15-inch, 4K OLED laptops are coming thanks to new displays from Samsung

By Valentina Palladino

15-inch, 4K OLED laptops are coming thanks to new displays from Samsung

Larger OLED laptop screens are coming sooner than we anticipated. Samsung Displays announced that it has made a 15.6-inch 4K laptop display and will begin producing the panels next month. The company plans to provide them to other manufacturers to put into their premium notebooks.

"Samsung's 15.6-inch OLED offers a display solution that is optimized for portable IT devices such as overwhelming HDR, excellent color reproduction and high outdoor visibility," Samsung Display Marketing Director Yoon Jae-nam said in the announcement. "Consumers will enjoy a higher level of visual experience through OLED notebooks."

Samsung's 15.6-inch display has a brightness range of 0.0005 to 600 nits, and its spectrum of 34 million colors is double that of similar, 15-inch LCD panels. Samsung claims that its panel can produce blacks that are 200 times darker than those of LCD panels, and whites will be more than twice as bright. These attributes contribute to the HDR capabilities of the panel, and the company claims that the panel passes VESA's new DisplayHDR TrueBlack standard.

The transition to OLED displays in laptops has been much slower than that on mobile phones. Most OLED laptop panels in production today are smaller than Samsung's latest panel (typically 13 inches) and come in at lower resolutions. They're also currently not widely used: only a few OEMs, including Lenovo and Razer, make laptops with OLED panels.

While OLED panels provide better contrast ratios, color gamut, and brightness levels than most LCD panels, they're also more expensive to produce. Lots of manufacturers have skipped OLED panels for their premium laptops because they cost more to put into the device, thereby driving up the retail price for consumers. Also, OLED screens have burn-in problems that some consumers don't want to deal with—neither in their smartphones nor in their laptops.

Regardless, Samsung's announcement will be exciting for those who have been itching for larger, higher-resolution OLED panels in the newest laptops. It's unclear which manufacturers will be the first to get Samsung's OLED panels, but plenty of OEMs including HP, Lenovo, and Dell have laptops with OLED screens slated for launch this year.