We saw the tall-screen trend coming—but we didn’t know things would get this tall. PC monitors that are taller than they are wide have enjoyed a resurgence this year, as they provide more vertical space for taking in long documents, articles, spreadsheets, and social media and news feeds. But this 420×1920 monitor takes the tall-screen thing to new heights.
As spotted by Gizmodo today, the screen comes from Elsonic, a sub-brand of Japanese company Nojima, which started off with LED bulbs but now makes TVs and other tech products. The EK-MD088 proposes a new category for PC monitors: ultra-tall. Sure, ultra-wide monitors have won spots in the homes of productivity hounds who need to be surrounded by all their tabs and gamers who want to get lost in their virtual world. But an ultra-tall monitor lets you give in to that insatiable need to scroll. The product page specifically highlights web browsing, Twitter, and browser games as use cases.
The display is only 8.8 inches, so it would best serve as a portable or secondary monitor. It charges via USB-C but can’t output video through the port. The monitor relies on mini HDMI for its video signal. That gives it a little versatility in the sense that it can connect to things lacking USB-C, like a Raspberry Pi and older systems. But with more PCs starting to ditch HDMI, and the monitor already having a USB-C port right there, it feels like a missed opportunity.
Built like a New York City skyscraper, the EK-MD088 takes up minimal surface space. Its base is approximately 3.07×0.83 inches (78×21 mm), and it towers 9.76 inches (248 mm) into the sky. The display should make an easy portable monitor, (assuming you can find a case to accommodate its dimensions), as it only weighs about 0.43 pounds (198 g).
A 420×1920 resolution gives the TFT panel an aspect ratio of 7:32. While a ratio of 16:9 is still the most common, 16:10 is gaining popularity, and we’re also seeing the even taller 3:2, such as in the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Think the tall screen’s comeback is just a phase? Fear not. The EK-MD088’s screen is ready to adapt; its stand allows you to switch into horizontal mode as well, according to the product page.
As we would hope with such a small screen, the EK-MD088’s pixel density is rather high at 223.3 pixels per inch.
Elsonic’s listing doesn’t get into color capabilities but says the screen has a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz and a typical brightness of 300 nits. The screen has two buttons on the side that let you pick between six brightness settings.
As of writing, it looks like the monitor will only hit Japan. It’s expected to release in “early February,” the product page says, for 14,800 yen, which is about $128.21 (this doesn’t count any shipping fees) right now—a lower price for those craving a high-climbing monitor.