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Computing

LG newest gaming monitor is a 48-inch OLED behemoth

LG has just announced the upcoming release of three exciting new monitors, including a real treat for those who like to game on a large screen: A 48-inch OLED gaming monitor.

Aside from LG’s first OLED display made for gamers, there are also 4K Nano IPS and QHD Nano IPS monitors to choose from.

LG

LG’s new UltraGear lineup includes the following models: 32GQ950, 32GQ850, and 48GQ900. As you can see, two of them sport a 32-inch screen, while one is an enormous 48-inch beast. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a first for LG, because it’s the brand’s first UltraGear OLED gaming monitor.

All three of the monitors share a similar aesthetic that brings e-sports to mind with its sharp angles. The bezels are fairly thin, although the two 32-inchers have a considerably wider bottom bezel. Another thing they all have in common is that they all offer access to HDMI 2.1 connectivity, and by extension, features such as a variable refresh rate (VRR) as well as 4K gaming.

Each of the new LG UltraGears is compatible with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium, but the 32-inch models support FreeSync Premium Pro. In addition, each of the monitors has a headphone jack with support for surround sound DTS Headphone:X, so you can plug in a headset as you game. However, most people will still prefer to simply plug the headphones directly into the PC or console.

Let’s start with the most impressive entry of this lineup, and that, undoubtedly, is the 48GQ900 — a 48-inch 4K gaming monitor with an OLED panel as well as 120Hz refresh rates and a 0.1ms response time. The 120Hz refresh rate can be brought up to 138Hz by overclocking.

Being an OLED monitor, the screen has the potential to deliver beautiful colors and deep contrasts. LG tops it off with an anti-glare low reflection coating. If you want a large-scale immersive gaming experience, it sounds like this UltraGear screen could be the choice for you, but LG hasn’t revealed its price yet. One thing is almost certain — it won’t come cheap.

LG UltraGear monitors announced at Computex 2022.
LG

Moving on to the two 32-inch (or more precisely, 31.5-inch) monitors, they share the same size and panel type: Nano IPS, as well as the same 1ms response time. Unlike the larger model, they have more flexible stands, which means they can pivot and they are tilt as well as height adjustable.

The UltraGear 32GQ950 gives you access to 4K gaming with its 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. It’s also LG’s first model to implement ATW Polarizer technology. LG teases that using this tech will ensure stunning colors, deep blacks, and strong contrasts, all across a wide viewing angle. The monitor is VESA Display HDR 1000 certified, meaning its brightness peaks at 1,000 nits. The refresh rate is slightly higher than on the 48-inch model, bringing 144Hz that can be overclocked up to 160Hz.

Lastly, we have the 32GQ850, and although it has a few things in common with its sibling, you’ll also note a few key changes. This is a QHD monitor with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution that brings the refresh rates up by a considerable amount, peaking at 260Hz when overclocked. The brightness is toned down from the other 32-inch screen, seeing as this one is VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified.

LG hasn’t talked about the pricing yet, but it has announced an approximate release date. The monitors will first hit the market in Japan starting this month. Markets in North America, Europe, and Asia are to follow at an undetermined time, but it probably won’t be too long before they start climbing the rankings of the best gaming monitors.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

Kodorin is Super Smash Bros. Melee’s Newest Rising Star

John “Kodorin” Ko is one of the premiere Marth players on the Super Smash Bros. Melee competitive scene right now. While the 21-year-old has been around for years, even making top 100 rankings at one time, he’s really made a name for himself in the online era of Melee brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and arrival of better netplay for the title thanks to the rollback netcode client Slippi.

Kodorin won his way into the national Melee invitational tournament and the first in-person major tourney since the start of the pandemic, Smash Summit 11. Summit 11 is the latest in the Summit series, invitational tournaments where the best of the best are invited based on high placements. Other players can join the roster by being voted in or qualifying through a preliminary tournament, as Kodorin did.

At the Summit, Kodorin competed against all-star pros like Plup, Zain, Mango, Hungrybox, and more. Kodorin placed ninth in the event, which is a significant showing considering how many seasoned veterans he competed against. After his return home, I caught up with him to talk about his Melee journey, learning process, and Summit experience.

When did you start playing Melee competitively?

Like anyone, I’ve been playing Melee since it was released. In terms of competitive Melee, I’ve been familiar since the documentary came out in 2013. I went to my first tournament three years later, in November of 2016. Then I stopped until the next year because I didn’t have a car to get to local events, so I didn’t really see the point.

Come 2017, when I turned 17, I got my driver’s license and was able to actually travel, so I decided that was the time. Now, I’ve been seriously playing for about four and a half years.

You jumped in so late compared to other high-level competitors. How did you get so good so fast?

At first, I was just like any other Smasher. I’m not talented, and anybody that’s played me during my first years knows there are no special traits about me. What got me ahead was asking a lot of questions. I always asked how to keep improving, essentially. I ended up finding good sources like PPMD’s Smashboards thread, where he’d take questions for free. I asked hundreds of things there throughout the years. I’d implement whatever he responded, and, over time, it started to pay off, thanks to it giving me direction on where to improve.

Most players will stop improving even though they’ve played longer or [had] more talent than me because they never have good direction. They stay where they’re at, whereas I kept changing my plans and trying new things. I find that’s the defining trait of my improvement.

Would you say it’s important to have a teacher when it comes to learning?

Of course! Melee‘s a really hard game to begin with, especially when trying to improve by yourself. I don’t think I’d be where I am if I tried to improve alone.

Speaking of your game plans, many note how differently your Marth plays from others. How would you describe your playstyle?

I take a more zoning approach, but sometimes it can be a little erratic as well. I like to set up my zoning, make my opponent respect my space, and then manipulate them off of that. Then there are times [when] I’ll get a soul read off of my opponent from that zoning wall. Other times that read won’t even come from the walling. At some points, I’ll just go off randomly, but it’s not very consistent.

never forget these tippers pic.twitter.com/ImYvDmxG3h

— John Ko (@KoDoRiNSSB) July 12, 2021

For instance, many know me for my victory over Plup, where I got a random out-of-shield read. That’s not really normal or rational to do, but I had a feeling from him not playing his best and being a little antsy out of shield, so I just went for that hard read. Occasionally, I’ll get a little crazy after getting the feeling of my opponent’s soul, but only if I really need to take that risk.

Did your Summit matches open your eyes to any flaws of your style?

Definitely! I could improve in so many areas, and talking to tons of top players for feedback helped me find direction. Particularly having faster decision making, faster execution, making my attack and defensive rhythm more subtle, things like that.

Who do you feel was your toughest opponent during the event?

In terms of personal matchups, the one that destroyed me the most was Plup. He’s very fast, but at the same time, I only played him once in casuals when I had very little sleep because I had to go to Summit really early. That may be a small factor, but all in all, Plup is an amazing player. He also destroyed me in [the] tournament bracket with his secondary, so he stands out.

Mango and Zain were definitely the next hardest opponents for me.

Netplay results are very controversial for the Smash and fighting game communities overall. Do you feel your online grinding helped out in this offline environment?

Netplay results should be taken with a grain of salt, but to say that they don’t matter is usually an ego defense. If you have the proper setup, good internet, monitors, and all of that, I don’t see much of a reason netplay is bad. Yeah, there is instability and some drawbacks, but that’s there with LAN as well. People complained how the main stream TV at Summit had a little bit of lag compared to other CRTS.

Not to mention CRT is naturally uglier, so that makes tech-chasing somewhat harder. Don’t get it wrong, though; I do enjoy CRT overall. I’m not a Slippi kid. Some people forgot I was ranked top 100 in 2019, so I know what it’s like to compete both online and LAN for extended periods of time. I think they’re both legit as long as the online is stable. Rollback is usually always legit because it doesn’t mess with the fundamental premise of Melee, which is execution.

Kinda an insane stock ngl pic.twitter.com/l7UZb2qeCH

— John Ko (@KoDoRiNSSB) April 7, 2021

I’d say any drop-offs from rollback and LAN results probably come from being in the comfort of one’s home. Some people are more nerfed online, like HBox, because he takes LAN more seriously. Then there are some who play better online because they can’t handle in-person nerves. I find the discrepancies between the two usually [have] to do more with the environment than the game itself.

So which do you prefer, monitor or CRT?

Well, there was a little secret at Summit where everyone was asking that, and you’d be surprised, but most top players actually said monitor. It’s not optimized for offline Melee just yet, but it’s great [he laughs]. With CRT, I didn’t feel a difference. It wasn’t better, but it wasn’t worse either.

Did you feel that everyone had to readjust to offline at Summit after so many online events?

To be honest, everyone was playing a little worse compared to online. Not just because of the first tourney back but because of the stakes. It was literally the biggest prize pool of all time, so who isn’t going to be a little nervous? I think everyone’s gameplay was affected to some degree. Maybe HBox and his Jigglypuff were buffed, but that’s about it.

I know you’ve spoken about learning the importance of not focusing on your results. Can you elaborate on that?

Focusing on your results isn’t productive. I always say that the process is what gets the result. People can focus on getting an A+ on a test all they want, but if they don’t study, then how will they get that A+? It’s much more productive to focus on your inputs to actually get the win in the end.

Where do you see yourself going after Summit?

I’m not quite sure myself, but I am certain about a few things. I do want to do Melee full-time. I’m taking steps to get there with streaming and doing YouTube more often and making sure I can pull decent numbers to make this sustainable.

Even more importantly, I’m trying to improve every day. I want to be the best. One day, I will be the best. In order to do so, I need to attend tournaments, practice every day, and keep acting questions. You’ll probably see me at SoCal majors and locals. I signed up for Riptide, Genesis, and maybe I’ll even be at the next Summit. Who knows?


Smash fans will want to keep an eye on Kodorin to see just where he goes next in the scene with offline tournaments returning. You can follow him on Twitter, Twitch, where he streams regularly, and YouTube, where he consistently uploads unique content about Melee, including gameplay tips.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

Galaxy Tab A7 Lite specs all revealed in newest leak

A lot of attention has been given to the Galaxy Tab S7 Lite or Galaxy Tab S7 FE, depending on which rumor you subscribe to, probably because of how close it is to the premium Galaxy Tab S7. Not everyone will be interested in such a big or potentially expensive tablet and might appreciate that there is also a Galaxy Tab A7 Lite coming with a smaller size, lower specs, and, hopefully, a more accessible price tag as well.

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite definitely falls in line with the Galaxy Tab A series, most of which have smaller screen sizes. In this case, that comes in an 8.7-inch LCD with a resolution of 1340×800. That’s good enough for 720p content and its 2MP front camera seems to be made to match that.

Inside will be an octa-core MediaTek MT8768x. This comes with 3GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of thankfully expandable storage. The 5,100 mAh battery can be charged via USB-C with quick charge capabilities. That actually sounds pretty mediocre given its size but, again, the tablet is meant for the budget-conscious consumer in the first place.

As for that wallet-friendly price tag, WinFuture says it will be around 150 EUR, roughly $180, for the base Wi-Fi-only model. There will also be an LTE model though the price will reportedly be only a bit higher. The leak, unfortunately, doesn’t have anything on potential launch dates.

That said, there are some rumors that Samsung has a June event just for its tablets. Yes, plural. That will include the aforementioned Galaxy Tab S7 FE and possibly a Galaxy Tab S7 XL Lite. Which ones will actually end up being announced is anyone’s guess at this point.

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Tech News

Pixel 4 vs every other Pixel: The newest Google phone might not be the best one to buy

The Pixel 4 is set to go on sale this week, and if you buy one, you’ll be sure to get the Pixel with the best processor, camera, and Assistant features. But just because it’s the latest thing doesn’t mean it’s the greatest—nor that you should run out and drop nearly a thousand bucks on one. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL certainly bring a whole bunch of new tricks to the Pixel’s bag, but are the new parts and paraphernalia worth an upgrade or a switch?

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL

pixel 4 full Michael Simon/IDG

Latest price: $799/$899 at the Google Store

What’s better than before

Specs: As always, Google has upgraded nearly every component that matters in the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. You’ll get a new processor in the Snapdragon 855, 50 percent more RAM (6GB vs 4GB), and a new second telephoto lens for the rear camera, so zoomed shots and portraits will look better. You’ll also get a bigger battery in the Pixel 4 XL (3,700mAh vs 3,430mAh) and a slightly bigger screen in the smaller Pixel 4 (5.7-inch vs 5.5-inch) versus the Pixel 3. The Pixel 4 also features a 90Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling and swiping.

Features: There are two major new features in the Pixel 4 XL: Motion Sense and Face unlock. Face unlock replaces the rear fingerprint scanner with a Face ID-style 3D camera for secure facial recognition, and Motion Sense lets you control certain actions on your phone (such as snoozing alarms) without touching the screen. You also get the new speedier Google Assistant and a new Recorder app that transcribes everything you record using live AI. You also get a handful of new camera features, most notably Astral mode (for snapping pics of stars), live HDR+, and Dual Exposure for controlling exposure and tone mapping.

Unique color: Oh So Orange

What’s not so great

Specs: Design-wise, the Pixel 4 isn’t a huge improvement over the Pixel 3, but if you hated the Pixel 3 XL’s notch or love square camera bumps, the new look will be an improvement. Still, it pales in comparison to the Galaxy Note 10 and iPhone 11 Pro. There a few other head-scratching deficiencies: the battery has been reduced from 2,915mAh in the Pixel 3 to 2,800mAh in the Pixel 4. You still have the same 64GB and 128GB base storage with no expandable memory slot. And in addition to the lack of a headphone jack, Google isn’t including a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box this time around. The Pixel 4 also doesn’t have the 3’s dual front camera, though the remaining camera retains the ability to take wide-angle selfies.

Features: In my testing, Motion Sense worked very well, but it’s limited to switching music tracks, snoozing alarms, dismissing timers, and silencing calls. That’s a pretty small feature set, but there is a ton of potential going forward. Whether the Pixel 4 actually realizes it is another story. Face unlock also works well, though Google warns that someone could use your face to unlock your phone even if your eyes are closed (i.e., you’re sleeping). Granted, a bad actor could also use your finger to unlock your phone when you’re not fully conscious, but facial unlock is supposed to be virtually impenetrable. So this is a pretty big hole—and one that’s not present on the iPhone.

pixel 4 xl camera Michael Simon/IDG

What’s coming to older Pixels

Google has announced that “a version of” Night Sight’s new astral photography feature (that lets you snap pictures of stars) will make an appearance on the Pixel 3 and 3a. However, the new Neural Core on the Pixel 4 likely means the feature won’t be as good on older phones. Presumably the new Google Assistant and Recorder app will also be making their way to older Android phones, but Google hasn’t announced their arrival yet.

Buying advice

If you have to have the latest of everything, this is the phone to buy. However, with a very high price tag, few groundbreaking features, and a couple of curious deficiencies, you might also want to consider the discounted Pixel 3—or possibly wait to see what the Pixel 4a brings next year.

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Tech News

Matterport is now the newest iPhone and iPad’s most awesome 3D app

The folks at Matterport revealed a relatively major update this week, specifically for iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro 2020. This update adds improved dimensional accuracy with LiDAR for those two devices. This means that the 3D sensor at the back of the device – that sensor you’re usually not thinking about more than once in a blue moon – will be used to capture and create some of the most awesome media you’ve ever had the opportunity to share.

Matterport isn’t strictly new. This app and the company behind it have been capturing 3D models with smartphones for a while. It’s this connection – this use of LiDAR on these most advanced devices – that makes the app work in a much more magical way.

If you’ve never used an app like Matterport before, chances are you’re not a real estate agent. The most common use for this sort of app seems to be capturing the insides of a building, making it possible for a person to take a 3D tour of a space. That’s pretty awesome in and of itself. Being able to move through a potential rental property makes the whole process more engaging and appealing than a simple set of photos.

Matterport opens the door to 3D scanning for use in all sorts of applications and sharing situations beyond this, too – and with more phones and tablets onboard with 3D-sensing scanners right out the gate, it’s only getting easier and more accurate.

To take a peek at Matterport for any iPhone, iPhone 6s and later, or iPad, iPad Air 2 and later, the Matterport app on the Apple app store is the way to go. There’s also a Matterport Capture beta for Android devices.

Matterport also specializes in the handling and display of 3D-captured content from a variety of cameras, both standard flat and 3D / spherical. They’re ready to roll for all the immersive image captures you can toss at them. They’ve been at this for almost a decade at this point.

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