If further evidence of the rapid growth in the market for professional displays was needed, it can be found in the number of major name manufacturers who are entering the market.
At an ISE press conference yesterday, Japanese giant Sharp threw its hat in the ring with the announcement of four new flat panel screens. According to the company, it is the first LCD manufacturer in the world to produce a high performance monitor with a screen diagonal of 152 cms (60in). Also announced were 132cm (52in), 119cms (47in) and 107 cms (42in) screens. They will be officially launched in Europe in March.
According to Sharp, the PN-E601, PN-E521, PN-E471 and PN-E421 professional monitors combine premium picture quality with reduced power consumption, feature narrow frames and are much lighter in weight than their predecessors, meaning that they are easier to install. They will be manufactured in what Sharp describes as the first '10th generation' LCD factory in the world - namely Sharp's own plant in Sakai, Japan.
All four screens feature full 1,920 x 1,080 pixel HD resolution, and are designed for continuous 24-7 operation; they are also fanless, meaning that they are silent in operation.
All four models have an expansion capability based on a simple modular construction principle.
Sharp also announced that Elektrosil, one of its partners for touch products, is making available an infrared-multipoint touch screen with a vandal-proof anti-reflective glass specially designed for the PN-E601 monitor. Besides the detection of multiple touch points the multipoint touch screen also features gesture detection such as scrolling, zooming and rotation of objects.