Apple selling Sharp 4K monitor ahead of Mac Pro launch

Agam Shah
9 December, 2013
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UPDATED: Apple is selling a 4K monitor from Sharp that could allay concerns of users looking to buy the upcoming Mac Pro desktop for ultra-high definition content creation.

Sharp’s PN-K321 4K Ultra HD LED monitor, which displays images at a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, is on sale for €3999 ($6018) through Apple’s UK and other European online stores. The monitor is not yet listed on Apple’s US or Australia online store.

Some TVs and monitors already support 4K, the successor to current high-definition specifications in which images are displayed at a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. This Sharp monitor shows “four full HD screens on a single seamless display,” according to the product description on the website.

Apple this month will ship the Mac Pro high-end desktop, which is largely aimed at creative professionals and engineers. The desktop has multiple graphics cards that will allow the creation of 4K content. Some buyers looking to pick up the new Mac Pro have voiced concerns about the lack of a 4K display from Apple.

Apple until now has not directly sold a 4K display, but could ultimately add 4K capabilities to its Thunderbolt Display monitor, which displays images at 2560 x 1440 pixels.

The Sharp display has DisplayPort and HDMI connectors. The Thunderbolt 2 ports in Mac Pro support DisplayPort. The monitor is based on Sharp’s IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) semiconductor technology, which allows smaller pixels to be crammed into the same space so screens can display higher-definition images. The IGZO technology “supports increased pixel transparency and reduced current leakage, thereby making the monitor more energy efficient,” according to the product description.

UPDATE: Today, several observers have noted that the Sharp 4K, which was briefly featured in the online Apple App Store, has now been removed from the site, leading to speculation it was put up there too early, perhaps by accident. Whatever the reason behind its fleeting appearance though, this does seem to indicate that the Mac Pro will be making an appearance sooner rather than later.

by Agam Shah, IDG News Service

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