It looks like Apple’s Retina displays could be gaining some competition this week. Samsung is displaying a 3200 x 1800 resolution laptop screen at Display Week in Vancouver. This display has a higher resolution than the current-generation Retina displays at 2880 x 1800.
The Samsung panel is designed for a 13.3-inch laptop and has a WQXGA+ LCD screen that offers 3200 x 1800 pixel resolution, with an expected aspect ratio of 16:9 (see this chart for details), and 276 pixels-per-inch. If you’re worried the higher-res display will suck up too much power on a laptop, Samsung promises its new display technology will use 30 percent less power than current panels, which is achieved by upping the number of “driver circuits” and making the “LED BLU” more efficient.
Sharp, on the other hand, will be demoing its 15.6-inch QHD+ panel at its booth at Display Week. Though it shares the same pixel resolution as the 13.3-inch Samsung panel, Sharp’s 15.6-inch display features its proprietary IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology that improves upon traditional LCD screens.
Because IGZO uses thinner parts than traditional LCD screens require, IGZO-based displays can be especially slim and with minimal bezel, which maximizes the screen real estate for users without adding to the bulk of the device. Not only does this technology allow for thinner screens, its also uses 54 percent less power than a LCD screen since it doesn’t use as many LEDs to achieve high brightness, therefore reducing the amount of heat a IGZO screen dissipates.
Production for IGZO displays will begin in June, as Sharp announced earlier this month. The Japanese company will be making 3200 x 1800 resolution displays for both 14-inch and 15.6-inch laptops, so fans of either screen size will be able to look forward to a high-resolution IGZO display soon. So far, Samsung has not offered any timeline on when its WQXGA+ panel will be heading to your next laptop. Since new Apple products aren’t expected to be announced until this fall, it’s possible that new Retina MacBook Pros or other premium laptops with this resolution screen will be in stores sooner than later.