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AOC Reveals 16-Inch Monitor That Connects Via USB Type-C

AOC introduced at CES 2017 a 16-inch monitor that connects to a Mac or PC via USB 3.1 Type-C connection. The company said in a press release that this is the first display of its kind, but given the increasing popularity of USB 3.1 Type-C, it probably isn't going to be the last. Nature abhors a vacuum; companies hate untapped markets.

On to the monitor. AOC said it features a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an IPS panel. The company also highlighted a Low Blue Light feature that--as its name implies--reduces the amount of blue light shed by the display by "controlling color temperature without sacrificing color accuracy." This could prove useful who need to use their devices late at night, for example, because too much exposure to blue light after sunset can interfere with the body's production of sleep hormones. The result: a lot of very tired people.

The main draw is the USB 3.1 Type-C connection. This allows the monitor to connect to a Mac or PC without requiring multiple cables, because it receives both video signals and power from a single connection. The cables are also bi-directional--gone are the days of trying to plug in a USB device, turning it over because it wouldn't go in the first time, and potentially turning it over again because old USB connections seemed to reside in some fourth dimension. The monitor, in other words, is all about convenience.

AOC bundled a "foldable smart cover" with this monitor that allows it to be stood up horizontally or vertically. Software automatically rotates the display based on the monitor's orientation, much like mobile operating systems do with a smartphone or tablet. (The company didn't say if this feature could be disabled for people holding at an angle instead of sticking it in the smart cover.) All told, the product sounds like it's meant for the general consumer, not someone who expects a professional monitor or gaming device.

The monitor--which has been granted the unenviable moniker of AOC 16” class USB-C Monitor (I1601FWUX), will debut at online retailers in Q2 2017 with an MSRP of $199.

AOC 16” class USB-C Monitor (I1601FWUX)
Size15.6"
Resolution1920 x 1080
View AngleIPS 160°/160° (CD<10)
Brightness220 cd/m2
Response Time5ms (OD)
I/OUSB 3.1 Type-C x 1
FeaturesAuto PivotUltra Slim (8.5m)Light Weight (800g)Smart CoverLow Blue Light
AvailabilityQ2 2017MSRP $199
  • hdmark
    What would be the use for a monitor like this? Im sure there is im just not positive.

    I could see this being a secondary (or 3rd/4th) monitor for updates/highlights. or potentially if it had touch, adding a touchpad to a computer.

    maybe as a secondary to a laptop? or even a tablet?
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    I'm wondering when video cards will start having USB-C ports on them instead of DP and HDMI.
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    Hdmark, this is something I would absolutely buy. I bring my mini-itx PC over to my friends' often enough that I split a second monitor with him so that I can use it when I come over.

    With this monitor, I could just throw it in the same case as my computer and be set for traveling.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    19116625 said:
    I'm wondering when video cards will start having USB-C ports on them instead of DP and HDMI.
    USB-C requires extra circuitry to route USB3 and DP signals through the connector, HDMI and DP don't. If you put USB port on graphics cards, GPUs would have to add USB circuitry to display ports which would drive up complexity and cost.

    Unless displays with USB-C become common, I wouldn't expect GPUs to use type-C any time soon.
    Reply
  • anbello262
    I think that what we actually need is for motherboard manufacturers and gpu makers to develop a (low latency) way to use the gpu, but route the video signal through the motherboard, in order to use the PCs other usb-C.

    I mean, graphics card would route its video signal through PCI, that though the motherboard, and that out through the motherboards USB-C.
    Reply
  • Justin_25
    ASUS MB169C+ is already available with nearly the exact same specs. Not sure about the automatic vertical orientation switching thing, but that can be done thru Windows regardless.
    Reply
  • weilin
    They already have something:

    https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Expansion-Card-Motherboards-ThunderboltEX/dp/B01HDUVJ54

    You use a little 1 foot jumper cable to connect your video card to the bottom connector on the card. This gives the USB-C port DP capabilities...
    Reply
  • robertrobert
    19116486 said:
    What would be the use for a monitor like this?
    maybe as a secondary to a laptop? or even a tablet?

    That's exactly why I need it. I'm a freelancer. When I go to a client's office and walk them through some work or concepts, only one other person has a good view. If there are 3-4 others, I can have this mirror the display for the other side of the small conference table. In a big meeting room, I just broadcast to the video conference screen, but in an executive's corner office with a small table, it's ideal.
    Reply
  • difuid
    19116486 said:
    What would be the use for a monitor like this? Im sure there is im just not positive.

    I could see this being a secondary (or 3rd/4th) monitor for updates/highlights. or potentially if it had touch, adding a touchpad to a computer.

    maybe as a secondary to a laptop? or even a tablet?

    It is more of a proof of concept if anything, USB-C could drive (as in supply power and signals) bigger monitors as well. Only problem is that GPU card and motherboard manufacturers are neglecting the tech as developing the power routing would cut into their bottom line.

    I personally would love to use single cable monitors.
    Reply
  • unclebun
    I've actually started looking at similar monitors that run on regular USB cables to replace a digital picture frame we've used at our reception desk which scrolls through photos of recent work. The digital frame is getting flaky after many years and has to be manually loaded with the pictures; the USB monitor could run multimonitor with the receptionist computer and display a slideshow app that's pointed to a folder on our server. Powered only by a USB cable is a neat, tidy solution, and this type of monitor tends to have an easel stand like a picture frame.
    Reply