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Game

Nintendo made a scarlet and violet OLED Switch for Pokémon fans

Nintendo is adding a new colorway to its line just in time for the release of the latest Pokémon games. The console will go on sale on November 4th, two weeks before Pokémon Scarlet and Violet arrive on .

The design is about as maximalist as possible. The red and purple Joy-Cons feature the emblems of two academies that will appear in the upcoming games. The back of the console is reminiscent of a school binder or yearbook, with a paint job that makes it look like someone had pulled out all their favorite stickers. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s three starters – Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly – make an appearance here. Meanwhile, the dock features Koraidon and Miraidon, the two new legendaries.

The and select retailers will sell the Nintendo Switch – OLED Model: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Edition (phew, that’s a mouthful) for $360, or about $10 more than the standard OLED variant. You’ll also need to buy Pokémon Scarlet or Violet separately.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

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Game

LG’s OLED Flex is a flat panel and a curved display in one

A few days ago, Corsair introduced a 45-inch display called Xeneon Flex with a panel made by LG that you can bend to switch between a flat and a curved screen. Turns out LG also developed a bendable monitor model of its own. The Korean company has just unveiled the LG OLED Flex or LX3, a 42-inch screen that you can manually adjust until it reaches a curvature of 900R. To note, Corsair’s has a max curvature of 800R, and a smaller number means the monitor’s curve is more pronounced. 

You can quickly adjust the Flex’s curvature by using a dedicated button on its remote control and choosing either of the two available presents. But you can also manually adjust its degree of curvature in five percent increments, giving you over 20 levels of curve to to choose from. Further, you can tilt the monitor towards or away from you and adjust the height of its stand by 140 millimeters. 

LX3 uses the company’s backlight-free and self-lit OLED technology and was designed to have a 0.1 millisecond response time and low input lag. It also gives you the power to adjust the size of the image onscreen so you can choose to use the whole monitor or just a part of it, if you want to see the whole picture at a glance — say for games that need you to be aware of your environment. 

LG also gave the monitor exclusive access to its new Game app, which has shortcuts to popular gaming-related apps like Twitch and YouTube and lists all your connected external input devices. Speaking of connected devices, the model’s Switching Hub function lets you easily switch device connection between your PC and the monitor. You can use the monitor’s built-in mic and anything connected to its USB ports, including headsets and keyboards, and then press a button to use the devices connected to the PC instead. Other features include two front-firing 40W speakers, support for Dolby Atmos and support for Dolby Vision gaming.

LG has yet to announce pricing or relate date for the model, but it will showcase the OLED Flex at IFA 2022 in Berlin. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Computing

LG’s new OLED gaming monitor packs a 240Hz refresh rate

LG could have two of the best new monitors on its hands. Its UltraGear OLED gaming monitor and UltraFine Display Ergo AI are coming soon, and the brand will showcase at IFA 2022 in Berlin, Germany in early September.

Both curved displays introduce new technologies to LG’s consumer lines and provide unique experiences for users. The UltraGear OLED gaming monitor, model 45GR95QE, is the brand’s first OLED display featuring a 240Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, the LG UltraFine Display Ergo AI, model 32UQ890, is able to adjust its position throughout the day with AI tracking to provide users with maximum ergonomic comfort.

LG touts the UltraGear OLED gaming monitor as ideal for immersive gaming. In addition to a 240Hz refresh rate, it is also the first 45-inch display to have an 800R curvature. Some spec highlights include a WQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution for the OLED monitor, a 21:9 aspect ratio, 0.1 milliseconds gray-to-gray response time, 98.5% DCI-P3 color coverage, HDR10, and a Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).

The UltraGear OLED gaming monitor also features a borderless design and an anti-glare and low reflection coating to maintain viewing quality. For ports, the monitor includes HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4. It also supports picture-by-picture and picture-in-picture for productivity.

The UltraFine Display Ergo AI is aimed as a home or office peripheral with a built-in AI camera that can analyze a user’s posture by tracking their eyes and adjusting the tilt and height of the display accordingly. The tilt has a range of 40 degrees, while the height can be adjusted by 160 millimeters. The consistent display movement helps users not remain in one position for long periods of time and to prevent bad posture habits. Users can set the monitor to one of three modes for their ergonomic preference: AI Motion, Continuous Motion, or Periodic Motion.

Specifications for the monitor include a 31.5-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution, an IPS panel, 95% coverage of DCI-P3, and HDR.

The UltraFine Display Ergo AI is essentially a higher-tech version of the LG DualUp monitor, which was released in June. That monitor feature’s LG’s second-generation Ergo stand, with manual pivot, height, tilt, and swivel movements, which allows the display to maximize ergonomic comfort for users.

Price and availability details for the UltraGear OLED gaming monitor and the UltraFine Display Ergo AI will likely be announced during or after IFA, which takes place from September 2 to 6.

By the time the UltraGear OLED gaming monitor launches, its closest competitor will likely be the 32-inch 240Hz Samsung Odyssey Neo G8, which has been available on the market since June, selling for $1,500.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

HP Pavilion Pro 14 review: OLED on the cheap

HP Pavilion Plus 14

MSRP $850.00

“HP Pavilion Plus 14 offers a 90Hz OLED screen at an unbeatable price.”

Pros

  • Spectacular 90Hz OLED display
  • Class-leading build quality
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Strong value at sale prices

Cons

  • Review unit performance limited by throttling
  • Poor battery life

HP’s Pavilion line carries its budget to mid-range laptops, and it’s offered some solid options over the years. For 2022, the company decided to upscale the line with the Pavilion Plus 14, a laptop that’s the thinnest Pavilion yet and the first with an OLED display. And it’s a 90Hz display, offered at an extremely attractive price.

It’s a competitive market, though, and HP has its job cut out.

My review unit is currently on sale at HP.com for $850, down from $1,000. That’s a compelling price for a 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and a 14-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display running at 90Hz. In fact, it’s one of the least expensive OLED laptops around, and it’s a step up from most, thanks to the display’s faster refresh rate. There are other excellent deals available, and if you can get the Pavilion Plus 14 at one of its sale prices, you’re getting an outstanding laptop for a fantastic price.

Design

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Pavilion Plus 14 is constructed of all aluminum, and you can tell. The chassis and lid evoke confidence in the laptop’s durability thanks to a lack of twisting, bending, or flexing. The Pavilion Plus 14 is as robust as some laptops I’ve reviewed lately that cost significantly more, such as the $1,500 MSI Prestige 14. Like that machine, the Pavilion Plus 14 isn’t quite as solid as the Dell XPS 15 or the MacBook Pro, but it’s close, and those two are much more expensive.

Even the Pavilion Plus 14’s hinge is well-designed, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand while holding the display firmly in place. The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 and Asus Vivobook S 14X retail for around the same price as the Pavilion Plus 14, and neither are as rigid in their construction.

The laptop’s design is simple and streamlined, with five available colors — Natural Silver, Tranquil Pink, Mineral Silver (dark gray), Warm Gold, and Space Blue. My review unit was the silver model, sporting a minimalist but attractive aesthetic. That’s common among laptops today, with few standing out, particularly at budget and mid-range prices. For example, the Asus Vivobook S 14X is another similarly priced and conservatively designed laptop.

The Pavilion Plus 14 has been slimmed down compared to other Pavilion laptops, coming in at 0.72 inches and 3.09 pounds. The plastic display bezels are small for the class, with an 87% screen-to-body ratio that’s higher than most similarly priced laptops. That’s partly thanks to the switch to a 16:10 display, which makes the laptop narrower than previous Pavilion 14 models and slightly deeper. The Vivobook S 14X is wider and deeper while marginally thinner at 0.70 inches and considerably heavier at 3.59 pounds. The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 is wider and deeper, again thinner at 0.65 inches and heavier at 3.23 pounds.

There are plenty of ports, with two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. The most significant omission is Thunderbolt 4 support, which isn’t a shock at this price point but still a bit disappointing. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 provide wireless connectivity.

Price and configurations

As of when this review is being written, most configurations of the Pavilion Plus 14 are heavily discounted. The best deal is the entry-level model that’s $550 at Staples (on sale from $780) with a 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1240P CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14-inch 2.2K (2240 x 1400) IPS display. The Core i5-1240P is a 28-watt 12-core (four Performance and eight Efficient) and 16-thread processor running at a max frequency of 4.4GHz.

My review unit retails for $1,000 but is on sale for $850, with a Core i7-12700H (see the performance section), 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14-inch 2.8K OLED display. Spend $1,130 (on sale from $1,310), and you get an Intel Core i7-1255U CPU, 12GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 GPU, and the 14-inch OLED display. Oddly enough, the Core i7-1255U is a 15-watt 10-core (two Performance and eight Efficient), 12-thread CPU. You can mix and match more CPU and GPU options using the configure-to-order tool at HP.com.

The Asus Vivobook S 14X is similarly priced at retail, $1,100 for a Core i7-12700H, 12GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and a 14-inch 2.8K OLED display at 120Hz. For $900, you can get a Core i5-12500H, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the OLED display. Another laptop that’s priced around the same is the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, which is $1,050 for a Core i7-1255U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display. Although the Pavilion Plus 14’s configuration options are complex and sometimes confusing, the laptop is a great value at its various sale prices.

Performance

HP Pavilion Plus 14 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

My review unit was built around the 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H, a 45-watt CPU with 12 cores (four Performance and eight Efficient) and 16 threads. It’s a processor that we don’t often see in thin-and-light ultrabooks like the Pavilion Plus 14, which typically equip 28-watt Intel P-Series or 15-watt U-Series CPUs. Also unusual is that the Pavilion Plus 14 is limited to Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics. Usually, the 45-watt CPUs are paired with discrete graphics.

We have one comparison machine that also used a Core i7-12700H and Iris Xe graphics, the Asus Vivobook S 14X. Looking at our benchmarks, the Pavilion Plus 14 had a similar performance. In Geekbench 5, its single-core scores were lower but its multi-core scores were higher. It was essentially tied in our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, and it was slower in Cinebench R23. Both laptops were below other machines with the same CPU, such as the Dell XPS 15, and depending on the benchmark, both were closer to laptops with the 28-watt Core i7-1260P. Unfortunately, the Pavilion Plus 14 wouldn’t complete the PCMark 10 Applications test, which is a good test of general productivity performance.

Another similarity between the two laptops was that both demonstrated significant throttling. I used each laptop’s thermal control utility to test in balanced and performance modes, and I noted that each hit 95 degrees C or higher and throttled in our CPU-intensive benchmarks. That clearly limited their performance. As I pointed out with the Asus, it’s not that the Pavilion Plus 14 is slow; it’s that it’s not benefiting from the more powerful CPU given its very thin chassis.

The biggest difference is that the Pavilion Pro 14 can be configured with the 28-watt Core i5-1240P, which could provide similar performance if it throttles less, and the 15-watt Core i7-1255U, which would presumably offer improved efficiency. And, the HP is significantly less expensive than the Asus in most of its configurations.

Ultimately, my review unit performed well for an $850 laptop and okay for a retail price of $1,000. It’s going to keep up with demanding productivity workflows, and it can do some very lightweight creative tasks as well. As I just mentioned, though, the 45-watt CPU is wasted on the thin chassis, and HP might have been better off going with the Core i7-1260P.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,462 / 8,531
Perf: 1,472 / 8,531
Bal: 104
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,523 / 8,358
Perf: 1,716 / 10,915
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,595 / 6,692
Perf: 1,681 / 7,175
Bal: 113
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,757 / 10,339
Perf: 1,792 / 12,051
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,703 / 6,520
Perf: 1,685 / 6,791
Bal: 153
Perf: 141
Bal: 1,729 / 6,847
Perf: 1,773 / 7,009
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,650 / 8,080
Perf: 1,621 / 8,544
Bal: 116
Perf: 120
Bal: 1,587 / 7,682
Perf: 1,611 / 8,078
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Bal: 130
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

The Pavilion Plus 14 can be configured with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050, but my review unit used Intel Iris Xe graphics. It scored slightly below average in the 3DMark Time Spy test, but its Fortnite performance was around average at 15 frames per second (fps) at 1200p and epic graphics. It’s not a gaming laptop unless you limit your library to older titles and eSports games.

3DMark
Time Spy
Fortnite
(1080p/1200p Epic)
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,520
Perf: 1,577
Bal: 15
Perf: 16
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,251
Perf: 1,253
Bal: 6
Perf: 7
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,899
Perf: 1,886
Bal: 17 fps
Perf: 16 fps
MSI Summit E14 Flip
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,740
Perf: 1,959
Bal: 15 fps
Perf: 19 fps
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,658
Perf: 1,979
Bal: 12 fps
Perf: N/A
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,746
Perf: 1,919
Bal: 15 fps
Perf: 20 fps
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(AMD Radeon)
Bal: 2,110
Perf: 2,213
Bal: 19 fps
Perf: 19 fps

Display and audio

HP Pavilion Plus 14 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

One of the most important recent advances in display technology is the widespread adaptation of OLED panels. They provide brighter and more accurate colors and deeper blacks, making for excellent productivity, creativity, and media consumption displays. If you can get an OLED display for less than $1,000, that’s a terrific value proposition, and when that display runs at 90Hz, it’s even better. Higher refresh rates help make Windows 11 a smoother experience, not to mention allowing games to run tear-free at higher frame rates (not that we’re worried about that with integrated graphics).

My review unit was configured with the 2.8K (2880 x 1800) 90Hz OLED display, and it was beautiful out of the box. If I’d spent $850 on the laptop, I’d be tickled pink with the bright and accurate colors, inky blacks, and smooth Windows 11 experience.

According to my colorimeter, HP didn’t cut any corners with the display. Brightness was excellent at 398 nits, well above our threshold of 300 nits for working in all lighting conditions except direct sunlight. Colors were wide at 100% of sRGB and 95% of AdobeRGB, and they were extremely accurate at a DeltaE of 0.78 (1.0 or less is indistinguishable to the human eye). And, of course, the contrast was extremely deep at 27,830:1, making for inky blacks.

This is a spectacular display at any price; it’s a steal at $1,000 or less. It’s a display that will please everyone, from productivity workers to creators to hardcore media consumers.

Brightness
(nits)
Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is better)
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(OLED)
398 27,830:1 100% 95% 0.78
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(OLED)
403 27,930:1 100% 99% 1.07
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(IPS)
386 1,900:1 100% 81% 0.78
MSI Summit E14 Flip
(IPS)
516 1,320:1 100% 89% 1.10
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(OLED)
406 28,380:1 100% 95% 0.87
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
(IPS)
369 1,340:1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(OLED)
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

Two downward-firing speakers on the front bottom of the chassis provide the audio, putting out very low volume sound. What they lacked in loudness, the speakers made up for in quality, with clear mids and highs and a surprising amount of bass. You’ll want some headphones for music and serious binging, but for watching a video every now and then, the audio quality is fine.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

HP Pavilion Plus 14 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Pavilion Plus 14 enjoys a nicely sized keyboard with large keycaps, and its switches are light with a precise bottoming action. It’s almost as good as the keyboard on HP’s Spectre line and has the same row of navigation keys on the right-hand side. As I was writing this review, I found the keyboard very comfortable for longer typing sessions.

The touchpad is large and has a smooth surface that makes for precise swiping with support for the full complement of Windows 11 multitouch gestures, thanks to Microsoft Precision drivers. The buttons are responsive and quiet. You won’t find a better touchpad on many laptops costing twice as much. The display isn’t touch-enabled, unfortunately.

Windows 11 Hello passwordless support is provided by a fingerprint reader on the palm rest, which isn’t as convenient as those built into the power button. Nevertheless, it was quick and reliable during my testing.

HP built a 5MP webcam into the Pavilion Plus 14 along with some technology to improve image quality. The video was smooth and detailed, much better than the average, and good enough to make for excellent videoconferencing.

Battery life

HP Pavilion Plus 14 side view showing ports and lid.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Pavilion Plus 14 has 51 watt-hours of battery capacity, which is a little on the low side for a 14-inch laptop, and my review unit equipped a 45-watt CPU and a power-hungry high-res OLED display. I wasn’t expecting miracles in terms of battery life.

I didn’t get any. The Pavilion Plus 14 demonstrated below-average battery life in all our tests, starting with our web browsing test that cycles through a handful of complex websites, where it hit 4.5 hours. That’s around half of what we like to see in this test. In our video test that loops a local Full HD Avengers trailer, the HP managed just 7.5 hours, again well under average. And in the PCMark 10 Applications test that’s the best indication of productivity battery life, it hit just 4.75 hours, again significantly less than average.

Overall, the Pavilion Plus 14 is unlikely to get you through a full day of productivity tasks. You might be lucky to make it to lunch. The other configurations with lower-watt CPUs may do better, but my review unit configuration will need its charger kept handy.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
Applications
 HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 29 minutes 7 hours, 29 minutes 5 hours, 48 minutes
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
6 hours, 20 minutes 8 hours, 18 minutes 7 hours, 1 minute
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes 12 hours, 40 minutes 11 hours, 14 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
10 hours, 10 minutes 16 hours, 12 minutes 10 hours, 33 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
10 hours, 6 minutes 11 hours, 12 minutes 9 hours, 22 minutes

Our take

The HP Pavilion Plus 14 isn’t the first thin-and-light laptop I’ve reviewed with a 45-watt CPU and, apparently, thermally limited performance. However, it’s much more forgivable at an $850 sale price with a spectacular 90Hz OLED display. The battery life is disappointing, but the build quality is excellent, as are the keyboard and touchpad. And as this review is being written, you can buy the Pavilion Plus 14 with a Core i5-1240P CPU and a 2.2K IPS display for as low as $550, which is a tremendous value.

The Pavilion Plus 14 is an attractive mid-range laptop even at full retail prices. And I can’t stress enough how nice it is to get such a great OLED display at such a low price.

Are there any alternatives?

There aren’t many laptops in the same price range offering 12th-gen Intel CPUs. I’ve reviewed a couple of them, and neither offers quite the same overall value as the Pavilion Plus 14.

However, if you can spend a bit more, then Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen 7 is a solid option. It has its own incredible OLED display and a stunning new design, it performs similarly, and it has better battery life. As a convertible 2-in-1, it offers a more flexible form factor.

You could drop down in display size slightly and consider the Apple MacBook Air M2. Although it’s $1,200 with less RAM at 8GB and storage at 256GB, it will be significantly faster and will offer considerably better battery life. And its display should be more than good enough.

How long will it last?

The Pavilion Plus 14 is exceptionally well-built for a budget to mid-range laptop, and it should last for years of productive service. Its components are modern, although the lack of Thunderbolt 4 does hold it back. Its industry-standard one-year warranty is okay at these prices.

Should you buy it?

Yes, if you can get it at a sale price. Performance is good if limited by the thin chassis, and the build quality, keyboard, and touchpad are all excellent. Battery life is a disappointment, though, with the review configuration. Other configurations with lower-watt CPUs might last longer.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

LG’s first OLED gaming monitor matches its smart TVs in price

LG has finally revealed the price for its LG UltraGear 48GQ900 OLED gaming monitor and made it available for pre-order, three months after its initial March announcement.

The monitor appears to be available only in the U.K. at the moment, where it will sell exclusively at Overclockers UK for 1,400 pounds ($1,724). The peripheral stands as LG’s first OLED gaming monitor, and is priced comparably to the LG C2 Smart OLED TV in the U.K. NotebookCheck pointed out.

The 48-inch UltraGear 48GQ900 is LG’s first OLED gaming monitor.

The availability of the gaming monitor outside of the U.K. remains unknown.

In comparison, the LG C2 Smart OLED TV sells for $1,400 in its 42-inch option in the U.S., however, it also comes in 48-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch options, which quickly exceed that price. OLED panels are much more common in the TV market, and the LG C2 series uses advanced OLED evo panels, the publication added.

The LG UltraGear 48GQ900 features a 47.5-inch panel with a 4K 3,840 x 2,160 resolution and a 120Hz minimum refresh rate, which can be overclocked to 138Hz. There is still no word on what kind of OLED technology is being used on the monitor, which is still not overly expensive given its size.

Traditional OLED is known as an expensive technology, which is likely why its rollout to monitors has been so slow and many brands have opted for cheaper alternatives. The popular Alienware 34 monitor sells for just $1,300 and features a Samsung QD-OLED panel, for example.

Other specs for the monitor include a 10-bit panel, HDR support, an antiglare coating, 1-millisecond gray-to-gray response time, a DCI-P3 color gamut with 98.5% coverage, built-in speakers, and a purple design in the rear. It also features two additional HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and a headphone jack, as well as AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility.

There is no word on an exact release date for the LG UltraGear 48GQ900, however, Overclockers U.K. said it expects to receive stock in the August time frame.

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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

You can now buy a Switch OLED dock without a Switch OLED

Nintendo has started selling docks for Switch OLED units separately in North America. According to Nintendo Life, the gaming giant revealed the dock would be sold as a standalone item when the OLED Switch was launched. And it has been available in European stores since the beginning of December, but now you can also get one in the US and Canada. While you can use the OLED model with the dock for the standard Switch, the one designed for it comes with a very important addition: An ethernet/LAN port.

In case your home internet isn’t as fast as you’d like it to be, and you’d benefit greatly from a wired connection, the new dock may work better for your needs. You’d have to have or buy your own LAN/ethernet cable, though, since the dock doesn’t come with one. It also doesn’t include an AC Adapter and an HDMI cable, but it can receive software updates. 

You can snap up a dock from Nintendo’s store in the US or in Canada for $70. The unit will ship with a standard white panel, which we found flimsy and prone to being lost in our review. But you can get a back cover in black or get another white one as a replacement part from Nintendo’s website for $6.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Game

Our First Look at Google Stadia on an LG CX OLED TV

There is nothing more frustrating than opening up a new toy, only to find that it doesn’t work. Such was the case — at first — when I installed Google’s Stadia cloud gaming app on a 2020 LG CX OLED television.

The news peg, as we say in the business, is that Stadia has been spreading to more and more devices. And it’s now available natively on LG televisions that have the webOS 5.0 or the newer webOS 6.0 software. You don’t need a Chromecast. You don’t need to run more wires or Ethernet cable. You just download the app from the LG Content Store, and fire away.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

The truly exciting part about all this is that you can play Stadia games without having to download gigabytes of data before being able to do anything at all. No operating system updates. No game updates. You just connect your Google account to Stadia, connect a controller of some sort to Stadia, and it just works. It truly is incredible and is far more likely to get a non-gamer like myself to spend a few hours shooting things. (I’m told there are games that don’t involve shooting, or swordplay, or dragons or some sort — but why would you play them?) And LG televisions in particular are exciting for video games thanks to their 120Hz refresh rate. Being able to play Stadia games natively? It’s icing on an already sweet cake.

So I installed. And I connected. And I, jaded journo that I am, was unsurprised to see unplayable lag at first. These things happen, of course, and it’s all part of testing things.

So far @GoogleStadia on an LG TV … ain’t great. Guess I’ll try Ethernet and see if that helps. pic.twitter.com/54VIPRy2I7

— Phil (@philnickinson) December 8, 2021

Have you turned it off and on?

Perhaps it was my wireless network. Never mind the fact that I’ve got Wi-Fi 6, and the TV itself handles Wi-Fi 5 — both of which are more than capable of streaming Stadia games. (And that’s before I got anywhere near the Stadia Pro subscription, which gives you 4K resolution and HDR and 5.1 surround sound, all of which require more data.) So into the network closet I went, extracting a length of Category 5 cable and plugging the TV into my switch, all proper like. After all, what’s the point of having a fiber in the home if you’re not actually able to take advantage of those gigabit speeds.

Related:

Still nothing. The lag, it burns. Maybe a second of video and audio before things cut out for another second. Rinse and repeat. It was unwatchable, never mind unplayable. Early reports on Reddit also had a few folks saying the same thing. Whether we were having the same problem remains to be seen. And it didn’t seem to be something more systemic.

The next step in the troubleshooting process also should be the first one — reboot and restart. First, the router. Then the Stadia controller itself. Finally, the TV.

If you’re expecting more outrage at this point, dear reader, you’ll be disappointed. After reconnecting the Stadia controller to the LG TV’s Stadia app, all was well. Games “loaded” — again, there’s really nothing loaded on your TV save for the Stadia app itself — immediately. Video was as fluid as it’s ever been. The LG CX handles 4K resolution just fine.

In other words, it was a wholly unremarkable experience, which is precisely the point. It just worked.

Eventually.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Review: OLED For Cheap

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook

MSRP $500.00

“The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook brings OLED goodness to a surprisingly cheap 2-in-1.”

Pros

  • Acceptable productivity performance
  • Very long battery life
  • Excellent display
  • Solid build quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Display is in the old-school 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Limited to Wi-Fi 5
  • Kickstand add-on is inconvenient

Chromebooks don’t often beat Windows to market when it comes to implementing new technologies, but Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook did just that. It’s the first detachable tablet with an OLED display, hitting the market just before the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate that marks the first Windows 11 detachable tablet sporting OLED technology. The IdeaPad Duet 5 is built around Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, an ARM chip, giving it another first. It’s a larger tablet, but it’s nevertheless an alternative to other low-cost devices like the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface Go 3.

I reviewed the midrange configuration of the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, running $500 and including the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 and a 13.3-inch 1080p OLED display. I found the tablet to punch well above its price, representing one of the best 2-in-1 tablets at this price.

Design

The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED in its case.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The first thing you’ll notice about the IdeaPad Duet 5, if you look closely enough, is that its display is in the old-school 16:9 aspect ratio. The laptop world is moving toward taller displays, 16:10 or 3:2, which is particularly useful in tablets that more closely mimic a standard sheet of paper in portrait mode. A 16:9 tablet, by comparison, is longer and skinnier, making it less comfortable for viewing documents and taking notes with a pen.

The IdeaPad Duet 5’s bezels are small on the sides and slightly thicker on the top and bottom. They’re not huge by tablet standards, and the IdeaPad Duet 5 is reasonably sized given the display. Compared to its closest Windows 11 competitor, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 with its 13-inch 3:2 display, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is almost an inch wider, but the Surface Pro 8 is nearly an inch taller.

Microsoft’s tablet is thicker at 0.37 inches compared to the IdeaPad Duet 5’s 0.28 inches, but the Surface Pro 8 has its kickstand built in — more on that a moment. Of course, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is significantly larger than the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface Go, which are built around 10.2-inch and 10.5-inch displays respectively. If you can stand the size, then the Lenovo is a viable competitor.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is another competitive tablet with a 12.3-inch 3:2 display, and it’s roughly the same size as the Surface Pro 8, thanks to the latter’s smaller bezels. In terms of weight, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is 1.54 pounds for the tablet alone, compared to the Surface Pro 8 at 1.96 pounds and the ThinkPad X12 Detachable at 1.67 pounds. The IdeaPad Duet 5 isn’t a small tablet by any means, but it’s manageable. You’d save about half a pound going with Apple or Microsoft’s smallest tablets.

Closeup on the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED kickstand.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Now about that kickstand. Like the HP Chromebook x2 11, the IdeaPad Duet 5’s kickstand is an add-on that snaps onto the tablet’s back and is held in place by powerful magnets. That makes the tablet thicker and is inconvenient — it’s another thing to carry around. The Surface Pro 8 and ThinkPad X12 Detachable are much more pleasant to use with their built-in kickstand, although the IdeaPad Duet 5’s version works just as well. It, too, holds the tablet vertically without any wobble, and it extends just as far, to where the tablet is almost lying flat on a surface. If you don’t mind another piece to fiddle with, then you’ll be fine with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s version. And let’s not forget that this is a $500 tablet while the Lenovo and Microsoft versions are more than twice as expensive fully configured.

The IdeaPad Duet 5 is crafted of plastic, with the top portion of the back being a soft-coated version. It feels solid enough in hand, and your first hint that it’s not made of a metal alloy like the other laptops I’ve mentioned is that it’s not as cold to the touch after it’s been asleep for a while. Unless you have a thing against plastic devices, that’s not a real knock against the IdeaPad Duet 5 — especially given its price.

Aesthetically, the tablet is a dark grey (Storm Grey) or blue (Abyss Blue) slab with just the two-tone portion on the back giving it some panache. Minimalist designs are pretty much the standard for tablets, though, with the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable having the most exotic look.

Connectivity is limited to two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one on either side of the tablet — either can be used for charging — and a pogo pin connector for the detachable keyboard. That’s it. And yes, Lenovo left off a 3.5mm audio jack. That’s a huge bummer in my book, and it’s the first tablet I know of that’s dropped the connection.

You’ll be limited to Bluetooth headphones, which I consider a liability. Speaking of wireless connectivity, the Snapdragon chipset limits the tablet to Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1. There’s no option for always-connected internet as there is with the HP Chromebook x2 11.

Performance

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED open on a table.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebooks uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 system-on-chip (SoC), a slightly updated version of the same ARM processor used in the HP Chromebook x2 11. As far as I can tell, the only significant difference is a tiny speed bump from 2.4GHz to 2.55GHz. Unsurprisingly, I found the IdeaPad Duet 5 to perform a lot like the Chromebook x2 11. That is to say, the ARM CPU was able to keep up with Chrome OS as long as I didn’t have too many tabs open in Chrome or too many Android apps running in the background. I’m sure that the 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage had something to do with that.

We don’t have our full suite of benchmarks available with Chromebooks, but in the Android Geekbench 5 app, the IdeaPad Duet 5 scored 599 in single-core mode and 1,718 in multi-core mode. That’s just the tiniest bit faster than the Chromebook x2 11’s 590 and 1,689. It’s well behind faster Chromebooks like the Asus Chromebook Flip C536 which runs a Core i5-1115G4 that scored 1,209 and 2,849 and the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 with a Core i5-1135G7 that achieved 1,190 and 4,151. The IdeaPad Duet 5’s score on the Speedometer 2.0 web benchmark was 47, just ahead of the Chromebook x2 11’s 45. By comparison, the Chromebook Flip CX5 hit 163.

Overall, you’ll be fine with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s performance as long as your productivity workflow isn’t too demanding. As I said, with a reasonable number of tabs and Android apps open, the tablet performed just fine. Exceed that amount, though, and things did start to get noticeably slower. And limit yourself to casual Android games — Asphalt 9, the Android game I use to test Chromebooks, was choppy and demonstrated considerable lag when I tried to run it on the IdeaPad Duet 5. An Apple iPad will run iPad OS games more fluidly, making it a more viable gaming tablet.

Display

Closeup on the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

From the moment I turned on the IdeaPad Duet 5, I could tell there was something different. OLED displays are so much more dynamic and eye-catching than IPS displays, and the 13.3-inch Full HD version on the IdeaPad Duet 5 is no exception. The colors were pleasant and natural, the contrast was deep with inky blacks, and the display was more than bright enough for all my working environments.

My two complaints start with its 16:9 aspect ratio, which, as I mentioned earlier, isn’t nearly as functional in portrait mode than 16:10 and 3:2 displays, and it also seemed squashed. It’s not a deal-breaker — there are plenty of 16:9 laptops and tablets still being made today — but it’s less than ideal. Next, the Full HD resolution was just okay at the 13.3-inch display size. A sharper screen would have helped, particularly regarding text, and while black text on a white background popped, they did so with some pixels. A higher-resolution display would also have been welcome, but for $500, it’s hard to complain.

Closeup on the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED display without keyboard attachment.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Despite this, most users will love this display. Even creative types who want a Chromebook for viewing photos and videos will love the colors and contrast. This display will please all but the pickiest pixel-peepers and those who use a pen to take lots of notes.

Unfortunately, the audio doesn’t live up to the display, despite sporting four side-firing speakers. To begin with, there’s not a ton of volume, even when turned all the way up, and worse yet, there’s distortion that strips out what little bass is there and creates a very tinny sound. Mids and highs are clear with the volume at about half, but the bass is lacking. Overall, you’ll want to use Bluetooth headphones or speakers for anything other than system sounds and the occasional YouTube video.

Keyboard and touchpad

Lenovo includes a detachable keyboard with the IdeaPad Duet 5, and it’s the same basic design as most such keyboards — with one exception. It attaches to the tablet via magnets and connects via pogo pins, but unlike most keyboards, it doesn’t have the option to prop it up at an angle. You’re stuck using it lying flat, which isn’t nearly as comfortable. There’s plenty of key spacing thanks to the 13.3-inch display and the width it provides, and the keycaps are large and comfortable. The switches provide plenty of travel and have snappy bottoming action. The keyboard feels great — if only Lenovo would have built in an angle.

The touchpad is also good, of sufficient size to be comfortable using the Chrome OS suite of multitouch gestures. The surface is comfortable for swiping, and the buttons have a nice click without being too loud. The display is touch-enabled, of course, and it supports an optional Lenovo active pen. One wasn’t provided with my review unit, so I couldn’t test inking with the IdeaPad Duet 5.

Battery life

OLED displays can sometimes be the kiss of death when it comes to battery life. But that’s primarily because most OLED laptops use 4K resolution. The IdeaPad Duet 5 uses a 1080p screen and combines that with a low-power Snapdragon processor. It also packed in 42 watt-hours of battery, a reasonable amount for this size device — and more than the HP Chromebook x2 11’s 32 watt-hours. I was very curious to see how long the detachable tablet would last on a charge.

I was pleasantly surprised. In our web browsing test that cycles through a series of popular and demanding websites, the IdeaPad Duet 5 lasted for 15.5 hours — an excellent score that beat the Chromebook x2 11’s 12.75 hours. The 10.1-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, with its 27 watt-hour battery and MediaTek Helio P60T ARM processor, lasted about 13 hours. In our video test that loops a local 1080p movie trailer, the IdeaPad Duet 5 made it to a whopping 21.75 hours — one of the longest-lasting devices we’ve tested. It trounced the Chromebook x2 11’s 11 hours and the IdeaPad Duet’s 12.5 hours.

Simply put, the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook will last you through well over a day’s work, while leaving some time left over for binging Netflix. Chromebooks running ARM CPUs should have excellent battery life, and the IdeaPad Duet 5 lives up to that promise.

Our take

At $500, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is an excellent value. You get good enough productivity performance and outstanding battery life. The OLED display looks great too, even if it’s not perfect.

Anyone looking for a Chrome tablet on the cheap that they can use for their web browsing, email triage, and media consumption will find that the IdeaPad Duet 5 is a great choice.

Are there any alternatives?

The HP Chromebook x2 11 is a close alternative, sporting almost the same CPU and a very similar performance. At the same time, its display is good but not as great, and its battery life lags. You can also get it for $100 less, albeit with half the storage.

Another option is the Microsoft Surface Go 3. It’s a Windows 11 laptop, and it’s smaller, but its build quality and performance are just as good and it has its own excellent display. It’s more expensive when you add in the cost of the keyboard, but it’s worth it as well.

Finally, the Apple iPad is a good tablet to consider, although it too is quite a bit smaller. You’ll want to stick with the $329 entry-level model or risk spending a lot more. But it’s faster thanks to a speedier ARM CPU and a highly optimized OS, and it has a great display. It’s also thin, light, and well-built.

How long will it last?

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook might be made of plastic, but that doesn’t mean it won’t provide years of service. You’ll get plenty of performance out of Chrome OS for some time as well. The one-year warranty is fine for a $500 laptop.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 is fast enough for the price, making it a long-lasting secondary device with a beautiful display for consuming media. It’s the best tablet you’ll find for the money.




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Computing

MSI Announces a Monster 55-Inch OLED Gaming Monitor

MSI announced the upcoming launch of two gaming monitors, both of which bring something new to the market.

The first screen has a curved mini-LED display with a 165Hz refresh rate that promises excellent color reproduction thanks to a number of technologies, including MSI’s own premium quantum dot films. The second display is a massive 55-inch OLED monitor directed at console gamers.

The curved monitor, dubbed MSI MEG Artymis 341, marks an industry first with its sharp curvature combined with mini-LED backlighting. It meets the VESA Display HDR 1000 requirements, supporting at least HDR10 high dynamic range content and achieving a brightness of at least 1,000 nits at peak luminance.

MEG Artymis 341 has a 34-inch screen with a native resolution of 3440 x 1440 and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The technology used in its creation lends itself to producing a wide color range and a high-quality image. It features a combination of Optronics adaptive mini-LED technology, full-array local dimming (FALD) based on mini-LED backlighting, and MSI’s quantum dot premium films.

The above specs certainly should contribute to a fantastic viewing experience. The monitor is likely to provide high contrasts, deep blacks, and high brightness. The superior imagery should come at no expense to gaming, as the MSI MEG Artymis also has a 165Hz refresh rate and a response time of 1 milliseconds. The screen also features a rather sharp 1000R arc curvature and an 800R center curvature.

MSI hasn’t revealed any further details about its new curved display, such as whether it will swivel, pivot, or have an adjustable stand.

MSI's new OLED gaming monitor.

MSI has another ace up its sleeve that’s also directed at gamers — although this one seems to be aimed at console gaming rather than PC. The MSI MEG 551U OLED is the company’s upcoming 55-inch OLED monitor for the gaming sector. Featuring a very large and wide screen, it promises high image quality for those who enjoy gaming on huge displays.

Both of these screens are directed at the premium sector. The curved model seems to combine everything most users wish to see in one of the best gaming monitors — fantastic image quality and high refresh rates. This combination makes it suited for both fast-paced shooters and immersive RPGs.

The pricing of these new monitors hasn’t been announced just yet, but it’s clear that they may not be cheap. MSI teased that both the screens will be available for sale sometime in 2022.

Editors’ Choice




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