The largest ever notebook screens will be available late this year when NEC releases a 13.3in TFT LCD panel, almost filling out the A4 format and making larger screens unlikely. The size makes for a 21 per cent larger viewing area than the current largest 12.1in screens.
Unglamourously dubbed the 10276BC26-01, the screens will trickle out in September and ship in high-end NEC notebooks in October. The advance means that 12.1in screens will quickly enter the mainstream. The screens are capable of displaying 260,000 colours and resolutions up to 1,024 x 768. Battery consumption is only a little higher than with 12.1in screens thanks to improved backlighting power management.
Jonathan Dominique, manager of NEC's special products group, said he doesn't expect larger LCDs for notebook PCs. "If they get any bigger they're for luggable PCs," he said. "I've got a 12..1in screen notebook and it's 14.5in edge to edge. 13.3in screens are the biggest you can get."
Screen manufacturers will instead focus on thinner screens with higher resolutions, greater brightness, and improved reliability, Dominique said.