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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:17 pm 
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There used to be this argument that IPS demand was low, and so manufacturers stop producing them and making them really expensive. As a result, laptop manufactures stop putting them on their products.

With the invasion of the iPad and various tablets. IPS displays for small screen becomes the mainstream. This, in turn, as the first example X220, brought back IPS display to Thinkpad. I own an iPad 2 and the X220. First of all, the IPS displays on both are both made by LG. Second, they have the same number of pixel on the vertical side, and the same pixel per density. Also, people complained about temporary burn-in happens on the X220 IPS display, and I've tested that that happens on my iPad 2 as well. I also have a Datacolor Spyder 3 monitor calibrator, and they do have an app on the iPad to calibrate the screen for photo viewing (the calibration only stay in that app though). And after calibration, the characteristic of the two screens are basically the same. So it is evident that the screen on the iPad and on the X220 were basically cut from the same plane.

What this means is that, laptop manufacturers now have a wider choice of IPS display to choose from to use on their products. What's more is that the trend on these mobile deivces is going towards higher pixel density. Most new flagship smartphones are now packed with 720p display (on a less than 5-inch screen!), and tablets are getting 1080p+ displays. It's amazing that the 9.7" screen of the iPad 3 packs more pixels than my trusty Dell 2407 24-inch desktop display.

So, plain and simple. Lenovo! I demand my next Thinkpad to have at least 250 PPI!! (and hopefully Windows 8 will have good support for DPI scaling)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:05 pm 
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I don't think it will happen, at least not with Lenovo. Notebook as a product is no longer "sexy" for ordinary customers. That's why iPad (not MacBook) gets the display.

Most of customers absolutely don't care about display quality. Otherwise there won't be tons of crappy TN desktop monitors and contrastless notebook displays sold. For professionals (and others who cares) there are NEC and Eizo desktop monitors. The X220 IPS displays is probably just an attempt to check customer response and I think it might disappear again in future models which is supported by the fact that Lenovo haven't offered 15.6" IPS panels option while HP and Dell do.

As long as crappy notebook TN panel unit is 50 cents cheaper than IPS one, Lenovo managers will push it everywhere. ThinkPad is no longer a flagship brand name, iPad is, unfortunately :(

BTW Isn't it because people now more like to "i" rather than to "think" ? :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:10 pm 
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In the last several years, Lenovo sales skyrocketed and surpassed even Dell in Q4 of 2011. The main strategies that enabled them to do so well were focusing increasingly on their consumer lines, and emphasizing low-cost laptops. Since these strategies have proved so successful, I bet Lenovo will keep using them, and so I agree with Puppy's prediction that Lenovo will not offer more IPS options in the near future. I further predict that Lenovo will gradually downsize their Thinkpad division.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:22 pm 
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khtse wrote:
There used to be this argument that IPS demand was low, and so manufacturers stop producing them and making them really expensive. As a result, laptop manufactures stop putting them on their products.

With the invasion of the iPad and various tablets. IPS displays for small screen becomes the mainstream.

I think there's a few gaps in your reasoning. While that may be true for tablets, small notebooks, outside of the X220 haven't adopted IPS. You have to understand it's the large institutional buyers than drive the thinking. They don't care a lick about IPS screens. They're more interested in cost and compatibility, and will argue over tooth and nail over a $25 increase in unit cost.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:09 pm 
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ZaZ wrote:
I think there's a few gaps in your reasoning. While that may be true for tablets, small notebooks, outside of the X220 haven't adopted IPS. You have to understand it's the large institutional buyers than drive the thinking. They don't care a lick about IPS screens. They're more interested in cost and compatibility, and will argue over tooth and nail over a $25 increase in unit cost.


I'm not saying that IPS isn't more expensive than TN. But the increased availability for laptop sized IPS screen has lowered the price gap between IPS and TN, to the point that tablet manufacturers (which are basically also laptop manufacturers) can afford to put IPS screens on a sub $500 (or even lower) tablet. This isn't because IPS is the default option for tablets though. The Motorola Xoom, allegedly the first iPad real competitor, was launched with a non-IPS panel (although it wasn't really that bad), and there are some cheaper Android tablets that used non-IPS panels. The reason why they are putting IPS on tablets is that, (1) it is now affordable, and (2) the general public has been exposed to IPS and knows immediately a non-IPS screen sucks compared to it. The general public may not know what "IPS" is, but the iPad has bought IPS to the mainstream users' eyes and now they demand screens of similar quality.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:22 pm 
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khtse wrote:
can afford to put IPS screens on a sub $500 (or even lower) tablet.

Small screen tablet sized displays are a different proposition to larger laptop screens.

khtse wrote:
The reason why they are putting IPS on tablets is that, (1) it is now affordable, and (2) the general public has been exposed to IPS and knows immediately a non-IPS screen sucks compared to it.

The general public neither knows, nor cares. As far as I can see, screen quality has very little do with tablet buying decisions.

khtse wrote:
now they demand screens of similar quality.

See above.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:07 am 
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khtse wrote:
But the increased availability for laptop sized IPS screen has lowered the price gap between IPS and TN, to the point that tablet manufacturers (which are basically also laptop manufacturers) can afford to put IPS screens on a sub $500 (or even lower) tablet.

Is this conjecture or do you have any hard numbers to back it up?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:58 am 
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Is there really an “increased availability”? According to this report, Apple is expected to want at least 65 million New iPad display panels by the end of the year. Is there manufacturing capacity left over for IPS panels on $500 laptops?

There are reports the increased cost drops Apple’s profit margin by 5% including a reported $21.50 per panel increase. It’s only reasonable to assume that when you’re buying 65 million of something, you’ll get the lowest possible price. Accordingly, manufactures buying in smaller quantities or in a market of limited supply would likely pay more per unit.

Lenovo’s laptop shipments worldwide in the third quarter were up 41 percent compared to an industry increase of just three percent. Apparently their business strategy is working.

While IPS supporters are vocal, they appear to be a small part of the potential laptop market. That ship has sailed. I wish people would just move on.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:09 pm 
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dsvochak wrote:
While IPS supporters are vocal

I totally understand this. Once you've had an IPS screen, it's hard to go back. It's why I think why the complaints were so vociferous when they were discontinued from ThinkPads and explains the joy surrounding the X220. While I think we can all agree we'd like better screens, who's against that, I think we should be realistic about getting them.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Well, but getting an LCD screen with funny contrast ratio 150:1 in top ThinkPad 2012 model is just ridiculous because we are going backward in technology evolving. What next, 480 vertical pixels or black&white display only ? I understand that the only way now is to wait while the technology providing such visually horrible output like these contrastless TN panels completely disappears from the market.

Unfortunately notebook market is going backward in technology while for example digital cameras are still evolving and providing better features and technical parameters with every new model. What I don't get is that there are tons of (bad) and cheap cameras next to expensive and good ones while there are no longer any (expensive) and good notebooks. If there are customers for expensive cameras, desktop monitors, cars ... why not notebooks ? It is chicken-egg problem. The same for projectors, most of people don't mind the DLP rainbow-effect produced by cheap one-chip projector. If you are affected by the effect you can always buy expensive full DLP one. But if you are affected by ugly contrastless/colorless/flickering notebook display ... buy a digital camera instead :-)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:40 pm 
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You have under the enormous cost pressure notebook makers, not just Lenovo, are under these days. As soon as they raise prices, most will seek an alterntive and few are willing to pay a premium for something better. This is why the X220 practically qualifies as a miracle. Notebook prices in the last five years have been dropping like a rock. Look at ThinkPads, a T60 with SXGA+ and the X1400 cost probably $1500 when it was introduced. How much does a T420 cost? I often get asked what notebook people should buy. People ask about size, performance, cost, etc., but screen quality rarely comes up. I know a disportionate amount of people here are want better screens and would be willing to pay for it, but in my experience most don't, which makes it seem a larger phenomena than it is in reality. Look at Dell and HP screens. They're no better.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:06 pm 
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It still does not get answer why other kinds of consumer electronics have top quality alternatives sold in very small volumes. How many customer will buy this camera ? Probably very few but it is still developed and available.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Puppy wrote:
It still does not get answer why other kinds of consumer electronics have top quality alternatives sold in very small volumes.

As you been explained to you numerous times, by numerous posters, over the years.... other kinds of consumer electronics sell in other kinds of markets than general purpose computing devices :roll:

General purpose computing device users who need top quality alternatives for display purposes can configure their own desktop systems to whatever level of performance/cost they can tolerate :idea:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:51 pm 
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Puppy wrote:
If there are customers for expensive cameras, desktop monitors, cars ... why not notebooks ?


I agree, and that's why both Dell and HP have laptops with top-of-the-line configurations, including 15.6" and 17.3" IPS screens.

Puppy wrote:
Unfortunately notebook market is going backward in technology


There has always been only a couple laptop models equipped with IPS screens. I don't think the industry as a whole is "going backward", though you are right about the Thinkpads specifically.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:05 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
I agree, and that's why both Dell and HP have laptops with top-of-the-line configurations, including 15.6" and 17.3" IPS screens.
Its availability depends on location. The HP configuration with IPS (DreamColor) panel is no longer available over here. Another interesting part is that the HP model with IPS panel was even cheaper than similar ThinkPad workstation configuration with TN panel. And unfortunately both 15.6" HP and Dell have horrible keyboard layout.

Ok, I will stop :) My guess is that Lenovo is slowly going to kill the original ThinkPad brand quality and features (using the ThinkPad name for cheap entertainment-oriented models, an attempt to put crappy keyboard into T-u model etc.) in favor of cheap consumer line :(

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Last edited by Puppy on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:54 am 
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It's my perception that an Apple logo will appeal more to an IPS screen to many people.

Don't take it literally, but you get the point.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Puppy wrote:
My guess is that Lenovo is slowly going to kill the original ThinkPad brand quality and features (using the ThinkPad name for cheap entertainment-oriented models, an attempt to put crappy keyboard into T-u model etc.) in favor of cheap consumer line :(


Is this late 2004? People -- myself included -- have been saying this now for the better part of a decade.



So far, we've been wrong.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:17 pm 
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dsvochak wrote:
Is there really an “increased availability”? According to this report, Apple is expected to want at least 65 million New iPad display panels by the end of the year. Is there manufacturing capacity left over for IPS panels on $500 laptops?

There are reports the increased cost drops Apple’s profit margin by 5% including a reported $21.50 per panel increase. It’s only reasonable to assume that when you’re buying 65 million of something, you’ll get the lowest possible price. Accordingly, manufactures buying in smaller quantities or in a market of limited supply would likely pay more per unit.

Lenovo’s laptop shipments worldwide in the third quarter were up 41 percent compared to an industry increase of just three percent. Apparently their business strategy is working.

While IPS supporters are vocal, they appear to be a small part of the potential laptop market. That ship has sailed. I wish people would just move on.


The "increased availability" I mentioned is supposed to meant the models of high resolution IPS panels available. It's true that with every iPhone and iPad release, Apple suck up a large portion of the supply on the market and created a binding supply constraint. But if you have been following gadgets news site like Engadget and the Verge, you can see that basically every display manufacturers are releasing high PPI IPS display. While supply constraint binds in the short term, the availability (in terms the number of choice) of IPS panels is expanding like never before. They used to be associated only with high-end display and a selected few higher-end laptop, but they are now part of mainstream consumer electronics.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:23 pm 
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bill bolton wrote:
The general public neither knows, nor cares. As far as I can see, screen quality has very little do with tablet buying decisions.


When you ask them what is IPS, they wouldn't know and wouldn't care. But walking into a BestBuy, with an iPad next to a middle-end Android tablet with a non-IPS display, they know which one sucks. True, they probably have no idea that what IPS has to do with that - they probably think that the iPad display looks better because it is Apple. But compared to a year or two ago, when you walked into BestBuy, every laptop monitor were TN and they were as suck as each other. And that is why you see IPS display or similar quality display appear on tablets (well, at least not those Froyo/Gingerbread based tablets from a no-name brand) more often than not.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:26 pm 
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ThinkRob wrote:
Is this late 2004? People -- myself included -- have been saying this now for the better part of a decade.



So far, we've been wrong.


Agree. Whenever people see a Thinkpad model they don't like, they blame IBM for selling the Thinkpad brand to Lenovo. Even if IBM was still making Thinkpads today, there would still be many aspects to complain for. This is just the fact of life with gadgets.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:29 am 
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I told you so

http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/12/28643 ... -exclusive

1080p IPS displays on both 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch Asus ultrabooks.

Let's hope similar offerings are coming to 2012 Thinkpads as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:30 am 
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khtse wrote:
Let's hope similar offerings are coming to 2012 Thinkpads as well.

Anyone here against better displays? The 165 pixel density for a 13.3" 1080p LCD gives me pause.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:21 pm 
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khtse wrote:
I told you so
http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/12/28643 ... -exclusive

1080p IPS displays on both 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch Asus ultrabooks. Let's hope similar offerings are coming to 2012 Thinkpads as well.


Well, this is Asus whereas we were talking about Thinkpads. Lenovo/IBM have already tried IPS on Thinkpads many times before and have learned that they weren't particularly profitable, whereas Asus still hasn't sold any IPS laptops yet and so it does make some sense for them to experiment with the idea.

ZaZ wrote:
Anyone here against better displays? The 165 pixel density for a 13.3" 1080p LCD gives me pause.


For all currently available Windows versions, I agree with you. However, if Windows 8 has iPad-like scaling, then I would like to have 11.6" 1080p. I wouldn't want IPS though since it weighs more and consumes more power; instead, I prefer a high-end TN panel.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:38 pm 
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It's also worth pointing out that not only did IBM + Lenovo's IPS experiments fail, they did so when they actually owned a stake in an IPS manufacturing venture! That probably hurt a bit more than just failing while depending on third party suppliers...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:37 pm 
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khtse wrote:
But walking into a BestBuy, with an iPad next to a middle-end Android tablet with a non-IPS display, they know which one sucks

Despite your obviously strongly held beliefs, there is a bunch of industry solid market research which shows that tablet buying decisions are made overwhelmingly on issues which are not in any way related with anything to do with the display.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:48 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
Well, this is Asus whereas we were talking about Thinkpads. Lenovo/IBM have already tried IPS on Thinkpads many times before and have learned that they weren't particularly profitable, whereas Asus still hasn't sold any IPS laptops yet and so it does make some sense for them to experiment with the idea.
Since the panel is very likely e-IPS, what is the price difference between TN and e-IPS 13" notebook panel in 2012, 20$ ? Don't forget that IPS and its economy variant e-IPS is no longer a rocket science, it is quite old and well developed technology. Asus just might find a gap on the market which others ignores.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:38 am 
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Puppy wrote:
what is the price difference between TN and e-IPS 13" notebook panel in 2012, 20$


The answer depends on the quantity of panels ordered. The difference could be only $20 if tens of millions are ordered. On the other hand, if you order only tens of thousands, the TN-versus-IPS difference would be huge. If Lenovo's market share continues to skyrocket, they may eventually reach a point where they can purchase tens of millions of IPS panels.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:41 am 
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Puppy wrote:
Don't forget that IPS and its economy variant e-IPS is no longer a rocket science, it is quite old and well developed technology. Asus just might find a gap on the market which others ignores.


I don't know what the yields are like on those panel types, TBH, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're still a lot lower than for big TN runs.

And $20/unit can definitely be a big deal for fleet purchases.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:41 pm 
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bill bolton wrote:
Despite your obviously strongly held beliefs, there is a bunch of industry solid market research which shows that tablet buying decisions are made overwhelmingly on issues which are not in any way related with anything to do with the display.

Cheers,

Bill B.


I have never claimed tablet buying decision has to do with the display. You keep misinterpreting my words. What I'm saying is that IPS has come mainstream, and even mainstream consumers, whether they care or not, are exposed to IPS vs cheap TN panels in electronic stores. There used to be a time all (almost) the displays on laptops were equally bad, and the mainstream belief was that that's just how displays on laptop were supposed to be.

Now, every an idiot would notice that the display on his/her iPad looks so much better than that on his/her laptop, no matter he/she cares the reason behind it (other than it being made by Apple) or understand that's possible to achieve on the laptop space or not.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:46 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
Well, this is Asus whereas we were talking about Thinkpads. Lenovo/IBM have already tried IPS on Thinkpads many times before and have learned that they weren't particularly profitable, whereas Asus still hasn't sold any IPS laptops yet and so it does make some sense for them to experiment with the idea.


I started the thread as a conjecture on the general trend of laptops, not just Thinkpads. That is not to say that I don't I want a Thinkpad with high resolution IPS display.

I knew what IBM/Lenovo did in the past. But that was the past, a time when IPS belongs only to high-end desktop displays and laptops that a typical consumer wouldn't want to spend the kind of money for. But you have to understand the display landscape has changed since the tablet boom. The IBM/Lenovo experiment/investment you mentioned was back in the days when IPS was rocket science. That is more like trying to put OLED screens on laptops in present days. IPS displays are still belong to the high end, but they have come a long way down since then, especially since the tablet boom.


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