Samsung builds 18.5 inch monitor with no power supply

It takes a lot to make a post-Friday lunchtime ZDNet UK editorial desk go Wow! - in fact, it can be easier to detect life on Mars than movement of any kind hereabouts during the pre-bank holiday final straight.

It takes a lot to make a post-Friday lunchtime ZDNet UK editorial desk go Wow! - in fact, it can be easier to detect life on Mars than movement of any kind hereabouts during the pre-bank holiday final straight.

But we went Wow! just now, as we discovered a new LCD monitor from Samsung. It looks pretty standard - 18.5", 16:9 aspect ratio, 1,366 x 768 pixels, 250cd/m2 and 1,000:1 aspect ratio, the sort of stats that would normally mark a display out as pretty mediocre.

Only this one has no power supply. It runs entirely from USB. Admittedly, it has a two-plug USB cable - and at 6.3 watts, it's right at the top end of what even two USB sockets in parallel can supply - but all you have to do is plug those in and off you go. No mains, no batteries, no handy-dandy miniature nuclear reactor.

This amazing ability is due to very efficient LED backlighting and a highly transmissive LCD panel - although the LEDs do have a mere 30,000 hour lifetime instead of the 50,000 hours of their less abstemious mainstream brethren.

No name yet, but Samsung says it'll go into volume production for desktop PCs next year. You can see pictures of the beast at Tech On, who reported the invention from the Society for Information Display's SID 2010 symposium in Washington this week.

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