Connect with us

Technology

Massdrop Vast Curved Gaming Monitor review: A perfect option for $550

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Massdrop Vast ReviewMassdrop

  • The Massdrop Vast is the best way to get an ultrawide gaming experience for less than $600.
  • While a great value, it still struggles with color accuracy for professional workloads.
  • If you’re looking for a high-resolution, ultra-fast curved monitor for cheap, though, it’s the perfect option.

Massdrop is one of my favorite tech companies. While the core business is great for finding unique tech products and getting a good deal on them in the process, the ever-expanding range of “Massdrop-made” tech is excellent. Massdrop continues to deliver products that satisfy the needs of its customers with a reasonable price tag.

If you’re unaware, Massdrop allows you to vote on products you want to buy. The more people confirm they’ll buy something, the cheaper it gets. In addition to running “drops,” Massdrop also sells its own products, which aim to be high-quality, high-value alternatives to branded staples.

Perhaps the most popular of the Massdrop-made products is the Vast ultrawide monitor ($550). This monitor balances everything I want an in a display, and does so without breaking the bank. In this Massdrop Vast review, I’ll show why, despite its shortcomings, it’s worth every penny.

Overview of the Massdrop Vast

The Vast is a curved 35-inch 4K ultrawide gaming monitor with a refresh rate of up to 100Hz. If you’re unaware, ultrawide monitors use an aspect ratio of 21:9 as opposed to the more traditional 16:9. That’s the same aspect ratio as most movies, and ultrawides were originally intended for that purpose: watching movies without black borders. However, the extra screen estate in your peripheral vision helps for gaming and productivity, and the Vast captures that essence perfectly.

It’s a 4K monitor, but it doesn’t have quite as many pixels as a 4K monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Using the same corner-to-corner measuring method, ultrawides are wider, but shorter than their 16:9 counterparts. Because of that, the Vast has a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 pixels instead of the 3,840 x 2,160 pixels seen on most UHD panels.

Massdrop Vast 1Massdrop

Setting up the Massdrop Vast

The Massdrop Vast is simple to set up. All you have to do is set the monitor on its face and screw in the the stand to the VESA mount. The spring-actuated height adjustment of the stand — where a spring in the stand helps move the display up and down — will fight against gravity, though, and it kicked me like a horse while setting up and moving the display.

The stand is something of a marvel for what you’re paying. While there’s no swivel, the stand allows 4.3 inches of spring-actuated height adjustment, 20 degrees of tilt, and a full 90 degrees of pivot. Despite its massive size, the Vast can be turned sideways for use as a second monitor or just to dig deeper into Reddit.

As far as connecting the monitor, there aren’t many options, but that’s only relevant for those looking for multiple displays. You have the option of three HDMI ports (one v2.0 and two v1.4) and a DisplayPort v1.2 port. Massdrop doesn’t have the version types printed by the ports, so you’ll need to consult the manual to ensure you’re getting the full refresh rate out of your connection.

Masdrop Vast 2Massdrop

There’s a button on the back right corner of the monitor for powering it on and accessing the menu. Put bluntly, Massdrop’s server navigation is horrible. “Down” changes the picture mode, “up” sets a crosshair in the center of the screen, “left” shows you your inputs, and, finally, “right” gives you the full menu.

While that’s easy to figure out, trying to change settings is anything but. Clicking the button will shut off the monitor, and you better believe I turned it off more than once while trying to change settings. You have to press “right” to confirm setting changes, which is very counterintuitive.

Groaning aside, the Vast is still pretty simple to set up, even if configuration goes against the grain. It’s unlikely you’ll need to dig in the settings too much, but it’s a good idea to learn the system so you don’t have to deal with the headache of constantly turning off your display.

How “going wide” can help with productivity

The selling point of the Vast is the curved, UHD display. I’m a junkie for ultrawide monitors — you can read my guide on the best ultrawide monitors to see that in action — so the Vast scratches an itch that few other displays can. The 35 inches of screen estate is perfect for having two browser windows open at a time or multi-tasking with maximum efficiency.

For my purposes as a writer, the 21:9 aspect ratio works particularly well. While researching a piece, I can use half the display to have my findings open while the other half holds my notes or research documents. The Vast makes you feel spoiled when it comes to productivity. Moving to my laptop with a 16:9 aspect ratio, the screen feels cramped as Word or Google Docs resize to fit my text on screen and webpages reduce to a near mobile size.

Massdrop Vast 3Massdrop

Other productivity tasks, such as photo and video editing, are perfectly suited for an ultrawide display, too. As a hobby photographer, the Vast provides the extra screen size to see all of my settings, presets and photos in Lightroom and provide an overview of the timeline in Premiere. While not the best display for content creation — more on that later — the size is undeniable.

Outside of work, the Vast is perfect for media consumption. Gaming is great thanks to the 100Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support, and movies look fantastic without black borders. Even with those upsides, there are some concerns when using an ultrawide display.

The downsides of going wide

It comes down to platform and application support, but not all content is suitable for the 21:9 aspect ratio. YouTube, for example, will still attempt to display content in a 16:9 aspect ratio. So, instead of the black bars on top and bottom disappearing when watching an ultrawide YouTube video, you’ll have black bars all around the image.

These issues are not exclusive to the Vast, of course, but they are a consideration when going to checkout. The Vast is capable of providing an excellent media experience, but the support of certain platforms and applications has yet to catch up to the ultrawide crowd.

A true gaming monitor

For the price, the resolution, aspect ratio, and size of the Vast are more than enough. What makes this monitor special, though, is its refresh rate. The Vast operates at a 100Hz refresh rate, making it a great choice for gaming. Despite not reaching the high refresh rates of some 16:9 gaming monitors, the Vast still earned a place in our best gaming monitor guide.

Massdrop Vast 4Massdrop

If you’re unaware, refresh rate measures how often a display can refill its buffer. For gaming, a higher refresh rate is essential. If you have a game running at 120 frames per second but a display that only has a refresh rate of 60Hz, you’re effectively missing half of the frames that would display otherwise.

Higher refresh rates mean smoother and clearer motion during intense action. However, as the frame rate increases, so does the likelihood of screen tearing and stuttering. Thankfully, the Vast bypasses that issue with FreeSync integration.

It supports FreeSync from 49-100Hz. FreeSync is a variable refresh rate technology that allows the monitor to dynamically control the refresh rate based on the input its given. In the real world, that means no screen tearing, stuttering, or artifacts. While G-Sync is the arguably better variable refresh rate tech, FreeSync is a nice trade-off given the Vast’s low price tag.

Massdrop Vast 5Massdrop

Color and visual display

Massdrop uses a VA panel for the Vast, which it claims is the “best of both worlds.” While it’s true that the 100Hz refresh rate and 2-millisecond G2G response time trades blows with high-end TN panels, Massdrop’s claim that the Vast has “color performance that’s on par with first-rate IPS panels” simply isn’t true.

In short, the Vast isn’t color accurate at all. There’s way too much blue in the image, and even after calibration, it’s hard to get a professional-level result. Furthermore, the VA panel isn’t especially bright, though it should work well in environments that are fairly well lit.

It does cover 100% of the sRGB spectrum, but that’s not relevant considering the saturation on nearly all colors misses the mark. The Vast can be tweaked to provide better color accuracy, but you won’t get a high-end result. You’ll also have to contend with the infuriating menu to change any settings.

The contrast is good, though, especially for a VA panel. The Vast boasts contrast of 2,500:1 and it can ship with even better contrast out of the box.

For any content creation, the Vast is best reserved for enthusiasts. The color accuracy is totally off, and even after tweaking, it can’t contend with first-rate IPS panels. Don’t believe the marketing; the Massdrop Vast is a gaming monitor, so you shouldn’t try to mix that with any serious content creation.

The verdict

Massdrop’s marketing doesn’t help the Vast. When it’s looked at as a content creation and gaming monitor, it simply doesn’t make the cut, no matter how inexpensive it is. However, as a value-focused gaming monitor that can be tweaked for decent color accuracy, the Vast is astounding. The value simply can’t be matched by any other ultrawide on the market.

If you’re in the market for a gaming ultrawide without emptying your wallet, the Vast is the first option you should look toward.

Buy the Massdrop Vast Curved Gaming Monitor for $549.99 on Massdrop

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Technology

Trudeau Government Should Turn to Sustainable Floor Heating In Its New Deal

Editor

Published

on

By

A consortium has been chosen by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to manage the $1.1-billion overhaul of five heating and cooling plants in the National Capital Region. However, this decision has been met with a lot of disapproval by the country’s largest federal public service union.

Early June, the department announced that Innovate Energy has been awarded the 30-year contract “to design, retrofit, maintain and operate the plants,”winning the bid over a rival group that included SNC-Lavalin.

Minister of Environment, Catherine McKenna, said the federal government was “leading by example” in its bid to drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions across the country. McKenna noted that by supporting this project, they’re utilizing heating and cooling infrastructure to promote a more environmentally friendly option.

“We’re very proud that our government is working with partners like Innovate Energy to modernize this critical infrastructure,” she said during the announcement at one of the facilities that will be upgraded, the Cliff Heating and Cooling Plant in downtown Ottawa.

The plants would be known as the district energy system and would heat 80 buildings in the area with steam. It is also expected to cool 67 of these buildings with chilled water through more than 14 kilometres of underground pipes.

Under the Energy Services Acquisition Program, PSPC will be tasked with modernizing the outdated technology in the plants to lower emissions and supportgrowth in the eco-friendly technology sector.

During the first stage of the overhaul, the system would be converted from steam to low temperature hot water and then switched from steam to electric chillers—with the estimated completion date being 2025. PSPC notes that the project will reduce current emissions by 63 per cent, the equivalent of removing 14,000 non-eco-friendly cars off the road.

Afterwards, the natural gas powering the plant will then be replaced by carbon-neutral fuel sources, which according to estimated will reduce emissions by a further 28 per cent. The renovation project is bound to save the government an estimated fee of more than $750 million in heating and cooling costs in the next 40 years.

Furthermore, the implementation of radiant floor heating in Ottawa by the federal government would be an additional step in driving its agenda for a more eco-friendly state.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website, radiant floor heating has a lot of benefits and advantages over alternate heat systems and can cut heating costs by 25 to 50 per cent.

“It is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through ducts,” the website states.

Radiant floor heating provides an equal amount of heat throughout a building, including areas that are difficult to heat, such as rooms with vaulted ceilings, garages or bathrooms. Consideringit warms people and objects directly—controlling the direct heat loss of the occupant—radiant floor heating provides comfort at lower thermostat settings.

“Radiators and other forms of ‘point’ heating circulate heat inefficiently and hence need to run for longer periods to obtain comfort levels,” reports the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNet).

Radiant heating is a clean and healthy option—a perfect choice for those with severe allergies—as it doesn’t rely on circulating air, meaning there are no potentially irritating particles blowing around the room. Additionally, it is more energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing with wall radiators or floor registers and virtually noiseless when in operation.

“They draw cold air across the floor and send warm air up to the ceiling, where it then falls, heating the room from the top down, creating drafts and circulating dust and allergens.”

It is important for the leadership in Ottawa to equally drive the adoption of radiant floor heating as doing this would lead to increased usage in residential buildings—and even government-owned buildings.

However, in October, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), a representative body of employees of the plants,began a campaign target at the government against their decision to use a public-private partnership (P3) for the retrofitting project, citing concerns about costs and safety.

According to the union, outside employees won’t be bound to the same health and safety standards of government workers and that typically P3 projects cost a lot more than traditional public financing deals.

The union demands that the government scraps the proposed project and meet PSAC members and experts to brainstorm on a new way forward that would ensure federal employees continue to operate and maintain the plants.

However, parliamentary secretary to public services and procurement minister, Steve MacKinnon said that the union officials have consulted him but that after conducting an analysis, the P3 option was still the best for the job.

“We didn’t have (to) sacrifice on safety or health — we didn’t have to sacrifice on job security,” he said.

Continue Reading

Technology

Steps to becoming a Data Scientist

Editor

Published

on

By

Data science has become one of the most in-demand career paths in this century, according to Business Insider. With the amount of information being circulated online, it has created a huge demand for storing, interpreting and implementing big data for different purposes—hence the need for a data scientist.

Today, there too much information flying around for regular people to process efficiently and use. Therefore, it has become the responsibility of data scientists to collect, organize and analyze this data. Doing this helps various people, organizations, enterprise businesses and governments to manage, store and interpret this data for different purposes.

Though data scientists come from different educational backgrounds, a majority of them need to have a technical educational background. To pursue a career in data science, computer-related majors, graduations and post graduations in maths and statistics are quite useful.

Therefore, the steps to becoming a data scientist are quite straightforward.  After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in an IT related field—such as computer science, maths or physics—you can also further your education by obtaining a master’s degree in a data science or any other related field of study. With the necessary educational background, you can now search for a job and obtain the required experience in whichever filed you choose to invest your acquired skills.

Here are the necessary steps to be taken to become a data scientist.

Step 1: Obtain the necessary educational requirements

As earlier noted, different educational paths can still lead to a career in data science. However, it is impossible to begin a career in data science without obtaining a collegiate degree—as a four-year bachelor’s degree is really important. However, according to a report by Business Insider, over 73% of data scientist in existence today have a graduate degree and about 38% of them hold a Ph.D. Therefore, to rise above the crowd and get a high-end position in the field of data science, it is important to have a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.—and with various online data science masters program, obtaining one is quite easy.

Some institutions provide data science programs with courses that will equip students to analyze complex sets of data. These courses also involve a host of technical information about computers, statistics, data analysis techniques and many more. Completing these programs equips you with the necessary skills to function adequately as a data scientist.

Additionally, there are some technical—and computer-based degrees—that can aid you begin a career in data science. Some of them include studies in, Computer Science, Statistics, Social Science, Physics, Economics, Mathematics and Applied Math. These degrees will imbibe some important skills related to data science in you—namely, coding, experimenting, managing large amounts of data, solving quantitative problems and many others.

Step 2: Choose an area of specialization

There rarely exists an organization, agency or business today that doesn’t require the expertise of a data scientist. Hence, it is important that after acquiring the necessary education to start a career as a data scientist, you need to choose an area of specialization in the field you wish to work in.

Some of the specializations that exist in data science today include automotive, marketing, business, defence, sales, negotiation, insurance and many others.

Step 3: Kick start your career as a data scientist

After acquiring the necessary skills to become a data scientist, it is important to get a job in the filed and company of your choice where you can acquire some experience.

Many organizations offer valuable training to their data scientists and these pieces of training are typically centred around the specific internal systems and programs of an organization. Partaking in this training allows you learn some high-level analytical skills that were not taught during your various school programs—especially since data science is a constantly evolving field.

Continue Reading

Technology

Artificial intelligence pioneers win tech’s ‘Nobel Prize’

Editor

Published

on

By

Computers have become so smart during the past 20 years that people don’t think twice about chatting with digital assistants like Alexa and Siri or seeing their friends automatically tagged in Facebook pictures.

But making those quantum leaps from science fiction to reality required hard work from computer scientists like Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. The trio tapped into their own brainpower to make it possible for machines to learn like humans, a breakthrough now commonly known as “artificial intelligence,” or AI.

Their insights and persistence were rewarded Wednesday with the Turing Award, an honor that has become known as technology industry’s version of the Nobel Prize. It comes with a $1 million prize funded by Google, a company where AI has become part of its DNA.

The award marks the latest recognition of the instrumental role that artificial intelligence will likely play in redefining the relationship between humanity and technology in the decades ahead.

Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society,” said Cherri Pancake, president of the Association for Computing Machinery, the group behind the Turing Award.

Although they have known each other for than 30 years, Bengio, Hinton and LeCun have mostly worked separately on technology known as neural networks. These are the electronic engines that power tasks such as facial and speech recognition, areas where computers have made enormous strides over the past decade. Such neural networks also are a critical component of robotic systems that are automating a wide range of other human activity, including driving.

Their belief in the power of neural networks was once mocked by their peers, Hinton said. No more. He now works at Google as a vice president and senior fellow while LeCun is chief AI scientist at Facebook. Bengio remains immersed in academia as a University of Montreal professor in addition to serving as scientific director at the Artificial Intelligence Institute in Quebec.

“For a long time, people thought what the three of us were doing was nonsense,” Hinton said in an interview with The Associated Press. “They thought we were very misguided and what we were doing was a very surprising thing for apparently intelligent people to waste their time on. My message to young researchers is, don’t be put off if everyone tells you what are doing is silly.” Now, some people are worried that the results of the researchers’ efforts might spiral out of control.

While the AI revolution is raising hopes that computers will make most people’s lives more convenient and enjoyable, it’s also stoking fears that humanity eventually will be living at the mercy of machines.

Bengio, Hinton and LeCun share some of those concerns especially the doomsday scenarios that envision AI technology developed into weapons systems that wipe out humanity.

But they are far more optimistic about the other prospects of AI empowering computers to deliver more accurate warnings about floods and earthquakes, for instance, or detecting health risks, such as cancer and heart attacks, far earlier than human doctors.

“One thing is very clear, the techniques that we developed can be used for an enormous amount of good affecting hundreds of millions of people,” Hinton said.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending