More than a screen: monitors offer add-ons in 2019
The main goal of a PC monitor is to deliver the best possible picture quality, i.e. bright, colorful and clear images that can keep up with fast-paced games and screens that can handle rich content. colors. Whether you’re all about resolution, a refresh rate snob, a nit-picky, or a contrast king/queen, 2019 will bring high-end specs to the monitor market. But that’s not all you’ll see.
At the CES 2019 consumer technology show in Las Vegas, Nevada last week, we got to preview many of the monitors coming out this year. Not only are the vendors sticking to the specs, but they’re bringing a host of additional features that transform the monitors from a viewing tool into a device that offers additional useful capabilities. From monitors that bring in the noise or hide and organize your wires, to display tech that will help your posture and break the backlight mold, there are plenty of unique monitor gadgets on the horizon.
The Monitor soundbar
In February, HP launches a monstrous display, the 65-inch HP Omen X Emperium 65. The $5,000 gaming monitor has specs to match its price, like 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate with overclock, and 4,000:1 contrast. But what really sets it apart is the 57.7 x 5.9 x 3.9-inch soundbar attached to the bottom. Boasting two tweeters, four woofers, four subwoofers and plenty of power, the soundbar will only be sold with this loud and proud monitor.
Motion activated port lighting
The HP Omen X Emperium 65 also has a nifty feature to access its ports. It features motion-activated lighting through its rear ports, so whenever you put your hand on it, white lights illuminate the space. No more slouching around the back of your screen and blindly trying to insert cables. Hopefully this feature will come to more monitors soon.
Removable RGB speaker
Lights and Sounds – Lenovo’s new Legion monitors will have both, thanks to included removable speakers with RGB lighting from Harman Kardon. Both the 43.4-inch Lenovo Legion Y44w and the 27-inch Lenovo Legion Y27gq will feature spazzy sound tech at the base of their stands. The speaker also comes with a more traditional feature: a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Peek-a-Boo USB Hub
There when you need it, gone when you don’t. Lenovo has integrated a clandestine USB hub into the Legion Y44w that gives gamers easy access to two USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack. The hub pops out of the bottom bezel when you press its big sky blue button and hides when you press it again.
Integrated mouse bungee, webcam support and voice assistant
The MSI Optix MPG341CQR will hit stores this summer with its own mouse rubber band. The elastic should help reduce gamers’ cable issues by preventing their mouse cords from getting tangled.
Speaking of attachments, the monitor also tempts streamers with a built-in camera mount that can even handle a smaller sized DSLR camera. Additionally, the monitor is supposed to come with a voice assistant (we don’t know which one yet) that you can order to change monitor or desktop settings and artificial intelligence.
Reclaim desktop space
The upcoming Samsung Space Monitor features a built-in monitor arm that clips to your desk and allows for a wide range of swivel, tilt, and height adjustments. You can place this monitor on your face or against the wall as needed, all without a bulky base. On top of that, the monitor makes cable management easy and out of your face, with space to route HDMI and power cables right into the arm.
No noise, no cables, no bricks
Gigabyte’s first foray into high-end gaming monitors, the Aorus AD27QD Tactical Display, has a one-of-a-kind feature in its noise-canceling power. The vendor told us that the feature filters out background noise from any plugged-in headphones, so people only hear your voice. Gigabyte also managed to incorporate the cable routing and power supply into the actual monitor, so users should be much closer to a clear gaming desk.
Cable routing channels
Winner of the Tom’s Hardware CES 2019 award for best monitor, the Razer Colorful Raptor 27 really goes all out to make life easier for gamers. It includes channels to route your cables neatly and will come with bonus ribbon cables. Plus, you can access its rear ports, including USB-C, by lifting the screen 90 degrees upwards.
Monitoring your posture
This next one is not an actual monitor but a monitor stand with a trick in its…arm. The Girin monitor stand has a camera at the base that recognizes the posture of the user and automatically adjusts the positioning of the attached monitor so that the user sits upright. It can support any monitor, regardless of its form factor (meaning it can handle ultrawides), as long as it weighs no more than 60 kg (132.3 lbs) .
Adjusting the monitor to its correct position takes 10 minutes; however, the company says this delay makes the process less intrusive. The Stand doesn’t have a release date yet, so it could miss 2019, but it’s being developed this year by Samsung’s C-Lab startup incubator program.
We were very impressed with the Asus ProArt PA32UCX shown at CES as it contains around 1,025 mini-LEDs. Using miniature versions of LED lights allows Asus to fit more LEDs into the backlight, helping to keep its peak brightness of 1,200 nits constant.
Even more exciting, Asus thinks a mini-LED monitor is just a step away from an OLED monitor, which the market has been hoping would arrive in a more mainstream form factor. But that wait may soon be over…