Ultra HD resolution is most often discussed in terms of the future of television, but Asus plans on bringing 4K to the desktop with its new, 31.5-inch PQ321 True 4K UHD Monitor. It may not have the catchiest of names, but the 3840 x 2160 resolution (140 ppi) display packs four times as many pixels as any 1080p model.
Asus says that the monitor uses IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology rather than traditional silicon, thereby allowing it to have smaller individual pixels, improved energy efficiency and a thinner form factor. The company is taking that last point to heart in particular, as it claims that the PQ321 will be “the thinnest 4K UHD monitor available today” at 35mm at its thickest point.
IGZO has mostly been produced and promoted by Sharp over the last several months, as that Japanese company has deployed the display tech in a handful of smartphones, tablets and its own 4K monitor. Asus didn’t mention any specific dealings with Sharp in its announcement today, however.
The PQ321 also comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and Asus says it’ll have up to 176-degree viewing angles. It’ll have built-in 2W stereo speakers, dual-HDMI ports with picture-in-picture support, DisplayPort tech, 10-bit RGB coloring and 8ms response time. In English, it should look really good.
It’ll also be pretty expensive, but Asus is keeping mum on the PQ321’s price tag for now. (As a point of reference, Sharp’s 32-inch 4K monitor cost about $5,500 when it was revealed last year.) Users will probably need a decent mid- to high-end graphics card to actually run 4K resolution – current integrated GPUs are probably a generation away from being ready, though Intel’s coming Haswell chips will likely help with that – but either way, Asus says the PQ321 will be available in North America by the end of June. Expect more specifics to come next week at Computex 2013, where Asus will be showing off the new display.
Update: Some of those aforementioned specifics have indeed arrived. Asus announced at Computex today that its 31.5-inch monitor will sell for $3,799 when it launches at the end of June. That is, of course, an astronomically high number for most consumers, but it’s not a surprising one given that Ultra HD is still in its infancy stages. The company also revealed that it is making a larger, 39-inch 4K monitor that will arrive sometime in the third quarter of this year, though it didn’t give any pricing details away for that one just yet.