I don’t know if it’s a delayed effect of the remote working trend or just a bunch of technologies maturing at the same time, but 2022 was an unusually great year for monitors. So before we move on to the next generation of gadgets in 2023, I wanted to take a moment to review some of the standout displays from the past 12 months.
Before we get into specific models, we’ve seen two new big players in the gaming monitor space this year thanks to Sony’s Inzone brand and HyperX’s Armada display. For a company like Sony, which is responsible for some of the most popular consoles of all time, the move is unexpected, but it feels a bit late. That’s because Sony has previously been associated with gaming displays (remember the weird Playstation 3D TV from 2011), and the company has been largely reluctant to expand into the gaming hardware and peripherals market, especially the PC peripherals market.
Sony’s Inzone line of devices consists of headphones and monitors with a similar design to the Playstation 5 and a few unique features, but it’s important to note that these devices come from Sony Electronics (a TV and wireless phone company). headset) and not Sony Interactive Entertainment (the Playstation folks). That means you won’t find any distinct Playstation logos, but what you will find is some nifty tech found in other premium gadgets like Sony’s WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones.
As for monitors, after testing them earlier this year, I found the Inzone M9 to be one of the best 4K gaming monitors for the money. Now for just $799 (down from the $899 retail price), you get a 27-inch display with VRR and NVIDIA G-Sync support, DisplayHDR 600 certification, and full local dimming. I also appreciate some of the little touches like Sony’s built-in KVM switch and surprisingly good stereo speakers, the latter of which make it easy to hook up a PC or PS5 and just start gaming without worrying about audio.
Meanwhile, HyperX (now owned by HP) joined the fray this year with its Armada gaming monitors. Like Sony, HyperX’s first set of monitors is a slight twist on the standard formula, as instead of shipping with a traditional desktop stand, both of its new monitors only have a bundled display arm. Combine that with a 25-inch display with 1080p resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate for just $450, or a 2560 x 1440 display with a 165Hz refresh rate for $500 in the 27-inch model, and you’ve got some impressive mid-range displays. , especially for anyone who wants to minimize clutter.
Another major event in 2022 was the release of the first set of QD-OLED displays, the Alienware AW3423DW. The really nice thing about QD-OLED displays is that you get super-saturated colors and pure blacks combined with traditional OLED panels, but with better brightness, including no bloom, and wider viewing angles (compared to conventional LCDs). With its massive ultra-wide format and 175Hz refresh rate, you get the best gaming monitor on the market. Alienware was the first company to release a QD-OLED display, while other companies followed suit They have their own competitors like MSI very soon.
In other words, for someone who doesn’t mind the cost and just wants the biggest, baddest gaming monitor on the market, Samsung’s Odyssey Ark was one of the most memorable gadgets I’ve used all year. A massive 55-inch 4K panel and 1000R curved hull surrounds you like the cockpit of some sort of spaceship. If that wasn’t enough, you can flip it to portrait mode, which is one of the most unique gaming settings I’ve ever seen. On the downside, the box has four HDMI inputs and a special Multi View mode (which is basically a picture-in-picture feature), but it can only display content from one external source due to HDMI limitations. time. But if you’ve got $3,500 to spare and want the most impressive display released this year, the Odyssey can’t beat the Ark.
I recently had the chance to check out LG’s latest UltraGear gaming monitors with new 240Hz displays, the highest frequency you can get from OLED displays on the market today. LG’s new panels mean you can get both the deep blacks and vivid colors that OLED screens are familiar with. and The kind of refresh rate that was previously only available with IPS displays. The downside is that with a maximum brightness of only 200 nits, the new UltraGears are not suitable for gaming in bright rooms.
But for someone who has long waited for OLED panels to become more mainstream, it’s encouraging to see more products added to the mix. That’s because there are a few OLED monitors out there right now (like the aforementioned Alienware AW3423DW), but the pickings are still pretty slim. Some, like the LG C2, are actually just televisions used as large-format desktop monitors. Meanwhile, ASUS’ ROG Swift OLED line uses the exact same panel as LG’s C2, but with a few tweaks like a built-in heatsink and a DisplayPort 1.4 port to improve gaming performance.
But the biggest problem is that all OLED monitors are quite large. The smallest C2 and ROG Swift OLED models measure 42 inches, while the Alienware AW3423DW isn’t much better with its extra-wide 34-inch panel. But with LG’s new UltraGear OLED, we’re getting something in a much more manageable size, along with the highest refresh rate we’ve seen on an OLED display to date.
Meanwhile, for anyone who isn’t a gamer, there are some interesting new productivity demos released this year. Because although it was technically announced last year, LG’s 16:18 DualUp screen was released in 2022. Combine this with the included keyboard and you’ll enjoy a setup with tons of vertical screen real estate without having to stack multiple screens or deal with a super-skinny screen when rotated to portrait mode. And with a color gamut that covers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 spectrum, the DualUp can handle more than just tall tables. LG includes support for a power output of up to 90 watts, so you can capture video from your laptop and charge it with a single USB-C cable.
Finally, it still needs a bit of refinement, but Corsair has released a large 45-inch gaming monitor with a foldable display called the Xeneon Flex. Now, I know the ability to manually convert a screen from flat to curved might seem silly (especially with gadgets like the LG OLED Flex, which probably have motors built in), but it’s good to see more companies. to test the technology of the curved screen. Who knows, maybe they’ll add a feature that goes into game mode when you fold the screen, allowing you to change your battle station gear based on the type of work (or play) you’re doing.
Although more people are working remotely than ever before, it’s nice to have more options when it comes to setting up. I’m not even talking about other innovations in adjacent categories such as televisions, laptops and mobile phones, such as the 240Hz OLED display option on the Razer Blade 15, Panasonic’s new LED.EX TV or the improved display camera. On the Galaxy Z Fold 4. (I recently had a video call using UDC on my Z Fold 4, and no one complained about the picture quality). Still, 2022 was a great year for monitors, and I expect that momentum to continue next year as we approach CES 2023.
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