Hot off the CES 2020 presses, MSI has launched an ultra-wide gaming monitor that’s rated as 1000R, which is spec speak for saying that it’s curved to a degree that matches the field of view of your eyes, so the angle of view is spot on across everything you can see, reducing eye strain.
The MSI Optix MAG342CQR is a 34-inch display, with a resolution of 3440x1440, making it Quad HD, but with a 21:9 aspect ratio. It's also 144Hz, with a claimed 1ms response time.
Most curved monitors have a less dramatic bend than this – it’s always been too hard to get this kind of LCD display curved to the right degree. 2020 is the first year where that’s been possible, so MSI has gone straight in.
We’ve seen it in person, and it definitely feels more immersive. The deeper curve is noticeable, and though it isn't a transformative change, it's a nice step up.
It promises fantastic colour reproduction too, with 10-bit colour support and 100% of the sRGB spectrum, helped by the use of quantum dots in the display (the same type of tech used in QLED displays).
MSI has also announced a portable gaming monitor, called the Optix MAG161. It’s a 15.6-inch display, with 1920x1080 resolution. You can choose a 120Hz or 240Hz variant, depending on how fast you like your screen to react.
At 5mm thick, it’s made for taking around with you – for gamers, that means you you can add a second screen of stats or chat while playing on your main laptop screen. But it's also a good choice of high-quality second screen for anyone. It connects over a single USB-C cable, so it's just plug-and-go.
Expect to see both monitors this year (and not too late), but we don't have exact price or release dates yet.