Long gone are the days of bulky CRT monitors in mainstream use, a point which is underscored by the introduction of NEC's new 23-inch MultiSync EX231W LED-backlit monitor.
The EX231W sports a slim bezel measuring just 14.6mm wide and is comparatively light at 9.3 pounds, including stand. Specs include a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 250 cd/m2 brightness, and 25,000:1 contrast ratio (dynamic).
There are a couple of features not found on most monitors, such as a USB pass-through on top of the monitor, and a human sensor on the front that detects activity. This latter feature, NEC says, reduces power consumption by up to 95 percent.
NEC says the EX231W will sell for around $340 in November. Full press release after the jump.
LED backlit displays still command a premium over typical LCD panels, but things are steadily improving. Enter Samsung, which just announced its new line of affordable 31 series LED monitors.
"The 31 series LED monitors fit the needs of consumers looking to upgrade to an LED monitor on a budget, especially this holiday season," said young Bae, director of display marketing, Samsung Enterprise Business Division. "This line of monitors, designed with students and small and home office users in mind, stays true to Samsung's legacy of sleek design and superior LED performance."
So far the 31 series consists of four models, including the 20-inch BX2031, 21.5-inch BX2231, 23-inch BX2331, and 24-inch BX2431. Save for the BX2031, each one sports an ultra-slim 19mm design, Full HD 1920x1080, 2ms response time, 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and 2 HDMI inputs. The BX2031 differs in that it carries a 1600x900 resolution, 5ms response time, and VGA and DVI-D inputs (no HDMI).
The 31 series will ship later this month for $169 (BX2031), $199 (BX2231), $239 (BX2331), and $279 (BX2431).
Samsung's P2770FH came to market just a tad late to lay claim as the world's first LCD to sport a 1ms response time (that distinction belongs to Viewsonic's VX2739wm), but it is one of only two computer monitors we're aware of that comes marketed as such.
"The P2770FH's groundbreaking 1ms response time offers an unbeatable experience for users looking to immerse themselves in computer gaming or movies," Samsung said. "Video editors will especially appreciate the lightning-quick response time, which eliminates motion blur and ghosting effects that hinder accuracy during the editing process. Additionally, computer gamers will benefit from the quick response, allowing them to fully enjoy game play and engage in a more fulfilling experience."
The 27-inch panel features a Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, 17,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1,000:1 static), HDMI, DVI-I, audio- and optical-out, and Samsung's "Touch of Color" accents.
Look for the P2770FH to ship later this month for $400.
The last time we spent any quality time with a Gateway monitor was when the company burst into the 30-inch panel scene with its awesome XHD3000 (see our review here). It was an incredible display, albeit long since discontinued.
Gateway didn't exit the monitor scene, it just isn't producing ginormous displays. Gateway is, however, launching three new ultra-slim LED monitors -- the 21.5-inch FHX2152L, 24-inch FHX2402L, and 23-inch FHD2303L.
"These new Gateway monitors give consumers a choice in style and functionality when choosing a monitor for their home or office," said Irene Chan, senior product marketing manager for peripherals, Acer America. "All three models offer advanced display technology that meets a wide variety of viewing needs combined with the power-saving features and an eco-friendly design that are important to today's consumers."
All three monitors sport a 1920x1080 resolution and, for what it's worth, a 12,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Both FHX models feature a 2ms response time, while the FHD is rated at 5ms.
The FHD2303L ($250), FHX2402L ($250) and FHX2152L ($190) will ship later this month.
Hewlett Packard this week introduced a sleek new 23-inch LED backlit panel, the HP 2310e HD. Dubbed an ultra-thin, the 2310e is only 1-inch deep and comes with a detachable stand, albeit no VESA mount.
It's a Full HD panel with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and support for up to 70 percent of the color gamut. We don't put much stock into display specs, but for what it's worth, this one boats an 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio (dynamic, of course), 250 nits of brightness, and a 5ms on/off response time.
For the environmentally conscious, the WLED backlighting is mercury-free, the glass contains no arsenic, and both the rear cover and base are made from recycled plastics.
Look for this one to start shipping on September 29, 2010 for $289.
In the market for a new LCD monitor? Count yourself among the few. Citing "market sources," Digitimes says that first tier PC brands, including Hewlett-Packard (HP), Acer, and Dell, have all pulled in the reigns on new LCD monitor orders for 2011 because of weaker-than-expected demand.
The exact reason for this has analysts stumped. Some market watchers say the weak demand might just be the result of the typical business practices for this time of year, as the peak season typically occurs in the third quarter. Because of this, vendors end up setting higher order volumes to receive more favorable pricing, and then reduce orders in the forth quarter.
But is that what's happening? It should also be noted that several LCD makers have been rocked by price fixing lawsuits in recent months, and it could be that PC vendors are waiting to see how it all plays out before fully replenishing their LCD monitor stock.
You might recall seeing three of HP’s ZR30w 30-inch displays gracing the cover of our September “Dream Machine” issue. Considering our theme for that build was raw, wanton power, picking the ZR30w was an easy decision.
We haven’t been this wowed by a display since we laid eyes on NEC’s LCD3090 WQXi, which we reviewed in our March 2010 issue. But that 30-incher costs nearly twice as much as this one. Both monitors are based on S-IPS panels, as all the best LCD monitors are, and both deliver native resolution of 2560x1600 (a 16:10 aspect ratio). But the ZR30w’s real claim to fame is color resolution of 10 bits per color per pixel (HP defines this as 30 bits per pixel), which enables it to produce 1.07 billion displayable colors. That’s 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut and 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut.
Following an investigation into the business practices of several LCD makers, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has gone and sued a number of companies on allegations of price fixing, a charge he contends has been going on for a decade.
"Our investigation shows that an illegal cartel eliminated competition in the marketplace for LCD screens, made its own secret decisions to boost prices, and then took steps to make those high prices stick," Cuomo said. "As a result, hard-pressed New York cities, towns, schools, and hospitals spent hundreds of millions of dollars on LCD screens affected by the illegal conspiracy. My office is bringing this case to get those illegal overcharges back."
The lawsuit accuses top-level executives, including CEOs, of attending secret meetings on a quarterly, and sometimes monthly basis to set minimum prices, price targets and increases, and prices to be charged to specific manufacturers. Cuomo's lawsuit also accuses LCD makers of exchanging production information to control output, and coordinating messages to cover-up the entire scheme.
Defendants listed in the suit include AU Optronics, Chi Mei Corporation, CMO Japan, Hitachi, LG, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba.
NEC this week added to its MultiSync display line with a new eco-friendly monitor the company says was designed with business users in mind.
"NEC is committed to continuing its strong leadership role within the industry by contributing to a greener environment with an eco-friendly display in the quickly-growing 23-inch category," said Lynn Gu, Product Manager for NEC Display Solutions. "The MultiSync E231W uses an LED-backlit panel to increase energy savings by up to 40 percent in comparison to conventional CCFL-backlit LCD monitors. This is especially beneficial for our business customers in this economic downturn."
The 23-inch panel boasts a widescreen LED-backlit display with a 1920 x 1080 HD screen resolution. It also comes with a number of green-inspired technologies, such as a carbon footprint meter and the Intelligent Power Manager (IPM), which NEC says helps conserve energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by switching to a lower power state or automatically powering down when you're not using the display.
Corning Incorporated is pretty jazzed that its board of directors approved spending big bucks on expanding the company's LCD glass and Gorilla glass manufacturing, apparently "in response to strong market demand."
All told, the Gorilla glass maker will invest around $800 million to construct a new LCD glass substrate facility in China, with production of these super tough display panel covers expected to commence in the first half of 2012.
"The need for additional Gorilla glass capacity is based in part on the product's new application as a TV cover glass," Weeks explained. "Gorilla glass has already been embraced by information technology and handheld device makers, and the addition of the TV cover glass application creates a tremendous opportunity for further growth."
Gorilla glass is a protective cover already offered on a number of handheld devices and smartphones, offering superior damage and scratch resistance. By porting the technology over to LCD monitors and TVs, display makers would have an easier time reducing or perhaps even eliminating bezels, which are a particular distraction in multi-monitor setups.