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Laptop and PC displays are moving towards 480Hz

The Hertz hustle — AUO and LG had already been linked to 480 Hz, FHD-resolution PC screens. Scharon Harding – May 13, 2022 6:36 pm UTC GettyIf you’ve ever looked at a 360 Hz monitor and thought, “This isn’t fast enough,” here’s something to look forward to. While we’ve seen monitor prototypes surpass 360 Hz,…

The Hertz hustle

AUO and LG had already been linked to 480 Hz, FHD-resolution PC screens.


PC and laptop displays are working toward 480 Hz

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If you’ve ever looked at a 360 Hz monitor and thought, “This isn’t fast enough,” here’s something to look forward to. While we’ve seen monitor prototypes surpass 360 Hz, the highest native refresh rate you’ll find on a PC display these days, it seems that AU Optronics (AUO) is working on panels that’ll be available with an even snappier 480 Hz refresh rate.

Of course, not many would look at a screen updating with new information 360 times every second as lagging. For fast-paced action, such as in a competitive game in which words and items move in a matter of seconds or where a small delay can make the difference between winning or losing, more speed may be necessary.

AUO highlighted a 480 Hz panel when promoting its presence at SID Display Week.

Enlarge / AUO highlighted a 480 Hz panel when promoting its presence at SID Display Week.

As spotted by TFT Central this week, AUO announced via a YouTube video that it’s working on a 24-inch PC monitor panel with a 480 Hz refresh rate and response time that’s under 1 ms (the brand didn’t get any more specific there). It’s targeted at gamers.

AUO, which sells panels to monitor vendors, including Acer, Asus, and MSI, also highlighted a 16-inch 480 Hz screen made for laptops. According to the video, the response time is slightly faster at “1.xms”.

AUO is also working on more portable 480 Hz displays.

Enlarge / AUO is also working on more portable 480 Hz displays.

Unsurprisingly, both displays work with 1920×1080 pixels, sacrificing sharper image quality for speed. For comparison, a 24-inch monitor with 4K resolution has a pixel density of 183. 58 pixels per inch (ppi) versus the 91. 79 ppi a 1080p alternative offers.

But 1080p is a marked improvement from when we saw the 480 Hz refresh rate in 2017. As recalled by ComputerBase, ZisWorks shared a 480 Hz prototype then, but the resolution was a measly 960×540. For what it’s worth, BlurBusters pointed to visible image quality improvements at the time, including reduced motion blur, even when compared to 240 Hz. Since it’s a shorter leap from 360 Hz to 480 Hz, it’d be interesting to see if we could tell the difference.

AUO’s 480 Hz panels are being developed with a more common resolution but also a waning LCD LED panel type, TN (twisted nematic). TN monitors are known for speed and are typically cheaper than alternatives, but often have inferior contrast to VA (vertical alignment) panels and worse color and viewing angles than IPS (in-plane switching).

480 Hz on the horizon

AUO released the aforementioned video to promote its presence at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week conference in San Jose, California, this week. AUO announced that it would be “showcasing the application scenarios for the next-generation of gaming displays” at the conference.

Since AUO is a panel supplier, it didn’t point to any monitor release dates. AUO seemed to be putting more emphasis on promoting its panel technology at SID Week based on the announcement that it made about other innovations it would present at the conference.

Last summer, TFT Central also pointed to plans for AUO and LG to release 480 Hz monitors. And considering we’ve recently seen a 500 Hz PC monitor prototype, 480 Hz doesn’t sound too farfetched.

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