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Could your next TV be a PC monitor?

The PC monitor space is currently going through a real shake up, with TV makers including LG increasingly positioning their OLED televisions as computer screens, with more desk-friendly sizes and full support for high refresh rate gaming. At the same time, traditional PC monitor makers are rising to the challenge by releasing models that are designed to serve double duty as a television.

The strongest example of this is the Aorus FV43U from Gigabyte, which comes with all the features you would expect from a top-of-the line 4K gaming monitor in a TV-sized package, complete with two HDMI 2.1 ports for connecting the PS5 and Xbox Series X at full tilt. It even has decent sounding built-in speakers and includes a remote in the box.

The Gigabyte Aorus FV43U works as both a big computer monitor and a small TV.

The Gigabyte Aorus FV43U works as both a big computer monitor and a small TV.

The value proposition of a monitor that can also act as a TV is compelling for those who crave more desktop real estate, or live in a small apartment where space is at a premium. The question is, should you buy a jumbo sized monitor or just bite the bullet and buy a television instead?

The first thing to consider is size. The smallest LG OLED television for example is 48 inches (122 cm), which while fine for a small living room but too big for most desks. The Aorus is a 43-inch monitor that is still large, but not so big that you need to crane your neck or burn your retinas at normal desktop viewing distance.

Monitors of this size come with a fixed stand, so you lose out on height or tilt adjustments that you would normally get with a regular sized monitor. The Aorus comes with two V-shaped feet which thoughtfully takes up less space on a desk than the ones you would find on regular flat panel TV stands. However, I would still recommend a mount for most people as that will give you the adjustability you need while also allowing you to push the screen back a bit further for a more comfortable viewing experience.

The Aorus also boasts a matte coating which does a much better job at keeping reflections at bay than the glossy coating normally found on televisions. There are other desktop friendly features as well such as a built-in KVM switch so you can use the same keyboard and mouse on two different machines, which is handy if you also use a laptop at your desk.

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The thing to keep in mind with jumbo sized monitors is that they lack a TV tuner and built-in streaming apps, as well as the picture processing enhancements to upscale SD or regular HD content like a dedicated television can. That’s not really an issue if you’re doing all your movie and TV watching through a connected streaming box, which I suspect most will.

Of course the Aorus really shines as a gaming display. The refresh rate can 144Hz, which is higher than any television, provided you have a PC capable enough to drive it. Contrast levels are impressive for an LCD, backed up by blindingly beautiful HDR performance that can hit 1000 nits peak brightness, and the factory colour calibration is up there with professional grade monitors making it a good fit for colour accurate work.

At $1600, the Aorus is quite a bit cheaper than other comparable monitors on the market and premium televisions such as LG’s 48-inch C1 OLED. Just make sure you have the desk space for it, and are prepared for an adjustment period of a few weeks if you’re coming across from a smaller monitor.

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