There hasn’t been much reason to upgrade the screens we look at in recent years. Our consumer attention has been fixated on mobile technology, and there haven’t been any real “game changing” reasons to upgrade the screens for our fixed location devices. On average, the monitors we use at work, or the ‘big screen’ TV in our homes, haven’t been upgraded in quite some time.
In 2014, however, we may finally have reason to upgrade these fixed location screens. New ultra-HD, or ‘4K’ resolution displays, may make the upgrade decision worth revisiting. Resolutions on these devices are quadruple what most of us are used to with 1080 HD, and in practical terms, screens are often described as comparable to ‘looking out a window’.
To date, 4K technology has mostly been a TV-phenomenon, but that seems to be changing. Dell has announced a $1400 workplace monitor, which could conceivably drop below $1K mark later this year. YouTube looks to have codec support coming along nicely, which was obviously a consumer-driven decision, but could have a positive impact on business users later on.
The high ‘novelty’ prices that happen whenever a new technology is introduced — for example, TV’s that were $20-30K just this past March — have also dropped. Some well below the $5K mark, and slowly pushing down towards the sub-$2K ‘sweet spot’ for consumer electronics.
It’s hard to say how quickly law firms will adopt 4K display technology, or if they’ll even come close to it in 2014. But this is definitely a technology worth watching. It’s quickly becoming more accessible, and will eventually trickle down to everyone, lawyers included.
I see it this way… There are few professional groups that compare with lawyers in terms of their volume of ‘screen time’. Like a good office chair, having a great monitor might make those hours a little more pleasant.