We're a little surprised that, up until now, NEC hasn't released a large-screen LCD display with LED backlighting, but hey, there's nothing wrong with showing up fashionably late. NEC joins the large-screen LED party with a pair of professional-grade models, the 46-inch X461S and 55-inch X551S. Like nearly all LED displays, both of NEC's new models sport a super-slim profile.
Looking to replace your janky rear-projection HDTV? There are plenty of options to wade through if you're in the market for a new TV set, including four new models that Sharp has just begun shipping. These all fall under Sharp's LE830 Series Aquos Quattron LED LCD line, which it introduced earlier this year at CES.
Your Mitsubishi brand LCD TV is about to become a relic of sorts. In a strange, and perhaps desperate move, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America is reportedly drop kicking LCD TV production as part of a restructuring process that will also include handing out pink slips. Mitsubishi said its goal is to "reclaim [its] position as the large screen company," but without LCD TVs. How exactly does the display maker plan to do that?
Asus is aiming to be an even more aggressive player in the LCD market and expects to increase monitor shipments by double digits in 2011. Overall, Asus plans to ship 4.5 million LCD monitors around the world, with a particular focus in North America and Europe. Not all of these will be entry-level units either, which is where Asus has focused most of its attention up to this point.
More plant closures are coming as a result of the devastating earthquake in Japan. Toshiba, for example, said it is shutting down a liquid crystal display plant in Fukaya for about a month as the firm assesses the damage and goes about making repairs. Meanwhile, Hitachi is stopping production of small panel LCDs at a factory near Tokyo, also for about a month.
Whether or not the closures lead to panel shortages is still up in the air. The plants in question mostly deal with displays for mobile devices, like smartphones and navigation devices, and could affect the auto industry, Reuters reports.
"Given that car production in Japan is down anyway, a one-month stop in production may not be as problematic as it might seem," said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Japan. "However, given that the market for smartphones outside Japan is pretty active, supply disruptions there could cause problems for some handset makers of some models."
According to iSuppli, Panasonic's 6th generation LCD fab in Japan was also affected by the quake. That plant produces LCD TV panels for use in Panasonic televisions.
Glasses-free 3D technology continues to gain steam. Later this month, Nintendo will launch its 3DS handheld console, the first of what we hope are many 3D devices that ditch the 3D glasses (assuming this whole 3D fad sticks around). Next up are large screen TVs, and as you read this, Samsung's over in China showing off a 55-inch 3D LCD TV that's able to produce 3D effects without any eye gear.
An NEC representative acknowledged to us that Apple has made a lot of people happy with its 30-inch Cinema display, but said NEC's new 30-inch MultiSync PA301W-BK and PA301W-BK-SV monitors take performance to a whole new level. These are built for graphics professionals and enthusiasts who demand color accuracy, and to help get that, the latter includes NEC's SpectraView calibration software sensor puck.
A strong fourth quarter helped Vizio maintain its lead in the U.S. LCD TV market, which now claims a 27.6 percent market share, according to data released by iSuppli. Vizio shipped 2.9 million LCD TVs in the fourth quarter, up 78.9 percent from 1.6 million in the third quarter, and has been sitting on top for all of 2010. Coming in second place is Samsung, which claims a 20.2 percent share of the market.
AOC recently launched the Aire Black LED, a family of three new displays that fall under the company's existing AireLED Series. The Aire Black LED line ships in 20-inch (e2043Fk), 22-inch (e2243Fwk) and 23-inch (e2343Fk) models, each one sporting a super slim panel measuring a scant 12.7mm. According to AOC, these are some of the slimmest monitors on the market.
Whether or not the emerging tablet market will ultimately cannibalize notebook and/or netbook sales has become a hot topic, one that we won't really have an answer to for at least another couple months or so. As it turns out, that isn't the only concern.
Citing "sources from notebook makers," DigiTimes says mainstream laptop panels, including 14-inch to 15-inch models, will compete with tablet PCs for inventory in the second quarter of 2011. This, DigiTimes warns, will cause prices to rise around 10 percent.
It's not just tablets affecting supply, either.
"Due to most mainstream notebook panels being manufactured in panel makers' 5G lines, increasing shipments of tablet PCs and ebook readers, which also use panels from 5G lines, are squeezing supply capacity of mainstream sized notebooks," DigiTimes says.
No need to panic if you're in the market for a notebook. Top tier notebook vendors are aware of the possible shortage, and companies like HP have started building up inventory.