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May 13, 2011

Is Samsung's PenTile the Best of Both Worlds?


Ask most tablet owners to make a list of any pet peeves they might have with their devices and chances are most lists would include low battery life and screen resolution. It would be nice to be able to improve one without sacrificing the other. But that sounds improbable at best. Now, though, with Samsung’s (News - Alert) PenTile RGBW technology, it might just be possible to do both.

A standard LCD display uses three colors, red, green and blue, to mix together and form every color in the spectrum, including white. But the PenTile technology from Samsung adds a white color to the RGB mix. This simple addition can make a display both more energy efficient and clearer at the same time.

Since an RGB display must combine all three colors together to create white, it uses more energy than a display which utilizes a white color. And since a majority of on-screen content is white or light-colored, this results in significant energy savings. Samsung officials estimate those savings to be up to 40 percent.

Because of the addition of the fourth color, a PenTile screen can give a display more bang for its buck, providing higher resolution than an RGB screen in the same number of pixels. So, in addition to saving energy, the display is clearer. That’s definitely a combination that would appeal to most tablet users.

The 10 inch prototype that Samsung plans to demonstrate next week in a Los Angeles tradeshow has a resolution of 300 dpi. This puts it in the nebulous category of ‘retina display,’ a term often used to describe the high-res screen of the iPhone 4.

Though the PenTile tech has been used in a Motorola (News - Alert) cell phone, it would be most appealing to tablet users who have larger displays to stare at. And if the technology is a success for Samsung, it might push Apple (News - Alert) to create a retina display in the iPad 3—and one that saves energy to boot.

And tablet users would be able to have their cake and eat it, too. Or at least watch a video of the band cake while saving energy, too.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.




Rich Steeves is a TMCnet copy editor. He taught writing for nine years. He has also worked as an editorial assistant at Penny Publications. He has written short stories, newspaper columns, blogs and recently published his first novel. He attended The George Washington University where he received his bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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