Apple May Bring High Pixel Density Displays To MacBook Pro Notebooks

Subject: Displays, Mobile | December 14, 2011 - 01:40 PM |
Tagged: mobile, macbook, apple

 Apple pulled off a four times increase in pixel density on it’s smartphone displays with the iPhone 4 which they dubbed the “Retina Display.” Meanwhile the company’s current 13” MacBook Pro is shackled to a 1280x800 display with an approximate pixel density of 116 pixels per inch. The low resolution (especially vertically) can make reading web pages or working with large documents a hassle as it involves quite a bit of scrolling up and down. New rumors; however, suggest that the Cupertino based company may be looking to step up the display resolution in the next iteration of the MacBook lineup. Allegedly, Digitimes has heard from “sources in the upstream supply chain” that the displays will have as high as a 2880x1800 resolution (and an approximate 261.25 PPI). Pretty impressive for a 13” display!

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The current MBP

Whether we will actually see new MacBook models release with such a display remains to be seen; however, it would certainly be a welcomed move as the computer display innovation market has been rather stagnant for the past few years, even going so far as to go backwards in ~24” monitors from 1200 vertical pixels to the now standard 1920x1080 resolution. Perhaps this move by Apple will entice other monitor manufacturers to step up their game and bring 4K gaming to the PC, eventually. Heck, while we are on the topic of monitor tech traveling laterally instead of forward, what ever happened to that curved display from Alienware? Personally, I’m rooting for Apple on this one as the monitor market could use a wake up call!

Source: Tech Report

HD Projectors are fun, 3D HD projectors more so

Subject: Displays | December 7, 2011 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: 3d display, projector, 1080p, optima, optima hd33

In the interests of dispensing with the bad news first, buying an Optima HD33 3D projector will set you back $1500 and does not come with glasses.  On the other hand, thanks to the Texas Instruments 1080p DLP chipset you get full HD resolution image of up to 300" (aka 25') at 1800 ANSI Lumens.  It is active 3D so the projector ships with an RF emitter for the necessary 3D glasses, which are battery powered.  Techware Labs found that the batteries would last about 2 hours before they started to show problems, at that point requiring a 30 minute recharge time over a USB cable.  It supports all HDMI 1.4a mandatory 3D formats, so you have your choice of 3D glasses to purchase which is good as the projector does not ship with 3D glasses in the box.  Optoma sells the BG-ZD101 DLP Link 3D Glasses separately for about $75 each.

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Didn't I see this in a recent game sequel?

"Optoma's HD33 projector which is a full 3D 1080P projector gets reviewed by TechwareLabs. Through a full 90 day review we were very impressed with the Optoma HD33 projector and were very reluctant to ship it back. The Optoma is a very well designed, very bright and sharp projection. The very simple option and use made the setup and usage ever so simple. All you need is a wall big enough to project on and 3D content."

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Displays

 

After a few straight days of Skyrim some anti-eyestrain glasses are highly recommended

Subject: Displays | November 18, 2011 - 10:12 AM |
Tagged: gunnar, glasses, eye strain

This post over at The Tech Report starts by describing a situation that anyone reading this familar with, how staring at a PC for 8+ hours a day takes a toll on your eyes.  So, is it possible that the Gunnar Optiks Computer Glasses could save you some eye ache?  It certainly sounds like it from the positive comments these glasses garnered in the review, by a reviewer that is not used to wearing any glasses at all.  They are intended for the long haul, as your eyes will need a bit of time to adjust to the glasses, so you won't notice anything during a quick 5 minute email session you might find your eyes much happier after the 5th hour of gaming.  As well, The Tech Report warns against using these glasses with Photoshop as the yellow tint to the glasses will have an effect on the colours you perceive.  Shame about the logo as well.

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"Does staring at a computer screen for hours on end strain your eyes and give you headaches? Gunnar's computer glasses might help. TR's David Morgan tries on a pair in his latest blog post, with surprising results."

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Dell's new 24" UltraSharp IPS display

Subject: Displays | October 27, 2011 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: dell, UltraSharp U2412M, 24”, ips display

IPS panels have tended to be expensive ino the past but as the technology has matured the prices have been going down and quality has been increasing.  At Hardware Canucks you can see an example of this in the 1920x1200 24" Dell UltraSharp U2412M.  As this is a new generation IPS display, its response time comes close to a TN's at 6ms although the price of just under $400 is not quite in the ballpark of a TN monitor.  The overall conclusion was good, as the colours and viewing angle met expectations though there was some evidence of ghosting in both movies and gaming thanks to the slow gray to gray latency.  Not enough to sour those Beavers; they think its a Dam Good Value.

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"By offering a reasonably large, high quality 16:10 IPS panel at a price point which is infinitely more palatable than the U27 or U30 series, the U24s have always been considered a great value. The all new U2412M, hopes to continue this enviable tradition by offering exactly what first time professional consumers want, at a price which undercuts many other IPS-based offerings."

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Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

You don't have 3D Vision 2? Loser.

In conjunction with GeForce LAN 6 current taking place on the USS Hornet in Alameda, NVIDIA is announcing an upgrade to the lineup of 3D Vision technologies.  Originally released back in January of 2009, 3D Vision was one of the company's grander attempts to change the way PC gamers, well, game.  Unfortunately for NVIDIA and the gaming community, running a 3D Vision setup required a new, much more expensive display as well as some glasses that originally ran $199.

While many people, including myself, were enamored with 3D technology when we first got our hands on it, the novelty kind of wore off and I found myself quickly back on the standard panels for gaming.  The reasons were difficult to discern at first but it definitely came down to some key points:

  • Cost
  • Panel resolution
  • Panel size
  • Image quality

The cost was obvious - having to pay nearly double for a 3D Vision capable display just didn't jive for most PC gamers and then the need to have to purchase $200 glasses made it even less likely that you would plop down the credit card.  Initial 3D Vision ready displays, while also being hard to find, were limited to a resolution of 1680x1050 and were only available in 22-in form factors.  Obviously if you were interested in 3D technology you were likely a discerning gamer and running at lower resolutions would be less than ideal.  

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The new glasses - less nerdy?

Yes, 24-in and 1080p panels did come in 2010 but by then much of the hype surrounding 3D Vision had worn off.  To top it all off, even if you did adopt a 3D Vision kit of your own you realized that the brightness of the display was basically halved when operating in 3D mode - with one shutter of your glasses covered at any given time, you only receive half the total output from the screen leaving the image quality kind of drab and washed out.  

Continue reading our preview of NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 technology!!

Panel Self Refresh; a new way to save power

Subject: Displays | September 30, 2011 - 10:27 AM |
Tagged: mobile, low power, panel self refresh

The idea behind Panel Self Refresh is a sound one, when displaying static images there is no need for the GPU portion of your processor to be refreshing it at full speed.  If you simply leave the displayed image in the frame buffer you can turn off the GPU and get significant power savings.  It will not help when you are streaming media but if you are reading emails or a pdf file or even browsing pictures, you should see some extension to the life of your battery.  Hardware Secrets describes the technology in their article here.

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"Manufacturers are always looking for innovative ways to save battery life on laptops. With the embedded DisplayPort 1.3 interface (eDP 1.3), VESA, the Video Standards Association behind DisplayPort, came up with a new idea, the Panel Self Refresh (PSR). Let's see how it works."

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Displays

 

HP Introduces Sub-$200 IPS Monitor, Updates Other IPS Displays

Subject: Displays | September 14, 2011 - 08:19 AM |
Tagged: ips monitor, ips display, hp monitor, hp ips, hp display, hp

IPS displays were once a highly sought but also relatively rare consumer product. Only Dell and Apple have consistently offered consumer displays featuring the technology. Other companies, such as NEC, have built such products with a focus on the office rather than the home.

That’s been changing, however, as the overall price of displays continues to stay low and consumer expectations for display quality are impacted by the use of smartphones and tablets. ASUS and LG now have small affordable IPS displays on the market, and HP is joining the crowd with its updated line of ZR-Series “performance displays.”

ZR2040w_Angle Left.jpg

HP has announced 20”, 21.5”, 24” and 27” models. The ZR2040w, the smallest of the new entries, will debut with an impressively modest price tag of $189 and resolution of 1600x900. Connectivity options include DisplayPort, DVI and VGA. Available today from HP.com, it is the second least expensive IPS monitor on the market, trailing just behind the $179 ASUS ML239H. This should be an awesome development for enthusiasts in need of a small, high-quality display, particularly if the quality is on par with HP’s larger products.

Resolution of the ZR-Series goes up in size with the 21.5”, 24” and 27” products offering a resolution of 1920x1080, 1920x1200 and 2560x1440, respectively. MSRP is $289, $425 and $729, respectively.

The 22” and 24” displays are updates to models previously available in the United States. The updated versions announced today are similar to their predecessors in both specifications and price, with the exception of the HDMI port, which wasn’t previously included. If it were my money, I’d go for the ZR2440w – the ZR24w was excellent, and the HDMI port on the new model makes it ready for use with a wider variety of video cards.

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Also included in this announcement is the HP Compaq LE2202x, a 21.5” LED backlit monitor. While it offers a resolution of 1920x1080, it does not feature IPS technology. It also lacks HDMI, which would seem to indicate that it leans towards use in an office environment.'

Source: HP

 

Source: HP

Viewsonic attempts to entice you to buy their 3D display

Subject: Displays | September 13, 2011 - 10:19 AM |
Tagged: viewsonic, 3d display, V3D245

The Viewsonic V3D245 is a 24" LED monitor with a 1080p resolution that will let you play in 3D without needing to pick up extra peripherals.  The display will work equally well with both PCs and consoles and most importantly the active glasses are included with the monitor.  You provide the signal and the display will give you 3D gaming.  Drop by Ars Technica for a closer look.

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"That being said, ViewSonic wants to make you a deal. If you give them $500, they'll give you a 24" monitor for your PC and gaming consoles that does 3D like a champ. There is nothing extra to hook up, nothing to be added; it's an all-in-one solution that does 3D as well as anything I've seen on the market. At $500, this display isn't cheap, but the quality is such that you'll be happy about spending the money."

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Displays

Source: Ars Technica

Need a 3D display, mon? Try Zalman's Trimon

Subject: Displays | August 16, 2011 - 09:14 AM |
Tagged: zalman, 3d display

The Zalman Trimon ZM-M240W is the latest 3D display from a company once best known for pretty heatsinks.  They've preferred using passive glasses to create the illusion of depth on their monitors, something which attracts people who do not want to invest around $100 in a pair of active shutter glasses that may or may not work with some TVs and possibly give you a headache for the effort of trying.  X-bit Labs certainly approved of both the pricing and the lack of flicker from Zalman's new Trimon but pointed out that there are serious drawbacks in the viewing angle with passive glasses.  Check out their full review here.

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"Zalman continues on their own unique path releasing 3D monitors bundled with inexpensive and non-flickering passive glasses. They have indisputable strengths as well as bottlenecks. Read our review to find out more."

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Displays

Source: X-Bit Labs

New Solar Cell Enhanced LCDs Could Improve Mobile Device Battery Life

Subject: Displays, Mobile | August 12, 2011 - 01:51 AM |
Tagged: solar cell, mobile, lcd, display

According to Ars Technica, researchers at UCLA announced on Tuesday a new LCD screen containing photovoltaic cells that promises to reduce back-light energy waste and improve battery life on mobile devices.

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My N900 eats up battery with an hour of Angry Birds, but can go for two days with the display off. Where's my happy medium? 

The researchers have placed what they are calling polarizing organic photovoltaics inside the LCDs in such a way that light that is normally filtered out and blocked in areas to create the displayed images can now be (mostly) recovered. While the process does not result in 100% reclamation of energy due to energy loss during the conversion process(es) and heat given off by the back-light, in a mobile device any amount of energy that can be recovered is desirable. Ars Technica states that up to 90% of a battery’s power is used to power the back-light of the display. Further, of that percentage, up to 75% is lost to the polarizing layers. By infusing the polarizing layer with photovoltaic cells and reclaiming as much of the otherwise wasted light as possible, battery life could be dramatically extended.

Mobile devices are getting beefier multi-core processors and graphics chips, numerous wireless radio connections (4G, WiFi, Bluetooth), and large power hungry displays; however, battery technology advancements have been rather stagnant and flat. As a result of this, having to make processors, displays, and other components as efficient as possible to make up the difference of battery technology not keeping up with other advancements, interesting tweaks like the photovoltaic infused displays become that much more important.

Whether this particular technology will catch on and work as well as they claim remains to be seen; however it is nonetheless an interesting experiment. More data on the researchers’ project will be published in the Advanced Materials journal in September 2011. What are your thoughts on the idea?

Source: Ars Technica