Asus has official announced the world's first consumer-focused 4K resolution monitor.
The PQ321 arrives at huge 31.5in but, so far, the company has been quiet about the monitor's price. It's expected that you'll have to pay around $5,000 (£3,280) for the chance to own the 3,847 x 2,160-pixel display, but just how much will an average consumer truly benefit from the 140-pixel-per-inch upgrade?
For starters, it's not as if the market is overly saturated with 4K-friendly cinema at the moment. And while gaming shouldn't be a problem in theory, so long as a game supports said gigantic resolution and doesn't muck up when you're trying to crank the details up to full bore – you're still going to want a pretty hefty video card setup to ensure your gaming session doesn't turn into the digital equivalent of a flip book.
And then there's the issue of resolution independence. Windows 8 should natively support a 4K resolution without ugly issues, but it's unclear just how great an experience you'll have within standard apps that don't scale all that well. It's akin to switching over to a 30in panel, only to find that your favourite app appears to have shrunk (or at the very least, wastes lots of space) as a result of its inability to scale to better fit the increased pixel count.
That all said, Asus is likely pushing its panel toward "professional creatives," as described by ExtremeTech, instead of your average desktop computer or gaming enthusiast — a result of the monitor's physical size and likely high price.
As for the display's other specs, Asus says that the monitor will be "the thinnest 4K UHD monitor available," with no part of the device exceeding 35mm in total thickness.
Its 10-bit-colour, 176-degree viewing angle display – likely sporting an IPS panel and IZGO technology for the ultra-small transistors required to create the 4K display itself – will be able to connect up to your system via its single DisplayPort or two HDMI connections.
And, of course, it comes with built-in speakers as well. For its rumoured price, this display may as well be wearing a gold-flecked hat as well. Expect to see the ASUS PQ321 hitting retail shelves toward the end of June.