One of the interesting elements in the new wave of monitor technologies is the types of ideas that panel manufacturers are coming up with. In the enterprise space, custom display configurations occur more frequently than we might expect, but for consumers there tends to be a line of standardization. Samsung, being vertically integrated, gives them the opportunity to experiment more than most. Even then, as a reviewer in the industry, one develops certain expectations of what might be coming in the future. Consider me stumped, as TFTCentral has delved into Samsung’s upcoming roadmaps and panel production schedules to pull out one or two surprises.

49-inch 3840x1080, or ‘Double Full-HD / DFHD’

For readers on the leading-edge of monitor configurations, ultra-wide displays in the 21:9 aspect ratio have been on the radar for about two years. These are monitors that have a 2560x1080 display, stretching the horizontal dimension of a standard 1920x1080 Full-HD monitor and make it easier to display modern cinema widescreen format content with less black bars. They are also claimed to assist with peripheral vision when gaming beyond a standard 1920x1080 display, or when curved, help with immersive content.

So chalk up some surprise when we hear that Samsung has an even wider format panel in the works. 3840x1080 represents a 32:9 aspect ratio, and the report states that this will be a VA panel with 1800R curvature and a 3-side frameless design. Putting that many pixels in a large display gives a relatively low 81.41 PPI. This panel will be part of Samsung’s ‘Grand Circle’ format, and by supporting up to 144 Hz it is expected that variants of this panel will be included with FreeSync/GSYNC technologies.  One figure to note would be the contrast ratio – 5000:1 (static), which TFTCentral states is higher than current Samsung VA panels.

44-inch 3840x1200

This panel is the equivalent two 24.7-inch 1920x1200 screens put side-by-side, and indicates which market Samsung would be aiming for. The specifications seem to be almost identical to the 3840x1080 panel, such as 1800R curvature, but in a 29:9 aspect ratio with 60 Hz and 144 Hz variants. Pixel density is slightly higher than the other panel too, given the higher resolution and lower diagonal, which gives 91.41 PPI. TFTCentral is listing these panels as having an 8-bit color depth (no word on FRC), and likely to be qualified on some amount of sRGB. Other numbers, such as brightness and response time, are still unknown.

An amusing aside, for any users looking for a 16:10 display, something like two of these stacked on top of each other might be suitable (albeit massive) if these panels also offer a 3-side borderless configuration. I know Ryan has been after a decent 3840x2400 display, but given our discussions with monitor manufacturers, there seems to be no 16:10 demand from consumers.

A bad mockup of two non-curved 16:10 displays

So while these two panels aren’t official announcements (they don't even have official part numbers yet), and production will depend on how well these technologies scale. But by virtue of being on roadmaps and panel lists it is clear that Samsung has at least been doing research towards some wider aspect ratio displays. Information from TFTCentral is claiming mass production for both of these panels in September 2017, which means we might see some early announcements for retail-grade panels at Computex in June, or at IFA at the end of August with some pre-production run models. Full retail then might happen in the second half of the year, or along with further announcements at CES in January. 

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Source: TFTCentral

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  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    "...but given our discussions with monitor manufacturers, there seems to be no 16:10 demand from consumers."

    I think monitor manufacturers aren't seeing consumer demand becuase they aren't selling 16:10 products which means if there is any demand it can't be met anyhow so we're all resigned to using 16:9 or whatever else is available. Then again, that's just from the perspective of someone that prefers 16:10 or 4:3 screens so its probably skewed by personal bias.
  • Valantar - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    After I got a 27" monitor, I stopped caring about desktop monitor height, even if ~half of its area is wasted outside of gaming and videos. Both physical height and the 1440 on-screen pixels is plenty for me.

    On laptops, on the other hand, I'd like to see an industry-wide move to 3:2 or 4:3 displays. 16:9 on displays in that size range just doesn't make sense. I mean, my 5.7" phone gives me something like 4/5 of the display height of my 12" laptop - and that's a 16:10 laptop. Of course the narrowness of the phone makes it unusable for actual work, but why limit the laptop to barely displaying more lines of text than the phone to begin with? I get that vertically oriented displays are awful to use (for the most part), but overly horizontally oriented ones just don't make sense for doing actual work ... There's a reason why paper sizes have landed on roughly 3:2 size ratios.
  • quielo - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    For doing real work having numerous documents side-by-side would be very useful.
  • rascalion - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    I've been using 3 Dell Ultrasharp 16:10 displays for the last 5 years. I personally prefer the extra height over the 16:9 displays. I just retired them in favor of a single 21:9 display. I would have preferred a 21:10 display if such a thing existed.
  • Biernot - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    There is no (or should not be) demand for 16:10 1200p monitors anymore.

    Back in the days, when 24" 1080p/1200p was the best size a normal consumer could realistically get without paying an arm and a leg for something better (e.g. 1600p 30" apple display), 16:10 made sense. 1080 vertical pixels is just small enough to make you feel a bit cramped during typical everyday use (i'm talking mainly office-related workload like word, excel, programming, etc.). The added 120 pixel from a 1200p screen helped a lot and made the monitor not much more expensive.

    But in the last years, 25-27" 1440p monitors dropped into the previous price range of the 24" 1200p 16:10 monitors and just made them more or less obsolete. I mean, why would you buy a 24" 1200p monitor for (probably) around $250, if you can get an IPS 25" 1440p for only $300?
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    ... because the obsolescent USB3 docking stations my employer uses top out at single channel DVI and the equivalent HMDI resolution. And to be fair, at USB3.0 speeds running two monitors would need potentially problematic levels of compression if one or both were running at 1440p.
  • BurntMyBacon - Monday, April 10, 2017 - link

    @Biernot: "The added 120 pixel from a 1200p screen helped a lot and made the monitor not much more expensive."

    Perhaps I'm reading too much into what you are saying, but you should know that 16:10 resolutions hit the computer industry before 16:9. First with 1680x1050 in 2003 and gaining in popularity with 1920x1200 until 2008. In 2009, the 16:9 format passed up the 16:10 format. The cited reason is cost. It was cheaper to buy a 1920x1080 display than a 1920x1200. When I was in the market around that time, the price difference was significant ($420 vs $260) for two otherwise similar displays. Manufacturers also brought in a plethora of cheap 1366x768 (considered 16:9) and 1280x720 displays and quickly saturated the market with 16:9 displays.

    The point being, they didn't add 120 pixels to get 1920x1200. They subtracted 120 pixels to get 1920x1080. This wasn't a move based on some conceived notion of the superiority of the aspect ratio. It was entirely a cost cutting exercise. Even the cinema argument made no sense as a great many movies that were released when 16:9 was making this argument were even wider (1.85:1, 2.39:1) and standard definition media was still quite prevalent.

    Fast forward to today and you're correct. It makes more sense to purchase a 27" 2560x1440 monitor than a 24" 1920x1200. That said, I would most certainly prefer a 2560x1600 monitor (assuming that its price was somewhat comparable to the 2560x1440).
  • BurntMyBacon - Monday, April 10, 2017 - link

    Forgot to link my source:
  • rocky12345 - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    Yep 16:10 I find to be better than the 16:9 aspect ratio my projector is 16:10 and it is great for gaming on.
  • Fujikoma - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - link

    I used a 16:10, 24" IPS for 1008P video editing. After purchasing a 49" 4K monitor, I just use the 24" for colour correction and spread everything out on the 49". I may change my mind if I get into 4K editing and just drop the change on a good IPS monitor. 60Hz is all I really need, since my games are all too old for a higher refresh rate to make any difference.

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