updated 10:30 am EDT, Wed June 4, 2008
Samsung 15.6-inch LCDs
Samsung will be the latest company to start making new, 16:9 aspect ratio LCDs for notebooks, reports from alleged display industry insiders claim. The company has previously kept to producing the 15.4-inch, 16:10 screens found in most notebooks today but is now said to be starting production on wider 15.6-inch screens that are often cited as better for movie viewing and side-by-side documents. Production would reportedly start in November, which would likely push the release of notebooks based on the LCDs to early 2009.
Details of the panels themselves are unavailable, though the change in aspect ratio is often targeted at HD viewing and often comes with an increase in practical display resolution. Acer's current Gemstone Blue notebooks all supply a 1920x1080 picture that fits the ratio of many 1080p movies without scaling or unused space.
Past reports have several PC builders already choosing to use 15.6-inch displays for their portables by the end of 2008, though these reports would put a launch between July and September and rule out Samsung-made panels. However, the same industry contacts pointing to the Samsung leak suggest that the introduction of the larger screens will make them virtually commonplace and push out 15.4-inch displays.
Separately, multiple display makers such as AU Optronics and LG Display are also described as ramping up efforts to make 17.3-inch LCDs at the same 16:9 ratio. The bump in size from 17.0-inch screens is said to stem from a need to make the most of new manufacturing techniques that allow companies to build more panels at a time. The news also echoes previous claims and notes that Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Toshiba, and other computer builders are interested in the larger screens for future desktop replacement-class portables.