HDMI 2.1 was the talk of the show at CES 2021. It’s in televisions and in the new gaming consoles, yes, but it’s also making its way to PC gaming gear, such as new gaming laptops and gaming monitors.
HDMI 2.1 offers 4K gaming at 120Hz, a first for the connection and a first for game consoles. PC gamers have enjoyed the faster refresh rate for years, but putting HDMI 2.1 in PC accessories means less of a division between the living room and the desk. It means a single monitor that can support both PCs and consoles. And while it’s still in early stages, a number of gaming monitors were announced at CES that support the new standard.
Asus Strix XG43UQ
Let’s start with the most ambitious of the bunch. Half television and half gaming monitor, the Asus’ Strix XG43UQ effectively straddles the line between the worlds of PC and console. If space is no concern, it’s a great choice with its expansive 43-inch display that pretty much can replace a small TV.
The resolution clocks in at 4K, and the panel has a 144Hz refresh rate, supports DisplayHDR 1000, and can cover 90% of the wide DCI-P3 color gamut.
Asus did not share pricing. This new monitor will launch in the second quarter of this year.
Asus Swift PG32QU
Though not as big as its Strix sibling, the Asus Swift PG32QU comes with a more manageable, desk-friendly 32-inch screen. A smaller screen doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing on features. This 4K panel comes with technology that makes it a great choice for competitive e-sports gaming, including a 133Hz refresh rate, fast 1ms MPRT, and support for Nvidia’s G-Sync Reflex Latency Analyzer, which can analyze the lag between your mouse clicks and what’s being displayed on the screen.
Along with DisplayHDR 600 support and 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, the panel can even be used for creative workflows when you’re not gaming, making it a triple threat for console gaming, PC gaming, and – dare we say it – productivity!
This monitor will launch in the second quarter, but pricing information was not yet announced.
Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A
The Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A round out the manufacturer’s trio of HDMI 2.1 monitors. The company boasted that this monitor supports a 4K resolution panel, 144Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time with variable refresh rate technology for smoother gaming. It’s also rated for DisplayHDR 400 and covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color space or 125% of the sRGB color gamut. This TUF monitor is the most compact HDMI 2.1 model from Asus, coming in at 28 inches.
Asus did not reveal pricing for the TUF Gaming monitor, but the company said the panel will be coming in the second quarter of this year.
Acer Nitro XB282K
If you’re worried about future-proofing your display, Acer’s Nitro XB282K has you covered. In addition to supporting the HDMI 2.1 standard, you can also connect your laptops and desktops to this 28-inch 4K panel with either DisplayPort 1.4 or USB-C connectors.
Acer was the first company out of the gate to throw its support to HDMI 2.1 at CES, and this panel allows gamers to play games at 4K resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate, up from the standard 120Hz usually found on 4K televisions today.
Acer announced that the Nitro will be available in May at a cost of $899, which is the first indication of just how much these new monitors could cost.
LG UltraGear 27GP950
At 27 inches, LG’s UltraGear is the most compact 4K monitor on our list of HDMI 2.1-compatible panels. But don’t let its small size fool you – at 160Hz with overclock, this panel comes with the fastest refresh rate on our list, ensuring you don’t miss any of the action.
The UltraGear uses a 4K Nano IPS panel, which enables more advanced screen features. Notable features include 1ms GTG response time, DisplayHDR 600 support, and 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.
LG did not share pricing or availability information for the UltraGear.
What else do you need?
Well, getting these monitors may be the easy part — it’s the rest of your gear that may take some time. To truly take advantage of the high resolution and blazing-fast refresh rates, you’ll need a gaming PC or laptop with the latest discrete GPU from AMD or Nvidia or a new gaming console like Microsoft’s Xbox Series X or Sony’s PlayStation 5.
Given that both Nvidia and AMD are experiencing shortages of GPUs — AMD’s RDNA graphics technology is also found inside these new consoles — getting your hands on any of this gaming hardware can be problematic, and shortages are likely to continue over the next several weeks or few months. Patience is a virtue, so as long as your wallet can stomach the tariffs that are taking effect this year.
Another component you’ll need to take advantage of HDMI 2.1 is a new cable that’s marked as “HDMI Ultra High Speed Certified.” according to the HDMI consortium.
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