Sunlight illuminates LG’s latest notebook LCD

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Seoul (Korea) – Sunlight is usually something you want to avoid when working with a notebook outside. In the case of LG’s new 14.1” LCD, however, you actually want sunlight - and lots of it: The LCD is driven by sunlight, features an increased contrast ratio and can save up to 75% power over regular LCD panels.

LG Display may have one of the more interesting LCD innovations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, which will open its doors in early January. The company said it will demonstrate a new TFT LCD for notebooks that is specifically designed for outdoor use: The 14.1” panel is illuminated by sunlight instead of the standard backlight unit when used outside.

What makes this panel special is the integration of selective reflection plates in existing backlight panels, which enable the switch from reflective mode in a high luminance setting (sunlight) to transmissive mode in a low luminance setting (indoors and at night). LG claims that the display achieves an outdoor contrast ratio that is up to four times higher than what regular LCDs can provide in a similar setting. The switch from sunlight to backlight mode is simply done “with the touch of a button”, LG said.

Running a notebook LCD with the help of sunlight sharply cuts the power consumption of the most power hungry hardware in today’s notebooks as well. In sunlight mode, the display will use only 25% of the power used in backlight mode, LG promises. Since LCDs consume considerable amounts - typical 14.1” LCDs can consume somewhere between 50 and 70 watts – a power reduction of about 75% is significant.

There was no information when this new display may become available.