Move over, LG G3, and make way for Samsung's Galaxy Note 4
Fans of the phablet form factor -- smartphone/tablet combination -- might have a tough choice to make in the near future. For one, there's the LG G3 with its 5.5-inch quad high-definition (QHD) display, 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, and removable 3000mAh battery. And then there's Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 4, which may end up with a 5.7-inch QHD display, according to leaked documents.
Affordable 4K Ultra HD monitors might be around the corner
We have to give credit to monitor, TV display, and panel makers for pushing out next-generation technology despite the relative lack of content compared to Full HD 1080p. In years past, hardware and software and/or content makers would sometime get caught in a standstill waiting for one side to justify the other. Not so with 4K displays, of which there are already several to choose from. And while we wait on more content to appear, an Intel executive is predicting that 4K monitors will drop below $400 by the end of the year.
The newest company to hitch a ride on the 4K train is NEC, which just launched its first Ultra HD display. NEC's new MultiSync EA244UHD is a 23.8-inch LED-backlit monitor with a 3840x2160 resolution, which we know by now is four times the typcial Full HD 1080p space (a point monitor makers have been hammering into our heads ever since 4K panels first emerged on the market).
A 4K monitor with a 1ms refresh rate (gray-to-gray)
The transition from Full HD 1080p to 4K Ultra HD is moving along at a steady pace. Those interested in being an early adopter already have several models to choose from; add one more to the pile. Asus today introduced the PB287Q, a 28-inch monitor with a 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) resolution and fast 1ms refresh rate. According to Asus, the PB287Q is intended for prosumers and gamers.
Up to this point, there haven't been very many 4K computer monitors to get too excited about. Some of the early models use lower quality panels, while others have janky issues pumping out 4K Ultra HD at 60Hz. The technology is maturing, however, as evidenced by Acer's XB280HK, a 28-inch gaming monitor with a 3840x2160 resolution and support for Nvidia's G-Sync technology.
We can't recall ever being blown away by a monitor's integrated speakers. Most of the time, the cans that pass for speakers in a display are tinny and muffled at worst, and serviceable at best, which isn't exactly a glowing recommendation. Looking to change that, AOC injected a pair of 7W Onkyo stereo speakers into its newest 24-inch IPS display (i2473Pwm), which sit in an oversized base.
Acer's 32-inch B326HUL LED monitor is now available in North America
There are a couple reasons why you might be putting off the upgrade to a 4K monitor. One is the technology -- it's not very mature at this point. The second is horsepower, meaning it takes one hell of a fast system to push all those pixels around, especially in gaming. Acer's compromise is the B326HUL, a 32-inch WQHD (2650x1440) display with 100 percent sRGB coverage.
A new all-in-one line with an old version of Android
AOC is getting the work week started by rolling out a pair of mySmart All-in-One systems running Android 4.2 Ice Cream Sandwich. There are two versions: the 22-inch A2272PW4T and the 24-inch A2472PW4T. Other than the size and physical screen real estate, they're configured exactly the same, right down to the Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution and odd decision to run a version of Android that's two generations old.
It doesn't matter if you're showing off a new 1,000-core processor armed with 100 gaming-grade graphics cards or a fancy new toaster with an LCD display, some yahoo is always going to ask, "Yes, but can it run Crysis?" It's an old joke, one that was again recycled recently when VIA was giving a demonstration of its 8-panel video wall, and VIA decided to answer it. Spoiler alert: the answer is yes, and we have the video to prove it.
Benq's XL-Z monitors are specifically intended for FPS gamers
Holy buzzwords, Batman -- Benq is pulling out all kinds of fancy pants terms to describe its new XL-Z series of first-person shooter (FPS) purpose-built gaming monitors. Benq says its XL-Z series monitors have begun shipping, and if you're a gamer -- particularly an FPS gamer -- the company has several reasons why you might be interested in one of its displays, starting with RevolutionEyes technology.