PC hardware maker MSI has introduced a new gaming monitor, dubbed the Optix MEG381CQR Plus. It's a symbolic upgrade of the non-Plus version we have already covered here. According to MSI, this is the world's first gaming monitor with a 'Human-Machine Interface' (HMI) concept. Could this new display earn itself a spot on our best gaming monitor page?
No, that doesn't mean it has a touchscreen or some other completely novel new way of interacting with the screen. But before we get into the details of what MSI deems HMI, let's look at the MEG381CQR Plus's general specs, which are nothing to complain about. It sports an ultra-wide 21:9, 37.5-inch IPS panel and a WQHD resolution of 3,840 x 1,600 pixels.
The monitor features a low 1-ms response time and is paired with Nvidia's G-Sync technology for a stutter-free gaming experience, all while achieving a 175 Hz refresh rate. It has a 2300R curvature rate, providing a more immersive feel for gamers. Vesa's HDR 600 specification is present to feed HDR images for some HDR content consumption.
So, with that out of the way, what's the new Human-Machine Interface concept MSI it's touting here? The company envisions the monitor to be more connected to humans by combining SteelSeries' light-controlling, data-displaying GameSense with MSI's own Mystic RGB lighting, to create a more immersive experience while gaming. According to the press release, "By synching with your in-game activities, it can display vital details of your game through the LED effects. That way you'll get a full grip on your game and your most important stats in a blink of an eye."
Of course, unless the game you're playing is horribly designed, chances are many of those "vital details" will already be represented on your screen, often in ways that are likely more intuitive than can be represented by what looks to be five slim RGB zones on the lower lip of the Optix MEG381CQR Plus.
That said, we welcome the idea of a company doing more with RGB lighting than just adding it to a peripheral, tossing in a few presets, and calling it a day. It will be interesting to see how MSI intends to expand its HMI features on future products. It might be interesting to see the lights on the screen also used to display things like notifications or other alerts outside of gaming as well.
While we'll have to wait for a full review before passing final judgment on MSI's HMI, at this point it feels more like a heavy-handed marketing term than something truly novel and useful. Perhaps that will change as the company adds more substantive features. As for pricing and availability, MSI hasn't yet let that information slip. But considering the monitor's product page is up, we're pretty sure it won't be long before we know more.