“We have a lab in Korea that is currently working on developing a laptop with partially-transparent screen,” Samsung Electronics America's Reid Sullivan told PlusPlasticElectronics. “Soon, I imagine that all Samsung's audio-visual products will feature this technology. We want to be the first in this market.”
It appears as though transparent AMOLED displays have infatuated Samsung. It also plans to launch a see-through MP3 player christened IceTouch, which according to the report will be available in the early half of 2010. The IceTouch is likely to cost around $330. The real challenge for the consumer will be to think of a practical use for such gadgets once they cease to be a novelty.
It's all about the contrast, baby, or at least that's true over at BenQ's headquarters. The value-oriented peripheral maker this week announced a pair of 15.6-inch LED-backlit monitors -- G610HDAL and G610HDPL -- both of which boast a dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1.
In fact, the two screens share quite a bit in common. Both sport a 1366x768 resolution and are rated with an 8ms response time. And according to BenQ, the two new models are capable of automatically adjusting their brightness to room lighting conditions.
This brings us to the primary difference between the two. The G610HDAL claims a slighter brighter output of 250 nits courtesy of its glossy screen, while the G610HDPL has an anti-glare screen and produces 220 nits.
No word yet on when these will ship or what they'll cost.
One of NEC's solutions to cutting back on energy consumption is to go small, as in 17 inches, which is the size of NEC's latest 'green' monitor, the AS171. According to NEC, the AS171 with a 4:3 aspect ratio consumes 21 percent less power than its predecessor and uses half the amount of mercury in its design.
"The 17-inch AS171 display brings variety and value to AccuSync Series users," said Lynn Gu, Product Manager for NEC Display Solutions. "We continuously see a strong demand for the 17-inch standard aspect ratio from enterprise and small-to-medium business sectors, and our goal with this display is to offer improved green technology, energy efficiency, and eco-friendly features."
One of those features is a new carbon footprint meter for tracking your carbon savings. But probably of more value to SMBs is the 2-step ECO Mode technology, which allows users to switch between two energy-savings modes.
Other specs include a 1280 x 1024 resolution, VGA and DVI connectivity, 900:1 contrast ratio, 5ms response time, and tilt adjustability.
NEC will begin shipping the AS171 this month for $160, noting that the backlight is included in the three-year parts and labor warranty.
Lame name aside, Acer's first foray into 3D-capable monitors serves up 1,920x1,080 pixels along with a 120Hz refresh rate. But it's the 3D that's of most interest, and to help give images an extra dimension, you'll need to don a pair of Nvidia's 3D Vision active-shutter glasses.
"As 3D content becomes more widely available in popular games and videos, users desire computing products that can take advantage of these new capabilities," said Acer America's senior product marketing manager Irene Chan. "We are excited to offer Acer's first monitor to support 3D technology."
Other specs include an 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio; 300cd/m2 of brightness; a 2ms response time; over 72 percent of the NTSC color gamut; and HDMI, DVI, and VGA inputs.
Acer plans to start shipping the GD235HZ this month for $400. Tack on another $200 for Nvidia's 3D Vision Kit.
We're not sure if the same holds true in the U.S. market, but in Taiwan, Asus-branded LCD monitors are flying off the shelves, and at a rate faster than all the competition, DigiTimes' "industry sources" say.
More specifically, Asus nabbed 20 percent of the LCD monitor market in Taiwan in 2009. It was a tie for second place between Chimei and Acer, each of which nipped at Asus' heels with 18-19 percent of the market. Viewsonic came in third with 14-15 percent, and BenQ controlled 10 percent of the LCD monitor market.
Despite falling prices for larger screen monitors, 19-inch widescreen models continued to be the most popular in Asus' lineup. It probably helped that Asus slashed prices on 19-inch models before everyone else, marking them down to about $125.
After a long wait, the Video Electronics Standards Association, or VESA for short, announced it has finalized DisplayPort v1.2, doubling the data rate of the previous DisplayPort v1.1a standard and paving the way for higher performance 3D stereo display, higher resolutions and color depths, and faster refresh rates.
"DisplayPort v1.2 increases performance by doubling the maximum data transfer rate from 10.8Gbps to 21.6Gbps, greatly increasing display resolution, color depths, refresh rates, and multiple display capabilities," VESA said in its press release.
Other features of the updated spec include multi-streaming, which is the ability to transport multiple independent uncompressed display and audio streams over a single cable, support for high-speed, bi-directional data transfer, support for high-def audio formats, and synchronization assist between audio and video, multiple audio channels, and multiple audio sink devices using Global Time Code (GTC).
HP is pretty geeked about the upcoming season of "Project Runway" on Lifetime, in which contestants will have the option of using computers to sketch designs. Can you guess which PCs they'll be using?
"Technology is what's next in fashion design. Forward-thinking designers are exploring new ways to use technology in the design process," said Barbara Schneeweiss, vice president of Production and Development for TV and Feature Film at The Weinstein Company.
Throughout the season, you'll see contestants ditch their sketchpads in favor of Intel-equipped HP TouchSmart PCs and TouchSmart tm2 notebooks. Expect to see a lot of the tm2, which can be rotated and converted to slate mode.
Next season's winner will walk away with a $50,000 prize package from HP and intel to create, design, and run their own business.
The show floor at CES contained countless variations on modern projectors, but clearly the most interesting form factor going forward is going to be pico projectors. These pint sized devices allow business professionals to carry around presentation tools in their shirt pockets, but up until now the resolutions have always been far too low to replace their larger cousins, that is, until we saw the SYL2061.
The new projector technology by Syndiant and Foryou offers resolutions up to 1024 x 600, and as you can see from the picture below, it is remarkably small. The model on display at CES was only a prototype, and so far pricing and availability is unknown. Products containing the projector also haven't been announced, but if it performs as well as they claim, its only a matter of time.
Let's put this one in perspective. In 2009, OEM manufacturer Foxconn (otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry) shipped between 1-2 million LCD TVs. But that's a drop in the bucket compared to the company's goal in 2010, which is to ship a minimum of 12 million units on an OEM/ODM basis.
Should Foxconn ultimately meet its goal, it would become the second largest TV contract manufacturer in Taiwan, trailing only TPV Technology.
One of Foxconn's biggest (and newest) customers includes Samsung, who has been buying panels from Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). CMO will soon merge with Innolux Display, a subsidiary of Foxconn, making this new relationship possible.
Other TV clients in 2010 will include Sony, who is expected to purchase 5 million units, LG (2 million), and Vizio (1-2 million).
3M just raised the multitouch bar several notches higher with the announcement of a new 10-finger multitouch LCD display called the 3M Display M2256PW. The current crop of multitouch displays support two-finger touch, making 3M's latest product quite a “handful.” The Windows 7-compatible multitouch LCD will be on show at CES. The M2256PW features a 22-inch, high-definition 1680 x 1050 LCD screen. It, of course, features all the usual suspects: DVI and VGA video inputs, audio input, and USB ports.