When we first heard about the USB Type-C connector, a lot was said about how Type-C cables would be multi-function — it could be used for charging, data transfer, and even serve as an A/V connection to a monitor. In 2016, we’re going to see a lot more of the USB connector of the future, as it expands from laptops and smartphones to peripherals. One of the first of the latter is the Lenovo ThinkVision X1, a monitor announced this week at CES 2016.
The ThinkVision X1 is a 27″ 4k IPS display capable of 300 nits of brightness and a 6 ms response time. The tiny bezels keep the footprint down, while the tilt stand and the 178 degree viewing angle means you can set this monitor up pretty easily and see it comfortably from all angles. Speaking of keeping the footprint down, its also just 7.5 mm thick around the outer edges, making it one of the thinnest monitors of this size. There are also two built-in 3-watt speakers, a dual-array microphone, and a 1080p webcam, so you’re covered for video chatting or in-game communication.
But, that’s all stuff we’ve seen before. What’s exciting is the USB Type-C connector, which will open up some new possibilities. If you’re just using it as a PC monitor, you’ll probably still use HDMI or DisplayPort. But, if you want to use it as a second screen for a laptop or smartphone, you can use the USB Type-C connection, which will simultaneously stream data to the monitor and charge your other device. Not the most common use for a monitor, maybe, but for anyone used to a dual-screen set up powered by their laptop, it’s not a bad bonus.
The other surprisingly cool thing is the webcam. Besides being capable of 1080p streaming, it’s attached to a small hinge that can be tilted or rotated so you can get the camera angle just right, whether you’re video chatting or streaming yourself creating something on your desktop. In turn, that hinge is attached to a whole camera arm nestled into the side of the monitor. That arm can be popped out, which makes it possible to raise or lower the camera, too.
The Lenovo ThinkVision X1 monitor should ship in March of this year for $800.
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