K monitors were announced by ASUS at the show. Both use VESA Adaptive-Sync for variable refresh rate (VRR) gaming, which means they are compatible with AMD FreeSync, but not NVIDIA G-Sync. If you want to use the latter VRR standard, then you would be more interested in the ROG Swift PG348Q monitor that was announced in September. There was talk that Intel would be implementing a VRR format VESA Adaptive-Sync in a future GPU.

asus-2016-mg24uq.jpg

ASUS MG24UQ

If you're still here, then you either don't care about variable refresh, or you are looking for an AMD-compatible one. The first one is the 24-inch MG24UQ. It is based on an IPS panel, which are used for vibrant, precise colors and wide viewing angles. They tend to be a little slower than traditional “gaming” panels, but that is so low for the last couple of years that IPS is considered a pure upgrade. The second monitor, the 28-inch MG28UQ, is not IPS, though.

asus-2016-mg28uq.jpg

ASUS MG28UQ

Again, no pricing or availability yet as it varies by region.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

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

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

Source: ASUS
Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: ASUS

Another TN Option for FreeSync Fans

If you had asked me a year ago how many monitors we would be able to store in the PC Perspective offices, I would have vastly underestimated the true answer. It seems that not only is the demand from readers for information about the latest and greatest display technology at a demand that we have never seen, but vendors that sell high quality monitors for enthusiasts and gamers are pumping out more models than I can keep track of.

But this is good, right? The more options we have, the more likely we are to find the best choice for each user, for each budget and for each required feature set. But more choices can also lead to confusion - that's where we continue to chime in. Today we are taking a look at the ASUS MG278Q monitor, a 27-in 2560x1440 display with support for AMD FreeSync technology and sporting a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. With a TN panel rather than IPS, the MG278Q has a current selling price of just $399, well under the equivalent G-Sync monitors.

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Even better, since we started our evaluation on the display, AMD released the Radeon Crimson driver, introducing a new feature called Low Frame Rate Compensation. This essentially allows most of the FreeSync displays on the market to match NVIDIA G-Sync's ability to handle lower frame rates without resorting to V-Sync tearing, etc. If you haven't read about it, do so in the link above.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS MG278Q 2560x1440 144Hz FreeSync monitor!!

BENQ previews the new monitors they will show off at CES

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | December 17, 2015 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: benq, VZ2470H, freesync, XR3501, XL2730Z, 144hz, CES 2016

BENQ sent out a teaser of three of the displays they will be demonstrating at CES 2016, the VZ2470H with a slim bezel and impressive contrast ratio, the huge, curved XR3501 and the XL2730Z with VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync, the technology once known as FreeSync.

VZ2470H.jpg

The VZ2470H is a VA panel, with an impressive 3000:1 native contrast ratio, 4ms GTG response time and what BenQ refers to as ZeroFlicker which they claim will reduce eyestrain from LED backlight flickering.  The picture shows this 23.8" 1920 x 1080 display will have a very thin bezel, we can hope that it is not an exaggeration as it would make this a good choice for multiple monitor setups in an office or even for a lower cost gaming system.

XR3501.jpg

The BenQ XR3501 will be of far more interest to gamers, this 35" 2560 x 1080 monitor is curved to give you a great view.  It also runs at a 144Hz refresh rate with a 4ms GTG response time.  BenQ does not specifiy the panel type but it is likely to be VA as well.

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Last but not least is the BenQ XL2730Z, a 27" 2560x1440 display that is fully VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync compliant, with a top refresh rate of 144Hz.   It also has a 1ms GTG and is advertised as having no input lag, as you might expect this also means it is a TN panel, but remember, this is not the TN of a few years ago. 

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The monitor also has some other interesting tricks up its bezel, Display Mode and Smart Scaling allow you to virtually scale the monitor in a variety of sizes, 17", 19", 19"W, 21.5", 22"W, 23"W, 23.6"W and 24"W are defaults but you can create your own as well.  The Auto Game Mode feature lets you save monitor settings specific to a game profile and even to export them to a USB drive to take with you if you so desire.  All of those functions and more are controlled by the small device you can see on the stand above.

2016 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for displays.

They will also being showing off three different projectors, the HT4050, HT3050 and the budget-friendly HT2050, a portable electrostatic Bluetooth speaker called the treVolo and even even a fancy desk lamp.

Source: BENQ

LG Invests $1.6 Billion in $8.7 Billion OLED Factory

Subject: Displays | November 28, 2015 - 05:27 PM |
Tagged: LG, lg display, oled

LG Display announced that they are investing $1.6 Billion USD to build an OLED panel factory in Paju, South Korea. This initial cost will cover the building, the “foundations” of the clean rooms, and basic infrastructure such as water and power. Construction will begin immediately. The plant is expected to cost $8.7 Billion USD by the time it starts producing displays, which the company anticipates for early 2018. It will produce panels for smart watches, cars, and even large TVs.

lg_display_logo.jpg

The shift from LCD to OLED has been anticipated for a while, but it seems like the former technology just kept remaining viable. It kept ahead of plasma technology, despite LCD being considered inferior in terms of contrast and maintainability by some, and outlived it. SED threatened to crush it, but never really became available because Canon basically misunderstood patent licensing terms from a Texas-based nanotech company. Mobile devices helped push LED panels away from TN technology and into IPS-like panels, which closed the gap between LCD and early OLED.

LCD would eventually need to reach its maximum viable potential though, and heightened availability of OLED could do it. Hopefully the technology makes it to consumer desktop panels relatively soon. Display manufacturers have been experimenting with higher refresh rates, better displays, and higher resolution recently, but adding OLED to the mix should push the industry toward focusing on contrast and color reproduction even more heavily.

Source: LG Display

Mobile VR at high Noon

Subject: Displays | November 26, 2015 - 01:08 PM |
Tagged: noon, virtual reality

Similar in looks to Oculus Gear VR the Noon VR headset is compatible with more than just Samsung phones, any iOS or Android device between 4.7 inches to 5.7 should be supported.  At 230g naked, plus the weight of your phone the Noon felt a bit heavy to Hardware Canucks, a lot of that weight is balanced on your nose.  The 95 degree viewing angle is impressive and there is a focus dial on the headset for fine tuning but the latency and resolution are up to your phone, not the Noon.  As of yet there is little content for the Noon VR headset but the price is decent, currently it retails for $90 which makes it an interesting option for those who want to experiment with a VR device.

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"With the big divide in computing power between desktops and smartphones, are we ready for mobile VR? The Noon VR headset is an attempt to answer that question."

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AOC Introduces 24-inch 4K PLS Monitor with HDMI 2.0

Subject: Displays | November 18, 2015 - 10:04 AM |
Tagged: U2477PWQ, PLS, monitor, HDMI 2.0, AOC, 4k monitor, 24-inch display

AOC has announced a new, compact 4K display with a PLS panel, and the U2477PWQ also features HDMI 2.0 input.

U2477PWQ_front.jpg

With a PLS panel providing a full 178/178 viewing angle the U2477PWQ looks like an attractive alternative to TN designs, if similarly priced. The 16.7 million colors specified indicate the use of an 8-bit panel/processing, so this won't offer the same level of color gradation as a 10-bit IPS (or PLS) panel, though likely not an issue unless this is intended for serious color work. As far as the ergonomics are concerned, the display stand offers full hight/pivot/tilt functionality, and there is also a standard 100 mm VESA mount on the back.

Specifications from AOC:

  • Monitor Size: 23.6 Inch
  • Resolution: 3840x2160@60Hz
  • Response time: 4 ms
  • Panel Type: PLS
  • Viewing Angle: 178/178
  • Colors: 16.7 Million
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2 (type)
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 50M:1
  • HDCP: Compatible    
  • Input: DVI, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, D-Sub    
  • Ergonomics: Pivot, Swivel, Tilt -5/+23; Height Adjustment 130mm
  • Other Features:    FlickerFree, Vesa Wallmount 100x100, i-Menu, e-Saver, Screen+
  • Power Source: 100 - 240V 50/60Hz
  • Power Consumption: On 34W; Standby 0.5W; Off: 0.3W

U2477PWQ_back.jpg

This new display is listed on AOC's European site here, and it appears that the U2477PWQ is not yet available in the United States.

Source: FlatpanelsHD

Acer Announces New Predator XB1 Series G-Sync Gaming Monitors

Subject: Displays | November 3, 2015 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: XB271HU, XB271HK, variable refresh rate, Predator XB1, monitor, ips, gaming monitor, g-sync, acer, 27-inch, 100% sRGB

Acer has expanded their Predator gaming monitor lineup with two new 27-inch displays featuring NVIDIA G-Sync technology.

Predator XB271HU_wp_03.jpg

The Acer Predator XB271HU

First up is the XB271HU:

"The new Predator XB271HU touts a zero-frame edge-to-edge design with a WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS panel that supports 100% of the sRGB color gamut as well as NVIDIA® ULMB™ technology(1) to reduce motion blur by delivering sharp edges in fast-paced gaming environments. It has a fast 4ms gray to gray response time, 350 cd/m2 brightness and up to a supercharged 165Hz overclocking refresh rate that speeds up the frames per second for delivering ultra-smooth gameplay."

And if WQHD resolution just isn't enough, there is also a 4K/UHD option, model XB271HK:

"The 27-inch Acer Predator XB271HK touts spectacular picture quality with a 4K UHD (3840x2160@60Hz) panel boasting 300 cd/m2 brightness and 1.07 billion colors. This stunning monitor also provides a high 100 percent sRGB color accuracy and reproduction.

Rendering fast-moving actions and dramatic transitions without smearing or ghosting, the Acer Predator XB271HK’s IPS display offers a quick 4ms response. It also provides wide viewing angles with accurate colors up to 178 degrees horizontally and vertically."

Predator XB271HK_12.jpg

The monitors feature Acer’s GameView technology, “which allows gamers to swiftly toggle between three customizable display profiles to tweak settings in-game without the need to navigate through an OSD menu”, dark boost black level adjustment, and Acer’s Eye Protect Technology “with flicker-less, blue-light filter, ComfyView and low-dimming technologies to help safeguard the eyes from blue light emissions and decrease eye fatigue during long gaming sessions”.

The stands on the new Predator XB1 monitors feature tilt, pivot, and height adjustment, and the monitors are VESA compliant. Connectivity consists of HDMI, DisplayPort v1.2 and a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, with sound provided by 2W stereo speakers.

Predator XB271HK_wp_01.jpg

The Acer Predator XB271HK

The Predator XB1 Series monitors will be available this month, and the MSRP’s are $799 for the Predator XB271HU, and $899 for the Predator XB271HK.

Source: Acer

ASUS ROG is Swiftly filling the monitor market; meet the PG27AQ

Subject: Displays | November 2, 2015 - 05:23 PM |
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, ROG Swift, swift PG27AQ, ips display, 4k, 60hz

The 165Hz G-SYNC compatible ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q was recently on the PCPer review bench, garnering a Gold Award for its performance.  Kitguru recently wrapped up a review of a slightly different model, the ROG Swift PG27AQ.  Like the other model it is a 27" IPS display which supports G-SYNC, however only to 60Hz as it is a 4K (3840×2160) monitor.  The bandwidth required to provide adaptive refresh at higher than 60Hz on a 4K display just isn't really available yet, so you have to make a choice between a high resolution or a high maximum refresh rate.  Next year we will see monitors capable of this as the DisplayPort interface is updated.  For now take a look at the review to see which you prefer between resolution and refresh rate.

ROG_Swift_PG27AQ650px.jpg

"The ROG Swift PG27AQ is a 4K gaming monitor from Asus that supports Nvidia G-Sync up to 60Hz. It’s a 27-inch IPS display with a 4ms response time and a 10-bit colour panel. Add on a flexible stand with pivot, tilt and rotate support, with a redesigned software interface, and it could be a contender for the best gaming display on the market."

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Source: Kitguru