Next we brought up the CRN Test Center's standard test images, and after a few adjustments to brightness and contrast, we found Sharp's Ultra HD to be well within acceptable limits. Gradients of color and black-to-white exhibited no banding, black level and white saturation were visible throughout the spectrum, and sharpness tests were the best we've seen.
The PN-K321's controls are on the top half of the right-hand edge. Though they're nicely hidden from view, they're easy enough to operate by feel. We especially like that the lower-most button is a dedicated input selector, and that it operates all on its own. A single press of the button displays the monitor's one DisplayPort and two HDMI inputs; a second press moves the highlighter from the current port to the next one on the list. And after a few seconds, the highlighted port is selected. One up from Input is Menu, which works with the next four directional keys, two of which control the volume of the monitor's built-in stereo speakers. The top-most power key has three dimples to identify it as such.
With HD screens becoming as common as high-end cell phones, we see 4K or Ultra HD as the next logical step in digital-display evolution. And with IGZO technology, Sharp has made major strides, and the CRN Test Center recommends the Sharp PN-K321 at its new price of $5,250. It includes a tilt-swivel stand and three-year warranty. In the channel since March, it's sold through major tech and pro-video distributors. In addition, the company this week announced the PN-K322B, a 10-point multitouch version with lay-flat stand to be available in the fall; pricing was not disclosed.
PUBLISHED AUGUST 2, 2013