Have you found a good deal on an LCD monitor or large screen television? Perhaps you should pounce. According to market research firm iSuppli, global pricing for LCD panels used in televisions and computers is rising in 2010.
Keeping things in perspective, iSuppli is only quoting a 0.9 percent price hike for desktop PC monitors, notebooks, and televisions, but what troubles the research firm is that this is the first increase in pricing since the end of the first quarter. Ever since March of this year, panel pricing has been falling every month.
"With buyers preparing for this year's holiday season, the introduction of new models in early 2011 and for the Lunar New Year in February, brands and manufacturers alike are starting to buy panels again after maintaining strict inventory control for several months," said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli. "This, combined with lower level of panel inventories, is causing pricing to rise after several months of decline."
Looking ahead, iSuppli says LCD manufacturers plan to ramp up production, but it's still uncertain what effect that will have in December and the months to follow.
Boy Genius Report claims to have learned all about Apple's undisclosed dead pixel policy for monitors, and if the information turns out to be legit, well, we'll let you be the judge.
The supposed internal policy considers up to 15 pixel "anomalies" to be acceptable on monitors ranging in size from 22 inches to 30 inches in a worst case scenario. That represents a combination of bright and dark pixels, whereas Apple considers it acceptable to have up to 8 bright or up to 10 dark pixel anomalies for the same size range. To be fair, Apple employees are instructed to discuss replacement options, but if the replacement panel is worse than the first yet still falls under Apple's "acceptable" guidelines, it's game over.
"If the number of pixel anomalies is within specifications, explain that to the customer," the internal document reads. "Further explain that you can replace the product, but the replacement product may have even more anomalies yet still be within specifications, and that Apple will not replace the product again if the number of anomalies in the replacement product is within specifications."
Below 22 inches there's a steep drop off in what Apple considers a fully functional monitor. For panels 17 inches to 20 inches, Apple allows up to 4 bright, 6 dark, or a combination of 8 anomalies.
Here's something we don't see very often. According to a report in Chinese-language Liberty Times, the Taipei Court is holding Dell responsible for mis-priced monitors that appeared on the company's website and is forcing the OEM to fulfill orders already placed.
These weren't minor pricing mistakes either, but a major blunder on Dell's part. The OEM advertised a monitor worth NT$8,700 (US$285) for NT$1,700 ($55), and another worth NT$7,999 (US$262) for NT$999 (US$33).
On the bright side for Dell, the flub-up shouldn't cost the company too much cabbage. Only around 31 customers in Taiwan have so far have filed a suit, and the decision applies specifically to this case and not others like it.
The development of PC display technologies over the last 30 years has taken us through many chapters: from IBM, the creator of the IBM PC, pioneering color display technologies (and ceding development to third-parties ATI, 3dfx, and nVidia); to the quest to provide both sharp text and colorful graphics; through the ever-increasing size of displays; to LCD flat panels overtaking TV-type CRTs; the move to 3D graphics rendering and, currently, to 3D viewing. Here's a brief history of these and other milestones in PC graphics history.
Long gone are the days of bulky CRT monitors in mainstream use, a point which is underscored by the introduction of NEC's new 23-inch MultiSync EX231W LED-backlit monitor.
The EX231W sports a slim bezel measuring just 14.6mm wide and is comparatively light at 9.3 pounds, including stand. Specs include a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 250 cd/m2 brightness, and 25,000:1 contrast ratio (dynamic).
There are a couple of features not found on most monitors, such as a USB pass-through on top of the monitor, and a human sensor on the front that detects activity. This latter feature, NEC says, reduces power consumption by up to 95 percent.
NEC says the EX231W will sell for around $340 in November. Full press release after the jump.
ViewSonic today announced the launch of its first 24” 3D-LED Monitor. The V3D241wm-LED is AMD-certified for compatibility with Radeon graphics cards and ships with a pair of active shutter glasses. This is where things get weird, or shall we say wired, as the company has opted for wired 3D glasses in an age in which we are beginning to dream about wireless electricity with some conviction.
Coming back to the ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED, it boasts a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, 120Hz frame rate, 2ms response time, 300 nits brightness and a contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1. The monitor is priced £330 (or about $525) in the UK. No word on a possible North American launch.
LED backlit displays still command a premium over typical LCD panels, but things are steadily improving. Enter Samsung, which just announced its new line of affordable 31 series LED monitors.
"The 31 series LED monitors fit the needs of consumers looking to upgrade to an LED monitor on a budget, especially this holiday season," said young Bae, director of display marketing, Samsung Enterprise Business Division. "This line of monitors, designed with students and small and home office users in mind, stays true to Samsung's legacy of sleek design and superior LED performance."
So far the 31 series consists of four models, including the 20-inch BX2031, 21.5-inch BX2231, 23-inch BX2331, and 24-inch BX2431. Save for the BX2031, each one sports an ultra-slim 19mm design, Full HD 1920x1080, 2ms response time, 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and 2 HDMI inputs. The BX2031 differs in that it carries a 1600x900 resolution, 5ms response time, and VGA and DVI-D inputs (no HDMI).
The 31 series will ship later this month for $169 (BX2031), $199 (BX2231), $239 (BX2331), and $279 (BX2431).
Samsung's P2770FH came to market just a tad late to lay claim as the world's first LCD to sport a 1ms response time (that distinction belongs to Viewsonic's VX2739wm), but it is one of only two computer monitors we're aware of that comes marketed as such.
"The P2770FH's groundbreaking 1ms response time offers an unbeatable experience for users looking to immerse themselves in computer gaming or movies," Samsung said. "Video editors will especially appreciate the lightning-quick response time, which eliminates motion blur and ghosting effects that hinder accuracy during the editing process. Additionally, computer gamers will benefit from the quick response, allowing them to fully enjoy game play and engage in a more fulfilling experience."
The 27-inch panel features a Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, 17,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1,000:1 static), HDMI, DVI-I, audio- and optical-out, and Samsung's "Touch of Color" accents.
Look for the P2770FH to ship later this month for $400.
The last time we spent any quality time with a Gateway monitor was when the company burst into the 30-inch panel scene with its awesome XHD3000 (see our review here). It was an incredible display, albeit long since discontinued.
Gateway didn't exit the monitor scene, it just isn't producing ginormous displays. Gateway is, however, launching three new ultra-slim LED monitors -- the 21.5-inch FHX2152L, 24-inch FHX2402L, and 23-inch FHD2303L.
"These new Gateway monitors give consumers a choice in style and functionality when choosing a monitor for their home or office," said Irene Chan, senior product marketing manager for peripherals, Acer America. "All three models offer advanced display technology that meets a wide variety of viewing needs combined with the power-saving features and an eco-friendly design that are important to today's consumers."
All three monitors sport a 1920x1080 resolution and, for what it's worth, a 12,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Both FHX models feature a 2ms response time, while the FHD is rated at 5ms.
The FHD2303L ($250), FHX2402L ($250) and FHX2152L ($190) will ship later this month.
We're not hating on TN panels, but when price is not an object, we'll take an IPS over a TN screen 10 times out of 10 (or 11 times out of 10 now that gaming performance usually isn't an issue). Alas, for most people price is an issue, and LaCie's latest 24-inch IPS display commands a hefty premium.
Pricing starts out at $1,250, which doesn't include the optional hood and blue eye colorimeter. What it does include is a 10-bit P-IPS LCD panel with wide color gamuts. We're talking 102 percent NTSC and 98 percent RGB.
"For years, LaCie has designed monitors for digital artists who demand color precision," said Ahcene Tirane, LaCie Product Manager for Displays. "From concept to creation, LaCie developed the 324i with the highest level of color accuracy, and with a firm belief that when professionals have a tool that enhances their workflow, they can deliver their best work."
The display supports a native resolution of 1920x1200 (16:10). It comes equipped with an HDMI port, DisplayPort, DVI-D port, and Component connection. Other features include a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 6ms response time (gray to gray), and audio inputs.