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.
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
|Model||Size||Panel Type||Max Resolution and Refresh Rate||Response Time||Adaptive-Sync||Color||HDR||Ports||Availability||Extra|
|Elite XG320U||32 inches||IPS||3840 x 2160 @ 144 Hz||1ms||AMD FreeSync Premium Pro||99% AdobeRGB||VESA DisplayHDR 600||HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, USB-A/B, audio-out||Summer 2021||Row 0 - Cell 10|
|Elite XG320Q||32 inches||IPS||2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz||1ms||G-Sync Compatible||99% AdobeRGB||VESA DisplayHDR 600||HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B, audio-out||Summer 2021||Nvidia Reflex|
|Elite XG321UG||32 inches||IPS, Mini LED backlight (1,152 zones)||3840 x 2160 @ 144 Hz||Not disclosed||G-Sync Ultimate||99% AdobeRGB||VESA DisplayHDR 1000||HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B. audio-out||Summer 2021||Row 2 - Cell 10|
|Elite XG271QG||27 inches||IPS||2560 x 1440 @ 240 Hz||1ms||G-Sync||99% AdobeRGB||VESA DisplayHDR 400||HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B. audio-out||April 2021||Nvidia Reflex|
|Elite XG2431||24 inches||IPS||1920 x 1080 @ 240||1ms||AMD FreeSync Premium||Not disclosed||VESA DisplayHDR 400||HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-A/B, audio-out||March 2021||Row 4 - Cell 10|
ViewSonic is one of several brands to debut (opens in new tab)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.
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.
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.