Show Me the Gimmicks: Surprising Monitor Features Coming in 2019

About the author
Scharon Harding

Scharon Harding is Senior Editor at Tom's Hardware. She has a special affinity for monitors, laptops and virtual reality. Previously, Scharon covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.

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14 comments
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  • truerock
    I do not want a sound bar attached to my monitor. I do not want anything attached to my monitor except 1 USB-C, Thunderbolt cable.
  • Giroro
    What's so jaw dropping about Dell making an OLED monitor?
    A monitor is just a TV without the TV tuner installed, and OLED TVs have been around for like, almost 10 years. If anything it's jaw dropping that it took so dang long.
    I mean, a few years ago, curved TVs thoroughly failed as a product (and for good reason) and OLED TVs are becoming quite successful - yet manufacturers decided to waste everybody's time with curved monitors before finally giving us what we've been asking for all along.
  • AlistairAB
    Would have been jaw dropping to see a 32 or 40 inch OLED monitor. Everything here was actually sad and uninspiring.
  • JamesSneed
    I would love to see some built in bias lights on the back of the monitors that change color based on what's on the screen. This works really well for monitors it really should be a common feature as its fairly cheap to implement.
  • gasaraki
    1886042 said:
    What's so jaw dropping about Dell making an OLED monitor? A monitor is just a TV without the TV tuner installed, and OLED TVs have been around for like, almost 10 years. If anything it's jaw dropping that it took so dang long. I mean, a few years ago, curved TVs thoroughly failed as a product (and for good reason) and OLED TVs are becoming quite successful - yet manufacturers decided to waste everybody's time with curved monitors before finally giving us what we've been asking for all along.


    Monitors and TVs are totally different animals. Try and take a TV and make it your monitor. TVs don't make good monitors at all. I actually don't think OLEDs are a good technology for a computer monitor however. Curved TVs are useless, curved monitors are actually very nice since you sit so close to it.
  • gentlesnow
    I'd be ecstatic to have buttons clearly labeled. Don't know who decided the design aesthetic of being opaque about a device's interface, but can't wait to see this fad die.
  • fireaza
    Regarding “Motion-Activated Port Lighting” I remember old Alienware cases having a light on the back you could turn on in order to let you see the ports on the back of your case. It was such a great idea, it’s a shame that none of the major case manufacturers ever borrowed it.
  • JamesSneed
    499592 said:
    Regarding “Motion-Activated Port Lighting” I remember old Alienware cases having a light on the back you could turn on in order to let you see the ports on the back of your case. It was such a great idea, it’s a shame that none of the major case manufacturers ever borrowed it.


    Yeah its odd the sensible things have not caught on. Like using RGB lights to light all the motherboard ports like color coding the audio outs etc with light. Or monitors using RGB for propper bias lighting which is awsome for monitors sitting up close makes them seem to have higher contrast. Or similar to this having a motion sensor near front panel ports on PC cases that then light up to help plug into the case.
  • mlee 2500
    I would love to see that motion sensing LED light idea make it's way to the back of PC's as well. It would be cool to have that in the back of Home Theater amps and receivers as well, for that matter.

    Really, low power LED lighting is one of the most underrated but revolutionary advances of the past couple decades.
  • InvalidError
    138134 said:
    Monitors and TVs are totally different animals.

    They are fundamentally the same, especially with newer TVs that have low(er)-latency computer/console input option. The main drawback is that having a 50" TV on your desk can be a neck-breaking experience if you like sitting something like 25" from your monitor. I typically sit 35-40" from my 24" monitor and would be fine using a 50" TV on my desk - I did it for a few weeks but didn't like having to give up on all my desk shelves to put that there at a suitable height, so I ended up going back to my 24" monitor for primary and wall-mounting the TV above as a secondary display.
  • photonboy
    1) 65" monitor? LMAO.
    2) motion sensitive light on back of monitor can't come soon enough? (how about a FLASHLIGHT? Problem solved. sigh.)
    3) Single speaker at base of monitor? What? Unless there's more speakers that makes no sense since we have TWO ears.
    4) DELL OLED?
    Okay, it's 120Hz. Great... but another "monitor" that is 55"?? How big does it get where you stop calling it a monitor? And at this point why not just have a regular HDTV with a low-latency GAMING INPUT like some do already?

    *And is the burn-in issue solved? I've talked to experts and they say NO. There are still TWO issues that are related. One is burn-in which means if you leave the same image long enough you can't get rid of it. The second is IMAGE RETENTION which means if you have a static image long enough there's a DELAY such as going to a BLACK SCREEN and still seeing a ghost image of something (ironically made WORSE by the deeper blacks).

    All modern OLED screens AFAIK move lines every so often up and down a couple pixels to minimize burn-in so with new OLED technology and/or improvements to how this is done hopefully OLED is ready.

    *Mini-LED is very interesting too. We don't really need every pixel to have complete black to bright control. If the area is SMALL enough (increasing number of local-dimming LED's) you get about the same effect.
  • photonboy
    1,025 mini-LED's sounds amazing but in context that means it still adjusts 8,092 pixels each LED.

    You don't need one LED per pixel to potentially get the same effect as OLED but I don't know where the point becomes (for 1:1 viewing distance) where it's hard to tell the difference... probably going below 100 pixels per LED is pointless.

    I'm guessing that mini-LED monitor is Q-LED (Quantum LED) but not sure... for those who don't know OLED (Organic LED) has each sub-pixel produce its own light (each pixel is three lights of red, green blue). So pixel off means no light aside from light externally reflected off the screen.

    Q-LED uses existing LCD technology. An LCD screen just FILTERS out what you do NOT want for each sub-pixel as it passes through from the rear LED. So GREEN filters out the non-green wavelengths of right (above and below a range).

    But... it's hard to BLOCK the light from leaking through so you don't get pure black. The best solution they came up with was to use existing LED's and sprinkle them with fairy dust, err... particles that ABSORB the broad spectrum then re-emit the light in a more NARROW range.

    Then they use an LCD panel designed to expect light in that range which allows for more control and thus less light leakage (deeper blacks) at a much higher brightness.

    OLED will win eventually, but Q-LED + mini-LED is a great alternative mostly because existing manufacturing plants don't need to re-tool... the main issues with OLED really are:
    a) cost to manufacture, and
    b) burn-in and/or image retention

    OLED is surprisingly COMPLICATED to make currently but the end goal is to create an organic material they can simply PRINT on, so basically lay down the copper traces for current then squirt on the OLED material etc.
  • InvalidError
    67821 said:
    1,025 mini-LED's sounds amazing but in context that means it still adjusts 8,092 pixels each LED.

    HiSense has a different approach: put a 1080p B&W panel behind the main 4k panel instead of using LED array dimming. Not as energy-efficient but you get 2M dimming zones.
  • JamesSneed
    125865 said:
    67821 said:
    1,025 mini-LED's sounds amazing but in context that means it still adjusts 8,092 pixels each LED.
    HiSense has a different approach: put a 1080p B&W panel behind the main 4k panel instead of using LED array dimming. Not as energy-efficient but you get 2M dimming zones.


    Over 1000 zones on a 30-32 inch monitor should be pretty effective at increasing contrast. Also I suspect there will be models with a lot more dimming zones say 4000 or so at 32 inches. I will have to see it and read reviews before jumping on board. This may be a really good compromise to get higher contrast and HDR in a monitor and not have to use OLED to do it.