Asus' new PQ321 4K monitor will be released at the end of June and brings with it some pretty beefy display capabilities. The 31.5-inch monitor can output images and video up to a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. That's a lot of high-resolution desktop for its US$4,000 asking price. But is it worth it? Our friends over at The Verge were able to get a hands-on test of the monitor and have come to a simple conclusion: this screen is a beast but might be too much monitor for MacBook Pro users.
The Verge tested the monitor out on a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and a GeForce GT 650M GPU. They found that even with the GPU capable of handling the 4K's ultra-high output, the best the MacBook could do was upscale content to meet the 4k's resolution. Even then high-performance programs like Adobe Lightroom experienced lag, which is understandable.
The Asus monitor provides an object lesson in tech that anyone looking at optimizing their setup needs to remember. Technology is moving fast, and while a high-end MacBook Pro right now might not be able to handle all the pixel real estate provided by the Asus 4K, future models will.
We're talking about a brand-new cutting edge monitor that is being tested on year-old hardware. The 4K currently retails for $4,000 and is the sort of hyper-detail monitor that, at that price, will mainly appeal to hardcore graphic design professionals. Someone who is an early adopter of a hyper-resolution monitor is the sort of person who has a desktop computer capable of handling this much power.
Multi-monitor work is the future, but for now we need to remember that as powerful as the current generation of MacBooks are, they are essentially already old hardware. That they would struggle with the new Asus 4K monitor shouldn't be a surprise, as most current-day computers would also struggle. It's just a reminder that something more powerful is always around the corner.
Head over to The Verge to check out the rest of their mini-review. It's a fascinating look at the strengths and limitations of the monitor.