Saturday, June 22, 2024

This Google TV computer monitor from ASUS oddly makes a lot of sense

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As part of Computex 2024, ASUS has announced a bit of an oddity in the ZenScreen Smart MS27UC: the world’s first Google TV monitor. It blurs the lines between monitor and smart TV, and though it sounds a tad off the wall, I have to admit I’m quite intrigued by this sort of thing. I’ll explain why after we cover the details on the device itself.

The ZenScreen Smart MS27UC boasts a 27-inch 4K (3840×2160) IPS panel that delivers crisp visuals and vibrant colors. Whether working, streaming, or gaming, ASUS says this monitor can handle it all. And thanks to its built-in “front-output” 5W Harman Kardon speakers, this monitor should also output some decently high-quality audio without the need for external speakers.

Monitor, Smart TV, or both?

But what sets this monitor apart is its inclusion of Google TV. With a full-blown TV OS included in the monitor (running Google TV atop Android TV 11) that even has a bespoke remote control included, you have access to the full library of apps from the Google Play Store and can easily stream content from your favorite platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube without any external hardware needed. There’s even a clever storage space behind the display that neatly tucks away the keyboard, mouse, and remote control when not in use.

Asus has also packed this monitor with powerful features. A “Multi-Platform Live Streaming app” allows you to broadcast to multiple platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch simultaneously. Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, USB-C (PD 90W), and two USB-A ports. It also supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and wireless screen mirroring with Miracast support.

No mention was made in the press release about brightness levels, contrast ratios, or color gamut coverage, so we’re not quite sure how good the actual display is on this device. However, ASUS has a great track record with their computer monitors, so I’d expect this one to be quite good as well.

Pricing and availability are still up in the air, too, but I find this to be a very interesting concept. Can I play media from my connected Chromebook when I want to watch something? Sure! But there’s something a bit more “leaned back” about browsing with a remote. And as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I take my lunches right at the desk, and for some odd reason, watching content with a remote and a streaming device feels more relaxing than browsing for content with a keyboard and mouse.

But I could also see other opportunities for something like this to shine, too. I imagine home offices or desk setups in smaller rooms that could benefit from letting the larger screen in the room double as a more-standard television as well. Though I’m not 100% sure how many people will opt for this sort of device, I do think it is compelling for sure. Price and availability will determine whether or not we actually see this thing start showing up in homes and offices, but kudos to ASUS for thinking a bit outside the box.

VIA: 9to5 Google

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