98-inch screens are the next big thing when it comes to display, and it is refreshing and surprising to see that one tiny Dubai-based company is looking to make a splash with its offering – that also doubles as an Android TV – for about a third of what other rival displays cost, especially when compared to digital signage and large format displays.
Evvoli, owned by Masa FZE, sells its flagship display, the 98EV600MA, for just under 10,000 Emirati Dirham – about $2,700 / £2,300 / AU$4,100, excluding sales tax. No one has yet reviewed it, but from the spec sheet alone, one can gather that it is a reasonably capable model, regardless of whether you want to use it for entertainment or business.
In comparison, Samsung’s 98-inch commercial 4K UHD display (QB98T-B) retails for $8,125 (£8,999 / AU$14,499) while LG’s digital signage equivalent, the 98-inch 98UH5F-H/EU, comes in at $9,123 (£10,700 / AU$16,750) and Nec’s MultiSync C981Q commands a cool $8,665 (£9,885 / AU$20,000).
Now digital signage displays and interactive panels usually have features that justify the heftier price tag: temperature sensors, sleekier designs, management platforms, longer warranties, legacy connectors, support for business ecosystems (e.g. Crestron, Cisco) and even, in some cases, the ability to plug-in Raspberry Pi modules.
But for businesses who cannot justify such high acquisition costs, a traditional TV may be a reasonable alternative.
A TV with a laser remote
Back to the 98EV600MA, it has Google Assistant built-in with Google TV as default platform.
As a 4K UHD model, its native, standard resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, which translates into a larger dot pitch. It is compatible with Dolby Atmos but lacks a subwoofer; there’s four speakers though delivering a total of 60W. It uses Mini LED technology to deliver up to 450 nits typical brightness and a higher-than-expected 120Hz refresh rate.
Where it does impress is connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 5, SPDIF, two USB ports, three HDMI 2.1 connectors and even an Ethernet port. The presence of potentially noisy fans at the back to cool the components may unsettle some buyers though.
Engineers at Evvoli had the bright idea (pun intended) of bundling a separate sleek Apple-esque laser pointer, great for interactive presentations and Powerpoint slides. Just remember that this is not an interactive display or a digital whiteboard.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.