SDC to unveil a new 14" OLED panel, Samsung finally developing an OLED laptop?

A couple of months ago I posted an article about OLED monitors and laptop displays in which I discussed why there isn't any such product on the market yet. Today the Korea Times reports that Samsung Display will today unveil new 14" OLED panels at the IMID 2014 tradeshow in Korea.

If this report is correct, this is very interesting - as it probably means that Samsung Electronics is finally developing a laptop device with an OLED display. This could also be used in a large tablet (perhaps with a keyboard attachment) or a laptop/tablet hybrid device. We'll probably know more later when we have a real report from IMID.

Even though a laptop or monitor display may not be the best market for OLED displays, I still think there's a lot of sense in that. I'm sure there's a real market for premium laptops and customers that will be ready to pay out an extra $200-$300 for a lighter and slimmer laptop with a fabulous OLED display.

Samsung has been showing similarly sized OLED prototypes before. But we're way past the "OLED prototype demonstration phase" - and I think that if SDC will indeed show a panel it means they intend to turn it into a product soon.

Posted: Oct 14,2014 by Ron Mertens


Are there any additional news on that?

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 doubt the burn-in issue is going to go away quickly. If there is a real problem beyond the burn-in, it's probably to do with some specifics I haven't pinpointed - eg. my old LG 15" oled tv is pleasing to watch. I'm not convinced that all OLED products are equal in terms of how easy they are to watch but sensitive people could be sensitive in different ways so all one can hope is to have choice and ability to try out the product. I'm moderately happy with the cheap VA Benq I had to get after my CRT went kaput - I can view it full day but I easily feel that my eyes are more stressed out than when looking elsewhere or at the OLED TV. Not as bad as my first ccfl LCD though - with that it got so bad I couldn't watch it for more than a couple hours.

Because of the burn-in I suspect the biggest OLED market outside TV's is for secondary monitor for gaming or videos etc, so you can have 2 monitors in 1 pc such that the lcd is tweaked for "paper bright", while the OLED is "large dynamic range". Maybe there is another solution for the problem where web sites use rgb ff as background thinking that it equals to paper bright - and then you go and see some game screenshot where rgb ff is assumed to be "sun bright". I'm not sure what the solution is though.