Microsoft has never hidden the fact that Windows 8 works best when you're able to touch, tap, swipe, and get hands-on with your display. The problem there is that most existing monitors lack touch support, so if you want that functionality on your desktop, you're looking at investing in a new panel. Acer's new 20-inch FT200HQL is one such option, and though the 19.5-inch screen is on the small side, it supports 10-point capacitive touch input.
AOC sent us a note informing us of its newly released e2352Phz, a slim HD 23-inch monitor that delivers flicker-free 3D. It uses Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology intended to deliver brighter, crisper images with less eye-fatiguing funkiness, like flickering and ghosting. It's a plug-and-play panel that also includes an HDMI 1.4a input for your Blu-ray player, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3 console.
We just received word from NEC that it's adding a new monitor to the its MultiSync EX-Series, the EX201W. This latest addition is a 20-inch ultra-slim widescreen display with a premium-grade PVA Twisted Nematic panel and LED backlighting. It has a bezel depth of around 0.65 inches, with an overall profile measuring 1.9 inches.
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.
There's no sense in sugar coating it, and if we're being totally honest (aren't we always?), we have to admit we're a little disappointed there isn't more competition in the tablet market just yet. After talking a big game through the second half of 2010, few tablet makers have actually delivered shipping products to go toe-to-toe with Apple's iPad, while most are probably waiting for Android 3.0.
We can't say we blame them, and for Samsung and LG, this staggered launch schedule by the competition is just fine (Galaxy Tab notwithstanding). From a sales perspective, the iPad has been a resounding success, which benefits every company playing a role in producing the magical slate. According to DigiTimes, LG Display shipped 1.5 million iPad panels in November alone, edging out Samsung, which shipped 1.2 million panels in the same month.
Looking ahead, LG expects to fill orders for 35 million iPad panels in 2011. Meanwhile, Samsung predicts it will ship 15 million units in the first quarter of 2011, as will Chimei Innolux, a newcomer to the iPad supply chain.
These figures take into account both first and yet-to-be-released second generation iPad models, and if you add them all up, it comes out to 65 million Apple branded slates, a good 20 million units more than market estimates.
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.
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.
According to DisplaySearch, LCD panel prices for monitors and notebooks has gone up a bit in the second half of February, while TV and netbook panels haven't budged.
We're not talking about skyrocketing prices here, but an adjustment of +$3, on average, in the first half of February, and another +$1 in the second half.
This could be just the beginning. DisplaySearch says panel makers are likely to increase notebook panel pricing due to component shortages and labor issues in China. Meanwhile, larger TV panel prices will continue to remain flat, says DisplaySearch, who pointed out that demand for 42- and 46-inch models is starting to level out.
Even with the rising prices, consumers aren't real likely to notice. Notebooks are cheaper than ever before and continue to come down in price overall.
It's too early to say the OLED revolution has begun, but it's probably a safe bet that you'll see a lot more OLED products in 2010, at least if the end of 2009 is any indication. According to research firm DisplaySearch, worldwide OLED revenues "shattered its previous record" climbing to $252 million in Q3 2009, up 31 percent from the previous quarter.
DisplaySearch attributes much of the growth to Samusng, who the firm says maintained its strong lead in OLED shipments and captured 73 percent of the AMOLED revenue market share.
"While the mobile phone industry continues to suffer as a result of the economy, Samsung’s marketing initiatives have propelled high-end AMOLED mobile phone demand to new heights," noted Hiroshi Hayase, DisplaySearch Director of Small/Medium Displays. "The company is forecast to maintain its lead in mobile displays in 2010."
Not doing so hot is PMOLED, which DisplaySearch says didn't grow from 2008 to 2008, largely the result of the shift from clam-shell type phones that use PMOLED to higher-end smartphones that use OLED.
Ultra-thins are proving to be ultra-popular, or at least more popular than panel makers might have anticipated. As a result, Acer's new Timeline ultra-thin notebook product line will see a short delay due to a panel shortage, Acer chairman JT Wang said.
Not wasting any time, Wang also indicated the company has already found a new panel supplier, which it anticipates will solve the shortage problem. Delays will be limited to just three of the ten new models being released, but Acer says it won't have a significant affect on shipment volumes, as it only expects to fall behind schedule by about eight days.
The Timeline ultraportabe range includes 13.3, 14.1, and 15.6-inch models built around Intel's Core 2 Duo ultra low voltage (ULV) SU9400 processor or Core 2 Solo ULV SU3500 processor. Other specs include up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 320GB HDD, integrated Intel GMA4500MHD graphics, 8X DVD burner, and the typical assortment of ports and extras.