Tech 10: Hot Displays For 201310:00 AM EST Thu. Feb. 21, 2013
As 4K resolution displays start to make their presence known, 2013 is shaping up to be a very big year for PC-enabling monitors. From touch-enabled to nontouch monitors, today's commercial displays are available in increasingly high-resolutions and are nothing short of wow.
Here we look at 10 displays, from likely suspects such as Samsung, HP, Toshiba and others, that are sure to heat up 2013.
It isn't much of a spoiler, but there aren't going to be very many nontouch displays on this list. The Samsung Series 7 earns its place on the list by mixing features that normally don't get mixed together. The 1,080p monitors are stylishly designed, a quality that doesn't often lend itself to monitors meant to be used in a multimonitor setup. But Samsung nailed it. The Series 7 would look great in portrait or landscape mode on many a desk. Pricing has not been revealed, and its launch is slated for some time in the first quarter.
This 21:9, 29-inch monitor is easy on the eyes. The 1,080p (2,560 x 1,080) display would do an amazing amount of justice to the latest blockbusters. LG has gone beyond the obvious, though. The EA93 is packed with software that allows four different applications to be pinned to the display. Think Aero Snap (circa Windows 7), but apps will snap four ways instead of two. It's a thoughtful addition that adds some practical value to a gorgeous picture. While the EA93 was slated to launch in Korea this month, the rest of us will have to wait for a sometime-in-2013 launch.
HP has an interesting proposition for road warriors craving a multimonitor setup. This USB-powered portable 15.6-inch monitor has an iPad-like leather case that allows the monitor to be propped up at various angles. The screen has a standard-issue 1,366 x 768 resolution but counteracts that dull spec with a ("dull" in a good way) matte screen. The U160 is available now for $179.
The stunning "windows to the world" is a bit of an enigma. It featured prominently at the Japanese giant's CES booth but had gone unmentioned in every press release related to the show. The display's slide show of vistas, however, was stunning. The resolution was unlisted, but it wouldn't be a surprise to discover that the display was of the new 4K vanguard. The mysterious Half-Height Display had no price or launch date either, but hopefully that information will be released soon.
Sharp's IGZO Touch Monitor is a next-gen machine. The 32-inch, 4K monitor is a sight to behold-likely because it is targeted at the medical field rather than consumers. The IGZO touch will run close to $6,500 when it launches in the second quarter of this year. A non-touch model will launch in the first quarter for roughly $1,000 less.
Sony has taken a second crack at its Personal 3D Viewer. Refinements include a sleeker, lighter design and the removal of the 5.1 earmuffs that were attached to last year's model. With comfort in mind, Sony is recommending a solid pair of earbuds to complement the headsets' pair of 0.7-inch OLED screens. The device retails for $900, but it just doesn't retail in the U.S. What a shame.
Straight from the future, Samsung's transparent showcase is an advertiser's dream. It's essentially a glass box for a product, but the front panel is a 22-inch transparent screen. That screen can go from opaque to totally transparent at a moment's notice, concealing and revealing the encased product at its whims. This is something to see in person. Don't be surprised to see it at a high-end retailer in the very near future.
LG's industrial design is understated but still very noticeable. In this case, the ET83's white base has a Nintendo-like white gloss that isn't often seen in desktop electronics. Other than that, it's a touchable, 23-inch, IPS 1,080p display. Pricing and availability are forthcoming.
The understated design of the LG ET83 is something to admire, but so is HP's Envy 27—for the opposite reason. The touch-friendly monitor has a chinlike speaker bar that touts Beats Audio functionality. The display is a 1,080p IPS and looks to be as good as, if not better, than many similar monitors today. Hopefully that speaker bar counts for more than most monitor speakers. It is available now for $499.
CyberTouch displays have been on the market for a while, but watching folks at CES play electro-pong on the giant horizontal display was intriguing. Unfortunately, even if the CyberTouch looks like it's just for fun, its $10,000-plus price tag proves it's commercial-grade. It's aimed squarely at the medical market.