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.
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.
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.
The latest OLED Laptop news:
In August 2022, Samsung Display announced that the company decided to build a 8-Gen (2200x2500 mm) production line, which will begin production in 2024. The company now updated that it will convert an existing LCD line in Asan, South Chungcheong province, Korea - and the total cost of the project is $3.1 billion. Samsung Display received government subsidy for this project.
Samsung says that the new production line will enable it to more than double its AMOLED tablet panel production. The company acknowledges the drop in demand for displays in general, but the company expects that demand for premium mid-sized panels will keep increasing.
DSCC estimates that the OLED market will contract 7% in 2023, by revenues, to reach $38.7 billion. In terms of shipments, there will be a 1% decline from last year.
The two main OLED markets, smartphones and TVs, will both decline - OLED smartphone revenues will decline by 8% in 2023 (shipments will remain the same), while OLED TV panel revenues will drop 15% (12% by shipments).
Samsung Display started producing laptop OLED displays a while back, and now we are happy to offer one of these panels at the OLED Marketplace.
The display is a 15.6" 4K (3840x2160) laptop AMOLED, with an LVD interface. It is possible to add a touch layer.
Earlier this month LG Electronics introduced its 2023 Gram laptop series, that all come with OLED displays. According to the latest update from Korea, these new laptops use displays produced by Samsung Display.
This is the first time that Samsung provides AMOLED displays to LG Electronics. These are rigid OLEDs. LG Display does not produce such displays, it is making only flexible OLED panels.
Samsung Display announced that it is beginning to produce touch-enabled OLED displays for the laptop market. These panels will adopt the company's latest OCTA (on-cell touch) technology, and will support a 120Hz refresh rate and will offer a 3K resolution (the company did not detail the size).
Samsung says that the first laptops to adopt the new panels will be Samsung's own 2023 Galaxxy Book notebooks, but the panels will also be offered to other laptop makers.
Korea-based ETNews reports that Apple has finally committed to adopt OLED displays in future tablets and laptops, and the company has signed a contact with a "local OLED developer" (which means either Samsung Display or LG Dispaly) to develop four different OLED displays.
According to the report, Apple decided to adopt a 10.86" and 12.9" AMOLED displays for future iPad devices, and 14" and 16" displays for future MacBooks. The first OLED iPad will be released in 2024, while the first OLED MacBook will come later in 2026.
Coherent has launched a new Monaco infrared industrial femtosecond laser configuration with 150 W of output power. The company says that the new laser is ideal for cutting of large OLED display glass.
The OLED industry is now entering the IT display market (tablets, laptops and monitors) and this accelerates the demand for laser tools with higher output power that can process larger glass sheets than those currently used in smartphones and wearables. Coherent says that the new Monaco 1035-150-150 outputs more than double the power and pulse energy of existing configurations, enabling high-precision cutting of large glass panels in very high volumes to produce large OLED screens with perfect assembly fit in next-generation IT devices. Coherent says that its new laser is the smallest femtosecond laser of its kind on the market and the easiest to integrate into laser tools.
Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that according to his sources, Apple is aiming to release an OLED MacBook in 2024.
Apple is already using OLED displays in its smartphones and wearables, and it used to have MacBook Pro powered by an OLED touchbar back in 2016. We know that Apple is aiming to move to OLED displays in its tablets and laptops, so this 'rumor' is not a surprise, but it remains to be seen if Apple's OLED laptops will indeed come as soon as next year.
The Elec reports that Samsung Electronics is set to launch a foldable OLED laptop next year, using a 17.3" AMOLED display produced by Samsung Display. HP is also gearing up to release its first foldabl OLED, with a 17-inch display produced by LG Display.
Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED
Foldable OLED laptops are exciting, but current prices are very high, and so demand is low. The Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED for example, which uses a 17.3-inch display made by BOE, costs $3,500 - a very high price for a laptop. It is reported that Asus only ordered 10,000 displays from BOE as it understand it cannot ship many units at this price, and HP also not planning for many sales of their own first-gen foldable laptops, and have ordered a similar number of displays.
UBI Research says that shipments of medium and large area OLED panels (which the company defines as 10 inches and up) will reach 26.1 million units in 2022. The market is set for fast growth, and shipments will reach 69.5 million units by 2027.
The main application by revenue will be TV panels, over the whole projected period, and OLED TV panel shipments will reach 14.8 million units in 2027, and generate $9.18 billion in sales.