Nintendo DSi XL: Dual Screen e-Book Reader

Chris Kohler, Wired:

The larger screen isn’t just some frivolous purchase — it’s completely awesome.

The Nintendo DSi XL is the largest DS: it has two 4.2-inch resistive touch LCDs and when folded is about the size of a paperback. The displays are about double the size of regular DSes. Nintendo is aiming to take a bite out of the e-book pie with the DSi XL, but not too big of a bite. Cammie Dunaway, executive vice president of sales and marketing for North America:

It’s not really about trying to take on the e-book market. It’s just one more way to enjoy your device.

Although others have shown dual-screen e-book readers, Nintendo is the only company with a strong-enough brand to have an impact on the market. The company has sold 130 million DSes, including the DSi and DS Lite versions. Just like the saying goes with cameras (“The best camera is the one that’s with you.”) I think the best e-book reader will be the one that’s with you. Interestingly enough the best camera and the best e-book reader might end up being your smartphone.

Bloomberg reported that an e-book cartridge titled “100 Classic Books” with 100 public domain books will be available for the DSi XL on June 14 for US$19.99. The DSi XL will be launched on March 28 for US$189.99. March seems to be the month for launching gadgets with e-book reading capabilities this year.

AU Optronics: 80% Monitor Panels with LED Backlight in 2012

AU Optronics (AUO) is aggressively shifting to LED as a light source for LCD backlights for LCD monitors, LCD TVs and notebook PCs. AUO president and CEO LJ Chen stated 80% of LCD monitor panels will feature LED backlights in 2012, growing significantly from an expected 30% in 2010. The global average is forecasted to be just 17% this year. 65% of LCD TV panels will go LED by 2012, another major jump from an expected 20% this year. And by 2011 all notebook PC LCD panels will be LED backlit. The days are numbered for CCFL as a light source for LCD backlights. Source: DIGITIMES

Sosumi

Sound it out: “So sue me.” Get the story behind how the sound got its name. Jim Reekes worked at Apple for over 12 years and is the person responsible for many sounds on the the Mac, including the startup sound. Excellent interview: the video. (I would rate the video PG-13 for a few strong words.) via Daring Fireball

Palm webOS 1.4

The font is smooth and simple. The icons are intuitive. But what is with the menu system that mimics desktop applications? Couldn’t there be just buttons instead? Source: Pre Central via Engadget

Display Showdown Part IIb: iPhone 3GS

This is Part IIb to Display Showdown: iPhone 3GS, part of the Display Showdown: Nexus One vs. iPhone 3GS, that looks at Color Temperature and Chromaticity, Color Gamut, Intensity Scale and Gamma. The iPhone 3GS has the opposite problem exhibited by the Nexus One: colors are weak.

Color Temperature and Chromaticity: 6977° Kelvin

The color temperature of the iPhone 3GS is 6977° Kelvin, which is very close to the standard D6500 (6500° Kelvin), the color of daylight. Unlike the Nexus One’s display that was marred by a bluish tint the iPhone 3GS has no such problems: white looks white. For the iPhone 3GS’ CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram please hop on over to DisplayMate and look at Figure 2.

Color Gamut

Unlike the Nexus One that had a color gamut significant larger than the standard sRGB, the iPhone has a much smaller one. Because of the smaller-than-standard color gamut colors on the iPhone 3GS are under-saturation; colors look washed-out.

Intensity Scale and Gamma

The intensity scale controls contrast and how the three primary colors mix to produce color. The industry standard has an intensity scale of Gamma 2.2. Unfortunately, the TFT LCD in the iPhone 3GS is too shallow compared to Gamma 2.2 leading to low contrast and under-saturated colors and at times inaccurate color. For a diagram detailing the iPhone 3GS’ intensity scale pay close attention to Figure 3 on DisplayMate.

Although there are more display test results to comb over before making final conclusions it seems the displays used in both the Nexus One and the iPhone 3GS is far from perfect. Hopefully the respective companies will work on these issues and deliver improved displays in their next versions.

WHAT’S UP NEXT

Next, Dr. Raymond Soneira and I will be adding more results from the Measurements and Test Pattern Tests for the iPhone 3GS:

  • Part IIc: Brightness Decrease with Viewing Angle, Contrast Ratio Shift with Viewing Angle, Color Shift with Viewing Angle
  • Part IId: RGB Display Power Consumption, Display Spectra

For screen captures, more technical and in-depth explanations please visit DisplayMate.

China: 40 Million 3G Mobile Phones in 2010

Topology Research Institute, a Taiwan-based market research firm, expects 3G mobile phones to top 40 million units in China for 2010. China’s 3G technology is called TD-SCDMA and the total number of 3G service subscribers will balloon to 71 million by the end of 2010. No doubt China will soon become the largest market for a lot of things including 3G mobile phones. Source: DIGITIMES

Titanium iPhone

Engadget reports an iPhone with the plastic back replaced with something a bit more high-end: titanium. This beautiful mod was created by Martin Schrotz using a CAD program and a titanium alloy that allows free movement of RF waves in and out of the material, unlike the restrictive titanium used in the Titanium PowerBook G4. The titanium back is tastefully done and makes the cutouts for the buttons, SIM card holder, earphones, etc. more engineered, in a very good way. It might be just the photo, but the brushed bezel looks more high-tech than the current shiny version, too. Maybe Martin can fashion a titanium bezel as well! The one thing that might become a problem: the vibrate rocker sticks out too much and could possibly be a detriment to sliding out the iPhone from your jean pocket. One other thing: the Apple log on the back looks a bit too large. But overall, there isn’t much to complain about. Martin’s mod is pure high-tech beauty.

Display Showdown Part Ib: Nexus One

This is Part Ib to Display Showdown: Nexus One, part of the Display Showdown: Nexus One vs. iPhone 3GS, that looks at Color Temperature and Chromaticity, Color Gamut, Intensity Scale and Gamma. There seems to be more problems associated with the Nexus One display:

Color Temperature and Chromaticity: 8870° Kelvin

The color temperature for the Nexus One is 8870° Kelvin, which is bluer than the standard D6500 (6500° Kelvin). Although there are color temperature preferences in different parts of the world, D6500 is the color of daylight and is required for accurate color. As you may already know the blue OLED phosphor is the weakest among the primary colors used in OLED displays. In the PenTile Matrix 2×2 sub-pixel structure the red and blue phosphors are double the size of the green. This design was used to drive the blue phosphor less minimizing differential aging where the blue phosphor typically ages faster than the other two colors. Unfortunately the blue is still driven too hard resulting in a bluish display. To improve the overall color accuracy, minimize differential aging, and improve battery performance the blue needs to be driven even less.

Color Gamut

The Nexus One has a much greater color gamut than the standard sRGB and results in over-saturated colors. It is commonly understood that a wider color gamut is generally better, but it is a misconception. Content is usually created with sRGB and until a wider color gamut becomes a standard wide color gamut displays will exhibit poor color accuracy. Wider color gamut displays do not show any colors that are not in the original images and result in color distortion. The actual color gamut chart (Figure 2) for the Nexus One can be seen at DisplayMate.

Intensity Scale and Gamma

The intensity scale on the Nexus One is too steep, irregular and non-standard, resulting in contrast and color distortions in images. One cause may be due to poor factory calibration and quality control. At some points in the irregular intensity scale the contrast is washed out and in other points the contrast is overblown. False contouring can result from these irregular variations, exacerbating the false contouring due to the limited 16-bit color depth. Hop on over to DisplayMate and look at Figure 3 for more detailed information.

The Nexus One’s OLED display certainly does pop and if that is your preference it is one of the most popping displays you will find on a smartphone. On the other hand if you are looking for a smartphone that produces accurate contrast and colors the Nexus One is not adequate.

WHAT’S UP NEXT

Next, Dr. Raymond Soneira and I will be adding more interesting results from the Measurements and Test Pattern Tests for the Nexus One:

  • Part Ic: Brightness Decrease with Viewing Angle, Contrast Ratio Shift with Viewing Angle, Color Shift with Viewing Angle
  • Part Id: RGB Display Power Consumption, OLED and LCD Spectra

For screen captures, more technical and in-depth explanations please visit DisplayMate.