Initial design directions for Spectrum are here!

Q1: Should our monitor have an ON-OFF indicator LED light? Please explain the comments below why and if YES what this light should communicate?
Yes. I want to be able to tell if my monitor is on and in standby. The light should indicate that the monitor is on…one color for on and one for standby.

Q2: Who is using more than one monitor? Time to raise your hand.
I am at work. I would love to get 2 spectrums but I don’t think I’llbe able to afford that.

Q3: If you are using more than one display what are your current pain points?
Cable clutter, different stands.

Q4: If we think of the port’s hub as a “unit” that can be moved and arranged around the display. Would this be something beneficial to your case? What are the PRO and CONS in your opinion?
I’m not really sure. Seems like more clutter and ports in the display would be better. Why build a port hub for this anyway if we’re going build Donald Dock?

Q5: What are the PRO and CONS of a hardwired power cable in your opinion?
PROS- Can’t loose it…but it’s pretty hard to loose a pwr cablefor a monitor. Better strain relief for the cable…but that can be mitigated on a removable cable by thoughtful housing design.
CONS- Can’t replace it, fixed length.
I think the best solution is to either build the AC adapter into the monitor or use a wall brick like the V…except low profile and 90° angle. This way the cord can be replaced and clutter is reduced.

Q6: What kind of peripherals would you see as a must-have to connect to the screen if we consider it as a “control center”?
That’s different for each user. I think it’s more important to enable users to connect the peripherals they need…so include the right ports. Personally, I would use a wireless charging pad, power output for charging other items like cameras and tablets, headphones, SD and MicroSD cards and flash drives. I do really like the idea of inductive charging in the stand.

Q7: Do you find yourself having the need to move your display? If so where and how do you move it?
Sometimes. If it was more portable I might move it more often. I throw a blanket or towel over the monitor and stand it up in the back seat of my vehicle with something supporting it.

Q8-Q10:
I think a lot of these designs have crossover that can be utilized. My choices for Spectrum would be…slim/equal bezels, basic form language and color of Big V, multiple monitor design elements of Better Together(minus the port hub-put ports in the monitor), buttons along the bottom but set back from Clean Slate (Capcitive or Physical…I prefer a 4-way switch setup), optional stands based on Control Center and Carry Away, reinforced cable of Carry away (except removable), VESA mount, low profile wall AC adapter, On-Standby indicator light in pwr button. Build Donald Dock to compliment Spectrum, Quantum and the V but still be useful on its own. NO fabrics!

Of course, price is still a major factor for me and I want to see how that will factor in based on the available options.

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Functionality and reliability in a clean looking design are number one priority for me.

Definitely would not want a hardwired power cord. LED is important for me, if even just to indicate standby mode. I don’t need a capacitive power button, monitor OSD controls should be very easy to press consistently, I feel physical buttons or a joystick may be better for that but I could be fine either way. I also wouldn’t want an external hub as it’s just one more thing cluttering the desk. If it can attach to the monitor then an option to have it external is fine.

Top 3 Overall Features Present in Concepts:

Clean professional look
Small Bezels
Small stand footprint with a good level of adjustability.

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I’d like to add that even if indicator LED is used, there should be a way to configure it’s behavior, for example turn it off during the night etc.

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I think an interesting solution for the integrated vs stand alone USB hub debate could be a USB hub in the base. Having a version without the hub would allow people who don’t want or need it to opt out.

I would really like for the USB C connector to offer dock like functionality though. It carrying display signal, power and USB 3 to the hub is a must for this.

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Whichever design wins, I hope it retains VESA compatibility. Ideally directly, though an included adapter would also work.

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Q1: Should our monitor have an ON-OFF indicator LED light? Please explain the comments below why and if YES what this light should communicate?

– I’d only want the light on when the monitor is off if it had to be there to indicate where the power button was. Overall I don’t think the light is necessary, but wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me if it were there.

I’d agree with earlier comments - a light that is on when connected to power but not active, but off when active would be great but fine if it is on and can be used to find buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Q3: If you are using more than one display what are your current pain points?

I use my laptop and an additional screen. I use a riser to lift the screen up as it does not have enough height extension to put it in an ergonomic position (my fault when I bought it). I do find having the riser (which is effectively a couple of shallow shelves) useful for storing keyboard and laptop when not in use. The keyboard is for my desktop which shares the screen.

Switching between sources is a pain - I have at points, used three different sources with my current monitor (personal laptop, work laptop and desktop) all connected to different inputs. Even with just two, I am switching inputs multiple times a day.

Q4: If we think of the port’s hub as a “unit” that can be moved and arranged around the display. Would this be something beneficial to your case? What are the PRO and CONS in your opinion?

If we are talking about a magnetic/similar “unit” that can be placed in different places on the back of the monitor depending on personal preference then that could work (lefties and righties could put it on different sides of the display) or it could be used as a dock on the desk, that could be very nice.

As per above - would probably only want one of them on a multi monitor setup though - if we are using TB3/USBC to connect monitors in daisy chain, it could be fantastic!

Q5: What are the PRO and CONS of a hardwired power cable in your opinion?

Pro - Hardwired cable could mean thinner display.

Cons - International use - you would have to manufacture monitors with correct cables in place as opposed to putting one in a box at picking time.

Replacing damaged cables is a pain.

If using USBC to power the monitor then no need to have hard wired cable.

Q6: What kind of peripherals would you see as a must-have to connect to the screen if we consider it as a “control center”?

Speakers, headphones, USB for webcam, (Micro) sd card slot, USB-C for power (in and out) future proofing peripherals move to USB-C, regular USB for power and data, OSD controls, Source switcher, ethernet

Q7: Do you find yourself having the need to move your display? If so where and how do you move it?

– no, I would not be moving a screen of this size. Would only carry a 15inch screen or less with my laptop. I would rather have a decent stand.

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Q3:
The bezel on my screens are to big.
They are on 2 different stands making adjustments a pain.

Q4:
Pros: easy access.
Cons: Taking up deskspace (not a huge con).

Q5:
Pros:looks slick (though often the screen would be agaist a wall so not visible anyway).
Cons: Difficult to move the screen to another place (like a friends house), Can’t be replaced.

Q6:
Usb for connecting the keyboard and maybe the mouse (mouse mostly have a long hardwired cable so maybe not ideal).
Usb for phone charging.
Wireless charging could be cool, but should be an addon as many can’t use it.

Q7: Usually I take 1 of my monitors to LAN parties.
I unplug the powerconnecter and HDMI, and take a spare powerconnecter and HDMI with me so i don’t have to mess with the cable management

Q10:
Cable embedded in stand
Housing made for multple monitors (if you could make the normal stand be able to be put in the middle holding up both monitors it would be awesome.

Extra:
Could you make so the onboard controls have a popup on screen telling which button does what instead permanent icons on the bezel

I suppose carry-away is not gonna make it, but here is my opinion anyway, because I would like it.
As a photographer It would sometimes be cool to have an easily portable color correct screen.

But it would need an easily and securely attachable stiff front lid to protect the screens surface during transport in a car and carrying to set etc. At the moment people bring whole imacs or eizo-screens in their original bulky boxes to sets. (And of course “seemingly” light weight won’t help much.)

And this would only make sense if hardware calibration is possible, color range is big (99% Adobe RGb or so) and 10bpc-colors are supported, so I can use the screen as my main color correct desktop screen and just pick it up, if I need it for larger productions.

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I’ve been looking for a single-cable solution for my workstation dock, a Dell U2715H on a VESA arm. I have a personal laptop, a work laptop, and possibly other people’s laptops that I’d like to be able to connect to my setup and enjoy access to all its peripherals, plus charge them as well

Concept 5, the Control Center, really speaks to me for that reason. The full complement of devices includes keyboard, mouse, USB audio, Yubikey, the occasional flashdrive or external, and LAN cable (through USB adapter if necessary).

I understand the appeal of Concept 3 but it was the least appealing for me because just about every clean, minimalist USB-C monitor I’ve found does away with some things I need, like USB power passthrough, or just having enough connectivity. And almost all of them have all their ports at the back, which is an inconvenient place to plug in a flashdrive.

I’m open to using a hub extension if it makes sense (design, placement, etc). But I’d really like to see what we can come up with :slight_smile:

Make the USB Hub a little box that can be attached to the left or the right (and maybe even down) side of the monitor or laid down on the desk - whatever the user needs. Use a knureld screw or even a simple plastic clip mechanism.
The hub could be connected to the monitor via a short cable, just long enough to attach from all the possible mounting positions to the centrally placed connector.
People who want the hub on the desk should be able to just replace this cable with a longer one.

I don’t know if this is technically feasable, but it would provide a one fits all approach to every usecase and you could simple switch the position if you desk setup changes - long term perfect usability.

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Q1
Has it power? Is there a signal?

Q3
To get more display size. Two monitors doubles the elements which can be displayed, a bigger monitor mostly just increaes the size without the anount of shown elements

So these are my first “blind answers”, without reading the other comments (which could change my mind). I’ll review them after reading the whole thread.

Q1: It definitely should have an ON-OFF indicator. It reminds you to save energy, and also helps troubleshooting when your computer greets you with a dark screen. It should show at least ON (fixed light) and STANDBY/NO SIGNAL (maybe breathing) modes.

Q2: Having two or more monitors is one of the features I most want on my workplace. Whenever a monitor is free around the office, I bring it to my table :grin:

Q3: Pain points of multiple monitors: Different sized and very wide bezels, that just don’t look great (this is a rather small problem). Not being able to fully elevate, tilt or rotate monitors would be a bigger problem. Also, if both monitors only rotate to the same side, one monitor will block the ports of the other one.

Q4: A movable ports hub may help when monitors are placed side by side and one of them blocks the ports of the other, but I don’t see this happening a lot if the ports are on the lower-center part of the monitor. And it would be another thing to move and place around the desk. When I use a dongle or dock, I actually like to hide it behind the monitor or under the table, so this would be an anti-feature :wink:

Q5: A hardwired cable looks great, and I understand why they would want that from a design perspective, but being able to unplug and replace it is a feature, and expands the lifetime of the monitor. Question: Is there any new standard that can be used instead of the old fat monitor power cable?

Q6: Maybe an external USB disk? A place where I can dock my phone and charge it? No, I can’t see any advantages of cluttering my monitor with other stuff.

Q7: I never move my monitor around. A 27’’ monitor doesn’t seem very portable anyway.

Q8 and Q9:

I think the big V makes a lot of sense. The V already has a particular look that works well both for a personal or a professional environment. Cool, modern, simple, solid. I love the bezels being the same in all sides, so you can really place the monitor in any position. I think this could be done compatible with the Carry Away concept. Kind of a “bigger V you can take with you”, but it isn’t a priority for me.
Clean slate is also nice (and can be moved closer to the big V by just using the same color/finish and some other design hints).
The reason I don’t like the Better Together concept is because it would only work in one position: side by side. Two monitors can be combined in different ways. Right now I have one in horizontal and another one in vertical position, and it’s one of the best setups I’ve tried. Sometimes I set them both to vertical, and other people would like to set them one on top of the other. So, oddly enough, the best concept for dual monitor is the big V because all bezels are equal, and it feels like a big V you can place in different ways. Also, many people will already have another monitor they want to use, so the side-by-side effect would be very easily lost.

Control Center is an interesting approach, but goes against the agreement so far, which is to have a very good ‘pure’ monitor with no added features (speakers, mic, webcam… or these kinds of object holders, chargers, etc.).

I must say I LOVED the little furniture approach as a design concept. It’s very creative and reminds me of the great futuristic furniture design of the 70s. But, somehow, I can’t see this monitor easily blending in any home I know. It would look over-designed in the era of cheap Ikea furniture.

Q10: Best features:

  • Same sized bezels around the monitor, as seen in the big V.
  • Hidden edge ports with tactile features (although I’m not really sure what this means). The clean slate sounds good because of this.
  • The monitor ‘making sense’ without the stand, as it will be an optional feature. The big V concept sounds good because of this flexibility. Wall mounted, mounted on a VESA arm, etc.

No-gos:

  • Ports, cables or other features built in the stand. It will be optional, so keep it simple, and make the monitor ‘work’ without it.
  • Fixed power cable.

Another note: To simplify the design, the VESA mount could be used either by the default stand or by the VESA arm, meaning it would be always in use. Is there a case for which we would want the VESA mount to still be exposed while using the default stand? Oh right; attaching a NUC or similar device. In this case, a nice, removable cover for the VESA mount could be an optional branding asset.

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I haven’t read all the comments so far but I wanted to give my 10 cents

I’m all for a detached hub. BUT it should be usable without it being seen as well. I would love to hide it behind the monitor and pick it when needed. For some design idea’s I’d recommend the Ikea remote it has an magnetic mount that you can stick anywhere with some 3M glue. Not saying copy this, but take some inspiration from it.

sidenote; the ikea remote is NOT helpfull for blind control. The symetric design plus it can rotate in the mount make it horrible for that. So don’t make it round please.

The thing with the controls is: You barely use it. But when you do, it shouldn’t be horrible.

Cable should be detachable. No idea why you wouldn’t do that.

As for the final design. I don’t really care. I will not use the hub anyway since I already have an hub together with some other external equipment which makes cable management way easier for me.

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This would be a great feature for the open source firmware.

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As @jim465 and others have suggested, a quick and easy way of switching between inputs on the same monitor would be a great feature. It could just be a software-related shortcut, doesn’t need to have a dedicated hardware button.

Hey folks!

Once again, huge thanks for your inputs. We have passed all of the info to Propeller and we will next share 3D concepts with you to comment on!

Stay tuned!

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Q1: I believe ON-OFF LED is important, my LG monitors would turn off the display when there is no signal or I’m idling for a bit too long, and that gets confusing when their power indicator is sometimes completely off. I think the light should be on when the monitor is on, and maybe flashing when there is no signal. There could be firmware options for this right? :slight_smile:

Q2: I have 2 monitors side-by-side in landscape, and sometimes one portrait for reading.

Q3: This is more a nitpick than pain point, but I wish the bezels can be a bit thinner so it can look almost merged together.

Q4: I’m quite confused at the question and will interpret it as one port at the back connecting to some hub placed at the stand like in the picture, this would be neat for cable management, no more reaching to the back to change display cables. However, this use case is quite rare and things get confusing when you get 2+ monitors, i.e. do you get 2+ docks and you plug 2+ monitors into one? Another one is that you would need a really good dock to convince people, for me I would consider switching USB input important and this could be a deciding factor in buying it or not.

Q5: This looks really nice, but hurts when it needs to be repaired or moved, the cable hanging from the monitor isn’t nice during moving.

Q6: Headphone storage sounds cool, except doing this at the back of the monitor is inconvenient. Personally I would just like a good pure display without too many gimmicks.

Q7: I’m a student, so I move houses quite a bit. I usually put the displays back into the original packaging and unpack after moving, and the displays stand on a monitor arm when I’m settled down.

Q8: Clean design with multi-monitor and carrying in mind is quite neat.

Q9: The furniture legs and hardwired cables don’t sound right to me for a monitor. The control centre isn’t useful for those using a monitor arm.

Q10: Ultra-slim side bezels would be the best for me, the others are more or less meh, I like the display to you know display well, and keep it lightweight for both the monitor and packaging so moving isn’t such a headache.

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I am mostly attract to Big-V idea. This would allow to sell screen separately from main unit - there are so many possibilities for the future - if the screen is ok, just upgrade the main unit or select combo screen / unit that fulfill your requirements the best

OH! I don’t know how I didn’t think of this.

Make the led RGB, that way we might even be able to configure it to status or make it more inline with the other items on our desk. Hell, maybe we can use it like an notification light for the PC? (might be a thing?)
Not like a gamery RGB, but this little small subtle notification led that you can still customize.

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Design concepts have been revealed in this topic. Let’s discuss!