Our Top 3 Monitors to Look Out for in 2021

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This year is set to be an exciting time for the monitor market with quite a few new technologies and features being launched and some very interesting monitors hopefully finally being launched. We thought we would give our run down of the top 3 monitors currently announced that we are most looking forward in the future. A warning – these are all going to be super high end and super expensive, as they really represent the cutting edge of latest technologies, specs and features. But for those who follow the monitor market and are looking for the latest and greatest displays, these are the ones we’d recommend looking out for!

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX Gaming Monitor

First up is a top-end gaming display which will offer all the latest features and specs. This is a 32″ sized display with an IPS technology panel, offering a 3840 x 2160 “4K” resolution combined with a 144Hz refresh rate. It should be one of the first screens with 4K @ 144Hz in this new larger size. It features a Native NVIDIA G-sync module (“G-sync Ultimate” certified) offering excellent variable refresh rate performance and range, variable overdrive and super low lag.

Most interesting of all is the use of a Mini LED backlight which offers 1,152 local dimming zones and can offer top-end HDR performance in the LCD monitor market as a result. This also allows for the DisplayHDR 1400 certification including a whopping peak brightness of 1400 cd/m2, along with a wide colour gamut (98% DCI-P3) and 10-bit colour depth. The Mini LED backlight is controlled quickly and effectively thanks to the G-sync module to cope with 144Hz gaming and VRR.

The PG32UQX is primarily aimed at PC gamers and features a DisplayPort 1.4 connection with Display Stream Compression (DSC) allowing for 4K @ 144Hz without the need to drop colour depth or chroma levels like some older 4K @ 144Hz screens. For latest gen console gamers the screen does unfortunately lack HDMI 2.1, a limitation caused by the use of the G-sync module (required for optimal Mini LED dimming with VRR). More info in our dedicated news article.

More information about the PG32UQX available here. It should be available within the next couple of months and expected retail price is $2999.99 USD.

LG UltraFine 32EP950 OLED Professional Monitor

Something very different to the Asus display above, we are excited to see the arrival of new OLED technology panels in the monitor market. LG were first to announce several screen versions in sizes of 27″ and 31.5″. The most interesting, and the first one that is expected to be released, is the 31.5″ sized 32EP950.

The 32EP950 (and the other OLED monitors announced so far) is aimed at professional users and content creators. Some may be attracted to the OLED panel for gaming, but that is not the target market here and currently the panels are limited to 60Hz max only, and lack all the usual gaming add-ons. It has a 31.5″ panel with 3840 x 2160 “4K” resolution. A wide colour gamut covering 99% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RGB is provided. There are defined colour modes for working with BT.709, DCI-P3 and BT.2100 content as well.

The OLED panel offers per pixel dimming for exceptional HDR capabilities, including a quoted 1 million:1 contrast ratio. Although with the ability to turn each individual pixel off to true black, this would create in theory an infinite contrast ratio. The screen also conforms to the ‘VESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black’ certification level.

USB type-C (power delivery of 90W), 2x DisplayPort 1.4 and 1x HDMI (unclear on which version but expected to be v2.0) and 3x USB ports are provided. KVM capability is also listed.

The 32EP950 is expected within the next few months at a price of around $2996.99 USD. More information about this screen and the other LG OLED monitors can be found here.

Samsung Odyssey G9 Quantum LED

We were not sure whether to include this one or not. It has been announced already in March 2021 but with limited info currently available. We expect this won’t appear until 2022 but maybe we will be pleasantly surprised with an earlier release. Still, it’s announced and looks particularly interesting so we will include it here as our third in the “ones to watch” list.

Like the current G9, this new model will again be 49″ in size with an ultrawide panel and 5120 x 1440 resolution. It will also retain the same 1000R curvature, 1ms response time spec and 240Hz refresh rate. The main update though is the addition of a MiniLED backlight for vastly improved local dimming and HDR support. This model is aimed at a wide range of uses including productivity, a replacement for multi-screen setups, movies and gaming. It’s an interesting size and format and many people love this ultrawide format.

We know from this video that Samsung are referring to this backlight as “Quantum Matrix technology” or “Quantum Mini LED” in some places. This should offer local dimming with (now expected) 2048 zones. It will give much better HDR performance and local dimming capability than the limited number of edge lit zones that the current G9 model has.

Samsung also talk about how it will support “HDR 2000”. This isn’t even a current tier classification from VESA under their ‘DisplayHDR’ scheme, but Samsung do have a habit of just using their own naming conventions here. Perhaps it’s a tier VESA will add at a later date anyway or in time for this screen’s launch. This HDR 2000 spec infers a peak brightness of at least 2000 cd/m2. While not mentioned specifically we would expect high DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage thanks to the use of Quantum Dot coating, and a 10-bit colour depth support too.

No word on release date or pricing yet, but like we said this might not even appear in 2021. Further information in our original short news piece here, but now updated (10/4/21) with a more detailed news piece here.

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