More high-DPI and sunlight-friendly displays on the way

Exciting things are happening in the world of display technology. Engadget China has seen next-generation Asus ultrabooks with 1080p IPS displays, confirming an earlier report that the systems would include high-res panels. 1920×1080 doesn’t quite match the pixel count of the iPad 3’s Retina display, but Pixel Qi claims to have a screen that does, and it’s purportedly much more power-efficient than the Apple implementation.

Pixel Qi specializes in low-power screens that are readable in direct sunlight. Those displays have stuck to relatively standard 1024×600 and 1280×800 resolutions, and there’s no indication of whether the new 2048×1536 panel remains readable when forced to compete with the sun’s rays. Pixel Qi does tout a "new architecture" whose contrast, viewing angles, and color saturation are at least as good as those of the iPad 3’s screen. If that new architecture responded well to sunlight, you’d think it would be mentioned.

While it won’t be competing in the high-DPI category, Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology offers sunlight-friendly color displays with low enough power consumption to offer weeks of battery life in Kindle-like devices. I saw a Mirasol display briefly at CES this year, and it looked quite good. Technology Review notes that the colors aren’t quite as rich as those produced by LCD displays, though.

5.3" Mirasol displays are now available in e-readers selling in South Korea and China. A new factory designed to produce Mirasol screens is set to open later this year, and Qualcomm says the facility will be capable of producing displays for everything from smartphones to tablets. That leaves me in a bit of a bind, because I can’t decide which I want more: a high-DPI tablet that looks great indoors or a lower-resolution one that excels outdoors. Perhaps I should get both.

Comments closed
    • CityEater
    • 7 years ago

    [url<]http://vimeo.com/40546106[/url<] Not exactly what your looking for but these smaller OLEDs are getting bigger. Wont be long before they're affordable in 21" and eventually above. SmallHD is a good brand too I like their other products I've used. I thought Pixel Qi made ebook screens? Bring on OLED tvs and monitors I say, goodbye to milky blacks...

    • khands
    • 7 years ago

    ..contrast, viewing angles, and contrast…

    2nd paragraph, third sentence.

    • Goty
    • 7 years ago

    Mirasol displays are great. I’d compare the color saturation to newspaper printing, which is more than suitable for e-book or magazine reading.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      I just got a Nook, and it sounds like this display would be really nice upgrade to it. Color and faster refresh rate, while still being readable in sun light (which probably means less eye strain at all lighting levels).

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    I would pay cash monies for something like a Kindle Fire with a Mirasol screen, right now. I’m not even asking for the next 4 GHz octal-core A15. I would pay cash monies for that, too, though.

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    1024×600 on a 4″ screen is about 300 dpi. That’s a pretty good sweet spot for smartphones in my book.

    Once you get to 9″ and larger tablets, though, you’re going to need greater than 1080p resolutions to hit that magic 300 dpi mark.

      • khands
      • 7 years ago

      2560×1440 gets you there with a 9″ diagonal, for a 13.3″ laptop you’re looking at QUXGA (3200×2400) to hit that DPI on a standard resolution (WQSXGA doesn’t quite get you there) 4:3 screen or WQUXGA (3840×2400) for 16×10. The graphics horsepower to do normal things at full screen is generally too high right now to even consider going higher than that (15.6″ screen would require slightly more than what WQUXGA can give, and the next step up currently is HXGA/WHXGA, and a 24″ retina display would be something like WHSXGA at 6400×4096).

      • burntham77
      • 7 years ago

      High res displays are great for tablets due to the way most people hold them close to their face, especially when reading. I have to admit being pretty jealous of iPad 3 owners for the screen alone.

      • Hattig
      • 7 years ago

      There’s nothing magic about 300dpi unless you combine it with a 12″ viewing distance. Tablets will be used further away (18″+) so they don’t need to hit 300dpi to have the same “no pixelisation” effect. Desktop monitors are typically even further away still (24″+) and can get away with ~200dpi.

      I’m looking forward to the next generation of displays, in all forms. Mirasol and colour e-Ink should make eBooks far more attractive. HiDPI tablets look great, but we need the power consumption to drop, and it looks like Sharp and PixelQi have solutions here.

      Can’t wait to buy a ~3840×2160 ~24″ desktop monitor too. I guess that’s a couple of years off still.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 7 years ago

        People just don’t get this. To get the vaulted “Retina” effect, you need a certain ppi [b<]and[/b<] a viewing distance. Any display can become a "Retina" display at the right distance. High res screens just let us get closer.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    Just because I like to complain, when are we getting OLED TVs and desktop displays?

      • mesyn191
      • 7 years ago

      If you’re rich you might be able to get them soon for the low low price of ~$10k. If you’re like everyone else I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to get them. The manufacturers have been over promising and under delivering for years on OLEDs.

      I’m not even sure if you’ll want to get one. AFAIK OLED’s still have a shorter lifespan than LCD displays despite claims to the contrary by many of the manufacturers.

      If they cost the same or more than a LCD on top of that it really doesn’t make much sense to get one IMO as a TV or desktop display.

        • Firestarter
        • 7 years ago

        Except that they might have better image quality, possibly. Maybe.

          • redwood36
          • 7 years ago

          maybe- but at what point do you say i think i’m going to improve the quality of my image rather than my image quality.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 7 years ago

          They have something close to true blacks, which LCDs don’t.

          This is a big deal to me.

          • mesyn191
          • 7 years ago

          Depends on the tech used. Just as there are different forms of LCD (ie. TN, IPS, etc) there are different forms of OLED.

          The super duper high end stuff might look better but the cheap or at least affordable stuff is either on par with LCD or worse believe it or not.

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            LCD’s are transmissive, and filter a back-light; OLEDs are emissive, and can produce per-pixel perfect blacks for that reason.

            Quality will always be a concern, but when it comes to black levels, I don’t see how an LCD panel can even be considered to be on a level playing field with emissive technologies like Plasma and OLED.

            • khands
            • 7 years ago

            It can’t, unless I suppose if you had a per pixel lighting source that could turn on/off much faster than the screens refresh rate.

      • ish718
      • 7 years ago

      What about laser TV technology? [url<]http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com/[/url<]

        • mesyn191
        • 7 years ago

        IIRC its effectively a somewhat better DLP while costing lots more.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        If only I could afford that, and also had space for a 70″+ TV.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      IIRC the only companies with enough OLED expertise to build a TV are Samsung and Sony. Samsung has been building several LCD plants the past few years and Sony is looking to exit the consumer TV market. That should answer your question on when, if ever, you’ll be able to buy an OLED TV. 🙂

      • anotherengineer
      • 7 years ago

      Indeed.

      I am patiently waiting for a16:10, 24″ 2560×1600 oled pc monitor with 0 input lag, 2ms max gtg, true 8 bit color, true 120hz refresh, with dvi, hdmi, dp, vga, & component inputs for $500 bucks 🙂

      * cue the jeopardy music*

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        I’ll take one at 30″ and 4k :).

        I’ll also need to update my desktop tower to be able to accept 3xGTX680s, and I’ll need another credit line…

        • DarkUltra
        • 7 years ago

        Me too! if theres a market for 3960X, surely theres one for high dpi, oled, 16:10, 120hz displays! Monitors are really lagging behind everything else. Maybe pc enthusiasts can’t see past their monitors…

        [url<]http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4[/url<] [url<]http://jooh.no/index.php/2012/01/05/lg-w2363d-120hz-monitor/[/url<]

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