HP’s first ‘IPS Black’ monitor really stands out with Thunderbolt 4

HP isn’t the first company to debut a monitor with an IPS Black panel, a technology that doubles the contrast ratio of IPS to provide richer contrast and darker blacks. Dell has that distinction. However, HP’s 31.5-inch Z32K G3 4K 60Hz monitor stands out with its Thunderbolt 4 support, allowing 100W charging and speedy 40Gbps data passthrough, as well as the unique ability to be daisy-chained with another 4K display — all through just a single cable connected to your PC.

It can also act as a bonafide hub, supporting accessories like webcams and mice with its four USB-A 3.2 ports, and you can plug an Ethernet cable into it. It’s flush with video inputs, including the aforementioned Thunderbolt 4 Type-C port, one HDMI 2.0 port, and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports (one going in, one going out for daisy-chaining purposes).

The Z32K G3 is positioned for creators who need a color-accurate display on top of the impressive contrast offered by IPS Black. It claims to support 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut and 98 percent of DCI-P3. Its four-way adjustable stand allows the monitor to pivot (it can be turned 90 degrees for the tall look), tilt upward or downward, swivel 45 degrees to the left or right, and be moved up and down. It also supports VESA mounts in case you’d prefer to use a monitor arm.

But back to the IPS Black — rich contrast and deep blacks are typically associated with OLED. However, IPS Black’s 2000:1 contrast ratio is nowhere near OLED’s virtually infinite contrast ratio. While some OLEDs can’t get much brighter than the Z32K G3’s 400-nit brightness, OLED has unmatched control over pixels for more realistic lighting and dimming. But OLED aside, and within the realm of tech that’s more commonly used in PC monitors, IPS Black seems to push well ahead of both VA and TN in terms of color accuracy and contrast ratio.

The big question here is cost. Dell’s 32-inch IPS Black monitor currently costs $859.99 (it seems to be on sale, as it’s normally priced at $1,149.99), but HP hasn’t yet shared a price for this monitor. Given that it sports Thunderbolt 4, it’d be a pleasant surprise if HP’s monitor sells for less than $1,000, but don’t hold your breath. The company aims to release it in November 2022, so we’ll likely hear more soon.