Two LG OLED Flex LX3 TVs face to face

Here comes the bendable TVs and monitors no one wants

enlarge / LG’s OLED Flex LX3 TVs don’t take sides.

If you’ve been paying attention to display technology lately, you’ve probably noticed an interesting feature: a bendable display. Yes, monitors and TVs that can purportedly bend to be flat or curved are coming soon. The feature is designed to appease those who can’t fit flat or curved, and most upcoming products feel equally indecisive, exhibiting an identity crisis that makes it hard to see where they fit…literally. Does something like this belong in a living room, office, or game room?

Take the LG OLED Flex LX3 4K TV announced Wednesday (no price or release date), The most obvious answer is the living room. It’s a 42-inch TV with a tuner, LG’s webOS, and even LG Display’s OLED Evo technology used in the LG C2 TV. The main difference from every other TV is that this TV has buttons (including on the remote) to change the screen from flat to 900R curvature in 20 steps.This offers a potential extremely Curved TV.

The thing is, you probably don’t want to watch a curved TV. Vendors tried this a few years ago, but as we wrote at the time, curved TVs were mostly suitable for people sitting very close to and directly in front of the TV. This is not how most people gather in the center of the living room. TVs in living rooms are often shared, with people sitting at different distances and at different angles from the screen. But up close and centered sounds very similar to how most people use their monitors.

Based on this image, LG believes its TVs are also being used as PC monitors.
enlarge / Based on this image, LG believes its TVs are also being used as PC monitors.

A switching hub should make it easy for an HDMI-connected PC to use the TV’s microphone and USB-connected peripherals. A dedicated button on the stand switches between TV and HDMI input. HDMI supports version 2.1, which means the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S can connect and use the TV’s 4K, 120Hz refresh rate. There’s also plenty of adaptive sync compatibility, and you can even adjust the viewable screen size to 27 inches.

Gaming is the most popular use of curved screens these days, as players sit near the monitor and feel the virtual world wrapping around them. But many living room setups cannot accommodate this. Someone with a lot of flexibility might be able to roll a gaming chair onto a TV for an intense gaming session, but we wouldn’t bet that this will drive a lot of sales of bendable TVs, which are sure to command a premium.

A bendable display, too

This Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 Monitor Announced last week (pricing and availability should be announced this year)Meanwhile, it appears to be targeting spec-based PC gaming dens. It’s a 45-inch monitor with 3440 x 1440, 21:9 resolution, up to 800R curve, and LG Display’s W-OLED panel. A grey-to-grey response time of 0.03 milliseconds is reported. Obviously, this is for serious gamers, for whom a curved ultrawide monitor with extremely limited motion blur is the ultimate monitor.

The 800R is an extreme curve, even for a high-performance ultrawide gaming monitor.
enlarge / The 800R is an extreme curve, even for a high-performance ultrawide gaming monitor.

So why put a tacky handle on a monitor that makes you bend or bend it? Of course, it wasn’t just because I had to physically manipulate the 45-inch OLED panel you bought with your own money to get sick. No, it has to be for versatility. Many people prefer productivity and other types of computing on a tablet (though I know some work dogs who are obsessed with wrapping themselves with curved ultrawides), and the 45WQHD240 should do it, so you don’t need more than one for work and gaming monitors.

However, the 45WQHD240’s gaming specs and possibly high price point will make it best suited for extreme gamers who also prefer ultra-wide curved monitors. Users will need a powerful PC and a powerful graphics card that can push 4,953,600 pixels at 240 frames per second. Extremely fast video action processing, built for the hardcore gamer who takes the battlefield seriously. And for this type of player, gaming is a priority, which increases the chances that the 45WQHD240 will be used primarily as a curved ultra-wide gaming monitor.

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