LG Display Fingerprint Resistant Multitouch OLED Display for Apple

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I was hoping the iPhone 3G S would sport an OLED display. But that didn’t happen. Now there is gossip, encouraging gossip, keeping my hopes for a future OLED-based iPhone. The rumor is this: LG Display has been testing multitouch OLED panels that are fingerprint resistant. No more fingerprints… now that would be quite nice!

An OLED display would make the iPhone even thinner and last longer. The contrast would be better than almost all of the best TVs out there! Colors would be absolutely amazing. Of course, it wouldn’t last for more than a few years. But, hey, we don’t need our iPhones to last that long–we would gladly be forced to upgrade to a new iPhone every year! Actually, researchers are working hard to improve the longevity of OLED materials so they are long enough that we won’t have to worry.

An ultra-thin iPhone without the fingerprint problem… I like it. According to my estimation, we should expect Apple’s fingerprint-resistant multitouch OLED iPhone 4G to be announced at WWDC 2010 in June. Fingers crossed.

Source: Ubergizmo, OLED-Display

LG Display Paju LCD Cluster

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PC Magazine’s Michael Miller visited LG Display‘s Paju LCD cluster in South Korea and came away “incredibly impressed”. The LCD cluster in Paju currently has two factories running: one G7 and one G8. This alpha-numeric code represents the generation that these LCD fabrication plants represent. Larger numbers mean that the LCD factory can handle larger glass substrates or sheets. For instance, LG Display’s G7 can handle glass substrates that are 1950 x 2250mm. Translated into inches the dimension of a glass sheet is 76.8-inch x 88.6-inch. Quite large. But the larger G8 fabrication plant handles 2200 by 2500mm glass substrates or 86.6-inch by 98.4-inch. Massive! There’s even a G10 that is being operated by Sharp that is quite a bit larger than that.

With these large glass substrates, the factories manufacture LCDs. The G7 fab can manufacture eight 42-inch LCD panels or six 47-inch from a single glass substrate. The larger G8 fab can do a bit more: 18 32-inch, eight 47-inch or six 55-inch. The Paju LCD cluster is home to about 15000 employees during the day. A dormitory on-site houses 5700. LG Display has carved out enough space for three additional LCD factories. Hop on over to PC Magazine to read the full article.

LG 15-inch OLED TV on Sale December 2009

OLED-Info’s Ron Mertens asked Mr. Won Kim, Vice Presideont of OLED Sales and Marketing at LG Display, a few questions–among them:

You have been showing a 15″ OLED TV prototype since the beginning of 2009…  and you said it can begin production by June 2009. Which is now.. will you start making these panels? Or are you still waiting for a customer?

The answer will make OLED fans really happy:

During the period of Dec 2009-Jan 2010, our customer will launch 15″ OLED TV in Korean market. Thereafter global roll-out follows.

Our customer? Probably… most likely LG. Price? The price was not revealed. Head on over to OLED-Info for more Q&A.

Olympus E-P1: Micro Four Thirds Compact Digital Camera

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Engadget: It seems Olympus has a winner in the E-P1, a Micro Four Thirds system-based compact digital camera that brings DSLR-like picture quality and flexibility into a compact digital camera body. The E-P1 might be a game changer and will target enthusiasts that want more from a compact camera but don’t want to carry around large and heavy DLSRs. The E-P1 can potentially replace that bulky DSLR for good. Potentially.

Sounds a bit high to me after Akira Watanabe stated that 12 megapixels are enough. Hopefully more pixels in this case does not mean less quality. The E-P1 can output all those pixels in RAW. 720p (1280 x 720) video can be captured too. Hopefully at 30fps. Storage is via SD. Update: The total pixel count on the Live MOS sensor is 13.1 megapixels with an effective 12.3 megapixels.

There seems to be two lenses currently available: 17mm Æ’2.8 prime lens and a new 14-42mm (28-84mm equivalent) Æ’3.5-5.6 zoom. There is also an optical viewfinder. Not much is known about the LCD that is used. The prime lens is fast but let’s see something faster, around Æ’1.8. Zoom? I’ll need to see longer ranges and faster ones for Olympus to convince me the E-P1 has got the chops. Image stabilization (electronic or optical) would be nice too. Update: The E-P1 has 3-inch LCD and in-body image stabilization.

To get me to open up my wallet the E-P1 will need to work really well in low-light environments (ISO800 with no grain, the E-P1 can get up to 6400) with near-instant shutter response. Olympus is scheduled to announce the E-P1 tomorrow with an expected ship date of July for about US$900. Update: Prices will be US$749 for body only; US$799 with the 14-42mm; and US$899 with the 17mm and viewfinder.

MSI X-Slim 600: 15.6-inch Notebook PC

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Notebook Italia (translated into English): The MSI X-Slim X600 is a 15.6-inch notebook PC sporting a 1366 x 768 resoluiton, 1.2GHz Intel Celeron or 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo CPU, ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 4330 GPU, HDMI out, and three USB ports. Price? €799 (about US$1100) and €949 (about US$1300).

Core 2 Solo? Sounds weak. I would expect a Core 2 Duo. At least! The 1366 x 768 resolution is decent if you want to watch 720p HD video. But then it’ll be scaled, which isn’t very good. Make sure not to scale it and watch it at 1280 x 720. Trust me, it’ll look much better. But if you don’t watch a lot of 720p HD (CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, etc.) and would rather work then just know that MSI gypped you 32 vertical pixels.

I hope MSI used some exotic materials (e.g. aluminum, magnesium, titanium, carbon fiber, etc.) because US$1300 for a 15.6-inch notebook PC is rather expensive, no matter how thin it is. With that kind of money and if all I’m concerned about is thin, I would rather get the new Apple MacBook Air with a proper 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo for just a bit more at $1499.

Overall, I do think MSI has done a fantastic job with the external design of the X-Slim series including the X600, but there are a few things that need to be fixed. CPU is weak: Core 2 Duo please. Second, the price is too high for what it is. And third, I really don’t like the off-centered keyboard on the X-Slim X600.

Samsung WB1000 3-inch OLED: Very Good

Samsung‘s WB1000, a 12 megapixel compact digital camera, makes use of an impressive 3-inch OLED display. The WB1000 features a 24mm wide-angle 5x zoom Schneider-KREUZNACH lens coupled with a 1/2.33-inch CCD. You can also capture 720p HD video in H.264. It’s got both optical and digital image stabilization.

3-inch OLED The WB1000 sports an impressive Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED) with a 480 x 260 resolution. The video shows that the AMOLED is significantly better than a LCD by comparing to a Canon SD990 IS. I must say I am impressed. I was surprised to see the OLED perform so well in brightly-lit environments.

Cost The added cost of integrating the 3-inch AMOLED does not seem to have affected the price too much. The WB1000 is KRW548,000 or a little above US$400. Amazon has the WB1000 for just US$361.16 and the SD990 IS with a bit more megapixels at 14.7 goes for US$299.99. If the quality of the display is important to you and most likely it is I would recommend seriously considering a digital camera that feature an OLED display.

via Engadget

Notebook PCs Getting Better LCDs

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Average LCD monitors all have a color gamut of at least 72 percent NTSC. Some go up to more than 100 percent. The same goes for LCD TVs. Notebook PCs? 99 percent of LCDs that go into notebooks are almost terrible. The color gamut is limited to about 45 percent NTSC. Viewing angles are really terrible. As far as I know there are no PVA, MVA or IPS LCD panels made for notebook PCs. Thankfully things are about to change. Thanks to Apple.

Yesterday, Apple introduced new MacBook Pro notebook PCs with decent LCDs sporting a color gamut that is 50 percent more than your typical fare. That 50 percent increase amounts to about 72 percent NTSC. With this move Apple has set LCD performance expectations for what a good notebook PC must have. I foresee other brands to follow very soon.

LCD TV Panel Prices Rise in Early June

According to DisplaySearch’s PriceWise report LCD TV panel prices continued to rise in June. In particular 32-inch (1366 x 768) LCD TV panels increased US$10 to US$190. 37-inch (1366 x 768) also increased by US$10, to US$253. 42-inch (1920 x 1080) LCD TV panels prices gained US$15 to US$335. According to the Austin-based display market research company, demand is outstripping supply for these panels due to strong demand from China combined with a shortage of components.

Will higher LCD TV panel prices lead to higher set prices? That would be the logical conclusion and it will certainly happen if panel prices continue to increase. But there have been reports stating that LCD TV demand in the EU and in North America is slowing. To jump start demand some TV brands are planning to lower prices. What that means is that some TV brands are willing to lower profit margins to increase sales. If demand for LCD TVs does not increase in the EU and North America inventory will build up despite strong demand coming from China.

Source: DisplaySearch PriceWise

AU Optronics May Results: LCD Shipments Up 13 Percent

AU Optronics (AUO) announced its May 2009 results on June 8, 2009. Preliminary consolidated revenues increased 13.8 percent month-over-month but decreased 37.5 percent year-over-year to NT$27,728 million. Large-sized LCD panel shipments increased 13.3 percent month-over-month to over 7.77 million units. On the other hand, small/medium-sized LCD panels decreased 13.9 percent month-over-month to 19.29 million units.

Inventory Results look good with both revenues and large-sized LCD panel shipments increasing in double-digits. But what worries me is the lack of positive results coming from retailers claiming double-digit month-over-month growth in sales of LCD TVs, notebook PCs and LCD monitors. Are brands stuffing the channel? Or is inventory building in Asia?

Source: AU Optronics

13-inch MacBook Pro: $1199

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The aluminum 13-inch MacBook has morphed into the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It was introduced today at Apple’s WWDC. You can get up to 8GB of RAM, up to a 500GB hard disk or 128GB SSD, and a 72-percent NTSC color gamut 13-inch LCD. FireWire is back, the 800 kind (but not 400). In addition to FireWire, Apple squeezed in a SD card reader. That’s nice and I know you can’t cram everything into the left of a MacBook but how about a CF card reader if Apple really is targeting the professional photographers with the Pro model? Another ‘feature’ that I don’t like is the integrated lithium polymer battery just like the one in the new 15.4-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro‘s. Sure it allows the 13-inch MacBook Pro to last 7 hours, 2 more than the 13-inch MacBook, but a professional-grade notebook PC should really have a replaceable battery. Right? What is right is the price: starting at just $1199.

Source: Apple