Every year, CES brings a swath of new monitors for everyone from home office workers to large-format gamers. CES 2022 is no different, with a variety of unique displays from Alienware, Asus, LG, HP, and Samsung. We may see a lot of screens every January, but only a select few make up our list of the best monitors of CES 2022.
The Samsung ARK is something else. It’s a 55-inch OLED gaming monitor that rotates vertically, but that’s not the most impressive part about it. It’s a display that can manage almost anything — aspect ratio, resolution, or input.
The included wireless controller allows you to stretch out to different aspect ratios and adjust the window size, and with Samsung Multi View, you can throw up multiple feeds on the screen at once.
Although the vertical orientation doesn’t have a ton of uses right now, it still looks great. With three 16:9 screens up, the monitor is capable of playing a game, watching a movie, and having chat windows open at the same time — all without losing the feel of a standard 16:9 display.
CES 2022 is the year of OLED gaming monitors. There have been plenty of OLED displays in the past few years, but they’re either the size of a TV like the Alienware AW5520QF or locked to a lower refresh rate like LG’s range of UltraFine displays. Enter the Asus ROG Swift PG42UQ, a 42-inch OLED display that meets in the middle of previous options.
Forty-two inches is big for a lot of setups, but the ROG Swift PG42UQ still feels much more manageable than 48-inch displays like the Aorus FO48U. As a gaming-focused display, it’s capable of 120Hz at 4K through either of the HDMI 2.1 ports, and it offers auto low latency mode and variable refresh rate for consoles.
We’ve known for years how good OLED is for watching movies, but next-gen consoles brought the display tech into the world of gaming. Now, not only can gamers enjoy the deep contrast offered by OLED, they can also see the image at high refresh rates. The ROG Swift PG42UQ is the first 42-inch OLED gaming display, but it’ll be far from the last.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 manages the impossible — 4K at 240Hz. For years, 4K monitors have been locked to the lower tiers of refresh rates, and that’s about to change. The Odyssey Neo G8 is the benchmark for 4K monitors going forward.
At the core, it’s an Odyssey Neo G9 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. You still get the blister 2,000 nit peak brightness, which results in stunning HDR, as well as deep contrast ratio and 1ms response time.
It’s a wishlist monitor that checks every box, and it’ll likely be the point of comparison for years to come.
Another example of OLED making the rounds into gaming is the Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED display. QD-OLED is an emerging display technology that combines the best from OLED and QLED, and Alienware’s new monitor is one of the first displays out of the gate with it.
Outside the natural benefit of OLED, the Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED is an ultrawide 21:9 monitor. To my knowledge, it’s the first ultrawide OLED gaming display ever, and certainly the first to use QD-OLED.
The panel is built for gaming with a 175Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440, but it should be a solid performer for content creators, too. Alienware says it has an extended color gamut that covers 149% of sRGB and 99.3% of DCI-P3, and out of the box, you can expect color accuracy with Delta-E values of less than 2.
Combined with Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate and VESA DisplayHDR TrueBlack 400 certification, it might be the best ultrawide gaming monitor. And if you’re worried about OLED burn-in, you shouldn’t be; Alienware says that it comes with a three-year warranty that includes OLED burn-in coverage.
On the surface, the Samsung M80B isn’t an exciting display. It’s a 32-inch 4K display in a market swimming with them, with serviceable but unimpressive brightness and contrast. The catch comes in software. It’s a smart monitor that comes with preloaded apps, including some unique additions from Samsung.
I’m most excited for Game Home, which allows you to connect a controller and stream games from cloud gaming services. For the home office, Samsung has Workspace, which is a hub for documents in Microsoft 365 and video calls through apps like Google Duo. Keep in mind that none of these apps require a computer; you can use the monitor just by itself.
If you want to connect a laptop, the USB-C port offers up to 65W of power for charging. In addition, the monitor comes with a magnetic webcam that you can strap to the top of the display or any edge around it. We’ve seen a lot of displays that blur the lines between a monitor and an all-in-one at CES 2022, and the Samsung M80B is the best among them.
This is by far the most unique monitor of CES is LG’s DualUp. It’s almost a square monitor, essentially stacking two 21.5-inch monitors on top of each other to achieve a 16:18 aspect ratio.
Silly? Maybe, but don’t discount LG’s ability to design forward-looking display form factors. LG was the first company to introduce the ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio in 2012 — the name for 21:9 actually comes from LG’s UltraWide series of monitors. Ultrawide monitors are everywhere now, and it’s possible the DualUp is the start of something similar.
This design helps to reduce side-to-side head movements, which LG says is the main cause of neck pain. It includes LG’s Ergo clamp, too, so you can strap it onto the side of your desk and position the monitor how you like.
I think 16:9 or 21:9 displays will remain the go-to options for a primary monitor, but there’s a lot of room for a design like DualUp as a second display at your desk or a dedicated workstation monitor for audio engineers and video editors. If nothing else, the DualUp is exploring an area of monitors that no one else is, and that’s something I can get behind.
HP Z40c G3
A big focus at CES 2022 has been devices built for the work-from-home world. The HP Z40c G3 is built for remote workers, offering a massive 40 inches of screen real estate, a built-in 4K webcam, and Thunderbolt 3 with up to 100W of power. It’s less of a monitor and more of a hub, where a single cable can turn a portable laptop into a full desktop.
It’s an ultrawide 21:9 monitor, but the resolution is much higher than similar displays. The Z40c G3 sports a resolution of 5,120 x 2,160, or a cross of 5K and 2K. It’s not too bright, topping out at 300 nits, but it still supports full coverage of the sRGB spectrum with Delta-E values of less than 2 out of the box.
What gets me excited about the Z40c G3 is how it works with laptops and mini PCs. With the Thunderbolt 3 connection, you can hook up any laptop under 100W and use it without a second charging cable. The Z40c G3 works with HP’s mini PCs, too, including the newly announced Z2 Mini G9.
Add in the built-in 4K webcam, and you have a flexible home office setup that requires two cables — one for your PC and a power cord for the monitor. The Z40c G3 may not be as unique as the DualUp or the Swift PG42UQ, but it has the perfect balance of features for your home office.
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