Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seiki Bringing Three 4K Monitors Into The Market

So I was walking around Best Buy today and I happened upon some of those new 4K curved screen HDTVs and, needless to say, they were pretty impressive. The one that they had front and center was a 70" 3D Smart TV that had an eye-opening $8,000 price tag (and it was on sale) but from what I witnessed, it was probably worth it. Seeing something so crisp and vibrant was fantastic, especially for something that is 70". But I want to talk about the same technology, only smaller, like computer monitor small.

California-based, Chinese-owned Seiki became well-known for its 50" 4K HDTV (among the first of its kind). Since then, the company has fallen to the background because companies like Asus, Dell and Samsung have all dipped their toes in the 4K market, delivering products that sell for $600 to $1,000. But that hasn't stopped Seiki from trying to get back into the ring.

The company recently announced plans to disrupt the 4K market with all new 4K dedicated monitors. A total of three monitors are being prepped for launch by the company. The 28" 28U4SEP-G02, the 32" 32U4SEP-G02 and the 40" 40U4SEP-G02 are said to come with a host of features that will give other 4K devices a run for their money.

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All three monitors are said to feature the standard 4K UHD (ultra high-definition) of 3,840 x 2,160 along with 12-bit color processing, ports that include HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.3, MHL 3.0, DVI and VGA, picture-in-picture mode capable of supporting four non-scaled 1080p streams, a USB 3.0 hub and a VESA-compliant mount. If that doesn't do it for you then maybe this will: All three monitors will also feature a 60Hz output, which is absolutely crucial for gaming and any motion-based media tasks. For a quick reference, the first 4K UHD sets to come from Seiki featured a 30HZ output so we're talking double here.

While these features and specs are extremely impressive, a physical representation of them has yet to be seen. Seiki has yet to make any demos available so all we have is what the company tells us. Until a physical model can be acquired, the real-world quality and performance of these monitors cannot be determined.

Sitting at home on the couch at a distance seems like the right fit for something that has a resolution like this. Putting a 4K monitor on your desk a foot away is a completely different story. I wonder if the resolution on these devices will be too good for use as a computer monitor. I use a dual-monitor setup and I know plenty of people that do as well, if not a tri- or quad-monitor setup. My only concern would be that having 2, 3 or 4 28" monitors may be a bit much at a 4K resolution, let alone having multiple 32" or 40" monitors running 4K. But who knows, I could be completely wrong about this. It's just my humble opinion.

Expect to see these three monitors from Seiki hit store shelves at the tail end of this year or in the first quarter of 2015.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Philips Shows Off 2-In-1 Monitor

During COMPUTEX 2014 in Taipei this year Philips Monitors announced that it was the recipient of the show's d&i Gold Award for the world's very first "virtually" seamless two-in-one matter. Known as the 19DP6QJNS, this monitor setup combines two 19" IPS screens mounted on a single "space-saving" base. As a result a nearly-seamless 32" panoramic display is created.

In talking about the design of the monitor Philips stated that both screens have a 3.5mm narrow border that can tilt forward and backward up to 22.5 degrees. In addition to that, the monitor also includes two USB ports on each panel along with one DisplayPort and one VGA input on the first panel and one VGA input and one MHL-enabled HDMI port on the second panel. For the not-so-tech-savvy, MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link and is capable of charging an MHL-compatible device while its digital audio and video are sent to the big screen. MHL delivers power, video and audio instead of the standard two lanes in HDMI.

According to Philips press release about the monitor, "The Philips Two-in-One Monitor is the optimum display for any environment. Perfect for expanding space at the office, the monitor allows side-by-side comparisons and more screen area for reviewing documents, helping to enhance efficiency and productivity. Ideal for designers using 3D graphics or requiring extremely detailed information for CAD-CAM solutions, the connected screens allow or more space to create and use multiple designs."

In addition to that, Philips also indicated that this monitor setup would be perfect for PC gamers as it allows for a cool panoramic view in single-player. In addition to that, you can also hook up two different machines to the two monitors and compare game quality side-by-side. Multiplayer games should also benefit from the dual screen setup as well, according to Philips.

Having a dual-monitor setup isn't revolutionary in the PC world. I'm currently writing this article using my own dual-monitor setup and I know some coworkers that take it a step further with quad-monitor setups (4 monitors). Having multiple monitors is a great way to work on a PC, especially if you like to multitask. In addition to that, if you are a graphic designer or you use your PC in other creative ways then having more than one monitor can be an essential part of your work. The only problem is that in order to have a setup like this you have to physically purchase two separate monitors. I got my two monitors during a Black Friday deal but the still set me back $120 a piece.

Philips appears to be trying to get rid of this by fusing two monitors into one. While this may seem like a great idea it is far too early to tell. Aside from what I mentioned above, Philips has yet to unveil any pricing information, specifications or a release date and market for this monitor other than it will be launching this fall. Until then, we won't know for sure if this setup will actually save people money or not. Stay tuned, though, as we will have all the details on this as it unfolds.

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