Article last updated on: Aug 11, 2019

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a display technology that is brighter, more efficient, thinner and feature better refresh rates and contrast than an LCD display. OLEDs deliver the best picture quality ever and OLED displays have been used in smartphones, wearables and TVs.

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

Why are OLED displays better than LCDs?

  • In OLED displays, each pixel emits light independently (in LCDs, there is a white backlight).
  • The contrast ratio of OLEDs is much better than in LCD
  • OLEDs offer a much faster refresh rate and better viewing angles (great for games!)
  • OLEDs are thinner and lighter than LCDs, and can be made flexible, foldable, rollable and transparent.
  • OLEDs are more efficient, as only lit pixels draw energy. A smart user interface can result in very power efficient OLED displays!

2019 - OLED laptops finally arrive

OLEDs are already very successful in smartphone displays (over 500 million panels produced annually, adopted in smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Sony and others), OLED TVs and wearables. While in early 2016 several laptop makers announced the first OLED laptops (such as the Lenovo X1 Yoga with its 14" 2550x1440 AMOLED and the HP Spectre X360 with its 13.3" 2560x1600 AMOLED display), these laptops were produced in small quantities and quickly discontinued.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S photo

In early 2019, Samsung finally announced it start mass producing OLED displays for laptops. The first displays will be 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) AMOLED panels that feature high contrast ratio, extreme color accuracy, full HDR compatibility, a very wide color gamut and remarkable outdoor visibility (for more details on Samsung's 2019 15.6" AMOLEDs, click here). SDC is targeting premium laptops, as these ultra high resolution panels are optimized for gaming, graphic design and video streaming.

Following Samsung's announcement, three companies quickly announced 15" OLED laptops - HP with its Spectre x360, Lenovo with the Yoga C730 and Dell with the XPS 15, Dell G7 15 and the Alienware m15. It is likely that at least some of these laptops will start shipping in March 2019 when SDC will actually start supplying the panels. Click here for our complete list of laptops with OLED displays.



What the future holds

If this first wave of OLED laptop displays will be successful, it is likely that Samsung will release more laptop displays - including smaller 13.3" OLEDs and 14" OLEDs. In addition we are looking forward to seeing laptops with flexible OLEDs and also ones with transparent displays (not sure why is that a good idea, but it sure looks great):

Image retention (burn-in)?

One of the major drawbacks of an OLED display is that because each pixel is driven independently and because the lifetime of an OLED emitter is limited, image retention (known as burn-in) is a real problem. A much-used pixel is less bright than a pixel that hasn't been driven a lot (for a more technical explanation, click here).

In computer user interface this is a problem - as some UI elements are quite fixed (toolbars, icons, etc). There are some technologies to handle this problem - for example by measurement and compensation. As OLED lifetime improves, image retention is also less visible - and it appears that as of 2019, the situation is improved enough that Samsung believes OLED can be adopted successful in laptop displays.

Further reading

The latest OLED Laptop news:

DSCC increases its OLED market forecasts as it sees increased adoption in phones, tablets, monitors and laptops

DSCC has published its latest OLED market forecast. The company raised its 2021 revenue expectations by 9% (to $42.5 billion) as it sees increased smartphone display shipments and higher OLED laptop shipments.

AMOLED revenue forecast (2021-2025, DSCC)

DSCC also increased its long term OLED revenue forecast by 11% to $60.6 billion by 2025. This is driven, again, by higher smartphone AMOLED shipments and increased adoption in IT markets (tablets, laptops and monitors).

Omdia: laptop OLED shipments to grow from 150,000 units in 2019 to 2.57 million in 2021

Market research firm Omdia experts OLED for laptop shipments to grow rapidly - from 150,000 units in 2019 to 1.48 million units in 2021 and 2.57 million in 2022. The new Windows 11 which was just announced by Microsoft is expected to accelerate adoption of OLED panels in laptop devices.

Samsung Display's AMOLED displays for tablets and laptops photo

Omdia estimates that the entire global OLED market will grow to 258.4 million units in 2021 - a 51% increase over 2019. The pandemic has increased demand for IT devices.

UBI Research: medium to large OLED panel sales increased 156% in Q1 2021

UBI Research says that the market for medium to large OLED displays (10-inch and up, used in IT and TV applications) has risen 156% in Q1 2021 compared the Q1 2020. Total sales reached $1.45 billion in the quarter.

Medium to large OLED revenues (1Q20-1Q21, UBI Research)

Most of the growth comes from TV and laptop displays. LG Display produced 1.6 million OLED TV panels in the quarter, while sales for laptops reached 1.1 million panels. TV panels accounted for the majority of sales (as average panel price is much higher) - 81.6% of the market.

UL awards Samsung's laptop AMOLED displays with its GREENGUARD Gold Certificate for low chemical emissions

Samsung Display announced that its latest AMOLED laptop displays achieved UL's GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low chemical emissions. This is the first laptop display to achieve this certification (UL 2819).

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro360 photo

This certification is awarded to products such as electronic and medical equipment that meet its volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particle emission standards. With LCDs, the backlighting unit can be a major VOC origin due to its use of multiple plastic substrate sheets. According to UL, Samsung's OLED panels reduced the emission of VOCs to about half of LCD's emission.

Visionox shows new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021

Chinese OLED producer Visionox demonstrates several new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021. We'll list some of these new achievements in this post, and you can see these in the video below.

Visionox shows a 'dynamic' 12.3-inch rollable display which feature a 5 mm rolling radius. A 7.92" foldable (2 mm radius) wrap-around display solution. Visionox also demonstrates a 12.3" three-folded OLED that can fold inwards (2.5 mm radius) or outwards (6.5 mm) - to become a 5.4-inch display.

Samsung's latest laptop OLED displays receive SGS certification for gaming performance

Samsung Display announced that certification company SGS has certified its laptop OLED for gaming performance. According to SGS, the new Samsung Display OLED displays showed blur length below 1.4mm and moving picture response time below 15.4ms.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro360 photo

Samsung says that an LCD laptop with identical specifications showed a maximum 2.1mm blur length and 26.4ms moving picture response time. Samsung OLED's HDR contrast ratio resulted in over 1,000,000:1 according to SGS.

UBI: The OLED market grew only 0.7% in 2020, details revenue by company

UBI Research says that shipments of OLED displays reached 577.88 million in 2020, up 3.7% from 2019. Total OLED revenues in 2020 increased only 0.7% to $32.68 billion as average panel price was lower in 2020 (mostly in the smartphone market).

OLED revenue by company (2011-2020, UBI)

The main growth in the OLED industry in 2020 came from smartwatches and TVs markets. Smartphone and tablet display shipments actually decreased in 2020. In 2020, new market emerged - automotive displays, laptop displays and foldable devices.

Lenovo starts shipping the foldable 13.3" ThinkPad X1 Fold - and first reviews are in

Lenovo started shipping the $2,499 foldable ThinkPad X1 Fold laptop, and the first review is in. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is a Windows 10 Pro laptop that features a 13.3" 2048x1536 foldable OLED display (produced by LG Display). The X1 Fold features an Intel Core i5 chipset and a wireless keyboard.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold photo

T3 posted a review of this ground breaking device. The verdict in short? Very cool foldable display, it is a clever device - but the performance is not stellar and the display isn't bright enough.

EDO progresses towards its IPO, will use the funds to construct a new 6-Gen AMOLED fab

Earlier this month we reported that China-based AMOLED producer EverDisplay (EDO) has become a public company. We have been a bit early, but the company is progressing on its IPO registration and has released some more information regarding is business.

Everdisplay display revenues by application (2017-2020H1)

The company is raising 10 billion Yuan ($1.5 billion USD) and most of these funds will be used to construct the company's new 6-Gen AMOLED line. As you can see in the image above, almost all the company's OLED panels are used in smartphones and wearables. But in 2020 the company also started to produce laptop and tablet displays - EDO recently started to make 11", 12.8" and 15.6" rigid and foldable AMOLED displays for laptop devices. We list many EDO OLED displays in the OLED Marketplace.