OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a new 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 are used in high-end smartphones and tablets.
The idea of an OLED monitor is exciting consumers as such a device will offer an unparalleled viewing experience and a thin form factor. But OLED monitors are not on the market yet. This article will explain the benefits, the current status and the future of OLED monitors.
Why is an OLED monitor better than an LCD one?
- OLED provide a better image quality with a much higher contrast (true blacks), wide color gamut, better viewing angles and a much faster refresh rate
- OLED panels are much thinner and lighter compared to LCD panels
- An OLED monitor would consume less power - as only lit pixels draw energy on OLED displays. An almost black screen will require very little power
- An OLED monitor could be flexible or even transparent
OLED monitors and the burn-in challenge?
Of course OLED technology is not perfect. One of the major drawbacks of an OLED display is image retention / burn-in. In an OLED display each pixel is driven independently and each pixel ages differently - the brightness is reduced with use. To put it simply - a pixel that was used a lot will be less bright than a pixel that hasn't been driven as much.
For mobile phones and TVs this is less of a problem - but in a computer user interface many UI elements are quite fixed (toolbars, icons, etc) which means that burn-in is a real problem. There are some technologies to handle this problem - for example by measurement and compensation, and the lifetime of OLED displays is improving all the time. In addition user-interface designers can design a user interface that will be more suited for OLED displays.
OLED monitors on the market
OLED displays haven't been widely used in monitors yet, only in very high-end professional monitors, such as LG's UltraFine OLED Pro 32EP950, that features a 4K 31.5-inch OLED (produced by JOLED). The 32EP950 costs $3,999.
Sony is offering several monitors for the professional market in several sizes (from 7.4" to 30") and in several series. Sony already sold over 15,000 professional OLED monitors, and their latest monitor is the 30" 4K BVM-X300. These are professional monitors, though, aimed for broadcasting and post production applications.
The latest OLED Monitor news:
In the last couple of years, we have seen increased adoption of AMOLED displays in laptops. Earlier this year Samsung stated that it will release 10 new OLED displays for laptops in 2021, and reports suggested that the company is looking into building a dedicated 6-Gen production line for laptop AMOLEDs.
According to a new report from Korea, Samsung is considering building a 8.5-Gen (2200x2500 mm) production line for IT AMOLED displays. This will be the first time such a fab is used to create OLED displays. LG Display has 8.5-Gen lines, but these are used to deposit WOLED panels, and not side-by-side RGB OLEDs.
LG announced its first OLED monitor, the 4K 31.5" UltraFine OLED Pro (32EP950) back in January 2021. The monitor should start shipping by the end of July 2021 for $3,999 - and now the first review is in, by BH Photo.
The reviewer says that this new display is "astonishing" and "immersive" - but admittingly there are some trade offs (compared to other top-end monitors): lower peak brightness, non-variable refresh rate, connector choices, etc. The review says that the 32EP950 is "truly made for professionals" and will be a best fit for graphic design, image and video editing, and broadcast grading. This is not a general-use monitor, especially at that price tag.
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.
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).
In 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. It was reported before that SDC is started to produce panel prototypes, and is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021.
According to a new report from Korea, SDC is set to begin producing full module prototypes in June this year. In addition SDC had to increase the brightness of its panels as TV makers said it is not enough for premium TV adoption. SDC will produce both TV and monitor prototypes, which it will send to potential customers (such as Samsung Electronics, Sony, and Chinese TV makers). When customers approve the prototypes, SDC will be ready for commercial production.
JOLED announced that it has started to mass produce OLEDs at its new 5.5-Gen production line in Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. JOLED brands its new displays as OLEDIO displays. JOLED plans to produce 10- to 32-inch displays, targeting applications such as high-end monitors, automotive displays and medical monitors.
JOLED also branded its production technology, based on ink-jet printing, as TRIPRINT.
Yesterday we posted that according to our information, LG Electronics is planning to release a second OLED monitor soon, with a 27-inch OLED panel. Today B&H added an early product page, listing the new monitor with a $2,996 price tag. The model number is indeed 27EP950B as expected. B&H does not list any other details or even a photo of the monitor, but you can already pre-order the monitor.
LG's first 2021 OLED monitor, the 31.5-inch 4K UltraFine OLED Pro, model 32EP950 is using an inkjet-printed OLED panel produced by Japan's JOLED. It is likely that the 27-inch panel used in the 27EP950 is also produced by JOLED. We still do not know the price of the 31.5-inch monitor.
Last month LG Electronics announced its first OLED monitor, the 31.5-inch 4K UltraFine OLED Pro, model 32EP950. According to online reports, LG Electronics is planning to release another OLED monitor, this one with a 27-inch panel (likely to be model number 27EP95).
The 31.5" 4K OLED used by LG Electronics is produced by JOLED, using an ink-jet printing process.
Samsung Display filed a complaint in the US that JOLED and Asustek infringe upon one of the company's patents, filed in 2017. The patent (USPTO # 9,768,240) details a TFT transistor array, and SDC says that both companies make use of the patent in the ProArt PQ22UC monitor.
In June 2020 JOLED announced that it has filed lawsuits in the US and Germany against Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display. JOLED says that Samsung infringed on its OLED patents without a license.
A couple of days ago, LG Electronics announced its first OLED monitor, the 31.5-inch 4K UltraFine OLED Pro, model 32EP950. Today JOLED announced that LG's monitor uses the company's printed OLED panels.
JOLED (Japan OLED) was established in August 2014 by Japan Display, Sony and Panasonic to produce OLED displays using inkjet printing technology. In December 2017 JOLED started commercial low-volume production of its 21.6" 4K OLED panels, at the company's pilot 4.5-Gen line.
LG Display announced that it has developed and employed new OLED technologies, including new OLED materials and a new OLED device structure (with a new added layer) that enabled it to improve the efficiency of its large-area WOLED panels by around 20%. This enabled LGD to increase the brightness of its OLEDs.
The first display to adopt this new structure and materials is the company's 77-inch OLED panel, but LGD will also apply it to its other panels over 2021. LGD also announced that it will start producing 83-inch and 42-inch OLED TV panels, that will join its existing 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 88-inch models.