Asus is about to introduce the world’s first consumer 4K monitor with a not so consumerish price tag. The Asus PQ321Q is a 31.5-inch behemoth priced at $3,499 at major US e-tailers and the official availability date is July 16.
Although the price won’t go down well with the average consumer, or quite a few professionals for that matter, the spec sheet is very impressive indeed. It boasts a 3840×2160 Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide panel with a ppi count of 140 pixels. At 35mm it’s very thin, too. It consumes up to 93W of energy, but in standby mode it goes down to 6W or 1W depending on the setting.
The viewing angles are 176 degrees, brightness stands at 350cd/m2 and the gray-to-gray response time is 8ms. Of course, the monitor can also be used as a TV hybrid, although the lack of 4K content and relatively small size would make such an exercise quite pointless.
Asus is already working on an ever bigger version of the monitor, with a 39-inch panel.
Mind you, although the price may seem rather outlandish, it is actually not as bad as it seems. A few years ago the first 1080p or WUXGA panels cost even more at launch, but within a few years prices dropped north of $1,000, rendering them affordable for many businesses and enthusiasts.
4K might reinvigorate the anaemic desktop PC market, but we’ll have to wait for at least a couple of years to see the first truly affordable consumer devices.