Pixel Qi 3qi Display: Full Color and ePaper in One

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Mary Lou Jepsen posted up a couple of photos on her blog: the very first pictures of Pixel Qi’s 3qi display. The display itself is 10.1-inch in size and will be looking to find a place in a netbook or ebook. I took the liberty of cutting the first photo in half: one is of the color mode with the backlight on (above) and the other is in epaper mode with the backlight off (below). In color mode you can see all the colors you’re used to. The 3qi display uses light from behind and is in transmissive mode. I’m not sure what the color gamut is but I would guess it’s around 40% NTSC where most netbooks and notebooks are.

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ePaper Mode The interesting mode, at least to me, is the epaper mode. In this mode the backlight is off and shifts gear into reflective mode, making use of the sun or other ambient light. In epaper mode power consumption is minimized. Even in this mode there is some power consumption but quite a bit less than in color mode with the backlight on. So the tradeoff as I see it is: color epaper with a bit of power consumption (3qi) or grayscale epaper with almost zero power consumption (Amazon’s Kindle and others). Continue reading →

Corning Gorilla Glass in Dell Adamo

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Corning: On May 27, 2009, Corning announced that its Gorilla glass has been designed into the Dell Adamo. The Adamo’s 13.4-inch display features an edge-to-edge cover glass. According to Alex Gruzen, senior vice president at Dell:

In designing Adamo, we set the goal of creating the thinnest notebook in the world while keeping a commitment to precision craftsmanship and fine materials. Collaboration with Corning on Gorilla glass allowed us to create a truly stunning and remarkably thin, yet robust product.

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The thickness of the Gorilla glass cover that is used on Dell’s Adamo is just 0.55mm or 0.02-inch thick. Corning’s Gorilla glass is manufactured at the company’s Harrodsburg, Kentucky plant and processed at a plant located in Fuzhou, China. Jim Steiner, senior vice president at Corning Specialty Materials, adds:

Aesthetics and style are becoming key differentiators in the laptop market today, and Corning’s Gorilla glass enabled Dell designers to feature glass on the Adamo in a way not done before. The unique properties of the glass allow for reduced thickness and weight without compromising durability. In addition, on the glass surface, Corning provides an easy-to-clean, wear-resistant coating, which allows for easy smudge removal and maintenance of the pristine viewing surface.

Corning’s Gorilla glass is made from environmentally-friendly alumino-silicate glass using the company’s proprietary fusion draw process. Gorilla glass becomes a durable, scratch-resistant LCD cover after going through a chemical strengthening process. The process involves an ion-exchanged process that creates a compression layer on the surface of the glass substrate. This compression layer provides an armor-like protection that reduces the propagation of flaws, which can be created in the production process or the end user. Corning’s unique composition and process allows for much deeper layer depths than is possible with most other chemically strengthened glasses.

Dell’s Adamo is the first and only notebook to use Corning’s Gorilla glass as a front cover. The Gorilla glass has been designed into more than 20 commercial electronic devices including LG’s Secret (LG-KF750), Cowon’s S9 and Samsung’s Ultra Touch (S8300).

Zune HD: Hands On

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Engadget‘s Joshua Topolsky shares his thoughts on the Zune HD after fiddling with it:

… the thing kind of rocks… The OLED screen looks absolutely stunning… we didn’t notice a single hiccup while jumping through menus or playing back HD video.

That’s a lot of praise on a preproduction model. Topolsky also mentions that the Zune HD had a “nice, solid feel, with good heft to it and a surprisingly thin profile.” That thin profile is thanks to the OLED display that doesn’t require a backlight, making it razor thin. The existing Zune user interface was “way tricked out” in addition to a lot of “flipping images, scaling text, smooth scrolling, and an extreme emphasis on simple visual navigation.” I’m liking what I’m hearing about the Zune HD. And this is all the more surprising since I’m not experiencing hiccup-free operations on my second-generation iPhone with the OS that’s already at version 2.2.1. Continue reading →

Palm Pre Coming to Verizon in Six Months

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Verizon Wireless announced that it would be adding Palm’s Pre to its upcoming device lineup. When? In the next six months or so according to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. The upcoming device lineup also includes the new BlackBerry Storm 2 and the BlackBerry Tour from Research In Motion and Android smartphones. According to McAdam:

Over the next six months or so you will see devices like Palm Pre and a second generation Storm… You can expect to see us launch a steady stream of new devices from multiple vendors.

Palm’s Pre will be luanching on Saturday, June 6, 2009, just a couple of days before Apple’s WWDC kicks off. Many are expecting Apple to announce an updated iPhone. Continue reading →

Corning Raises Second Quarter Guidance

Reuters: Corning CEO Wendell Weeks updated attendees at the Sanford Berstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York City:

The LCD supply chain is in full recovery mode. The LCD supply chain continues to replenish; glass supply and demand is very tight right now, much stronger than we anticipated. This has led to an imbalance… that will likely last through the end of the third quarter.

Corning, the dominant LCD glass supplier with about 60% market share, raised its guidance for the second quarter. The company expects LCD glass volume to grow by more than 75 percent relative to the first quarter. The raisded guidance is up from its previous forecast of a  59 percent increase. Corning expects better-than-expected demand for LCD glass for TV applications in the second quarter.

Samsung Corning Precision Glass (SCP), a joint venture between Samsung and Corning that serves the South Korean LCD glass market, is expected to grow more than 40 percent quarter over quarter, a significant increase in guidance from 25 percent.

2009 iPhone: Larger Display?

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Four Inches This picture is via iFun.de and is supposedly the front-facing bezel frame for the 2009 iPhone. If true, the obvious difference from the current iPhone 3G is that it is black. The interesting differences are the ear speaker and thinner base where the single button goes. If the ear speaker is flush with the upper bezel then the opening should be close by. And since I’m interested in displays, this will make room for a slightly larger display compared to the 3.5-inch in today’s iPhone. Next: the bottom base. This looks thinner to me. That might mean a smaller diameter for the single button and give a bit more room for the slightly larger display. I am guessing Apple can squeeze in a 4-inch display based on my fool-proof scientific method: I measured my iPhone with my ruler and it seems a 4-inch looks about right. Continue reading →

Samsung to Build LCD Module Plant in Shenzhen, China

LED Backlit DigiTimes is reporting that Samsung will be building a new LCD module plant in Shenzhen, China. The company will focus on promoting 40-inch and larger LCD TVs with LED backlights in the Chinese market. LED backlit LCD TVs have been garnering popularity due to the thin design and reduced power consumption over those with CCFL backlights. LED backlights also do not make use of mercury, a toxic material that is becoming an environmental challenge. Samsung will be targeting the Chinese market in the second half of this year with LED backlit LCD TVs that are 40-inches and larger. Continue reading →

Apple Updates Entry Level MacBook

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The morning of May 27, 2009 the folks at Apple quietly unveiled an updated MacBook. The entry-level one that goes for US$999. What did they update?

  • CPU: 2.0GHz –> 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • RAM: 2GB 600MHz –> 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • Hard Disk: 120GB –> 160GB 2.5″ 5400RPM SATA

The graphics subsystem, which is NVIDIA’s GeForce 9400M, didn’t change. This updated entry-level MacBook still goes for $999. I like it. Now make a black one too.

For the ultimate budget shopper. You can knock off $100 and get the “older” 2.0GHz version for just $889.00.

Source: Apple via Wired

MSI X-Slim X340: US$899.99

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Air-Esque MSI’s X-Slim X340 is an inch-thick notebook PC, sports a fantastic design (MacBook Air-esque), is ultra-thin (0.78-inch) and costs a penny under US$900. Graphics is powered by Intel’s GMA 4500MHD. The X340 comes with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard disk, gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, a 4-cell battery with an integrated 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI & VGA connections and a SD/MMC media reader.

The X340 sports a Adamo-sized 13.4-inch LCD featuring a 1366 x 768 pixel format. The MacBook Air is just a bit smaller at 13.3-inch and a 16:10 aspect ratio’ed 1280 x 800 pixel format.

HD Viewing If you were thinking that the 16:9 LCDs on the X340 and Adamo are better than the MacBook Air when watching 720p HD content, you’d be wrong. The 1366 x 768 requires the 1280 x 720 pixel HD content to be scaled up both horizontally and vertically. There are no black bars but scaled HD video is never a good idea if you want quality. On the MacBook Air you will get horizontal black bars on top and on the bottom but the 1280 x 720 pixel HD content will look much better as it will not need to be scaled to fit the LCD width wise. Continue reading →

Zune HD: Official

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3.3-inch OLED On May 26, 2009, Microsoft announced its Zune HD portable media player. The Zune HD will sport 3.3-inch OLED display with a 480 x 272 pixel format. It will be multitouch capable too. The overall design is nicely angular. Some might like the champagne color but for those who don’t there will probably be additional colors like aluminum, black and/or white.

HD Audio The “HD” in Zune HD isn’t about High Definition video but about audio. The Zune HD will feature a built-in HD Radio receiver. It would have been nice if the OLED display was 1280 x 720. Maybe Microsoft is working on the Zune HD^2.

via Engadget