Cooler Master’s lineup at CES this year is a bit different than last decade because this time around it's expanding its market in a dramatic way. In fact the company is trying its hand at gaming monitors for the first time and debuted a 34-inch ultrawide and a 27-incher with some clever Cooler Master branding too.
Here at CES, a Cooler Master rep told us that CEO Jimmy Sha wants to cater to the “work and play” audience, so getting into monitors was a natural fit for the company.
Those who have been keeping up with the gaming monitor space know it’s been getting increasingly crowded. Well, Cooler Master is making sure you can definitely identify its two monitors thanks in part to their logo-shaped stands, (which allows 110mm height and 7-degree tilt adjustments) and of course, purple LED lighting on the back as well. That said, you can’t make the lighting any other color, so you better like purple.
The Cooler Master GM34 (opens in new tab) ($749, available this month) is a 34-inch curved ultrawide running at 3440 x 1440 resolution. It can also play HDR (opens in new tab)content at a minimum of 400 nits brightness, but we wish it were at least 1,000 nits for a more notable experience. In terms of straight up gaming performance, Cooler Master’s first ultrawide monitor will hit a 144 Hz refresh rate, and comes packing a 1ms G2G response time as well as AMD's FreeSync 2 HDR tech (opens in new tab). Throw in a low blue light mode, and Cooler Master is hoping to compete with the best gaming monitors (opens in new tab) especially in that 21:9 aspect ratio arena.
The work side of “work and play” is covered thanks to a 95% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage rating, and it’s also specced for 125% sRGB as well. To top it all off you get a 1500R curve ratio and a VA (opens in new tab)panel for high contrast (3,000:1). We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of experience this large monitor will offer.
Cheaper, smaller and refreshing faster is the Cooler Master GM27 ($299 this month). It’s 27-inch form factor kicks the refresh rate up to 165Hz with a 3ms G2G response time and FreeSync. Similarly to the GM34, you still get a 1500R curve, low blue light mode and that VA panel tech (also with a contrast of 3,000:1), but no HDR support. Meanwhile resolution is lower at 1920 x 1080 (opens in new tab), and color gamut coverage is said to be 90% DCI-P3 and 125% sRGB.
There's no denying that Cooler Master already has a full arsenal of gaming peripherals under its belt, namely keyboards (opens in new tab), mice (opens in new tab), and headsets (opens in new tab), so to see it launch monitors too, well it's quite the undertaking. With their far higher price tags and how competitive the industry’s getting with already well established brands, we're keen to see just how the company will perform with its new product lines, and if Cooler Master will earn a spot on gamers’ desks.
But Cooler Master's hope of appealing to people's professional and gaming sides doesn't stop there either. It's also expanding its gaming chair lineup after releasing the Caliber R1 (opens in new tab)for $220 late last year. For 2020, it's releasing the Caliber R2 (opens in new tab)for $299 and the Ergo L (opens in new tab) with a more professional look and aluminum base.