There were a few things that I saw last month at CES 2014 in Las Vegas that didn't really register in my head as big innovations until I got back home. Chief among them is a 34-inch flat-screen 3440 x 1440 HD monitor from LG that most show attendees just wandered right past without giving a second glance. Weeks later I increasingly covet that monitor, better known as the UltraWide UM95.
I would have passed it up on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor myself if a friend, who runs a computer repair shop in my hometown, hadn't pulled me over, saying "you gotta check this out, it's so cool."
At the time, I was more concerned about tracking down little-known wearable devices with massive potential, or gawking at the towering 4K screens that could even bend and flex. Next to a display pumping out that many millions of pixels, it was tough to get excited in the moment about a really wide computer monitor.
But since then, I've been noticing all the places a stretched out 34-inch display with 21:9 aspect ratio could come in handy. That's literally twice as wide as my largest laptop screen that's become my default system, even when working at a desk. How fantastic it would be to dock up any of my systems and instantly double the screen real estate without having to fiddle with screen sharing settings and multiple monitors.
In recent weeks, I've also noticed that just about every office I visit could definitely stand to consolidate their multiple monitors down to one ultrawide like this. And there's something about adding those few extra inches (LG also offers a 29-inch widescreen, as do other OEMs) that really changes the game – it really is two monitors in one.
The folks at the Consumer Electronics Association seemed to agree – they gave the UltraWide UM95 a CES Innovation Award. You can read a little more about the monitor's specs here. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go look for a wider desk.