Indiana based company plows competition with its 49-inch display
When it comes to tech I am what you call a super fan. I love seeing innovation and when the bigger companies start to think more about how to make a big profit over making a better product innovation starts to get stale. That is unless someone decides to toss their name in the hat and punch the rest right in the gut. That’s what I feel VIOTEK does. They are a smaller company based out of the Midwest in Indiana. I have used monitors from them in the past and they have held strong against the likes of LG. So when I first saw the 49-inch monster that some other company put out I couldn’t wait to see what VIOTEK would put out and they didn’t disappoint.
The 49” Super Ultrawide Curved HDR Gaming Monitor (SUW49C) is a mammoth monitor that features 32:9 aspect ratio with 3840 x 1080p resolution at 144Hz. It comes with a remote and has FreeSync as well as additional features. The concept behind this behemoth of a monitor is that you can sit at a single monitor and get the same effect that you would have from multiple monitors. With it, you can experience vibrant images with one of the only super ultrawide monitors in the market to support High Dynamic Range (HDR). The monitor has been built with an industry-leading VA panel. It’s calibrated to deliver 16.7 million colors at 3000:1 contrast ratio. The SUW49C provides flexible options for connectivity to peripherals. It uses DisplayPort 1.2 port, 3.5mm audio, or HDMI 2.0 and 1.4 ports. With the 49-inch screen real estate available you have the ability to multitask with dual-input PIP/PBP functions so that you can have two sources displayed on a single screen.
- Resolution: 3840x1080p
- Screen Ratio: 32:9
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Response Time: 4ms with Overdrive
- Curvature: 1800R
- Viewing Angle: H178° / V178°
- Display Colors: 16.7M Colors
- NTSC: 85%
- Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
- Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 1M:1
- Brightness: 320cd/m2 (320 nits)
- VESA: 75x75mm
- Ports: 1x DP 1.2 (cable included), 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x 3.5mm audio input
- Speakers: 3W
- Backlight: E-LED
- Tilt Adjustable: Yes (-5° ~ 15°)
- Dimensions (with Stand): 47.2 x 17.6 x 9.5 in
- Weight: 25.2 lb (net), 33.5 lb (gross)
- Additional Features: GamePlus, Overdrive, AMD FreeSync™, PIP/PBP, Low Blue Light mode, RGB LED Backlight, Remote, Cable Management
- Color Availability: Black (Silver stand)
The monitor comes in pieces and you have to attach the main monitor to the stand and its base. Viotek makes it pretty easy though and includes all the hardware needed. Similar to other Viotek monitors I’ve seen, this 49-inch beast does not include a standard VESA mount. It does come with adapters but I would much rather see the monitor come with a standard VESA mount so that I could use it on a monitor arm. There are no height adjustments available on the stand, but you can tilt it. Other 49-inch monitors average $1,200 but the Viotek model is only $900. While it’s still a substantial investment, it’s far less than other brands offering the same size monitor. This automatically makes this monitor more appealing in my book.
To test the monitor’s performance, I plugged my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018) using a USB-C dock (for the gaming tests, I also used the Acer Nitro 5, model: AN517-51-56YW). Something that all Viotek monitors have in common is the unfortunate lack of cable management options. All the ports are located on the back of the monitor but they face downward so all the connected cables end up dangling out of the bottom of the monitor. It causes a lot of unsightly cable mess. I would really love to see Viotek develop their monitors so that their stands include a way to store cables.
The main navigation buttons are located directly below the display on front-middle of the screen. There are five buttons — power and four to control the OSD. The buttons can be a pain to use, but Viotek does include an IR remote, which comes in quite handy when trying to navigate the menu system and other inputs. The internal speakers are functional, but I recommend using a different set of speakers with more depth as the internal ones are lacking.
There are a few things I noticed right away. First, sitting too close to the monitor makes everything a bit distorted and pixelated. It’s best if you distance yourself from it and sit about a 36 inches away from the screen. Even though it’s a slim form monitor, the 49-inch beast still takes up a lot of physical desk space. So, if you allow yourself a bit of depth on your desktop, not only will you have enough space for your keyboard and mouse, but the display will actually look better, too. After all, the 3840 x 1080 resolution is really just like having two 1920 x 1080 monitors side-by-side. In addition to the distortion up close, I also thought the blacks and other dark colors looked a bit washed out. The brightness of this monitor is only rated at 320 nits, which falls short of the 400-nit requirement for VESA-certification as HDR400.
When I work on my computer, I use it in a variety of ways: productivity, gaming, multimedia, and photo editing. I tested out the 49-inch Viotek monitor with these areas in mind.
GAMING: I played through a few rounds of Code of War, a first-person shooter game, on the MacBook Pro. Code of War was released for Mac in 2018 and has the latest 3D graphics. Gameplay was very smooth. I didn’t experience any lag and movements were uninhibited. I thought the curvature of the screen really immersed me into the game, too. Using the Acer gaming laptop, I played Team Fortress 2, which is also a fast-paced, first-person shooter. Gameplay was also smooth and without lag or stutter using the Acer laptop.
The only issue I really had was that the screen of the game kept getting cut off when I went to ‘full screen’ mode. I believe this is because the game isn’t optimized for that large of a screen. When I punch in full screen on the MacBook Pro or even a 34-inch UltraWide screen, I can still see the entire field of play without it being cut off.
PRODUCTIVITY (EMAIL/OFFICE TASKS): One of the biggest benefits of having a screen this large is that you can multitask like never before. I was able to have an Internet browser window open, word processor and even a window for editing photos. For me, this was the reason to have a the 49-inch titan of a monitor. The screen provided crisp, clear text and scrolling without any stuttering.
PHOTO EDITING: Prior to using the Super Ultrawide monitor, I was using a 34-inch UltraWide HD monitor as my external screen real estate. While this was a much better option than my 15-inch MacBook Pro, it’s about a third of the size of the 49-inch monitor. So, when I installed the SUW49C, I found that having that huge environment to work in was so much easier. The HDR screen is perfect for being able to make color correction judgments and it’s much easier to be able to juggle photo editing with all the toolbars that are included in photo editing apps.
VIDEO STREAMING: Because I also use my laptop for entertainment, one of the first things I did once I installed the monitor was to pull up Netflix and peruse some content. I thought the monitor did a great job with showcasing high-quality video and didn’t notice any color saturation problems or digital artifacting. One thing I did notice was that ‘full screen’ wasn’t really full screen on this monitor. There was a full, widescreen viewing window inside the browser window. This is one of those times that I felt that the viewing experience wasn’t enhanced by using the 49-inch monster of a monitor. I think it will be amazing once content providers catch-up to these larger format screens, but it was a shortcoming at this point of time.
In addition to my practical/usage testing, I also ran a couple of benchmarking tests. The first was the Eizo Monitor Test. This is an online test that checks 13 different measurements including a test pattern, defective pixels, uniformity, color distances, gradients, sharpness, viewing angle, gamma, and response time. I thought that the SUW49C did exceptionally well. It passed all 13 tests with flying colors — even the gradient test, which I have had issues in the past with other monitors.
VIOTEK is based out of Indiana – designed in Indiana repaired in Indiana but made in China – and makes some super nice inexpensive monitors that are absolutely wonderful. This beast of a monitor isn’t for the faint of heart and you definitely need to have the physical space to accommodate it. That said, the 49-inch Super Ultrawide is a great choice for gaming and productivity needs.