OLED laptop: market status and updates

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.

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 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, so are the refresh rates and the viewing angles.
  • 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.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro X 15 photo

In early 2019, Samsung finally announced it start mass producing OLED displays for laptops. Since then we have seen many laptops from HP, Dell, Asus, Gigabyte, Lenovo and others adopt OLED displays, first at premium models and slowly in medium-range laptops as well. Click here for our complete list of laptops with OLED displays. Samsung, and other display makers, are expanding OLED laptop production capacity as demand for IT in general is rising and consumers prefer OLED displays.

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, OLED panels suffer from image retention (known as burn-in). 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, by using a tandem architecture to extend lifetime, and more. The situation has improved much in recent years, to the point where OLEDs are very much suitable as laptops displays.

Further reading