Apple is considering QD-OLED for a new Studio Display

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Samsung Display seems to be working on a new factory (the A5) which would produce 27-inch QD-OLED panels. And the main customer for these panels would be Apple, probably with an evolution of the Studio Display or – why not – a 27-inch iMac based on M2 Pro or Ultra.

QD-OLED for a new Studio Display
QD-OLED for a new Studio Display

For a “Pro” Studio Display?

The Studio Display offers an unusual definition (5K) but the rest of the characteristics are quite classic: an IPS panel with standard backlighting, without Mini LEDs as in the Pro Display XDR. Switching to a QD-OLED panel would therefore bring a certain advantage to the (future?) Studio Display Pro, such as an infinite contrast ratio and higher brightness. Samsung’s technology (QD-OLED) is different from that used by LG, the other major manufacturer of panels of this type. At LG, schematically, the sub-pixels are white, with filters for each color (red, blue, green) and possibly a fourth white sub-pixel to increase brightness (WRGB). This solution makes it possible to increase the luminosity but limits the saturation of the colors.

Samsung’s QD-OLED technology, already offered in a few Samsung and Sony televisions, as well as in an Alienware monitor, works differently: the sub-pixels are blue and quantum dots 1 make it possible to obtain very pure red and green. This path retains the advantage of OLED (a deep black) while offering high brightness, wide viewing angles, and the possibility of displaying many more colors.

We just have to hope that the structure of the panels will not be the one chosen for televisions and the first monitors. While LG’s LCDs and OLED models use horizontal alignment, the first QD-OLED panels place the sub-pixels in a triangle. It is not a pentile structure that shares some sub-pixels between pixels (they each contain 3 sub-pixels) but it tends to create chromatic aberrations on black texts on a white background. And if this problem is not obvious in a television placed far enough from the user (and which is probably not intended to display text), it can be annoying in traditional computer use.

Finally, we hope that Samsung will be able to offer a fairly defined panel: currently, 27-inch OLED panels are limited to Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160), compared to the 5,120 x 2,880 on the IPS panel of the Studio Display.

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