“What’s the best HDMI 2.1 monitor?” It’s a question that I’ve received with increasing regularity over the past few weeks as next-generation consoles draw closer to release, and it’s one that I’ve had no answer for – there simply aren’t any monitors on the market that support the higher refresh rates and other gaming features offered by HDMI 2.1*. Apart from our best gaming TV pick, there aren’t even that many TVs that support the new standard either! Today though, I can finally offer a recommendation, as Eve has just announced that its crowd-developed Spectrum gaming monitor will be one of the first to come with HDMI 2.1.
You don’t need me to tell you that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are exciting prospects. As well as an increase in visual fidelity from the greater CPU, GPU and storage resources on offer – exemplified by the recent Unreal Engine 5 demo running on PS5 – the next-gen consoles will also support higher refresh rates, including 120Hz at 4K. That’s double the current 4K 60Hz standard, and it’s thanks to the inclusion of higher bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports. As well as supporting higher refresh rates at a given resolution, HDMI 2.1 also includes helpful gaming-focused features like Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rates (VRR). As well as the PS5 and XSX, HDMI 2.1 is also expected to appear on next-gen graphics cards from the likes of AMD and Nvidia. So if you’re buying a new high-end display for gaming, HDMI 2.1 support should be pretty high on your list of priorities.
We’ve covered the Spectrum a couple of times since it was announced last October, but if you missed those articles, no hard feelings! To briefly recap, the Spectrum is a crowd-developed monitor, meaning its design and features were voted on by a community of interested enthusiasts. That’s lead to the inclusion of unusual features for a 27-inch gaming monitor, like 100W USB-C pass-through charging and integer-ratio upscaling. The hardware inside is fascinating too, with Eve using the same Nano IPS panel technology that we loved in our current ‘best gaming monitor’ pick, the LG GL850, with improvements to important metrics like brightness, contrast, refresh rate and local dimming. The monitor is also set to be G-Sync compatible, so VRR is an option on a range of platforms. That could add up to an impressive gaming monitor, and HDMI 2.1 support only sweetens the deal.