ViewSonic Details New Gaming Monitors, Why There’s No OLED

ViewSonic has announced a full stable of new gaming monitors as part of CES 2021 this week. The lineup covers a range of resolutions and sizes, as well as some of the hottest new tech to hit gaming screens this year: HDMI 2.1 and Nvidia’s Reflex latency analyzer. If you’re into display trends, one absent from the lineup is OLED. But, as ViewSonic product marketing specialist Ray Hedrick told us during a special Tom’s Hardware livestream for CES 2021, there are reasons for that.

ViewSonic Elite XG271QG

 ViewSonic Elite XG271QG  (Image credit: ViewSonic)

First, let’s talk about what ViewSonic does have. The vendor announced five monitors that will strive to make our Best Gaming Monitors list. They appeal to a variety of preferences from 24- 32 inches and 1080p resolution up to 4K. The brand shared release time frames but noted it wasn’t ready to share prices yet. 

 ViewSonic CES 2021 Gaming Monitor Specs 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ModelSize Panel TypeMax Resolution and Refresh Rate Response TimeAdaptive-SyncColorHDRPorts Availability Extra
Elite XG320U32 inchesIPS3840 x 2160 @ 144 Hz 1msAMD FreeSync Premium Pro99% AdobeRGBVESA DisplayHDR 600HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, USB-A/B, audio-outSummer 2021Row 0 - Cell 10
Elite XG320Q32 inchesIPS2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz 1ms G-Sync Compatible99% AdobeRGBVESA DisplayHDR 600HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B, audio-outSummer 2021 Nvidia Reflex
Elite XG321UG32 inchesIPS, Mini LED backlight (1,152 zones)3840 x 2160 @ 144 HzNot disclosed G-Sync Ultimate99% AdobeRGBVESA DisplayHDR 1000 HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B. audio-outSummer 2021Row 2 - Cell 10
Elite XG271QG27 inchesIPS2560 x 1440 @ 240 Hz 1ms G-Sync99% AdobeRGB VESA DisplayHDR 400HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B. audio-outApril 2021 Nvidia Reflex
Elite XG243124 inchesIPS1920 x 1080 @ 240 1ms AMD FreeSync PremiumNot disclosed VESA DisplayHDR 400 HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B, audio-outMarch 2021Row 4 - Cell 10

ViewSonic is one of several brands to debut an HDMI 2.1 monitor at CES this year, which allows the screens to hit up to a 120 Hz refresh rate compression-free with 4K content. That’s a stark upgrade from the 60 Hz limitation HDMI 2.0 had. Of course, to compete with the best 4K gaming monitors, it helps to hit 144 Hz, and ViewSonic gets there via DisplayPort on the Elite XG320U, (which has HDMI 2.1), and Elite XG321UG, (which is still on HDMI 2.0). 

Notably, all the gaming monitors announced are IPS. None are OLED, and that’s despite ViewSonic showing off a 55-inch 4K OLED gaming monitor prototype at CES 2020. 

“Actually we looked at a 55-inch [OLED] that we determined not to bring to market because we actually thought that the TV side and what they were bringing on TV in terms of G-Sync support and whatnot might actually make that a harder product to sell,” ViewSonic’s Hedrick told us during our livestream today. 

ViewSonic Elite XG271QG

ViewSonic Elite XG271QG (Image credit: ViewSonic)

Although Hedrick admitted that there are advantages to OLED, such as great HDR due to virtually infinite contrast and good response times, burn-in is still a concern when you think of using OLED for a daily PC monitor. 

“If you’re using [OLED] as a computer monitor everyday, you’re gonna have your desktop on there for several hours a day, and that’s always going to be a problem for OLED,” Hedrick said. “And you can pixel shift quite a bit, but you’re gonna end up with issues with burn-in eventually.” 

Hedrick also pointed to obstacles in achieving peak brightness levels across the entire screen, rather than just 10% of the panel.

“I think OLEDs are really promising, but I think the technology needs to advance a little bit more to make it better for something that’s gonna sit on your desk, and stay on all day and just show the same image over and over,” Hedrick said. 

And of course, there’s price. For one, suppliers aren’t really desk-sized OLED panels. And regardless of size, there’s a premium shoppers would have to pay for an OLED gaming monitor. 

“If I have a 27” display I have to convince someone to spend more than $1,000 on it because of the display technology, it might be a much harder ask,” Hedrick pointed out. 

For more on ViewSonic’s CES 2021 lineup, including thoughts on VA and TN panels and the brand’s new 240 Hz gaming projector, check out the video above or visit the Tom’s Hardware YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Scharon Harding

Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.

  • InvalidError
    "there is a premium to be paid for OLED monitors."

    When OLEDs were first pitched to consumers about 20 years ago, it was expected to enable cheap printable wall-sized displays in the not too distant future to the point that the very low replacement cost would make the burn-in concerns moot. Today, OLEDs still have burn-in issues and are still far too expensive for most people to accept as consumables.
  • kaalus
    Give me high resolution and high refresh rate over OLED any day. I am waiting for 8K 32" monitor with 60Hz at 8K and 144Hz at 4K upscaled over a single cable.