On Friday, Asus introduced two curved monitors for PC gamers: the VA326H and the VA326N-W. Both units feature a wide 31.5-inch screen, a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, and a 144Hz refresh rate. They are essentially the same, only the VA326N-W model provides one DL-DVI input and one D-Sub input whereas the VA326H model adds an extra HDMI 1.4 input.
Here are the specs of the two new panels:
|Size:||31.5 inches||31.5 inches|
|Resolution:||1,920 x 1,080||1,920 x 1,080|
|Brightness (Max):||300 nits||300 nits|
|Contrast ratio (Max):||3,000:1||3,000:1|
|Asus Smart Contrast Ratio:||100,000,000:1||100,000,000:1|
|Viewing angles:||178 degrees (H)(V)||178 degrees (H)(V)|
|Response time:||4ms gray to gray||4ms gray to gray|
1x DL-DVI with HDCP
1x HDMI 1.4 with HDCP1x 3.5mm PC audio input
1x 3.55 earphone output
1x DL-DVI with HDCP1x 3.5mm PC audio input
1x 3.55 earphone output
|Signal frequency:||50 to 75Hz (D-Sub)
50 to 144Hz (DL-DVI, HDMI)
|50 to 75Hz (D-Sub)
50 to 144Hz (DL-DVI)
The VA panel type means they are based on Vertical Alignment display technology. This tech is notable for its color quality and very high contrast ratio, but it’s less commonly used than the older Twisted Nematic (high brightness, fast response times) and In-Plane Switching (bright colors, wide viewing angles) panel technologies. VA panels seem to be the best of those two worlds for PC gamers.
Of course, you cannot have a gaming-focused display without proprietary technologies. The new panels include the GamePlus hotkey with timer and crosshair functions, SplendidPlus Video Intelligence tech that optimizes videos and images, and Eye Care tech that includes a blue light filter, keeping the panel from burning out all of the user’s Melatonin. There is Flicker-Free tech too that reduces display flickering, which causes eye strain.
Asus notes that the combination of a 1,920 x 1,080 frame rate and a 144Hz refresh rate only works through the DL-DVI connection. This is important in PC gaming, as the higher the refresh rate is set, the less motion blur the gamer sees. The refresh rate is essentially how many times the panel flashes an image per second, so if the desktop or laptop is cranking out 60 or more frames per second, the monitor really needs to be above that for highly fluid visuals.
The SplendidPlus feature includes eight presets to fit every viewing occasion: Reading, Darkroom, Scenery, Theater, sRGB, Game, Night View, and Standard. For example, the Scenery mode increases the brightness range for more contrast gradations. The sRGB mode sets the panel up for that specific color space for artists and designers. The Darkroom mode is for a soft ambient light environment.
The Asus VA326H curved monitor will sell for $399 when it goes retail in the United States in the first quarter of 2017. The VA326N-W will hit the market at the same time for an unknown amount.
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