ASUS PQ321Q is first consumer-level 4K monitor, available for pre-order now

We've seen some 4K TVs rolled out in recent times, including an announcement of Toshiba's Ultra HD 4K TV late last month. Today the first ever consumer-level 4K monitor, the Asus PQ321Q True 4K, has been launched for pre-order at three online retailers. Measuring in at 31.5-inches, the PQ321Q offers ultra-high-definition for an MSRP of $3,499.

The Asus PQ321Q features a 31.5-inch 16:9 aspect ratio IGZO WLED backlit panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (140ppi) and 1073.7 million colors. A typical LCD monitor uses an amorphous silicon for its active layer, but ASUS has elected to use an Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, referred to more commonly as IGZO. This is what allows the panel to display the higher number of pixels (four-fold) than a 1080p monitor's panel.

The contrast ratio comes in at 800:1, while the viewing angle is 176-degrees both horizonal and vertical. Response time is 8ms, and there's support for 10-bit RGB referred to as "deep color."The deep color support is said to provide a hue transitional color palette that is more natural than what you get with an average HD monitor.

Because the display uses an IGZO panel, the energy usage is lower than with a traditional active layer (93W operating, 6W standby, and 1W on low power), as well as a thinner profile at 35mm at its widest point. Because of this, Asus touts the PQ321Q as also being the thinnest monitor available on the market currently, in addition to being the only consumer-level 4K monitor.

As far as video ports go, this Asus monitor features DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 1.4, and RS-232C, while audio includes 3.5mm input and output ports, as well as two integrated 2W speakers. The stand is a pivol/swivel/tilt offering, but there's also a Vesa wall mount. The entire unit weighs in at 28.6lbs.

As far as warranty goes, Asus is including a Zero Bright Dot 30-day warranty with the monitor in the event a pixel or two goes rogue. The device is available for preorder now from TigerDirect, Newegg, and