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LG announces 21:9 UltraWide Monitor with four-screen split feature

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November 9, 2012

LG will introduce the world's first 21:9 aspect computer monitor in Korea later this month

LG will introduce the world's first 21:9 aspect computer monitor in Korea later this month

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Since unveiling the very first cinema-proportioned HD TV back in 2009, Philips has been leading the charge to get the distinctly oblong screens into our living rooms. Yet despite the powerful draw of immersive movie-theater-like viewing goodness, the buying public's cash (for the most part) continues to be thrown at 16:9 aspect screens. LG is trying another approach to kick start the ultra-widescreen invasion, by launching the world's first 21:9 aspect computer monitor. In addition to its obvious appeal to digital film buffs, the 29-inch EA93 is also being pitched at power users who currently multi-task across multiple displays (in my case a hotchpotch setup of 4:3 and 16:9 mixed displays).

Rather than split your workload across multiple monitors and suffer from color inconsistencies, as well as gaps and bezels breaking up the workflow, LG's EA93 offers 100 percent sRGB color space expression and can divide the screen real estate into two or four segments, each behaving like a separate display. Two external devices (such as a PC and a notebook) can also be connected to the new monitor via Dual Link-up.

Having seen Toshiba's 21:9 UltraBook in action at IFA 2012 recently, I can certainly see how this format might help boost my productivity, and the sheer size of LG's monster does appear to overcome the rather cramped feel of the Satellite U845W's display.

The EA93 has an ultra-widescreen, 2560 x 1080 resolution, 26.6 x 11.4-inch IPS panel with ...

The 2560 x 1080 resolution, 677 x 290-mm (26.6 x 11.4-inch) IPS panel with anti-glare surface coating and 300-nit brightness sports a DVI-D Dual Link interface, two HMDI (one with included MHL connection that allows mobile gamers to feed in games and videos from their smartphones) and four USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort and PC audio in. The latter allows users to take advantage of the built-in 7W stereo speakers. Private listening via the monitor is catered for with the inclusion of a headphone audio-out jack.

The EA93 utilizes LG's Digital Fine Contrast technology to offer viewers a contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, has a response time of 5 ms GTG (gray-to-gray) and features picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functionality.

LG will be introducing the EA93 UltraWide Monitor to Korean buyers shortly, followed by a global roll-out in the weeks that follow. We're still waiting for confirmation of pricing.

Product page: LG EA93 (Korea)

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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14 Comments

I want one, to bad they will probably be quite a bit more expensive than a pair of equivalent 16:9 monitors.

Jon Smith
9th November, 2012 @ 02:31 pm PST

I hope that one day they get over this wideness madness and start again making screens with reasonable wideness for portable usage.

Kris Lee
9th November, 2012 @ 02:39 pm PST

2560x1080=FAIL

It needs more pixels in both directions to make sense.

BZD
9th November, 2012 @ 02:42 pm PST

Very low resolution for a monitor this big. Wake me when 4k desktop monitors come out.

sunfly
9th November, 2012 @ 04:14 pm PST

@BZD

Not certainly complete fail. I think that these monitors will have very good use cases.

Yes, in their example they are showing 4 different windows on it - that is nonsense because of the lack of horizontal resolution.

Even when you display two separate documents on it side by side then even then it does not make sense.

But for example for a car driving game it would probably produce quite interesting experience.

I think that the panel size diversity is a good thing.

Kris Lee
9th November, 2012 @ 05:08 pm PST

A case of the Emperor's new clothes, I am afraid. It is top-chopped, not wide.

Makers push this wide business because the size numbers look better. They should go by surface area instead of diagonal measurement. It made sense when TVs were all the same aspect but now it is ridiculous. As monitors are measured diagonally. It appears as if you are getting more because the measure is larger even as surface area goes down.

The fact is that if you are close to a source then 3:2 is the best. That is just human physiology.

Next makers will sell you a 50in TV that is only 5 in tall. Total area 250in square. A 16x16 would have more area...but "50in" sounds impressive. Maybe I can interest you in a 100 in, 2.5 in high. Or perhaps 250 in, 1 inch high. Have to role that one up.

It is not the width of film you remember it is the resolution...just errant association. They could have shot exactly the same and made the screen taller loosing nothing on the sides. Everything in the same place, just more sky but they would need taller theaters and that would have cost more.

Monitor/TV makers should go with square feet. Government would have to mandate the change. But government is not looking out for consumers of late...well...for the last few decades. They probably flunked geometry anyway.

Everyone wants resolution, they just don't know it. That is what permits a filmmaker to shoot a larger scene and keep the detail of the actors. 4k can't get here fast enough.

Mindbreaker
9th November, 2012 @ 05:24 pm PST

I saw the 4k comments and wasn't sure if that resolution is necessary for something as small as a monitor so I checked some numbers in a PPI calculator.

A 15.4 inch Retina Macbook is 220 PPI (pixels per inch)

iPhone 5 has about 325 PPI

4k/UHD is 3840×2160 and would work out to about 200 PPI on a 22 inch monitor which is proabbly close to "retina" at that viewing distance.

4K on a 28 inch monitor would be 157 PPI.

For comparison the most common screen resolution for 2012 is 1366x768 and works out to just 78 PPI on a 20 inch monitor.

My older 1680x1050 monitor is about 95 PPI and the one in this article is 94 PPI (2500x1080 @ 29 inches)

Apple's $1,000 2560x1440 27" display is 109 PPI

It looks like 4k would be useful for monitors because they are so much closer than TV's but even then 4k per screen under ~28" is about the max that gains would be noticeable at. It will be a while before they become affordable though by the looks of things. LG and Sony just started selling 4k TV's for $20,000 and $24,000 so I assume it will be a while still before I see a 4k monitor in my price range.

Daishi
10th November, 2012 @ 04:19 am PST

I have to agree with BZD, any desktop monitor that has only 1080 vertical resolution is a FAIL, it needs to be at least 1200 or higher.

If you are using a monitor for serious work you need the extra height otherwise there is more vertical scrolling than necessary in documents or CAD drawings.

ivan4
10th November, 2012 @ 01:41 pm PST

@ivan4

You are right. This is the exact problem of the new monitors - the lack of vertical resolution. Unfortunately most people do not get it.

@Diachi

I think that what is important is the actual resolution of the screen. By that I mean the resolution by current common pixel density.

For example 2880x1800 14" screen is no better than 1440x900 screen because it is still lacking the vertical resolution - it is just more crisp.

Kris Lee
10th November, 2012 @ 08:55 pm PST

@Kris Lee

I agree that panel size diversity is a good thing and perhaps I should have been a little more positive in my original statement.

However I am frustrated by the slow place in the development of better displays. Over a decade ago I was using a 20" viewable CRT monitor with 2048x1536 resolution and while this was a premium thing a premium monitor today is 2560x1440 with 30" viewable (and it has been so for a long time). (Note. I am disregarding the insanely priced specialist monitors)

My frustration is not so much with the companies making monitors but with the users not demanding better monitors. It seems most people don't have a clue that they could have something so much better. Thankfully it does seem that with smart phones and pads introducing the wider public to really good screens there is a rise in demand for better monitors all round, but most likely we shall still have to wait for 4K TV's for something to really happen on our desks.

BZD
11th November, 2012 @ 06:43 am PST

Am I the only one, who thinks the ratio should be on the minimum? (for this: 7:3)

Dénes Sebestyén
12th November, 2012 @ 01:27 am PST

According to a dpi calculator (http://members.ping.de/~sven/dpi.html), the LG display has a diagonal of 28.9 inches (73.4 cm), a resolution of 96 ppi, and a dot pitch of 0.264 mm. The ppi is less than what we'd like. But if the price is right, I can see tilting this baby into portrait mode to read an entire article without laying down my coffee cup to scroll. I currently recommend a pair of 1920x1200 or 2560x1440 LCDs, each in landscape but one above the other, using a heavy-duty dual-vertical stand. I actually use two such 1920x1200 setups at home, in a 2x2 LCD array.

Paul Stregevsky
12th November, 2012 @ 08:40 am PST

True Dénes, but I think 21:9 is used for comparison to the common 16:9 screens already in use.

I print photos at 300 dpi. I think this should be the target for a common viewing distance, but that's going to be a while coming.

EJacob Cornelius
12th November, 2012 @ 09:01 am PST

@ Mindbreaker

Reductio ad absurdum, is one of the lowest forms of logical reasoning.

This monitor doesn't appeal to you: we get it - but did it ever occur to you that some people need to create content in a 2.3:1 to 2.5:1 ratio?

In other words; it isn't about the resolution, dpi, refresh rate, GTG, input lag or price; it's about the ratio.

By all means keep banging the drum for 4K, but for everything else; look at the intention of the product, not the (lack of) impact to your small universe.

Bob Dobalina
13th November, 2012 @ 05:02 am PST
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