Samsung LTM270DL02: 27-inch S-PLS LCD Module

TFT Central: The LTM270DL02 by Samsung is a 27-inch Super Plane to Line Switching (S-PLS) LCD module with a pixel format of 2560×1440. S-PLS is Samsung’s answer to LG Display’s IPS. Other specs include: 12-ms response time, 1000:1 typical contrast ratio, a brightness of 300 nits, 178/178 viewing angles, 8-bit color, and single-side white LED backlight. The Samsung SA850, a 27-inch LCD monitor, will be the first to sport the LTM270DL02 LCD module.

Samsung Galaxy S II Review

Vlad Savov at Engadget:

The Galaxy S II’s screen is nothing short of spectacular. Blacks are impenetrable, colors pop out at you, and viewing angles are supreme.

The Samsung Galaxy S II sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display. OLED displays will generally exhibit deeper blacks than almost any other display technology. I’m not a fan of colors that pop since that could simply mean overblown colors, but in the case of the Galaxy S II a most-welcome development is a setting called Background Effect, which allows you to control saturation levels.

We’d even go so far as to say it’s better than the iPhone 4’s screen, purely because, at 4.3 inches, it gives us so much more room to work with.

The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display is better than the 3.5-inch IPS Retina Display, because it’s bigger? Sounds weak. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus has a pixel format of 800×480, which translates into less room in terms of pixels than the 960×640 found on the 3.5-inch IPS Retina Display. And this is a true apples-to-apples comparison because the Super AMOLED Plus display goes back to a typical RGB stripe sub-pixel structure, which I explain in detail in Samsung Super AMOLED Plus: Dumps PenTile Matrix, Goes Real-Stripe (RGB).

The resolution on the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display is 217 ppi. I’m merely speculating but someone with a 20/20 vision looking at the Samsung Galaxy S II at a distance of around 12 inches will be able to see the individual pixels. There is a bit of a difference in the way a pixel looks on an OLED display compared to a pixel on a LCD. An OLED phosphor burns, unlike a pixel on a LCD, so it will be more difficult to see individual OLED pixels than on a LCD. So the difference in the overall visual experience of using the Super AMOLED Plus compared to the higher-resolution Retina Display might be less than the difference the numbers indicate.

Mitsubishi Diamondcrysta WIDE RDT233WX-3D

Mitsubishi: The news here is the combination of 3D and IPS. The Diamondcrysta WIDE RDT233WX-3D is a 23-inch LCD monitor equipped with a LED-backlit IPS (In-Plane Switching) TFT LCD with a 1920×1080 pixel format. The 3D technology employed does not seem to be active shutter but will still require putting on a pair of passive 3D glasses.

Viewing angles are excellent, as expected, at 178/178. Brightness at just 250 nits might be less than ideal for 3D. Static contrast ratio is 1000:1 and response time is 3.8 ms GTG (Gray-To-Gray). The RDT233WX-3D will be available on May 30 in Japan.

The Mountain by Terje Sorgjerd

Terje Sorgjerd at Vimeo:

This was filmed between 4th and 11th April 2011. I had the pleasure of visiting El Teide. Spain’s highest mountain @(3718m) is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world’s best observatories.

Corning Display Technologies First Quarter 2011 Results

BusinessWire:

In the display segment, Corning expects combined glass volume in the second quarter to be consistent with the first quarter. Glass volume for the company’s wholly owned business is anticipated to decline in the low- to mid-teen range sequentially, primarily the result of lower utilization rates at several customers. At Samsung Corning Precision, volume is expected to increase in the low- to mid-teen range for the quarter. Glass price declines are expected to continue to moderate.

The Display Technologies segment sales increased 5% Q/Q to US$790 million. As Corning expected LCD glass substrate prices declined more moderately than in Q4’10. Samsung procures a significant portion of SCP’s LCD glass capacity.

James Flaw, Vice Chairman and CFO at Corning, expects a significant bump in LCD glass demand in the third quarter due to Sharp resuming production.

AU Optronics First Quarter 2011 Results

AUO: Consolidated revenues were down 9.1% Q/Q to NT$93.23 billion with gross profits of -NT$6.27 billion. Large-area LCD panel shipments increased 1.3% Q/Q and 4.3% Y/Y to 28.4 million units. On the other hand, small/medium LCD unit shipments were down 17.8% Q/Q and 23.7% Y/Y to 43.5 million, not surprising considering the focus on smartphones and tablets.

LG Optimus Big: Android 2.2 Smartphone with 4.3-inch Nova Display

LG U+: The LG Optimus Big is an Android 2.2 smartphone with a fairly large 4.3-inch TFT LCD dubbed Nova Display. The unique feature of the Nova Display is a brightness of 700 nits. This is how LG did it:

Ok-Hyun Jeong, Head of MC R&D Center at LG Electronics shared dur­ing the 2011 LG Techno Conference that is going on right now in San Jose, Cali., that the NOVA LCD makes use of the company’s Fine Black Matrix technology, which reduces the thickness of the TFT from 9 microns to 7. Less light blockage means improved light transmittance and that’s how LG is getting to a retina-burning 700 nits of brightness.

LG is also touting that the company was able to reduce power consumption by 50% on the Optimus Big. My guess is the higher light transmittance on the Nova Display allows you to do two things. One, use the maximum 700 nits on a sunny day outside. Or two, bring down the brightness to a more reasonable 500 nits and save a lot of power. The display generally consumes the most power on a smartphone so tweaking it leads to some great power savings.

Notion Ink Adam Review

Sean Hollister at Engadget:

Not only do you have to affix an (included) screen protector to achieve the matte effect, but the Adam’s viewing angles are terrible. Approach it from any angle but head-on and either the whites or blacks wash out, and if you tilt it to the left everything begins to turn a sickly yellow. The colors are also a bit washed out, and if you’re a fan of deep, inky blacks you’d best look somewhere else, as the best the Adam can do is a shade of noisy purple. Moreover, the matte screen protector is fairly thick and we suspect it may be to blame for making the tablet’s capacitive digitizer less effective than it should be, as it often felt like we had to press with a little bit of effort to get the Adam to respond to our touch. All that said, the Pixel Qi’s reflective mode most certainly does work, and it does its job well, saving hours of additional battery life and making the screen quite viewable outdoors. The question is whether that’s worth all the other tradeoffs.

I wrote back in July 2010 with much excitement about the 3Qi LCD by Pixel Qi:

Pixel Qi’s 3qi is a fantastic technology that allows full-color dis­plays that also can be a reflective display that sips tiny bits of power good enough to be used as an ebook display. It can even be seen in direct sunlight and that’s not just marketing speak.

Yes, the unique reflective mode works as promised. But the regular transmissive mode with full color has terrible viewing angles. A matte screen protector film? How about a screen that’s matte, without the film?

Poor touch response will kill any tablet experience, including the Adam, regardless of how much power the Pixel Qi display saves. If reading is your pleasure then there are other more capable products like the Amazon Kindle. In regards to the Pixel Qi 3Qi display and the Notion Ink Adam, I’m surprised to be disappointed.

Dell Precision M4600: 15.6-inch IPS LCD with RGB LED Backlight

Dell: The Dell Precision M4600 (15.6 inch) and M6600 (17.3 inch) mobile workstations have a modern, simple industrial design that I appreciate. What excites me even more is that the smaller M4600 can be equipped with a 1920×1080 IPS LCD sporting a RGB LED backlight. This incredible option is called PremierColor.

PremierColor brings two features that are currently lacking in almost all notebook PC displays. First is IPS for In-Plane Switching. IPS exploded into the minds of the everyday user thanks to the iPhone 4 and the iPad. LG Display is the largest manufacturer of IPS LCDs. IPS is considered to be the best LCD technology for color, brightness, and contrast consistency at wide viewing angles.

Second is RGB LED backlight. Most LED backlights use a white LED, which is both easier and cheaper to make. A white LED is generally composed of a blue LED chip and a yellow phosphor coating. Unfortunately the light spectrum generated by a white LED has some limitations: in short distances it gives off a blueish tint and in longer distances it turns into a yellowish tint. Apple even submitted a patent application titled “Backlight Unit Color Compensation Techniques” overcoming this challenge. A RGB LED backlight generates light that is closer to full spectrum resulting in brilliant colors.

The two, IPS and RGB LED backlight, combined should make for one of, if not the best display you can find on a notebook today. I’m not surprised at all to see this on a Dell: previous Precision models had the best display options in the industry.

Silent, Cool, Green MacBook Pro

I hate noise. Especially the annoying noise coming from the two little fans inside my MacBook Pro. Most of my waking days I’m reading, thinking, and trying to write. About a month ago, I decided that I would deal with this noise no more and set out to silence my MacBook Pro.

I thought about simply taking out the two fans. It looked easy enough. But then there’s the issue of temperature. The two fans might emit an annoying sound but by pumping hot air out toward the back, they are keeping my MacBook Pro within a safe operating temperature range. Then I thought, “What if I could make the chips generate less heat?”

First I went into System Preferences → Energy Saver and changed the Graphics setting to “Better battery life.” This disengages the dedicated and powerful NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512 MB of video RAM and instead makes use of the integrated but still-capable NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256 MB. I then went looking for a utility to do something similar to the CPU.

I googled high and low and after a good long while came across a utility called CoolBookController. This little utility developed by Magnus Lundholm allows you to change the frequency and voltage of the CPU. By doing that you can dramatically lower heat generation. Only registered users can play around with the CPU settings so I happily paid my US$10 entry fee.

My 17-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU. I experimented by setting the CPU at the slowest, greenest setting: 1.596 GHz under-volted to 0.9375 V. Normally the CPU runs at 2.793 GHz at 1.1875 V. The MacBook Pro was stable and normal temperature readings from CoolBookController showed around 30°C.

I should also note that I replaced the hard drive with a 50GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro RE SSD. Capacity was just 1/10th of what I had but this forced me to use only what I needed. Plus I wanted the five year warranty and didn’t have the money to pay for a larger one.

Storage space hasn’t been a problem at all. Normally I use about 10 GB thanks to Xslimmer, a $14.95 utility that removes unnecessary code from universal binaries drastically shrinking file sizes. I’ve also uninstalled apps I know I would never use.

Another benefit of SSD is that it doesn’t make any noise. Not having to hear the hard drive spin is golden. Also SSD’s sheer speed more than offset the reduction in CPU speed. My MacBook Pro feels and probably is much faster than before; everything happens almost instantly.

The next step was the step: removing the noisy fans. There are two and taking them out didn’t take much effort at all. While I was at it I decided to take out the SuperDrive, too. I haven’t used it all that much and I don’t see myself having to use it much at all going forward. As you can see from the photo above the inside of my MacBook Pro is void of anything that moves; it is 100% solid state. I must say it’s quite refreshing.

While blogging I have a couple of Safari windows open each with several tabs. At times I run Google’s Chrome browser when a site requires Flash. I also run a light editing program called Seashore for when I need to crop and tune some images. As you can see I don’t have many things running, which is exactly the way I like it. As I type this post, the temperature of my MacBook Pro according to CoolBookController is 45°C, well within normal operating temperatures.

Ah, how nice it feels to be free of noise. Noise from fans, hard drives, and optical drives. My MacBook Pro sips quite a bit less energy, generates considerably less heat, and runs faster than it has before. Now I can read, think and write, in silence.