Article last updated on: Jan 04, 2018

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

After years of waiting and seeing OLEDs adopted in a wide range of devices such as mobile phones, tablets, TVs and wearables, in early 2016 Dell announced the world's first OLED monitor, the Ultrasharp UP3017Q. This a 30" was supposed to launch in March 2016 for $4,999 - but Dell reportedly scrapped plans for this product. In April 2017, though, Dell brought the UP3017Q back and started shipping it for $3,499.Dell UltraSharp 30 OLED photo

Currently there are no consumer OLED monitors available on the market besides Dell's monitor. In early 2018 Asus announced another OLED monitor, the ProArt PQ22UC which features a 21.6" 3840x2160 (204 PPI) OLED display. Asus did not yet reveal the price or availability of this OLED monitor, besides saying it will launch by the spring of 2018.



For the professional market, Sony is offering several monitors 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.

Further reading

Latest OLED Monitor news

JOLED announces official plans for a 5.5-Gen printed OLED fab in Ishikawa, Japan

Towards the end of 2017, JOLED started commercial production of its 21.6" 4K OLED panels. But this is very low volume production (at JOLED's pilot 4.5-Gen line) as the company said it is seeking to raise $900 million to support its plan to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019.

JOLED Nomi OLED fab render (June 2018)

Today JOLED announced official plans for its first mass production printed OLED fab. JOLED will establish the production site in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The capacity of the new fab will be 20,000 monthly 5.5-Gen (1300x1500 mm) substrates and the plan is to begin mass production in 2020. JOLED will produce 10- to 32-inch OLED displays for automotive displays, high-end monitors and more.

OLED Automotive Market Report

Will Samsung target new applications now that its smartphone OLED lines are under-utilized?

In the past few weeks we heard many reports that following lower than expected OLED orders from Apple (due to disappointing iPhone X sales) Samsung Display has suddenly found itself with under utilized OLED production lines.

Samsung already said that it aims to find new customers for its OLEDs, mostly in smartphone makers in China. Some analyst say however that this won't be so easy as the higher costs of SDC's AMOLED displays deter some of its potential customers, who prefer to opt for lower-cost high-end 18:9 LCDs.

Here's Asus' 21.6" ink-jet printed OLED Monitor on video

Earlier this month Asus introduced a new OLED monitor, the 21.6" 3840x2160 (204 PPI) ProArt PQ22UC, which uses a ink-jet printed OLED panel produced by JOLED. The following video shows this new laptop which is said to have a remarkable image quality and a portable design:

Asus did not yet reveal the price of its first OLED monitor, but it did say it will ship by the spring of 2018. JOLED announced a few weeks ago that it started commercial production of 21.6" ink-jet printed 4K OLED panels. JOLED's production capacity is not large as the company is still using a pilot-scale line, but JOLED is seeking to raise $900 million to support its plan to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019.

JOLED supplies the 21.6" 4K OLEDs used by Asus in its new OLED monitor

Yesterday we posted on a new OLED monitor, the Asus ProArt PQ22UC with a 21.6" 3840x2160 (204 PPI) OLED panel. It turns out that this panel is produced by JOLED.

ASUS ProArt PQ22UC photo

This is very interesting news. JOLED indeed announced a few weeks ago that it started commercial production of 21.6" ink-jet printed 4K OLED panels, and it is great to see a product launched so quickly. JOLED's production capacity is not large, the company is still using a pilot-scale line, but it's likely that Asus is not expecting to sell many units of this high-end OLED monitor.

JOLED starts commercial shipments of its printed 21.6" 4K OLED monitor panels

In June 2017 JOLED announced that it started to sample 21.6" 4K OLED panels, with plans to initiate low volume production at its 4.5-Gen pilot inkjet production line. JOLED announced today that it has began commercial shipments of these panels. We do not know JOLED's first customer but it is likely to be Sony.

JOLED first commercial 21.6'' 4K OLED panels photo

JOLED says that it has now achieved the necessary product quality and production yields. The product was already selected for use in medical monitors (again, we believe this is Sony, who we know received JOLED's first samples and already has its own 25" OLED medical monitor that uses Sony's own OLEDs). JOLED also aims to ship these panes to other OLED monitors applications.

JOLED seeks $900 million in funding to start mass printing OLED displays

As we just posted, Japan Display has decided to halt its plans to turn its minority stake at JOLED into a majority one, and so JOLED is now seeking external financing to support its plan to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019 at the JDI plant in Nomi, Ishikawa (which currently makes LCDs, but will be shut down towards the end of 2017).

JOLED 4K prototype OLED Monitor (July 2017, Japan)

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, JOLED aims to raise 100 billion Yen (almost $900 million) from Japanese companies, and it has already approached Sony, Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Sumitomo. If this plans fails JOLED may turn to foreign companies, including Chinese ones.

Sony may be JOLED's first customer for its 21.6" 4K medical OLED monitors

Last month JOLED announced that it started to sample 21.6" 4K OLED monitors. JOLED plans to develop these OLED monitors for medical applications - it will produce these in low volume at its current 4.5-Gen pilot production line, and will start mass production in 2019.

JOLED 21.6'' 4K oled medical monitor prototypes photo

JOLED's CEO, Nobuhiro Higashiiriki, said in a conference that these first samples were shipped to Sony, which may become JOLED's first customer. JOLED says that the company managed to achieve a high quality and long lifetime, which was a challenge due to the printing process used.

JOLED starts to sample 21.6" 4K printed OLED monitors

JOLED announced that it started to sample 21.6" 4K OLED monitors. These monitors, demonstrated in March 2017, feature a 3840x2160 resolution (204 PPI), a brightness of 350 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000 : 1. The panel thickness is 1.3 mm and the weigh is 500 grams.

JOLED 21.6'' 4K medical OLED prototype, Cebit 2017

JOLED aims to start mass producing these panels in 2019, but will also attempt to sell these to the medical market even in low-volume production out of its current 4.5-Gen pilot production line.

LG Display is developing higher image quality OLEDs for broadcast monitors

LG Display announced that it developed an OLED display with a higher image quality and high color uniformity. LG Display says it is aiming to use these new OLEDs in broadcast monitors.

LGD says that the new displays feature a "Real Black" image. LG Display used various OLED and TFT compensation technologies to achieve this high uniformity and better image quality. LG Display will provide more information at SID DisplayWeek 2017 next month.