Asus didn't make the trip to Computex unprepared, that's for sure. Instead, Asus unloaded a rather large collection of Republic of Gamer (ROG) products, including a new mouse, keyboard, a couple of new motherboards, monitor, gaming laptop, and several other items. There's even a console-like gaming PC in the mix -- it's not a Steam Machine, though it's ready to take residence in your living room or dorm.
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.
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.
AOC has put a target on gamers with its new 24-inch monitor (G2460PQU) that offers a fast 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time to ensure lag-free and smooth gaming. It sports a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution, has four USB 2.0 ports (including a fast charging port), and ample connectivity options that include VGA, Dual Link DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort outputs.
IDC reports a slight drop in overall monitor shipments
It appears PC users are mostly content with their current monitors, hence why PC display shipments came in at just under 35 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, representing a drop of 0.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to data released by IDC. That's also representative of a 3.8 percent decline over the same quarter a year ago, though HP and Dell must have missed the memo because both recorded gains in the monitor segment.
New panels from AOC range in size from 19.5 inches to 24 inches
AOC is kicking off the work week by unveiling four new monitors intended for home office, government, and education environments. Among the new panels you'll find a 19.5-inch monitor running at 1600x900, two 21.5-inch panels with Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolutions, and a 24-inch model that also features a Full HD 1080p display. All four sport LED backlights and AOC's product enhancing and energy saving software.
Acer is closing out the month of February by offering up its K272HUL, a 27-inch monitor with an ultra-sharp WQHD (2560x1440) resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio. An ergonomic frame props up the large screen display with 5 to 25 degrees of tilt action. You can also mount the monitor to your wall and have it sit relatively flat (the monitor measures 2 inches deep by 17.4 inches wide by 10.5 inches high).