LG Announces Monitor with Crazy 16:18 Aspect Ratio
If you’re the type of web content consumer who likes your monitor rotated vertically so you don’t have to scroll as much, the new LG DualUP (28MQ780) should be right up your alley. Instead of the typical widescreen, rectangular shape we’ve been using for about 15 years, LG has chosen what is essentially a square shape for the DualUP, making it the perfect size for people who want to see an entire webpage at once, or presumably for people who write code for a living. It’s essentially like taking two small monitors and stacking them vertically on top of one another.
Historically, most monitors used a 4:3 aspect ratio, like television. Roughly 15 years ago, widescreen displays which offered 16:10 and 16:9 aspect ratios became more popular. 16:9 has dominated the industry for years, but we’ve seen a few other ratios pop up again recently, including 21:9, some 16:10 panels and devices like Microsoft’s Surface family, which typically offer panels in a 3:2 ratio. This new panel is a 16:18 ratio.
The monitor boasts a resolution of 2560×2880, which LG has christened “Square Double QHD.” The 27.6″ IPS panel has rather modest specs, however, boasting a very average 1,000:1 contrast ratio and just 300 nits of brightness, but thanks to its Nano IPS technology it covers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. It also has a pedestrian 5ms grey-to-grey response time. Still, LG says its monitor “offers the same screen real estate as two 21.5-inch displays and has a vertical split view function that lets users see more in one glance.” Clearly, this model is all about the aspect ratio and ability to multi-task versus something with next-gen specifications or glorious HDR capabilities, though it does support HDR10. Also, gaming on this would be….interesting, but is probably not recommended.
Another interesting feature of the DualUP is it includes a mounting arm that looks similar to a VESA stand. According to LG, the monitor arm “elevates user comfort with the ultra-adjustable LG Ergo stand which saves space as it clamps securely to most desks and tables.” LG also notes that since you don’t have two monitors side-by-side like a traditional multi-monitor setup, the DualUP can reduce neck strain, which sounds plausible. Other specs include USB-C with 96w of power and data, so one cable could power the entire thing. There’s also two HDMI ports, DisplayPort, a USB hub, and onboard 7w speakers. It’s not clear from the press release which generation of HDMI or USB is on offer, however.
So far LG hasn’t released pricing for the DualUP, but it will probably do so at the upcoming CES trade show in January. We would probably still prefer our ultrawide gaming monitor personally, just because it works for us and lets us enjoy some awesome gaming after (or during, ahem) our work day, but if we needed a monitor just work, the DualUP seems like an effective solution. One interesting side note is we wrote almost a year ago about how “alternative” aspect ratios to 16:9 were coming down the pike, but we were only talking about 3:2 and 16:10 back then, so this 16:18 is panel is definitely a surprise, and maybe a sign of things to come.