Some will certainly wonder if a 55-inch screen can still be called a monitor. However, Gigabyte explicitly markets the S55U as a “gaming monitor”. The particularity is not only the size: Android OS and Google Assistant make it a “smart monitor”.
Like a Smart TV without a tuner
With a screen diagonal of 55 inches and a 4K UHD resolution in 16:9 format, the Gigabyte S55U is first and foremost reminiscent of a television. The integration of a processor with which simple applications run directly on the screen and without a PC also has an effect similar to that of a Smart TV. The principle is reminiscent of Samsung’s Smart Monitor series, but Gigabyte is not based on Tizen OS, but on Android OS.
Netflix and YouTube pre-installed
The S55U also supports apps compatible with this operating system, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. According to the manufacturer, Netflix and YouTube are already pre-installed to enjoy video streams directly. Applications are controlled by remote control. In addition, the Google Assistant allows, for example, a voice-controlled search function.
Thanks to the built-in Chromecast, media can also be streamed from a smartphone or tablet to the S55U. The S55U supports WiFi-5 (802.11ac) with 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz as well as Bluetooth. There is also an Ethernet port for wired connectivity.
High brightness VA panel
To showcase the advanced multimedia capabilities, the S55U features a 3,840×2,160 pixel VA panel with full local dimming, but this only extends to 132 zones, while modern mini-LED monitors ( and expensive) have several thousand zones. Gigabyte also announces a high brightness of 500 cd/m²; 1,500 cd/m² should even be reached in certain areas. The contrast ratio is specified at 5,000:1 and 1.07 billion colors indicates 10-bit color representation. The Quantum Dot coating on the backlight provides 96% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.
Two loudspeakers with a nominal power of 10 watts each are integrated. Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD are supported. There is also an optical digital output, which is rare for monitors. Dolby Vision IQ, HLG, HDR 10+ and HDMI CEC standards are also supported.
HDMI 2.1 with gaming features
Gaming ambitions are underlined with a 120 Hertz refresh rate, 2ms to 5ms response time, FreeSync Premium, HDMI 2.1 (including ALLM, eARC and VRR) and various game modes.
The publishers are still trying to clarify with the manufacturer when and at what price the Gigabyte S55U will be available. Meanwhile, the official product pages provide details.
Monitors of this size are indeed rare, but there are models from the Philips Momentum series, for example, in the same format. At 65 inches diagonally, large format monitors for gaming announced with Nvidia as the “Big Format Gaming Display” (BFGD) were once even larger, but they haven’t proven to be a longtime favorite in because of the extremely high price.
In any case, TVs are often a more attractive alternative in terms of price and can already compete with gaming monitors in many functions.