The rumors have been flying for a while now, but HTC has finally officially confirmed that they will be moving to Super LCD screen in some existing AMOLED-sporting phones. The two models listed are the HTC Desire, and the Google Nexus One. Oddly, the very similar HTC Droid Incredible was not mentioned. All these phones currently ship with 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreens, but Samsung (the maker of the AMOLED panels) has been unable to keep up with demand.
AMOLED screens do not use a backlight, are thinner, and generally perform better than regular LCDs. HTC is claiming that the Super LCDs they will be using actually perform better than AMOLED, and have better battery life. This seems like a tall order to us. The screen size and resolution will probably remain the same after the change. Even if the new Super LCDs don't quite match an AMOLED in color vibrancy, they will likely perform better in direct sunlight. Have you ever seen one of these rare Super LCD displays? Let us know what you thought of it.
Price is one of the last elements we take into account when we evaluate a new product. We’d rather spend a little more get a lot more in terms of features and performance. But Sceptre’s X270W-1080p is selling online for as little as $300, and that earns it more than a highly qualified buy recommendation—especially if you’re a gamer with a fast videocard and you’re looking to move up from something a lot smaller.
Now don’t get the wrong idea: This is not a great monitor by any stretch of the imagination; it suffers from many of the typical shortcomings we’ve seen with other twisted-nematic panels. While testing using DisplayMate Multimedia with Test Photos (www.displaymate.com), for example, we encountered color-tracking problems where blocks of what should have been the same color exhibited variations in tint depending on where they appeared on the monitor.
It's turning out to be a banner year for TV makers, who according to market research firm DisplaySearch, will ship more than 242 million TV sets globally in 2010. That number marks a 15 percent on-year growth rate, made even more significant when you consider shipments only grew by 2 percent in 2009.
Not surprisingly, LCD displays are performing exceptionally well with a 29 percent growth rate to 188 million units, but don't go counting out plasma and CRT TVs just yet. DisplaySearch says both have a better outlook in 2010 than previously expected. Plasma TV shipments, for example, rose 24 percent on-year in the first quarter of 2010, driven by demand for high value-per-inch.
On the LCD side, LED-backlit displays are quickly gaining ground. While only 3.9 million LED-backlit LCD TVs were shipped around the globe in the 2009, DisplaySearch expects that number to jump to 37 million units in 2010.
"Most of the top LCD TV brands are strongly emphasizing LED technology in an attempt to offset declining profits and prices fo CCFL-backlit models," said Hisakazu Torii, VP of TV market research for DisplaySearch. "This has led to a shortage of critical LED backlight components, and the lofty goals for LED market share in 2010 have been tempered somewhat by the reality of supply constraints."
By the end of the year, DisplaySearch reckons LED-backlit displays will account for 20 percent of total LCD shipments.
AUO, a leading TFT-LCD panel maker following the mergers of Acer Display Technology and Unipac Optoelectronics Corporation in 2001, and with Quanta Display Inc. in 2006, is gearing up for the Display Taiwan 2010 convention with some nifty screen technologies, not the least of which is the largest projected capacitive multi-touch LCD anywhere in the Milky Way.
Measuring 32 inches, AUO says its relatively ginormous multi-touch panel will come capable of recognizing ten touch points simultaneously. AUO also claims that so-called "ghost points" -- areas that are falsely registered during the detection process -- won't be an issue.
Keeping with the world's largest theme, AUO will also be showing off the largest commercialized 3D TV panel measuring 65 inches. Viewing 3D content on the 65-inch display will require wearing polarized 3D glasses, though AUO also plans to showcase other 3D display technologies in smaller form factors, including glasses-free barrier and lenticular lens types.
Yet another reason why you just can't have enough USB ports, Samsung has developed a USB-powered LCD PC display that requires no AC/DC power source.
The display, which was being shown off at the SID 2010 conference in Seattle, measures 18.5 inches and consumes as little as 6.3W. Plug it into a USB port and you're good to go.
"We are planning to start volume production of the LCD display for desktop PCs in 2011," Samsung said.
In order to ditch the traditional power cord, Samsung had to figure out a way to reduce power consumption. The company did this by improving the transmittance of the panel and luminance efficiency of the backlight. According to Samsung, the transmittance of the panel is at about 7 percent, but the company declined to elaborate on what technologies it used to achieve this.
What we do know is that it comes with an edge-lit type backlight that taps into LEDs for its light source. Samsung's LEDs boast a higher efficiency than traditional LEDs used in LCD monitors, but at a rated lifetime of 30,000 hours, they also offer about 20,000 hours less.
Any hope for the release of a magical new version of the Amazon Kindle with a color screen was effectively destroyed today by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos. At a shareholder meeting in Seattle Bezos said that adding color to the Kindle's eInk screen was a difficult technical challenge. While he claimed to have seen some things in the lab, he was quick to point out they were not ready for wide scale use. According to Bezos, a color Kindle isn't coming anytime soon.
This is interesting for a number of reasons. First, Amazon doesn't seem to be showing any signs of worry in the wake of the iPad launch. Bezos often talks about selling millions of Kindles. Another thing the CEO's statements tell us is that Amazon is committed to sticking to eInk technology. If they intended to make an LCD eReader, it wouldn't matter how far along eInk technology was. Clearly, they feel the amazing battery life offered by the Kindle is their edge.
Amazon has taken steps to get their ebook platform on multiple devices, including the iPad. It could be they're just not that concerned with selling the Kindle hardware. Come to think of it, how long has it been since they tried to push a new version of the hardware on us? Would you be tempted by a color Kindle? Or is color best kept on tablets and computers?
In the market for a new TV? If so, you may want to consider sitting tight to see how the market shakes out in the next month or so. Citing un-named market sources, DigiTimes says LCD TV vendors in China are planning to aggressively slash prices in order to boost demand in the second half of 2010.
It's not entirely clear if this pricing strategy will spill over into the United States, but in China, some vendors have already begun dropping price tags to new lows. Both Sharp and Samsung, for example, reduced their LCD TV prices by 15-20 percent during the Labor Day holiday in May, prompting local competitors to follow suit with 20 percent price cuts of their own.
There is more than one reason why this is happening. With the proliferation of LED-backlit LCD TVs, consumers aren't willing to pay as much for CCFL models. TV makers noted worse-than-expected sales in the first half of 2010, and the only way to reach their shipment goals for the year is to come down in price. And while it wasn't mentioned, one has to believe that the push for 3D models is also playing a part in non-3D TV sets holding less value (and interest) than before.
LCD TVs with LED backlighting are relatively new, so we fully expect to pay a pricing premium over those which use fluorescent lighting from tubes. But if history tells us anything, it's that prices tend to creep downwards over time. That isn't necessarily the case here. Citing sources from packaging houses, DigiTimes reports that LED backlight products may see price hikes to the tune of 5-10 percent.
Ironically enough, it's the strong market demand that's driving prices in the wrong direction. LED chip makers have said that they raise prices for rush orders, sometimes by as much as 10 percent. Genesis Photonics, for example, has already hiked up the prices for its green LED epitaxy wafers, while Huga Optotech, Tekcore, and possibly Formosa Epitaxy all plan to do the same.
What impact this will have on the LED TV market remains to be seen. Some vendors are expecting LED-backlit LCD TVs to see a 20-25 percent total market penetration in 2010, but not everyone agrees. Market observers are a little more conservative in their estimates, predicting 15 penetration for LED-backlit models. In addition, there's the possibility of oversupply of LEDs as chip makers increase new capacities in the third quarter, observers warn.
BenQ this week announced the release of its GL series LED monitors, all of which feature a "truly prodigious" 12,000,000:1 contrast ratio. That number's dynamic, however, so take it with a healthy dose of salt.
The new displays include the GL930 (18.5 inches), GL931 (19 inches), GL2030 (20 inches), GL2230 (21.5 inches), and GL2231 (22 inches). BenQ says all GL models come in four different models with different connectors. These include:
GL (D-Sub; DVI-D)
GL/M (D-Sub; DVI-D; Line-In; Headphone Jack)
GL/AM (D-Sub; Line-In; Headphone Jack)
The GL/M and GL/AM models also come equipped with a pair of 1W speakers built-in, while all models sport a 5ms response time and BenQ's proprietary Senseye Human Vision Technology, which is an image enhancement engine that mimics the human eye by adjusting the color, clarity, and contrast of video, while also smoothing out quick images through motion optimization, BenQ says.
Look for these to ship next week. No word yet on pricing.
Maybe one day we'll look back and remember 3D in the homestead as just a passing fad, but in the here now, and short term future, be prepared to have 3D devices shoved down your throat. Toshiba will be among those force feeding 3D tech to households this summer when the company releases its "3D Regza" LCD TV line.
"Based on the concept of high-quality 3D images, we will release products that are different from other companies," Toshiba said.
Toshiba was referring to its "2D-3D" conversion technology. As is often the case, the hardware is preceding the content, so while you wait for more 3D programming to hit the airwaves, Toshiba's upcoming displays will be able to convert normal images into 3D.
Europe will be the first to receive these upcoming displays, though Japan looks to figure prominently in Toshiba's 3D plans. The company said it plans to increase the ratio of 3D TVs among its TVs larger than 46 inches in Japan to 20 percent by the end of the year.