Dell drops 5K monitor price after Apple launches new iMac

Dell says it will ship its UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD for under $US2000

Dell's UltraSharp 27-inch 5K monitor

Dell's UltraSharp 27-inch 5K monitor

The 5K monitor price war has begun even before a stand-alone monitor based on the display technology has actually shipped. Dell, which has announced but not yet shipped its UltraSharp 5K monitor, says it will cut its price, in the wake of Apple's latest 27-inch iMac hitting the market.

Announced in September, Dell's UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD will be priced under US$2,000 from December. It will ship next month.

The monitor, when announced, was originally priced $US2499.99. Dell did not immediately provide reasons for the change on the price. However, Jennifer Colegrove, founder and president of Touch Display Research, said Apple's 27-inch iMac, which sports a 5K display, may have been a catalyst.

For $US2499.99, Apple is throwing an entire computing platform into its 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display. Dell's UltraSharp 27 is only a monitor and the company may have had to drop its price to attract buyers, Colegrove said.

Apple beat Dell on making 5K displays available when it started shipping the iMac earlier this month. 5K monitors display images at a resolution of 5120 x 2880. This is about 60 percent more pixels than 4K displays, which have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Dell is still taking orders for the 5K monitor at $US2499.99 on its website, but said the price would drop in December.

At $2,000, Dell's 5K monitor may be worth it for those who want to upgrade from conventional 1080p monitors, Colegrove said.

Dell's 5K monitor has its merits, sporting an "anti-smudge/anti-reflective edge-to-edge glass design and pristine picture quality for color-critical work," Colegrove said.

The monitor has two 16-watt integrated Harman Kardon speakers, six USB ports and one media card reader. It also has one mini-DisplayPort and two DisplayPort interfaces.

The monitor can work with any PC a user chooses, Colegrove said. It could be attractive to graphic designers, movie makers and others who find high-resolution images valuable, she said.

It also is likely to be the only stand-alone 5K monitor available when it ships, while Apple's 5K iMac is an all-in-one.

For those who already have a 4K display, there's very little incentive to upgrade to 5K. 4K monitors are available for as low as $700, and there is content being produced for 4K, which is considered the next industry standard. Content made for 4K will look no better on 5K displays, unless it is upscaled through special software.

But vendors are gradually moving to 5K and beyond -- to 8K resolution. The first 8K TVs will come out next year, and monitors based on the technology are likely to appear in 2017, Colegrove said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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