UltraHD 4K monitors are already available in countries such as the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, but it seems South Africa is not one of the countries targeted for 4K deployment.
ASUS confirmed to MyGaming that it has no plans to bring the UltraHD 4K-boasting PQ321 monitor into the country, and there are no plans to bring in the cheaper 39-inch version of the same monitor either. Both monitors have a staggering resolution set at 3840 x 2160 pixels which equals four 1080p panels stitched together.
UltraHD 4K monitors are still really expensive and the only one cheaply available in the US is the Seiki SE50UY04, a 50-inch monitor that uses a traditional TN panel and retails for around US $1100. It’s cheap because it has the TN panel and at 50 inches its easy enough to build because the pixels don’t have to be crammed so closely together.
More expensive monitors using IPS, or the even more rare IGZO technology (which you’ll find in studio-grade monitors), have to be priced higher because manufacturing costs increase as you shrink the screen’s size. The ASUS PQ321 has an RRP of only US$3,499 – more than three times the price of the Seiki.
It also turns out that the connectors used are vital to the screen’s operation. Using HDMI, the Seiki TV can only manage the 4K resolution at 30Hz, 6-bit colour; while the PQ321 will run at 60Hz, 10-bit colour. Not only will the PQ321 show off more colours, it’ll also be the better performer in games and desktop applications.
Its unfortunate that the technology is still so new and expensive that it makes adoption for most people nearly pointless. It is a good sign, however, that multiple brands are working on their own 4K monitors. Sony, Samsung, and LG are working on getting their products out there and Samsung has begun shipping its 4K monitors in Japan and China.