Asus, MSI Join the 49-Inch Monitor Club

TAIPEI—Giant curved computer monitors are a luxury, to be sure, but they they’re not exactly rare. You can pick up a 34-inch model from a handful of mainstream manufacturers like HP and Dell, and it won’t set you back more than a few hundred dollars.

But boost the size to 49 inches, and you basically only had two options: Samsung and Philips. That changed this week at Computex, where Asus and MSI unveiled their own 49-inch offerings. Rather than marketing them towards extreme multitaskers like power plant operators who want to consolidate several displays into one, the companies intend them to be used for unbelievably immersive gaming.

To accomplish that, the MSI Optix MAG491C boasts a 144Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time, exactly what you’re looking for if you want to enjoy super smooth gameplay at full HD resolution and have the graphics horsepower to back it up.

With a resolution of 3,840 by 1,080, the display is essentially equivalent to two full HD (1,920 by 1,080) panels mounted side by side, except of course it’s a single panel with no distracting bezel to get in the way of your zombie killing. There’s also HDR support, a 3000:1 contrast ratio, 400 nits of brightness, three HDMI ports, and one DisplayPort connector.

The Asus VG49V’s basic specs are nearly identical, with the exception of a much better refresh rate (1ms) than the MSI monitor offers. The VG49V also offers a nifty “Picture-by-Picture” feature, which lets you display feeds from multiple inputs side by side when you’re not gaming. After all, you’d be hard-pressed to fill up 49 horizontal inches of space with browser windows.

Both displays support AMD Freesync to synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate with the frame rate output from your graphics card in order to reduce tearing and dropped frames.

There’s no word on pricing or availability for the US market yet, but an MSI representative said the company expects to offer the MAG491C for around $1,000 once it’s ready to go on sale.