Friday, December 4, 2015

Ultrawide Monitors Or Multiple Monitors: What's Best For Productivity?

If you're in the workplace or you just need to be very productive whenever you are on your computer then multiple monitors have always been the way to go. However, a new type of monitor is challenging this status quo, and that is the ultrawide. Ultrawide displays that are packing resolutions that look better than multiple monitors side-by-side. So how do Ultrawides differ from multi-screen setups? Well, there are a few ways.

Ultrawide monitors are displays that have a 21:9 aspect ratio. Depending on the size of your screen, you are probably going to have a resolution of around 2,560 to 3,440 pixels wide and 1,080 pixels to 1,440 pixels high with screen sizes measuring from 29" to 34" diagonally. This gives you a lot of horizontal working space and, sometimes, more than what you get by having multiple monitors next to each other. In addition to that, a single ultrawide monitor offers a seamless working experience without bezels getting in the way and without having multiple connectors running through your workspace.

The ultimate goal would be to have a single monitor that gives you the screen real estate of multiple monitors using a single connector to your video card. Ultrawide displays also give you the ability to run native resolutions on current-gen video cards without having to upgrade to cards with more power, more ports, or even two or three cards if you want a truly smooth experience. At least that's what people want. What they actually get is a little different.

Companies like Dell, LG, AoC, Asus, and Samsung all make ultrawide monitor options though there are typically one or two specific models per company to pick from. Even though there may be a lot of players on the field that doesn't mean there are a lot of options to choose from. LG has three top models, Dell has two top models, Asus has two top models, AOC has one top model and NEC has one top model, all of which range from $350 to $1,200.

The question here is, however, whether or not an ultrawide display makes you more productive then multi-monitor setups. To be honest, the number of monitors you have doesn't matter in terms of productivity. What matters is the amount of real estate those monitors have and how you use it. If you have a couple small displays and you are having trouble scrolling and reading documents and things then these multiple monitors aren't helping you. One really large monitor is capable of accommodating all of this information cleanly and will increase your productivity.

But at what size does an ultrawide monitor start to be better than multiple monitors? Well, at 34" you begin to have more than enough room to work and with resolutions like 3,440 x 1,440 you are getting enough space to open up three or four browsers, documents or applications side-by-side  or tiled without text getting too small to read or menus becoming hard to navigate. In addition to that, 34" monitors are typically the flagship models for a company and have all the necessary ports and connectors that you would ever need.

Basically what it all boils down to is the fact that ultrawide monitors can be great and they could be the future of the traditional workplace. However, the benefits of an ultrawide monitor only really come with the models that are 30" or larger. The curved angles of the ultrawide monitors are also very nice, not to mention that they are all HD monitors. If you have the money to drop on one of the larger, more expensive ultrawide monitors then you may find that the uniform screen and lack of frames cutting things off is exactly what you are looking for. In terms of productivity well that depends on the size of your screen real estate and how you use it.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Acer's New Curved 34-Inch Predator X34 Gaming Monitor Is Stunning

Acer's Predator line of gaming monitors is receiving a unique new monitor in the form of the Predator X34, the first 34" curved monitor to feature Nvidia G-Sync. This monitor also comes with some pretty impressive specs that allow for fantastic graphics. Obviously the most notable thing is the Nvidia G-Sync, which is a display technology that eliminates tearing and screen stuttering during gameplay.

In addition to that, G Sync also improves input lag, meaning you can no longer complain about the lag killing you in Call of Duty. In addition to that, the monitor also has a 60Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 100Hz, which allows it to produce more frames per second and minimize motion blur.

The Predator X34 from Acer also comes with a QHD 3,440 x 1,440 pixel resolution IPS screen that has a 21:9 aspect ratio, which puts it in a practically new category for ultrawide monitors. According to Acer, this monitor also has 100% sRGB coverage, allowing for an accurate range of colors, and a 178-degree viewing angle.

If you want to get the absolute most comfort from your Predator X34's design then you will love the ergonomic options that are included. The monitor has the ability to tilt back 5 degrees and forward 35 degrees while the height can be adjusted up to 5 inches. If you want to wall mount this monster then you will like to know that the Predator X34 is VESA-compliant and comes with Acer's EyeProtect and ComfyView technology, which filter harmful blue light and reduce background reflections in order to lessen eye fatigue.

And while the curved design might appear to be just a fancy gimmick it's not, especially when it comes to gaming. For gamers, a curved screen provides an immersive experience that usually takes multiple monitors to recreate. The curve positions the edges of the screen in your peripheral vision, which simulates what it's like to see your real-life surroundings out of the corners of your eyes.

Even though this monitor is new, Acer is no stranger to curved monitors. Earlier this year the company announced the Predator Z35, a 35-inch curved monitor with Nvidia G-Sync along with a whole host of top-of-the-line gaming monitors. The Predator X34 is currently available in the United States via Acer's online store for $1,300. No pricing or availability have been announced for Europe or Australia, but expect the prices to be around £850 and AU$1,810, respectively.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

LG Shows Off Wallpaper Display Under 1mm Thick

The screen-making subsidiary of LG called LG Display, is dedicated to OLED panels and has developed an incredibly thin television. In LG Display's home country of South Korea, they held a press event on Tuesday, to show off a "wallpaper" proof-of-concept television. The 55-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display weighs 1.9 kilograms and is less than a millimeter thick. The TV can also stick to the wall by using a magnetic mat that you can attach to your wall. When you want to remove the display, you peel the screen off the mat from the wall.

LG Display launching this screen was only part of the bigger picture of what their future holds. LG Display has said its display strategy will be based on OLED technology. The head of LG Display's OLED Business Unit Sang-Deog Yeo said in a press release "OLED represents a groundbreaking technology not only for the company but also for the industry."

Years ago, display technology was focused on tech like LCD (liquid crystal display) and plasma, but now, it's starting to lean more towards LED technology.

You very well might be seeing a lot of OLED in the future. LG Display believes OLED could be used in all display technology products in the future. The technology put an organic compound layer that allows its displays to not only be thin but also curved. The organic material also lets off its own light, so it doesn't need a backlight. This helps with making the screens so thin that OLED is also the ideal choice for a lot of wearables and other mobile products, not just TVs.

Companies like LG, Samsung and Sony have used some OLED screens, but the cost of display production is rather high. Some of that cost is because of production failures, meaning more waste increases the costs of the screens that actually make it through production. Then those costs are passed to consumers. For example, LG's 65-inch, 4K OLED TV costs $9,000.

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LG also said at Tuesday's press event that it is making significant progress in developing OLEDs. The company is the first to mass-produce large-screen OLEDs for televisions and says its yield has hit 80%, still lower than LCDs. The issues with yield as well as the price, may mean displays like the "wallpaper" display, won't be available at stores for a reasonable price in the near future.

Also on Tuesday, LG Display announced that they expect to sell 600,000 OLED TV panels this year and 1.5 million panels next year. The company also shared comments by a professor at the University of Rochester in New York and "the father of OLED" Ching W. Tang. He believes we won't be seeing a lot of OLED displays for another 5-10 years. He claims then that OLED could outpace LCDs altogether.

The "wallpaper" display seems like a pretty cool idea, but I can't imagine how much they will be charging for something like that. I'm still prepared to start seeing a lot more OLED products to come.

Content originally published here

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dell Debuts SE2716H Monitor With Curved VA Screen

Samsung has been aiming to make more monitors of different sizes with a slight curve in the screen. This design is to help the viewing experience feel a bit more natural and comfortable by decreasing the distance between the edges of the screen and your eyes. The Dell SE2716H follows the same style of monitor as the Samsung S27E510C by featuring a similar curved Vertical Alignment (VA) panel. The bezel is 7.7mm, using the 2-stage design encompassing a slim, hard outer bezel and a pretty thin panel border. The shape of the stand also accommodates the slight curve of the monitor.

Photo Credit: Dell

The panel is believed to be a 60Hz 27" Samsung curved MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment) panel with 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution. This is different since Dell's been using its LG Display panels on a lot of its recent models. A typical brightness of 300 cd/m² is specified with a 3000:1 static contrast ratio and 178/178° specified viewing angles. If we're correct about what panel is being used, the screen surface is medium matte anti-glare whilst true 8-bit color is supported without dithering.

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A WLED backlight is used which offers sRGB coverage. A 6ms grey to grey response time is specified using the 'Fast' response time setting, with a 'Normal' option also available with more grey to grey acceleration. The monitor includes ports for 2 HDMI (with MHL) VGA, 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm audio input. There are also two 9W down-firing speakers, which are pretty powerful for integrated monitor speakers as they produce a richer, better quality sound than most integrated solutions. The stand that is included offers tilt as the only ergonomic adjustment option and there are no VESA holes.

Photo Credit: Dell

You can find more info on this model on certain regional Dell websites, such as their Hong Kong site. This model is expected to be available in the US on September 15th, with an RRP of $399.99. There's still no details on price or availability for the UK. So take a look at Dell's sites, if you're interested and are looking for a new, all around better monitor.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How The Best Events Use Digital Signage

In the past, event managers had to rely on maps, agendas and loudspeakers to direct traffic at their conventions. But in this age of technology, paper printed materials aren't cutting it and are even being frowned upon as wasteful. Not to mention they are an added cost and can't be changed easily at the last minute to facilitate a room change, speaker cancellations, or any other circumstances that may come up.

Happily, it is 2015 and we have the solution for you: Digital Signage! Event professionals these days are finding new, eye-catching, useful ways to display digital signage to move events along smoothly.

One of the newest ways digital signage is being used is to display a live feed of the event's page on various social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+. Similarly, digital signage is being used for RSS feeds or news tickers that provide news that is pertinent to the event or time period.

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Another useful tip for digital signage is to include a map and schedule of events, perhaps including any last minute changes or interesting excerpts. That way potential partners and customers alike are comfortable and have a heads-up so they can manage their time properly at your event.

Perhaps one of the most stressful facets of business conferences for consumers and organizers alike is one thing: traveling. However, a brilliant way to use digital signs as an aid is including flight information--exactly what they might see at the airport. Thus saving your event-goers time and hassle, and maybe even allowing them to stay at your event even longer.

Lastly, you might include a slide show that includes all of the information you might expect in a flyer. But alongside you could even add content that offers value to your business, organizers, sponsors or attendees. These materials may include demonstrations, videos, interactive materials, networking forums, quizzes or surveys.

In conclusion, digital signage is a great way of adding both attractiveness and functionality to your event, not to mention it gets rid of the problem of being stuck with printed flyers and other event materials.

Monday, July 6, 2015

What Exatly Is 4K?

The display technology world has been getting all the better ever since the world saw its first CRT color television display. But nowadays, in a world with LCD, OLED, Plasma, and even DLP technology, we the consumers are begged the question: what does this mean to me and my monitor or television set?

Well, first of all, you might have noticed that 4K TVs aren't just popping up here and there. Companies like LG, Sharp, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony are jumping all over the 4K technology as part of their press conferences. Not to mention even PC monitor manufacturers are just as quick to jump on the bandwagon.

With all of this chatter about how great 4K TV resolution is, you might want to read on to find out exactly what this means, especially when you look at the price tag that comes attached with the "4K" name.

I know what you're thinking, "how did we jump from 1080 to 4,000-pixel resolution?"

Well, a lot of this confusion is caused by the change in terminology. TVs were formerly referred to by their vertical dimension before 4K came along. Resolutions that came to be classified as 4K or higher (5K-8K) are referred to by their horizontal dimension.

But the gimmick in the terminology doesn't stop there. In fact, most TVs nowadays that are being advertised as 4K are only 3840x2160!

But back to the original question, no we didn't jump from 1080 pixel resolution to 4000, the screen size changed from 1080 to 2160 across the vertical dimension, and from 1920 pixels to 3840 or greater across the horizontal dimension.

Now that you know what 4K is, you can just go out and pick your display or monitor right? WRONG. Before you decide whether you want to spend that extra buck, make sure it's even going to make a difference. Don't forget, you must take into account the distance you are from the television, and what means you're going to use your TV. Otherwise, you might end up spending a pretty penny on a TV that isn't going to make much of a difference to you or any event-goers.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

This 24-inch Monitor is only $100

Most of the time when we are working or playing on a computer, it is generally a pretty small laptop or even a tablet. But there is nothing quite like looking at a nice, big screen. If you have a desktop PC then you probably need one, but even if you are connecting it to a laptop or a Chromebook, it is still going to make the experience better.

Sometime's big deals pop up that you just can't ignore. Right now at TigerDirect, you can get the Seiki SE24FA01-R 24-inch desktop monitor for $139.99, and that is with shipping included and everything. You can also redeem a mail in rebate that puts it at $99.99 total.

Mail in rebates aren't always the coolest thing in the world. You have to fill stuff out and wait. But, even if you are too lazy to send it in, it's still a really great deal without even doing that. I only say it like that because I am one of those people who would rather spend the extra 40 dollars to not have to worry about it. But if you are super into that sort of thing, I would opt for the "no-wait rebate" option that gets your rebate in  the mail to you in about 5 business days. It means you get $4 less back, but it's worth 4 dollars to not wait between 8 and 10 weeks to get your extra money back. 10 weeks is not worth $40.

The monitor itself is 23.5 inches, which still qualifies as being a 24-inch class monitor. It has a 1920 x 1080 pixel native resolution, LED backlighting and a 5ms response time. It has all the inputs that you would assume it would, including VGA, DVI and HDMI. It also has stereo speakers, so you could hook it up directly to a gaming console or anything really.

So, this super cheap monitor has everything that the super expensive ones have. There aren't too many reviews to be found on it at this time, but the few that do exist are very positive. With a solid resolution and all of the inputs that you would need, it's hard to see where you could go wrong at all.

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If you have a laptop as your main computer, or maybe you just need to upgrade your monitor, I would say this would be the time to do so. You can't beat having a big monitor, and you certainly are not going to find one this size for that price, probably ever again. I love it when deals pop up like this. You only come across something like this maybe once or twice a year, and that includes Black Friday. And don't even get me started on Black Friday... never again.

Content originally published here