With all the High Defintion televisions and Blu-ray/HD DVD players on show at CeBIT this year it was easy to forget this next generation technology is designed as much for our computers as our living rooms. With this in mind, I discovered some truly stunning monitors on show.
As it did with the digital cameras, BenQ once again took the plaudits here. It unveiled two fantastic widescreen models, the first a magnificent 24 inches, the second – only revealed a few days later – a humongous 30 inches which dwarfed it (both above).
The latter is an industry record equalling beast dubbed the FP301W. It has a super high 2560 x 1600 native resolution, 11ms grey to grey response time (14ms on/off), 400 cd/m2 brightness and 700:1 contrast ratio. There are also DVI dual link, D-Sub, Composite, Component, S-Video and HDMI inputs and, needless to say, it’ll support a full 1080P input signal.
This ties it nicely with the 3007WFP announced in January from Dell and surely a frantic price war is about to ensue which we, my dear readers, are going to love.
Making a similarly barnstorming impression was the FP241W, a 24 incher with 1920 x 1200 native resolution, 8ms grey to grey response time (12ms on/off), 300cd/m2 brightness and super high 1000:1 contrast ratio. There’s full pivot and height adjustment, PIP technology and the same extensive range of connectivity as the FP301W and full 1080P input support.
BenQ tells me it expects the FP241W to appear around May/June for around 1,000 euros. The 3007WFP will follow shortly after though pricing has yet to be confirmed or even ball parked (I tried) at this stage.
Funnily enough, speaking of Dell’s 3007WFP I got to see it in action – even though Dell isn’t attending the show! My piece of good fortune came from some eagle eyed spotting at the Spatial View booth. Having seen the BenQ model an hour or so earlier I am tempted to start making comparisons, but monitors are a precise art and they really need to formally tested or at least put side by side. Going off my gut response however you’re in for a shocker: I preferred the visuals of the FP301W.
Now with these behemoths on display it could be thought that anything less than 20 inches just doesn’t cut the mustard. That may be true to some but former industry golden boy IIyama has produced a really stylish beauty with its 19in ProLite EW1900S.
With a nice 1440 x 900 native resolution, 5ms GTG response time, 300 cd/m2 brightness and 700:1 contrast ratio is certainly got one or two admiring glances with the ultra thin bezel fooling two passers by into walking over before declaring, “Oh, it’s only 19 inches!”. Now there’s a recommendation for you…
Sharing a similar screen size but a very different attitude to gravity is the PW191 from Asus. The widescreen 1440 x 900 resolution monitor with 8ms response time uses an extremely flexible swivel to rotate a full 90 degrees and works in conjunction with the company’s ‘Splendid Video Intelligence technology’ to automatically swap the display from a landscape to a portrait view.
In addition, 2x 2W speakers are integrated along with a headphone audio output and DVI-D and D-Sub inputs. Aside from the innovation, Asus will be rolling this monitor out with a one year Zero Bright Dot warranty and it should be hitting the shelves any moment now.
Finally, Samsung had some interesting prototype monitors on show. No technical details were given away but the emphasis was very much on the design with the main support positioned off centre and employing a clever folding hinge which – from straight ahead – makes the screen appear to float.
It’s hard to explain how this visual illusion works but basically the hinge means the support can bend back from the screen at around 60 degrees then bend back on itself to reach the base. When the monitor is titled at a normal viewing angle the stand is hidden.
The angle of my photography here doesn’t help with the mental picture I’m trying to conjure, but look closely at the middle monitor to get an idea of what I mean. It’s a concept that certainly has legs – or hinges, so to speak – but will it see the light of day?