Samsung shows off Series 9 WQHD laptop with Retina Display-like resolution at IFA 2012

Samsung shows off Series 9 WQHD laptop with Retina Display-like resolution at IFA 2012

Summary: The prototype squeezes 2,560x1,440 resolution into a 13-inch display.

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TOPICS: Laptops, Samsung
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Even if you don't love Apple products, you might appreciate how its pixel-dense Retina Display technology has shaken up the market for mobile screens (and, eventually, desktop ones). You may not want an iPhone or the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, but Apple's promotion of the feature is spurring other companies to add similar technology to their product offerings.

A case in point is a new laptop prototype Samsung exhibited at the IFA 2012 trade show in Berlin this week. (More IFA 2012 news for Samsung can be found here.) Engadget spotted the Series 9 WQHD ultra-portable squeezing a very impressive 2,560x1,440 resolution into just a 13-inch screen.

That works out to be roughly the same pixels-per-inch that the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display offers, and is a significant improvement on the current Series 9's 1,600x900 resolution. Engadget also points out that the screen features "a gentle matte finish," though it's unclear how that specifically enhances the viewing experience.

The 13-inch Series 9 laptop already costs $1,200 and up, so you can imagine that an ultra-high-res screen would send that price even higher. While that is no comfort for people who don't want to drop $1,500 (i.e., most of us), it does continue a trend for higher-resolution screens, which will eventually trickle down as more of these displays are produced.

[Image: Engadget]

Topics: Laptops, Samsung

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21 comments
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  • Should be good...

    After all they do manufacture the Apple screens, and as yet haven't been bugged by the same problems as the LG manufatured ones. I must confess that I was very slow to appreciate the retina display for the mac - having seen little differnce when iPad went retina, I was more impressed by the pro - ultrabook form factor of the retina.

    However, getting my hands on them over the last month, the difference has become clear. Of course it isn't just pixel density that impresses, but also the depth of colour they can achieve in the 'how black is black' lcd arms race. At first the retina seemed a little dark, but ince i'd gotten used to it my macbook air and my desktop rig seemed washed out and dull despite both having excellent screen specs. If Samsung have managed to develop similar or better technologies, which history suggests they have the display on these machines should be excellent.

    I wouldn't worry about haters, sure this article mentions Apple, and will attract the usual drones, but best not pander to them in the article; haters gonna hate after all. At the end of the day the current implementation of the tech is frankly excellent and it's awesome to see it spreading across platforms so quickly. Now i just need a Linux that can support it - my maths came in at a theoretical 14MP when this pixel density hits 27" screens... That's the max resoltuion of my DSLR ... Vector graphics for your wallpaper anyone?

    I suspect the gentle matt finish refers to screen glare- a problem common to Gorilla style glass - as owners of macbook pros, imacs and a couple of Dells I've tried can attest. Again the Apple retina went sime way to address this, but there's still a way to go towards anti-glare in my mind. It'd be nice to see samsung implement this.
    MarknWill
    • I wasn't initially sold either...

      Like you, I wasn't initially sold on the retina display either, until seeing it in person and realizing I wouldn't settle for anything less. Face it, sure you have power users but the majority of users mainly use the web (for bills, directions, research, social networking, email, etc), do light office app work, and play an occassional game or two. That's why most folks would be fine with a tablet and don't need a full laptop. However, for those of us who prefer a laptop, it is certainly nice to have razor-sharp text and other visibility enhancing options that the retina display provides. My first retina macbook had an LG panel and had a really bad yellowish tint to it. I exchanged it and the second panel looks a lot better. I never bothered to run the command telling me if it's an LG or Samsung panel, because it looks perfect and passed the initial image retention tests, so if it's another LG, that's fine with me, as long as it works. I don't get all into the neurotic "I must have a Samsung panel" nonsense. It's just a slab of metal, glass and microchips, not my next career or wife. As long as it works.
      mooseboulders
  • The best "laptop" ever

    After seeing the video on Engadget this looks like the best "laptop" I've seen
    AdnanPirota
  • WTF is "retina display-like"

    Since when did Apple own screen resolution?
    pupkin_z
    • Apple has applied for a trademark...

      for "Retina" as it applies to a display.

      And before you go all huffy, remember that many common words are trademarked (Dove, All, Windows, Mustang, Ivory, Cascade, Oracle, etc), as are many common phrases (Head and Shoulders, "But wait, there's more," Live Savers, Billy Joel [yep, that's a registered trademark]).

      Sorry, you'll have to find some other trivial reason to hate Apple.
      msalzberg
      • What????

        How can Apple apply for a trademark for something that Samsung made and sell to them?
        stm24
        • Are you awake?

          Are you just now finding out that there are such things as contract manufacturers that make things for other companies? It's been going on for a while now. A hundred years, maybe. Nokia phones? Made by Foxconn. HP computers? Made by Foxconn. Apple iPads? Made by Foxconn. Flextronics is another one. They made the Zune for Microsoft, and still make the XBox360. They also make Legos, and some gear for Lenovo.
          Robert Hahn
        • Typical mentalitly ....

          ... of ignorant fandroids.

          Samsung may be a CONTRACT manufacturer, but Apple designed, engineered and licensed the technology for the retina display. Unless Samsung has a license for the technology, they are not allow to build anything with it except as contracted with Apple.

          It is like having Foxconn build a GBox ... using Microsofts design for the XBox.
          wackoae
          • Retina designed and engineered by Apple?

            Please provide a reference for this. My understanding is that Apple simply designed and engineered the name.
            nowend
          • Retina designed and engineered by Apple?

            My apologies, I see there is a patent. It's sad that others have already delivered higher resolution and DPI without using Retina concept. How quickly technology moves!
            nowend
      • Its not the same

        When Dove sues other types of soap bars because its oval shaped, When Mustang sues Nissan because theirs have a bonnet thats slopes forward, when Ivory sues Tide because its packaging includes a dispenser, when Life Savers sues skittles because of its similar color/flavor combinations, Then its the same.
        wjohnatty@...
  • What A Pity The “Tiles” Interface Can’t Take Advantage Of The Resolution

    Face it, large areas of flat colour look just as flat no matter how high you crank the resolution.

    The only OS in common use that can take proper advantage of 320dpi and 480dpi screen pixel densities is Android.
    ldo17
    • I'm with you... To a point...

      Having seen the up-defed mountain lion on the MBP Retina, I too have my reservations about how well Windows 8 will "shine" on such displays. The simplistic styling of the new system doesn't appear to take full advantage of the higher densities when it comes to the tile style, however they will still look clearer at these densities.

      The second part i don't get... Did you mean PPI? In which case there are no 480 PPI; to the best of my knowledge the highest densitie achieved was by LG around 330 PPI. Although Samsung is looking to push towards 350 when the S3 is replaced if rumours are to be beleived.

      As for android being the only OS that can use these densities... Really? OS X, iOS, Windows 8 are already being configured for these densities, and the major linux desktops are all expected to start adding support in the next release cycle.

      Also android would look appalling on these screens; as a mobile device OS it just isn't designed to handle the shear number of pixels on this screen, or it's 13" size, let alone the desktop experience. If you want to hate on the closed source OS, or just use Linux on a desktop do it right - use GNU/Linux.

      Even on the mobile platform I'm struggling to think of a feature in Android that makes it better suited to high densities than it's rivals WM7 and iOS 5; both handle and are designed for such densities, and all three look frankly awesome if you focus soley on clarity of icons, text, images, media and effects, which is what pixel density is about.
      MarknWill
      • Re: Pixel Density/PPI

        LG showed off a 440dpi screen a few months ago, and apparently said they would be shipping an Android phone with that later this year.

        Android already has support for 480dpi-nominal screens--see the XXHIGH constant here http://developer.android.com/reference/android/util/DisplayMetrics.html
        ldo17
        • Yes fall res' will be higher.

          With another generation about to launch, resutions are expected to increase, this I don't dispute, as mentioned LG were the existing PPI record holders.

          I still can't see a feature of android that makes it better suited to high density screens than any other OS designed for such displays?

          This article was about 13" laptop displays, and once again android is not better than Windows, OS X, or linux on this platform... After all you have to add in pointer support for starters.
          MarknWill
          • Re: I still can't see a feature of android that makes it better suited...

            Android takes screen pixel densities into account. It lets you write code and UI layouts that work across everything from 120dpi up to (currently) 320dpi, and still have everything appear at close to the same size, automatically, with minimal effort on your part.
            ldo17
          • "Android takes screen pixel densities into account"

            What makes you think other sane OS do not do this?
            danbi
          • Re: What makes you think other sane OS do not do this?

            Because they don’t.
            ldo17
  • Of course they can trademark?

    Samsung may be one of the "retina" display manufacturers amongst others, but Apple did design their ultra high resolution display technology. They are of course not the only solution around now, but their original displays at these kind of pixel densities were designed by them including the technology behind these densities.

    The importance for them behind trademarking the brand name retina is that there is no fixed pixel density at apple; the IPhone has a density of 326, whilst this years iPad gets 264 and the retina MBP 220.5. The official reasoning it that you use these devices at different distances from the eye, so varying densities are requires to achieve the "invisable pixel" goal. Of course this also saves on production cost and increases supply production on larger screens.

    In terms of the trademarking and apple tech, this doesn't inhibit others from making their own solutions. For example this Samsung laptop actually beats the retina MBP at 221 PPI, but uses different design to achieve it, so it isn't retina.

    Samsung have also hinted that their latest ultra high def tech designs may be able to achieve the 350 PPI density milestone on their next mobile devices; higher than the current iPhone.
    MarknWill
  • High Resolution Desktop Screen

    I just want a really high resolution desktop screen, e.g. 3840x2160.
    That way, Windows 8's blurry fonts won't bug me so much.
    ITenquirer