Hoping for a curved Apple Thunderbolt Display? Check out this LG 21:9 beauty

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I’ve never been greatly convinced that curved TV screens are anything but a passing novelty. Watching TV is a social experience, so optimizing the viewing angle for just one person seems odd. But a curved monitor makes much more sense to me, enabling more comfortable viewing from a fixed position at your desk – especially as monitors get larger.

LG has just announced that it will formally launch the 34UC97,  “the world’s first curved monitor with an extra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio,” at the IFA in Berlin next month. The 34-inch ultra-wide monitor offers a 3440×1440 resolution, and – appealingly for Mac users – supports Thunderbolt 2 …  Read more

New Retina MacBook Pros can drive 4K displays at 60Hz – when running Windows, Mac OS needs new drivers

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Tests by French site Mac4Ever.com found that current model Retina MacBook Pro machines can use their Thunderbolt 2 connections to drive the Sharp PN-K321 4K display at 60Hz when running Windows 8.1 with the latest NVidia drivers, rather than the 30Hz possible with OS X. This suggests that OS X will be able to do the same when Apple updates the rMBP video/Thunderbolt 2 drivers.

While 30Hz is good enough for movies, our own Seth Weintraub found on his bargain Seiki that it gives a poor experience when scrolling webpages, and is of course completely unusable for games. 60Hz, in contrast, gives a smooth experience when using a computer. The mystery had been why the latest Retina MacBook Pros, with Thunderbolt 2 support, were limited to 30Hz when the specs should have made them capable of double this – and the video drivers appear to be the answer …

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Removal of Sharp display from Apple Store probably doesn’t mean Apple’s 4K display is imminent

The 'now you see it, now you don't' 4K Sharp display

The ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ Sharp PN-K321 4K display

When Apple started offering a Sharp 4K display in its European online Apple Store, then withdrew it shortly afterwards, some speculated that this might mean an Apple 4K display is about to be launched.

It’s possible, of course, but I strongly suspect not. As I argued in October, the launch of the Mac Pro would have been the obvious point at which to announce an Apple 4K display – and current MacBook Pros can’t drive 4K displays at decent frame-rates, so I can’t see Apple launching a display that would leave the bulk of Mac owners disappointed.

The far more likely explanation is that Apple plans to sell the Sharp displays alongside the Mac Pro once it launches – as I suggested it might in that same opinion piece in October. The displays were inadvertently made live on the store before the Pro was launched, and have been removed until the Pro is available …  Read more

Apple selling 4K Sharp 32-inch displays via international online stores

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Ahead of the next-generation Mac Pro launch later this month, Apple has begun selling Sharp’s 32-inch 4K HD LED Monitor via its online store. The pricy display, which we lusted after during a hands-on earlier this year, has a 32-inch diagonal panel at a resolution of 3840 x 2160. (you can currently pick this up at retailers like B&H in the US  or Amazon where it retails for $3200-3300 – price drops in cart).

With its 32-inch class (31.5-inch diagonal) screen size, 3840 x 2160 high definition resolution and energy efficient edge-lit LED backlight, the Sharp PN-K321 monitor is ideal for professional applications where it’s essential to view detailed information displayed with precision. This super-high resolution display allows you to view the content of four full HD screens on a single seamless display. It also features IGZO* technology, which supports increased pixel transparency and reduced current leakage, thereby making the monitor more energy efficient.

The recent MacBook Pro with Retina display models can drive a single 4K display, while the upcoming Mac Pro can support up to three 4K monitors. Sources say that Apple Stores in the United States will have these monitors available for order in the coming months.

It’s likely that Apple is selling this Sharp unit just to give new Mac Pro users something to use until its own 4K display, which is floating around the Cupertino labs, is ready to ship…

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Opinion: What can we expect from the elusive Apple Television?

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

Having recently speculated on what Apple might have planned in the way of 4K displays, I thought I’d build on that to think about what it might have in store on the television front.

If you didn’t read my 4K piece, the tl;dr version is I think Apple will launch a 4K Thunderbolt Display in about a year’s time, once it has a new generation of MacBook Pro models able to drive one (or preferably two) at a decent frame-rate.

The question then is: what form might the long-rumored Apple Television take? After all, plug an upgraded Apple TV box into an Apple 4K display and you’d have an Apple Television right there. Why would we need anything more … ?  Read more

Opinion: What are Apple’s plans for 4K displays?

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There was one notable omission from Apple’s recent flurry of new product announcements: a 4K display. It will launch one in time, of course – and I’ll come to that shortly. But in the meantime, there’s the question of how it demonstrates one of the key capabilities of the new Mac Pro.

Sure, they could hook it up to multiple Thunderbolt Displays, but that’s not the same: Apple made a point when launching the machine of pointing out that it could drive three simultaneous 4K displays. That’s a capability you’d imagine it would want to at least show off in-store, and perhaps even offer for sale …

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