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4K monitors to be the norm 'within 5-6 years'

Sam Loveridge


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4K technology will be included in all monitors within the next 5 or 6 years, manufacturer BenQ has suggested.

Speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews, BenQ executives claimed that within half a decade, the majority of monitors and displays will pack 4K resolutions despite the technology currently being in its infancy.

“4K will hit the sweet spot and then it will grow," BenQ's Marketing Director, Royce Lee said. “Within 5-6 years I expect it will be the norm for all monitors.”

Packing an eye-watering 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, 4K is able to deliver more realistic and immersive content, perfect for movies and potentially gaming in the future. If future monitors are able to offer such high image densities, it would mark a huge step forward for the market. At present, 4K TVs are starting to filter onto the scene, however, their extortionate prices are seeming them reserve for only those with the deepest pockets.

Despite claiming 4K will soon be a big player, the BenQ spokespeople were less complimentary of 3D, suggesting the extra-dimensional tech will not be a key addition consumers look for in a monitor.

“I don’t think [3D will] be big, but it’ll always exist," BenQ MD Bo Cramer said. "Good 2D is the focus for us, but 3D is an added bonus.”

Although 3D should appeal to those who favour PC gaming over console platforms, BenQ has identified that the technology is being used more for other usages, like by healthcare professionals in hospitals.

“3D actually sells to health markets more than gamers. Gamers appreciate the high-end refresh rate and black equaliser more [than 3D].”

British retailer, John Lewis, also suggested that 3D technology is not a priority for TV buyers either, saying there is “not much interest left in 3D TV”.

“There is an interest but it’s not the primary purchase decision anymore,” said John Kempner, Vision Buyer at John Lewis.

If BenQ’s predictions are correct, 4K resolutions may be a one of the key features in monitors going forward.

Next, read 10 reasons why you should care about 4K.

Geoff Richards

June 12, 2013, 2:10 pm

I'm in two minds about this. On a regular 1080p 22" monitor, you get 100ppi. Moving to 4K doubles this to 200ppi, which would produce sharper text and images as well as increased real estate for Photoshop work.

On the flipside, affording a graphics card with sufficient grunt to run 1080p is a challenge for some, while many cards can't run a 2560-wide screen at playable FPS. I'm sure some gamers would gladly trade in their EyeFinity setups for a single, high-resolution display instead but again, a GPU solution that can push those pixels ain't going to come cheap.

Then again, since we're talking about 5 years from now (2018), it might be doable. After all, 5 years ago (2008) we were running 8800 GTX or GTX 280 cards. It's hard to find good numbers comparing today's best with card from that far back but we are something like 5x to 7x faster. Maintaining that same growth - just imagine 5x the performance of a GTX 780 :)


June 12, 2013, 3:31 pm

I'd assume the monitor size would increase. Some of the benefit from the extra pixels could be spent as sharper resolution, but I'd be happy at the current spatial resolution (of a 24 inch 1080p) on a monitor 4x the area. Maybe they will need to make the monitor curve inwards, so that the outer edges are not at too shallow an angle of view.

Hamish Campbell

June 13, 2013, 7:13 am

Are many people playing 3d first person shooters and the ilk? It seems to me (as a non-gamer) that this is the perfect application for 3d displays, but I don't hear a lot of talk about it.

Do the consoles do 3d at all? Or will the new ones?


June 13, 2013, 7:30 am

This is happening with OLED, and I recall both Samsung and LG saying it was particularly useful for monitors for the reasons you explained above. Will take quite a few years to become affordable, though.

Mark Colit

June 13, 2013, 8:25 am

4K monitors will be the BluRay of monitors. For most people, 1080p is more than enough. Unless you've got bionic eyes.

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