Laptops that let the sun shine in

Laptops that let the sun shine in

Summary: LG Display announced today a 14.1 inch LCD panel for notebooks that at the push of a button switches from transmissive to transflective mode for use outdoors in sunlight.

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LG Display announced today a 14.1 inch LCD panel for notebooks that at the push of a button switches from transmissive to transflective mode for use outdoors in sunlight. Rather than a backlight, a transflective display reflects ambient light to illuminate the LCD panel from the inside.

LG said turning off the backlight can reduce power by up to 75% delivering longer battery life when outside, and the display's 9:1 contrast ratio provides "superior outdoor visibility." (The LG Display press release is here.)

Toshiba already sells an ultraportable, the Portege R500, with a transflective display and an Outdoor Display Switch that turns off the LED backlight. CNET.com tested an older model, the Toshiba Portege R500-S5003, that didn't have the transflective display. But Laptop Magazine recently reviewed the Portege R500-S5007V--one of five current R500 configurations that do have this feature--and said they had "no trouble reading Web sites outdoors," though the display was a bit dim indoors in transmissive mode. PC Magazine agreed that the screen "at times looked washed out,"  but MaximumPC thought the Portege R500's screen looked "great" both indoors and out.

Here is Toshiba's explanation of how transflective display technology works:

Toshiba Transflective

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Toshiba

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2 comments
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  • You have to push a button?

    Great. Now I'm going to have users complaining of blisters on their pushing fingers.
    Michael Kelly
  • Sounds great

    Sounds great! Being able to see the screen in sunlight is a real pain these days for laptops. The switch to back lights, while great for indoor use, has proved to be a major pain for outdoor use. Instead of getting rid of the problem, we have just seemed to switch it from indoors to outdoors. The glare is just too much.
    CobraA1