Opinion: Still drooling over this LG HD monitor a month after CES
LG's UltraWide UM95 packs a QHD (3440 x 1440) resolution
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.
About the Author
Eric Mack has been covering technology and the world since the late 1990s. As well as being a Gizmag regular, he currently contributes to CNET, NPR and other outlets.
All articles by Eric Mack
Only 34"? Too small. At that aspect ratio, I'd want nothing smaller than 47", and at that size, it would have to be a curved screen.
One use for ultra wide monitors like this is excel because it handles dual monitors poorly but I'm still a dual monitor guy because I like being able to watch youtube or netflix in one monitor while I do something on the other monitor. I think the aspect ratio would annoy me trying to watch video in full screen.
Before Windows 8 I ran actual multiple monitors to extend the taskbar to the 2nd monitor but now its supported with windows.
Most games still use 1 monitor at a time but I don't mind because I usually run email, vent, mumble etc. on the 2nd monitor. I wish more games would give the option of using a 2nd monitor to display a map though :(
just get twin 30" displays. They're less than $999 each, give you 5120 x 1600 resolution, and when stuff you do pops itself into full-screen-mode (video windows, browsers, virtual desktops, whatever), that only uses up 1 monitor, instead of giving you ~50% of wasted black space at the edges (or you can un-full-screen it, and stretch the window to the full width of both displays). You can even do two full-screen things at once (handy for checking output video quality against originals).
If you're on a macbook pro, it can drive twin 2560x1600 30" displays as well as it's internal 2880x1800 screen, and it's still got capacity left over to do a 4th (eg: airplay to 1080p)... all at once.
Where this falls down is watching 1080 video in Portrait at native resolution.
Portrait is common for for say, family events where you want to capture individuals feet and all without compromising on detail because you have to stand too far back.
You can pick up 27" 2560x1440 IPS panels now for as cheap as about $300/each. I got 2 of them from Monoprice and its amazing.
I'm not sure if I am ready for dual 30" displays on my desk. I was surprised how much bigger 27s seem compared to my old 24's.
It's interesting how none of the so called "limitations" of these types of large format or even multimonitor setups mentioned in the comments are valid. Clearly people have never even used them or still don't understand the basic software optimization needed to get them operating how you want.
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