Looking ahead to the day when flat-panel displays take their place on the desktop, several Japanese screen-makers have this week unveiled active-matrix TFT LCD panels with display areas and resolutions comparable to those of today's CRT monitors.
NEC has begun shipping samples of a 14.1in active-matrix TFT LCD panel with a display area equivalent to that of a 17in CRT monitor, officials say.
Sample-priced at US$3200, the full-colour (6 million colours) NEC screen weighs 120g and measures 330mm x 250mm x 22mm, a spokesman says. It consumes 14.4w of electricity.
Equipped with multiscan technology that allows it to display a range of resolutions from VGA (640 x 480 pixels) to XGA (1024 x 768 pixels), the screen has a contrast ratio of 150-to-1 and brightness of 200 candelas per square meter.
TFT LCD market leader Sharp in June will roll out a 13.8in unit that features a viewing angle wider than that of most rivals' screens, officials say.
Flat-panel market newcomer Mitsubishi on this week announced that from June it will begin shipping a 15.1in TFT screen with XGA resolution.
Hitachi within the next two months will ship a 13.3in screen with a wide viewing angle built into a standalone unit and priced at roughly US$3500, an official says.
Screen makers are positioning displays as a standalone units in hopes of creating a market for flat-panel displays as CRT monitor replacements.
A year ago, demand for 10.4in TFTs fell short of expectations, leaving major vendors with an oversupply of the screens, which are used primarily in notebook PCs. Hoping to create other markets for the screens, the vendors began simultaneously cutting prices of the screens and marketing them as monitor replacements.
But while prices for certain screens have plummeted over the past year and a half, most analysts say the displays are still too expensive to lure many customers.