Monitors at CES 2013: More of the same

Don't expect too much in the way of innovations for monitors at CES 2013, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Expect the extreme definition 27-inch trend to continue. Josh Miller/CNET

Monitors made some quiet strides in 2012. From the ramping up of extreme definition, 27-inch displays, to the proliferation of touch screens, monitor shoppers have never had such high-quality and varied choices.

Next month at CES 2013, I expect more of the same, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. CES will likely bring more refinements and baby-step evolution as opposed to a complete technological revolution.

Wider aspect ratios
Earlier this year, Dell, LG, and Phillips announced new 29-inch, 21:9 aspect ratio monitors with native resolutions of 2,560x1,080 pixels. These displays are geared toward graphic artists looking for a bit more in the way of horizontal space than the usual 16:9 aspect ratio monitors.

This ultrawide aspect ratio is definitely intriguing, but since I'm no artist, I'm much more interested in their gaming applications than anything else. Expect the previously announced monitors and possibly others to be featured at CES 2013.

Touch screens
Windows 8 ain't going anywhere anytime soon, and though its interface has a pretty high learning curve (Microsoft estimates it takes up to two weeks to get used to it), once you get the hang of it, navigating the OS can, at times, be preferable to the typical mouse and keyboard interface.

Thanks to Windows 8, expect to see lots of monitor groping at CES 2013. Dell

There will be plenty of touch screens on display at CES for those willing to delve deeply into the bowels of the interface.

3D ain't going nowhere
After watching "The Hobbit" in 3D (at 48 frames per second), I'm actually coming around on the whole 3D thing. Personally, however, my enjoyment of it may have to do with my love of the movie, the 48fps framerate, and the fact that I watched it on a gigantic screen. In other words, I'm still waiting for Hollywood and the video game industry to convince me that 3D is worth my time at home.

Also, people (myself included) still pay to watch 3D movies in the theater, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. I'm going to go out on a limb here that 3D monitors will continue to be manufactured and for the less expensive passive 3D option to take over as the preferred method of immersing you into imaginary worlds.

Cheap IPS and extreme definition
Quality IPS monitors can now be found for as low as $150 and I'm expecting this affordability to continue and for many cheap IPS monitors to pop up at the upcoming show.

This year saw 27-inch extreme-definition monitors come into their own in terms of price and proliferation, so don't be surprised if we see a lot more 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution monitors show up at the show.

No promises
These are all simply educated guesses based on my experience with the monitor market. I don't know for certain what we'll see at CES. Manufacturers have been, thus far, pretty coy with their plans. If I hear any concrete plans between now and the start of the show, I'll be sure to post them here.

 

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