Lenovo is releasing its first mini-LED monitor in April, it announced this week. At $2,499, the 27-inch Lenovo ThinkVision Creator Extreme, which is also a 4K HDR display, will come at a price tag that’s much more attainable than the competing mini-LED PC monitor currently available from Asus.
Mini-LED is a step below microLED and an additional one behind the rich contrast and image quality of an OLED display in some ways. But it’s still more advanced than your typical LED monitor because it lets vendors pack more LEDs into the same amount of space. The Creator Extreme’s diodes are about a half inch across, a Lenovo spokesperson told me.
Like the Asus, Lenovo’s monitor features 1,152 local dimming zones, enabling differing output depending on what the frame calls for in that specific area. That’s hundreds more zones than the 384 dimming zones of the best local dimming LED monitors, including the HP Omen X 65 Emperium, Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27.
I watched a video that primarily consisted of an exploding volcano and some text play on Lenovo’s display, and the contrast of the black against the reds and oranges was deep and powerful. However, I did notice a halo effect around white text. A Lenovo rep said this was due to the nature of mini-LED technology with white text on a black background resulting in the backlight looking gray instead of completely black. This made the text look like it was surrounded by a white-ish glow. However, Lenovo said the issue may be less prominent come release time. This seems key, considering that the PA32UCX and even the aforementioned 384-zone LED monitors mentioned earlier managed to avoid the halo effect during our testing.
The monitor is also certified for a minimum of 1,000 nits brightness with HDR content. With SDR that drops to 600 nits. Targeting creators, the monitor covers 99% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 100% of sRGB and BT.709 with a Delta E of less than 1. While the monitor has a lot going for it from a content creation perspective, this isn’t the best 4K gaming monitor with its 60Hz refresh rate, 14ms response time and lack of G-Sync or FreeSync.
In addition, Lenovo included a touch of style with its famous red used to outline a convenient spot for propping up your smartphone or anything else that could fit (cute dog pics anyone?).
While it’s clear mini-LED is still reserved for creative professionals and those with dough to blow for now, it’s comforting for the rest of us to know the price of the technology is at least able to come down a smidge.
Lenovo ThinkVision Creator Extreme Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Lenovo ThinkVision Creator Extreme||Asus ProArt PA32UCX|
|Panel Type / Backlight||IPS / Mini-LED, 1,152 dimming zones||AHVA-IPS / Mini-LED, 1,152 dimming zones|
|Screen Size||27 inches||32 inches|
|Max Resolution & Refresh Rate||3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz||3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz|
|Response Time (GTG)||14ms||5ms|
|Brightnes||HDR: 1,000 nits; SDR: 600 nits||HDR: 1,200 nits; SDR: 600 nits|
|Ports||1x DisplayPort 1.4; 2x HDMI 2.0; 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A); 1s USB Type-C (charging up to 90W)||DisplayPort 1.2; 3x HDMI 2.0; 4x USB 3.0; 2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-c); 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Price (as of Writing)||$2,499||$4,000|
|Availability||April 2020||Available now|