Dell built a huge 27-inch 'Canvas' display for artists

Its other new monitors include an 8K beauty.

If Microsoft's Surface Studio proved anything, it's that companies are less afraid to break with desktop traditions these days. In that vein, Dell introduced the Canvas today at CES, a sprawling 27-inch touchscreen device that's meant to take on Wacom's devices for digital artists. It's unlike anything we've seen from Dell so far, and it's yet another reminder that there's still plenty of room for innovation on the desktop front.

The Canvas sits right below your standard monitor, and it can either be laid flat or angled up like an easel. It's basically an articulating quad-HD (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) second screen for artists. It supports up to 20 points of touch, 100 percent of Adobe's RGB color gamut and naturally there's stylus support. (It can even work with Wacom's pens.)

Dell is also packing in an accessory called a "Totem" -- a circular off-hand device that resembles the Surface Dial. In fact, it's tapping into the same APIs Microsoft created for the Studio, and you'll be able to use the Surface Dial on the Canvas if you've got one. The Canvas is also running an exclusive version of Stardock's Fences software, which lets you easily organize your desktop and workspace.

While the Canvas looks a bit unwieldy for a 27-inch display, especially with those large bezels, Dell reps tell us that artists prefer having enough room around their drawing surfaces to rest their palms. That's particularly important when working along the edges of the screen.

If it were announced any other year, the Canvas would seem like a baffling curiosity. But now that we've seen how useful the Surface Studio can be, it's a lot more intriguing. Dell says it was working on the Canvas long before they even had an inkling of the Surface Studio, so it's not just a case of the company being a follower either. You can snag a Canvas for $2,000 on March 30th.

We've already seen Dell's attractive 27 Ultrathin monitor, but the company also has plenty of other intriguing displays at CES this year. There's the 32-inch 8K (7,680 by 4,320 pixels) monitor, which could be useful for artists and photographers working on massive files. It supports 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut (just like the Canvas), 98 percent of the DCI-P3 range and 80 percent of Rec2020. Basically, it's one of the most accurate monitors on the market. But, of course, it'll cost you a whopping $5,000 when it launches on March 23rd.

Dell's 24 Touch display is another intriguing addition, since it's an easy way to bring touchscreen support to a desktop. Its 24-inch screen only has a 1080p resolution, but it can articulate up and down like Microsoft's Surface, which could be useful for some touchscreen apps. At $400, it's a bit more expensive than similarly sized monitors, though.

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