Wednesday, October 24, 2007

When it Comes to LCD, Thin is In

Now that it has conquered the dimension race with a whopping 108-inch model, the LCD category is focusing its efforts on another form of size: depth. And this time, it's a reduction in size, not an increase. Sharp has developed a 0.68 mm, wafer-thin 2.2" LCD that can be used in mobile devices, like cell phones, portable audio players, or digital cameras. To put this in perspective, a standard mobile phone's LCD is likely anywhere from 0.8-2.2 mm thick!

It's apparent that the fashion industry isn't the only one where "thin is in". Except with LCDs, the thinner they get, the better they can become. One obvious advantage of thinner TVs is space saving: Toshiba's new REGZA Super Narrow Bezel line of LCDs, for example, measure just 1" thin, which means a 40" model can easily fit into furniture made for a 37" one. This doesn't only save space; but you're now able to save money upgrading to a bigger TV without having to replace the furniture as well. Sharp Electronics has also reduced the depth of its latest D64U line of LCD TVs, making them 25% thinner than previous models. This not only results in a sleeker-looking product, but also makes them 20% lighter than previous-generation Sharp LCDs.

The way the flat-panel market is going, we might just end up in the future with TVs that look like projector screens: massive in size, and near paper-thin! What, then will happen to the projector market...

[Photo: Sharp's new 0.68mm thin LCD boasts 2,000:1 contrast, 176-degree viewing angle, 8 ms response time, and 240 x 320 pixel resolution (QVGA)].

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