Project: Spectrum | Leading the way to OLED
It's been two weeks since we officially announced Spectrum OLED project. So we would like to share with you on the current spec sheet, our project development timeline, and what's next to come.
Due to the strict NDAs with our suppliers regarding this display, we couldn’t discuss it openly with you until now. But we have to make sure that we make a product that meets your needs, so we have been asking you for input indirectly. We focused on what underlying pain points you experience with monitors today and how we can make this monitor a product worth creating.
We also utilized some of the ideas through crowd-developing the current Spectrum lineup. So, how did the Spectrum OLED come into shape?
Selecting the panel
The panel is the critical component in the monitor, profoundly affecting its use case, design possibilities, and overall spec package. While always scouting for the latest and greatest in the display industry, we found particularly many exciting displays at Display Week, which we visited in May. After reporting in detail on industry trends and various panels, we noticed enthusiasm for gaming OLED panels on both reddit and in our community.
Visually, OLED brings deeper black levels and infinite contrast ratio. It also improves clarity and accuracy in fast-paced games with much faster response time (less than 0.1 milliseconds!) and lower display lag.
Thinking differently. a.k.a glossy finish
As the main advantage of OLED is deep blacks, pairing it with a matte finish will undermine its potential. We know that people love a glossy finish on their monitors, based on surveys and the growing popularity of our glossy Spectrum. Making Spectrum OLED glossy seems obvious, but it was not without a challenge. Because it requires expensive recalibration of their existing production line, our panel provider was initially reluctant. But we managed to persuade them to create the glossy panels for us.
Above: showing improved text sharpness and image quality (Source: Dave2D)
Our current Spectrum lineup is already a King of Ports, so we didn’t have to make many changes. However, we have implemented some improvements:
- HDMI ports are now HDMI 2.1a with Source-Based Tone Mapping (SBTM)
- 3.5mm jack now has a built-in headphone amp
- USB hub now has an additional Type-C port
- Type-B upstream port has been replaced with a smaller and more modern Type-C port
We still keep what works, such as up to 100W charging for mobile devices, and well thought-out port placement. Video and power cables are easy to manage from the bottom, while USB ports are placed on the side for easy access.
We continue to provide awesome features such as HDR and adaptive sync. We will keep getting certified by 3rd parties so that our customers know that the monitor will be compatible with their hardware. AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible will make their return, but our HDR certification gets an upgrade.
OLED technology allows us to reach black levels like never before (measurable as low as 0.0005 cd/m2). By increasing the contrast between the brightest highlights and darkest shadows, we reach a higher dynamic range than our IPS panels can accomplish. That is how Spectrum OLED qualifies for VESA’s DisplayHDR True Black 400 certification.
Pay for nothing extra
Based on our surveys and sales data, we know that about half of our users don’t need a stand because they use a VESA mount. We have also learned that everyone uses different cables for their setup, and if we were to include any cables, most of them would end up unused.
By not including accessories in the box but making them available for purchase, everyone can get what they need, and nobody has to pay for what they don’t. That way, you save money and the planet.
Our customers appreciate the clean and minimal aesthetic of our monitors, so we don’t stray too far from the current design. We had to make slight modifications to accommodate the new panel and electronics, but Spectrum OLED will still look and feel like the Spectrum you know and love.
Stay tuned for our dedicated post covering all about designing the new monitor! Better yet, subscribe to the OLED project to get the quickest update from us.
We have almost finished the concept and design phase, most of which took place before we publicly announced Spectrum with OLED. The primary goal of this stage is to determine what we are making and to plan our processes so that later development phases run much smoother.
There is still a lot ahead for Spectrum with OLED, and we will guide you through the various stages of development in our future posts.
We are all ears when developing our product, and we know that some of the best ideas come from our community. As the development of this monitor continues, we will discuss it with the community. If you want to be part of the discussion, feel free to join us!