AOC introduced at CES 2017 a 16-inch monitor that connects to a Mac or PC via USB 3.1 Type-C connection. The company said in a press release that this is the first display of its kind, but given the increasing popularity of USB 3.1 Type-C, it probably isn’t going to be the last. Nature abhors a vacuum; companies hate untapped markets.
On to the monitor. AOC said it features a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an IPS panel. The company also highlighted a Low Blue Light feature that–as its name implies–reduces the amount of blue light shed by the display by “controlling colour temperature without sacrificing colour accuracy.” This could prove useful who need to use their devices late at night, for example, because too much exposure to blue light after sunset can interfere with the body’s production of sleep hormones. The result: a lot of very tired people.
The main draw is the USB 3.1 Type-C connection. This allows the monitor to connect to a Mac or PC without requiring multiple cables because it receives both video signals and power from a single connection. The cables are also bi-directional–gone are the days of trying to plug in a USB device, turning it over because it wouldn’t go in the first time, and potentially turning it over again because old USB connections seemed to reside in some fourth dimension. The monitor, in other words, is all about convenience.
AOC bundled a “foldable smart cover” with this monitor that allows it to be stood up horizontally or vertically. The software automatically rotates the display based on the monitor’s orientation, much like mobile operating systems do with a smartphone or tablet. (The company didn’t say if this feature could be disabled for people holding at an angle instead of sticking it in the smart cover.) All told, the product sounds like it’s meant for the general consumer, not someone who expects a professional monitor or gaming device.
Will USB Type-C take over from the standard DP and HDMI ports on your graphics card?