Sharp is keen to disabuse ASUS of the assumption it will have the best Ultra HD display news today, one-upping the PQ321Q with a 4K2K pen-enabled touchscreen. The Sharp PN-K322B, set to hit the market on June 30, monopolizes your desk with a 32-inch 3,840 x 2,160 IGZO LCD panel that can be sketched on, written on, or generally controlled with the fingers.
According to Sharp, the pen input system the PN-K322B uses is a proprietary one, so it seems old favorite Wacom isn't being used here. Instead, the Sharp Cintiq rival cooks up its own pen, multitouch, and palm-recognition system, among the benefits of which includes the freedom to lean your hand on the screen and not have it affect what you're drawing.
The panel itself uses edge-mounted LED backlighting, and the whole screen is just 36mm thick. It's mounted on an adjustable hinge, so that it can be pulled upright for more traditional purposes, or rocked back into an easel arrangement for more comfortable finger and stylus use.
Of course, it's Ultra HD resolution and IGZO panel technology that we're most interested in. IGZO, which Sharp co-developed, uses a different active layer - Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, hence the name, rather than the more common amorphous silicon - for smaller pixels, among other things. We've already seen Sharp use the technology for low-power, high-brightness smartphone and tablet displays, but it's been slower to reach the desktop at larger sizes.
However, ASUS' PQ321Q, up for preorder from $3,500 from today, is believed to use a Sharp IGZO panel, and now Sharp itself has raised the game by fusing touch support in there too. Up to 10 fingers are supported simultaneously, while the screen pushes out 300 cd/m2 brightness.
Connectivity includes two HDMI and one DisplayPort, and if you use the latter you can have up to 3,840 x 2,160 @ 60p resolution. HDMI gets the same resolution, but only at 30p. There's also an audio input for the twin 2W speakers, and USB for hooking up the touchscreen.
Sharp is yet to confirm pricing for the new PN-K322B, though the expectation is that it will carry a decent premium over the ASUS display. That's reflected in Sharp's production plans, with only 250 units a month expected to leave the factory.