Article last updated on: Sep 10, 2021

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.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro photo



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.

Click here for our comprehensive list of OLED monitors.

Further reading

The latest OLED Monitor news:

Samsung's first QD-OLED panels to be 65-, 55- and 34-inch in size

Last week we reported that Samsung Electronics plans to reveal its first QD-OLED TVs in early 2022. According to a new report in Korea, Samsung Display's first QD-OLED panels will be 65-, 55- and 34-inch in size. This means that in addition to Samsung's TVs, we are likely to see OLED monitors as well.

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Samsung Display QD Display (QD-OLED) production equipment arrives at Asan line

This is very good news to the consumers who have been waiting for OLED monitors for so many years. Some OLED monitors are already shipping - but only very high-end ones for professionals, such as LG's $3,999 31.5" UltraFine OLED Pro monitor.

DSCC: miniLED IT panels are more expensive to produce than tandem OLED panels

DSCC posted an interesting article, comparing the production costs of OLED vs mini-LED panels for IT. DSCC estimates that for tablets and notebooks, a tandem structure will be used, and the panels will be based on rigid substrates.

Mini-LED vs OLED IT panel production cost comparison (2021-2025, DSCC)

In the chart above you see a production cost comparison, between 2021 and 2025, for 12.9" panels. DSCC looks at two OLED production options: a tandem OLED panel with an LTPO backplane produced in a 6-Gen fab, and a similar panel that uses an Oxide-TFT backplane and produced in a larger 8.5-Gen fab. As you can see, OLED panels are more cost effective, and will remain so throughout the forecast period.

DSCC sees the OLED market reaching $60 billion in 2026, fueled by increased laptop, monitor and tablet display shipments

DSCC released its later OLED market forecasts, which now includes 2026. DSCC sees the rate of OLED market growth decelerating, with revenues reaching just over $60 billion in 2026.

AMOLED panel revenues, 2021-2026 (DSCC)

Most of the growth in the next 5 yeas, according to DSCC, will come from new IT applications: OLED displays for monitors, laptops and tablets.

UBI: sales of 10-inch and larger OLEDs reached 10.29 million units in the first half of 2021

UBI Research estimates that sales of 10" and larger OLEDs (used in tablets, laptops, monitors - and also TVs) reached $2.95 billion in the first half of 2021, up from $1.22 billion a year before. Shipments reached 10.29 million units.

10-inch and larger OLED revenues, (2019H1-2021H1, UBI Research)

In the first half of 2021, 3.4 million OLED TV panels were shipped. The rest of the units (6.89 million) were of displays used in laptops and tablets, mostly.

Samsung considers building a 8.5-Gen AMOLED fab for IT displays

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.

Samsung Display's AMOLED displays for tablets and laptops photo

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 gets ready to ship its 31.5" 4K printed-OLED monitor, and the first review is in

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.

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).

Samsung Display to start producing QD OLED module samples by June 2021

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.

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Samsung Display QD Display (QD-OLED) production equipment arrives at Asan line

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 starts mass producing inkjet-printed OLED displays under the OLEDIO brand

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.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro photo

JOLED also branded its production technology, based on ink-jet printing, as TRIPRINT.

LG's 27" OLED monitor, the 27EP950, to cost $2,999

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 UltraFine OLED Pro photo

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.

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