Scientists at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory are on the verge of launching the "world's first flexible electronic screen", The Times Online reports. The new display represents a decade of development and would compete with the various electronic readers currently on the market, such as Sony's e-book readers and Amazon's Kindle.
Plastic Logic, the company responsible for the device, says it doesn't plan to release a roll-up screen just yet, saying consumers aren't interested in that level of flexibility.
"People worry that it will break if they roll up a device and dump in in their bag," said Martin Jackson, vice president of technology at Plastic Logic.
Plastic Logic says its touch-screen reader only needs to be charged once every two weeks and that the screen uses no power when the image isn't changing. The device is expected to be especially popular for e-versions of newspapers.
Look for the device to be launched in the U.S. sometime in early 2010 at a similar price point as Amazon's Kindle.
Some manufacturers are trying their best to blur the line that separates netbooks from notebooks. According to a Commercial Times report, white-box netbook manufacturers in China have also turned their attention to producing netbooks with large displays. They are said to be manufacturing netbooks, with screen sizes in excess of 12 inches, based on AMD and VIA processors. According to the report, they are deliberately avoiding using Intel processors as the chip maker has placed restrictions on the screen size of Atom-toting netbooks. Besides, they are helped in making their choice by the fact that VIA processors are much cheaper than their Intel counterparts.
Synaptics hopes to take mobile touchscreen technology to a whole new level with the company's recently announced ClearPad 3000 Series. Unlike two-finger capable touchscreens, the ClearPad 3000's capacitive touch pad can track up to 10 simultaneous finger touches.
"By enabling more devices to have multi-finger gesture capabilities, our premium ClearPad 3000 Series opens the door for innovative software developers to push the edges of the user interface envelope by creating exciting new classes of applications -- such as multi-user gaming -- not possible before, giving OEMs greater flexibility to differentiate their products," said Tom Tiernan, Synaptics president and COO.
Synaptics says the ClearPad 3000 is based on new, proprietary technology featuring 48 sensing channels and advanced power management. The end result is support for larger screen sizes up to 8 inches diagonally in a thin, low-profile design. Synaptics also boasts a high level of accuracy.
The company plans to ship engineering samples for general release starting in November 2009, which means you may see some snazzy new multi-finger touchscreen devices just in time for the holidays.
EVGA has unveiled a dual display LCD called EVGA InterView. Its two displays, which have a 17-inch screen size and boast a resolution of 1440 x 900 each, can be turned 180 degrees on a horizontal axis so to face opposite directions. The image orientation is adjusted automatically when the monitor is flipped.
Each display has a contrast ratio of 500:1, a brightness of 200 nits and a pixel pitch of 0.255mm x 0.255mm. InterView’s response time is claimed to be 8ms. The two displays share a 1.3MP webcam, three USB ports and a DMS connection. The EVGA InterView carries a price tag of $649.
Netbooks might not be getting bigger (or else they'd be called notebooks), but according to Slashgear, the average screen resolution in systems using Intel's Atom N-series chipsets is going up, and with the chip maker's blessing.
"According to HKEPC, Intel has increased the maximum allowed resolution from 1024 x 600 to 1366 x 768, as seen on the recently-announced Sony VAIO W," Slashgear wrote.
As it stands right now, in order to use the higher resolution panels, companies must choose from Intel's Z-series Atom chips, or else forgo the preferential N-series pricing. Intel's reasoning for doing this has been to clearly distinguish between a netbook and notebook, but perhaps the company is now content to let the physical screen size separate the two segments.
Pretty soon, even your toaster will come with Netflix streaming built in. In the meantime, Netflix's newest target is Sony's line of online-enabled Bravia LCD televisions.
Enabled via a software update expected to launch this fall, those with compatible Bravia sets will gain access to the same growing catalog of movies and television shows that are available on an also growing list of Netflix-streaming devices, including the Xbox 360 console, Roku player, some TiVo sets, and a few Samsung and LG Blu-ray players.
Supported Sony TV sets so far include the XBR9 series, Z5100 series, and the W5100 series, while other Sony sets can add support via a $200 Bravia Internet Video Link. In addition to Netflix streaming, Bravia Internet Video-enabled devices also support content from Amazon's Video-On-Demand, YouTube, CBS, and others.
Potentially bad news for summer shoppers looking to upgrade their LCD display, whether it be a TV, computer monitor, or a new notebook purchase. According to DisplaySearch, LCD panel prices for the first half of July have increased significantly, a result of panel suppliers intentionally tightening up supply in order to increase Q3 profits.
On the plus side, we're only talking about $3 to $7 more for LCD monitors, $3 to $5 for notebooks, and $5 to $15 for television displays, but that could be just the beginning. According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, some panel suppliers plan to raise prices for the monitor segment even more in July.
On the flip side, we've seen some 24-inch LCD displays selling for less than $200, such as the Asus VH242H and other models. So what gives? One reason is that some vendors are reducing prices to clear inventory as a way to maintain market share. In addition, low-cost models are becoming increasingly attractive for the same reason (gaining market share).
There's been a major push this past year in being more energy conscious when it comes to computing, and one way Philips plans to do that is by making sure your LCD monitor doesn't consume more power than it needs to.
Called the Brilliance LCD, the upcoming display will feature a built-in sensor capable of detecting whether or not you're sitting in front of your monitor. Get up to grab a cup of coffee or go powder your nose and the monitor will dim its display, a move Philips says will cut power consumption by half. Once you return, the display lights back up and all is as you left it.
Because not everyone sits the same distance from their monitor, the sensor comes configurable for anywhere between 30cm and 120cm, and is completely independent of the host system's software or operating system.
Alienware, a boutique OEM vendor who made a name for itself building high end gaming PCs offered in distinct looking cases, has just released its first monitor, the OptX AW2210, and it doesn't have any tentacles or other alienesque features protruding from the side.
"The ultimate gaming experience requires more than just a great PC," explained Frank Azor, Dell Gaming. "Alienware is building an ecosystem around our machines to give gamers the complete gaming experience."
It's not too surprising to see Alienware release a monitor, considering that Dell, an active player in the LCD display market, now owns the OEM.
The 21.5-inch widescreen TN panel boasts 1920x1080 full HD resolution, a 2ms response time, 16.7 million colors, an 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, two HDMi ports, four USB ports, and a titl/swivel/height adjustable stand.
Citing those ever-elusive "market sources," news and rumor site DigiTimes says 3D notebook displays are just around the corner. More specifically, Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) just finished developing an 18.4-inch 3D notebook display, which will ultimately end up in the hands of Hewlett Packard.
According to DigiTimes' sources, HP plans on releasing notebooks using the 3D panel sometime in the second half of 2009, perhaps as early as next month. In addition to 3D capabilities, the panels will also boast full HD resolution and a 120Hz frame rate.
The sources also added that CMO is churning out ultra-thin displays for use on 11.6-, 14-, and 15.6-inch CULV notebooks, though it's unclear whether these will also feature 3D capabilities.