Where are the OLED monitors and OLED laptops?

An OLED-Info reader recently raised the question - where are the OLED laptops and OLED monitors? This is an interesting question. Samsung currently produces AMOLEDs ranging in size from 1.63" for wearables to 10.5" tablet displays and LG Display is mass producing 55", 65" and even 77" OLED TVs.

Samsung SDI 12.1 inch laptop prototypeSamsung 12.1 inch laptop prototype, 2009

It seems that technically there shouldn't be a problem producing 13-15 inch OLED panels for laptops or even 20-25 inch panels for monitors. In terms of pixel density, these panels will be simpler to make compared to Samsung's mobile phone panels. Even a 13" 4K laptop panel will require only 339 PPI - much lower than SDC's latest 5.1" QHD panels (577 PPI). And of course SDC can start with a 15" FHD panel (146 PPI) which is easier to produce.

And how much will start a display cost? LG Display is currently selling a 55" FHD OLED TV for $3,499. Such a panel is over 17 times larger in area compared to a 13" panel. Even if we assume that the cost of the 55" panel itself is $3,500, it means that producing a 13" panel should cost about $200 for LGD. Of course this is a difficult comparison, but remember that yields will be much higher for smaller panels which will decrease production cost.

Samsung 14-inch transparent OLED laptop prototpye, 2010

For Samsung, we can take a bottom-up approach. The 5.1" FHD panel used in the GS5 is estimated at about $65. A 13" panel is about 7 times as large as a 5.1" panel, which means we can extrapolate the cost at $450. Samsung's 10.5" AMOLED tablet (287 PPI) costs $499, and it's highly unlikely that the AMOLED panel costs more than $150 to produce.

I think it is fair to estimate that if SDC or LGD decide to mass produce 13" AMOLEDs, they can achieve production prices of about $300 per panel. This is much more expensive compared to an LCD (13" LED-LCD replacement for Apple's laptops retail for about $200). In fact it will probably add about $200 to the price of the 13" laptop.

While I understand that the laptop and monitor markets are probably not as sexy as the tablet, mobile phone, TV and wearable markets, this seems a marketing miss by the OLED makers. In past months it was reported that the tablet market is actually in decline, while the PC and notebook sales are on the rise. In addition, I believe there's a clear market for premium laptops - as evident by the latest ultrabooks. I believe many consumers will be happy to pay $200 - $300 more for a 13" OLED laptop if it is thinner, lighter and with a much better image quality.

Samsung, by the way, has been showing OLED Laptop prototypes since 2009.

A 23" OLED monitor will probably cost more than $1,000 to produce. This means it will only be suitable for the high-end professional market as not many people will want to spend $1,500 or more on a monitor. There are very expensive monitors on the market today (with costs of $2,000 and more), so this is obviously a real market. But on the other hand I can understand that SDC and LGD prefer to wait a while before starting to produce these high-cost AMOLED panels for this market as it is likely quite small in terms of volume.

So there you have it. Come on Samsung, it's time to bring on the first OLED laptop!

Posted: Aug 18,2014 by Ron Mertens


Sony has been selling  a line of 17" to 25" OLED monitors (already 3rd generation) that provide video and film professionals with HD (1920 x 1080) and 2K (2048 x 1080) that are considered the fastest response displays available (especially important for sports broadcasters) with the widest color gamut.  While these displays are extremely expensive ($12,000 to $ 26,000) they are designed for use in broadcast and film because of their unusual specifications, stemming from the top emission OLED displays they are built around.  These are not typical monitors, and perform multiple functions far outside of consumer needs, but indicate the high quality monitors that OLED can generate. Typical consumer monitors are a highly competitive market and will remain so, so it is up to OLED panel producers to reduce costs to make this a viable consumer product outside of niche applications such as the above.  Given the fact that OLED displays will ultimately be cheaper to produce than LCDs, it will eventually happen, but timing will be dictated by the progress made in OLED manufcaturing costs. vs. LCD. 

Actually, I don’t need an OLED laptop (as well as a laptop at all). What I need is exactly an OLED monitor for everyday work with code and text (web development, programming, blogging, web surfing, etc.) using my desktop PC.

While it would be nice to have 13" OLED display in general (as it’s just bigger than 10.5" display of Galaxy Tab S), 13" is too small for monitor, at least 20" is needed.

I would be happy if OLED monitors (24" 4K is most desirable format for me) were produced even in very limited volumes, but were really available on the market (even for $2000).

Recently I’ve seen Galaxy Tab S 10.5 screen. It’s amazing. I would love to have an OLED monitor with that picture quality and comparable pixel density. Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 (of the same resolution and almost the same size as Galaxy Tab S) is far worse compared with Galaxy Tab S, so it’s absolutely not just about resolution, but about overall OLED picture quality.

Sony monitors are for displaying video and probably not designed for displaying static images that are typical for computer monitors. So these Sony “monitors” are not those monitors that computer market needs — even aside from their specific form factor, features and too high price.

Yes, Sony's monitors are excellent. But the price is way too expensive. Even though the OLED variants do not cost more than the LCD variants, the price of Sony's panels is very hight. But you cannot compare Sony's production fab (An old 2.5-Gen facility) to SDC and LGD's latest large OLED fabs.

The advantages of OLED (contrast, response, color . . .) aren't going to be pertinent to every type of computer user.  Generally, LED still probably is better for office applications and web surfing.  When you're showing a mostly white and static screen colors and response time aren't an issue.  Any OLED monitor or laptop will probably need to focus on users whose main interest is in videos and/or gaming.  For instance, it wouldn't surprise me if Alienware were the first laptop OLED user in the form of a premium gaming rig.  That may involve an 18" screen and probably be too pricey in the near term, though.

News out of Korea this morning that LG plans to announce 3 new monitors at IFA next month.

Yes, but these are LCD (IPS) ones.

the tab pro 10.1 is actually a pentile display, which is why i chose not to buy it and got the 8.4inch tab pro instead. With the oled tablets it is reversed.

Hell, i dropped $4500 on the sharp pnk321 (32" 4k LCD monitor) .. which then tanked in price to like 2k now.. ugh..

but this is the price range that someone should be able to make a 30"+ OLED 4k screen... and i'd totally buy it

My bad, rough weekend. Thanks!

I've been waiting for an OLED monitor for a very long time. I hope LG makes a 1080p one in 23-27 inches soon. I would pay around $1000 for that, definitely. And I know many others that would as well.

The only problem I see is the potential for burn-in since monitors usually display a static image for a long time. But supposedly, the 13 inch LG TV that was released a while back didn't have that issue.

Still, LCD displays have many terrible drawbacks such as crystal inversion and glow effect.

Indeed, even just a Full-HD (not 4K) 24" OLED monitor for $1000 would be very welcome.

As for burn-in, LCD displays also have some sort of burn-in (image persistence), CRT had (that’s why we have screen savers), so burn-in itself is not a stopper for OLED to be used in monitors.

Moreover, there are compensation technologies like Ignis MaxLife and IP Mining ZeroBurn that allow to make burn-in effect mostly imperceptible.

In fact, OLED displays are already used as monitors as a part of tablets (Samsung Galaxy Tab S) — just in too small sizes so far compared with desktop monitors.

Actually, burn-in wasn't really a problem on later CRT monitors any more. I don't know what they did but at least I never saw one and I'm a pretty heavy user. Stopped using screen savers at some point because people told me they weren't necessary any more. And it seems they were right.

As for OLED monitors - indeed. I'd also consider a Full-HD device for $1000.

I didn't really hear about OLED until around 2004, at about the same time that SED was still in the news. As a teenage gamer, my interest in new display technology was singularly focused for what it could do for desktop monitors. I had fairly recently (and reluctantly) switched from CRT to LCD and was constantly irritated by poor contrast and black-level while playing my dark and scary games. I read up on OLED and it seemed like a sure bet. OLED monitors could only be a couple years away, right?

Who would have guessed I'd still be watching and waiting, ten years later, and OLED monitors are still nowhere to be seen. And even though I'd still like to have one, at this rate it seems far more likely that my OLED gaming fix is going to be provided by an Oculus Rift before a consumer monitor ever shows up.

I am tempted to buy that 10.5inch tab S too just for the display. :) But I wont as I am waiting for at least a 3840x2400 rgb oled for my next tablet. (I will not be buying any of your pentile displays samsung!)

Just be glad you did not pay $15000 for a 55inch oled tv. :-) I am waiting for a 55inch ultra hd oled for $2000 myself.

sony's production fab has a 6.5-gen facility, not 2.5-gen. do u really think it is possible, that sony can produce 30" 4k oled panel with a 2.5-gen facility?!

that 10.5 panel is actually s-tripe RGB, just like the one used in Galaxy Note 2. i think, the power consumption of this 10.5 panel is too high to be used on a mobile device, especially when samsung also cut the battery volume of galaxy tab 10.5 to achieve that slim figure

if sony doesn't apply 3d on the LUMA OLED monitor next year, maybe the price would be acceptable.

As far as I know, Galaxy Tab S 10.5 uses full-RGB pattern named S-Stripe (similar to Galaxy Note 2) while Tab S 8.4 indeed uses PenTile.

8.4 Tab S has terrible shadowing artifacts at low APL and low brightness and mild burn in and sports terrible uniformity, too. Sony's OLED monitors (first gen at least) have viewing angles no better than on a good TN ,mura and no true blacks and mild burn-in. LG OLED suffers (first gen) from mild burn-in, dirty screen effect and some not very serious uniformity issues. And still even with all though problems OLED is thousands times better than LCD.

Howbeit, I agree with the author that there's no OLED notebooks and monitors by chioce

One reason I think we're not seeing a huge push for OLED panels for desktops and laptops is because of how often a static image, such as your taskbar, is sitting there. Since OLED panels suffer degredation, showing the same static image in one place can cause an effect similar to burn-in from the CRT days. If you take any OLED phone that's a year or more old and put a solid color on the whole screen, you'll see a ghost of the status bar as it's the most static part of the screen. I'm also guessing this may be why Apple hasn't jumped on the OLED bandwagon yet since they're pretty anal about longevity. While I'd gladly pay $1000 for something like a 24" QHD OLED monitor, I wouldn't even dream of it if I knew I'd be seeing ghosting and burn-in after only a year or so. Once they figure out that caveat, I'm sure we'll see OLED panels everywhere, especially considering OLED tech has the long-term potential to be much cheaper than LCD tech.

We had OLED prototypes in our lab for nearly 2 decades now (Xmas'14). Initially suffering from a variety of 'childhood diseases', e.g., non-equal RGB efficiencies, lifetime, remanence/burn, costs etc. - most solved already a decade, others being fixed and improved still today.

Knowing that it takes on average 7-8 yrs for research to enter mainstream, we all hoped that by '05 most screens will be OLED... :-)

Well, the '01 and '08 crises have generally affected all our plans economically, plus the fact that the BRIC and developing countries aren't early adopters of high end technologies.

Then more industry-specific realities, e.g. the glacial pace of monitor progress stuck at under 2-4Mpix resolutions, low DPI / contrast / FPS, 8b RGB etc....

Perhaps the reviewers and market alike lacking in education or interest for the finer 'details'? Or the coupling between HDTV and computer screens, keeping our monitors/panels stuck at 1080p and arguably wrong aspect ratios for PCs?

All these until the field was shook awake by Jobs' push for Retina high DPI screens... Then the UHD / 4K, all pushing for the welcomed higher resolutions. All achievable in xPS, IGZO, xVA, even TN LCD technologies at lower costs than OLED. While the black- and color-depth, static contrast, speed, energy etc. are still too subtle "details" for the high end.

Also the shift to mobile phone and tablet, with a slump in PC/laptop interest, have caused or contributed to the lack of 14-31" OLED panels. As mobile devices are predominantly used for content consumption AD 2014, the PC/laptop are perceived as either low-end (no margin for OLED costs), or business (office) apps.

The engineering and pro markets for 14-31" OLED panels are considered still a niche, after tablets (Samsung still has problems selling its Tab S series at premium price for AMOLED) and TVs (expensive vs. the TN-based 4K).

Where are the OLED monitors and OLED laptops? Likely in economics, and the lack of market education - driven by reviewers and opinion-leaders. What % of these have blogged about the need for OLED ?

I have the old 15" LG OLED on a PC through HDMI. This model definitely can burn-in - I bought a display model and LG in its wisdom had it default to shop-demo mode that keeps bright static logos on it. The burn-in is visible on uniformly colored backgrounds.

However since I wanted to have a wallpaper on my primary monitor and keep the OLED completely black when desktop is extended, I had to write a software that blacks out the monitor (essentially just puts a full screen black window on it). It doesn't work in every scenario however. I complained to Microsoft about the need to this but they didn't seem to think anyone would use OLED on PC.


Burn-in was delt with in late model CRTs by building in degaussers. It didn't elminitate the issue, but it allowed you to fix a monitor with the touch of a single button in many cases. Also, as noted already, this is why screen savers were invented... 


Degaussing does nothing for image retention/burn-in.  Degaussing helps if you've waved a magnet near the screen and have a big green blob, but it cannot affect the phosphors.

CRT burn-in was never eliminated but as phosphors improved it was much less of an issue.  Screensavers, or sending the display to sleep are still recommended.


About the Tab S 8.4 - Once when I had the screen almost too dark to use, I did noticed a bit of a persistence shadow in darker areas, but you really had to be looking and I've not been able to reproduce it.  Not seen any burn-in and the screen goes up bright enough to sear your retinas in the dark, or be visible in bright midday sun.  Uniformity also seems decent enough to not be at all noticable.

You gotta be realistic about the use case and it is fine for the sort of things you are likely to be doing on a tablet rather than on a calibrated desktop.  


The real problem is that the originally pretty good battery life fell off a cliff which seems to a bit too common an occurance.

It seems that OLED monitors will never be available!! :'(

and there lies the problem. Oled has horrible burn effects, had a couple of media players that suffer with it. One Samsung, the other cowon.

as a PC monitor taking daily use it would be noticeably scarred after a few months.


Looks like Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad x1 is oled