Sharp PN-K321H preview: 4K monitor

The Sharp PN-K321H is the first 4K monitor that we've tested at Hardware.Info. With four times as many pixels as a Full HD panel, the 32in monitor has a pixel density of 138ppi. That's much higher than the sharpest desktop screen we've seen. The price tag of the PN-K321H of course reflects this, but it will interesting to see how well the monitor performs and how much added value the extra workspace can offer. For professional graphic designers and photo editors, this will likely be a beauty to work on.

The Sharp PN-K321H has an official price of $4,999 (£3,195), so of course you're cheaper off buying four Full HD monitors. However, with a 4K screen you don't have those edges separating the four monitors. ASUS has also announced a 31.5in 4K monitor (the PQ321) and a 39in 4K model, both using VA technology.

Sharp's PN-K321H does not have a VA panel, but rather a proprietary technology call IGZO. That stands for Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, which is the semi-conducting material used for the transistors. Traditionally amorf silicium (a-Si) is used for this, but manufacturers are trying out new materials. The reason is that it allows the transistors to be smaller, let through more light and is potentially more energy-efficient.

Sharp's 4K monitor can't really be called energy-efficient, with a usage of 93 Watts, but you have to consider that it contains four times the number of transistors. When you look at it that way, it's pretty reasonable.

The Sharp PN-K321H is a large monitor with a diagonal of 31.5in. The 3,840 x 2,160 resolution creates a pixel density of 138ppi. That's higher than the typical 90-100 ppi, but not extreme, especially when you compare it to smartphones. You can read the rest of Sharp PN-K321H preview on Hardware.info.