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I've been reading about IPS LCD and LED/OLED display technology in general, and am a bit confused about the following product:

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop: 15.6" 4K, i7-8705G, 16GB DDR4, 512 SSD, Vega M GL

In the specs it says:

15.6" diagonal 4K IPS anti-glare micro-edge AMOLED-backlit (3840 x 2160)

What actually is this?

Based on reading the wikipedia articles on IPS and AMOLED I have two ideas: 1. That they are backlighting an IPS LCD screen with AMOLED. 2. That they are using the IPS terminology to refer to the active matrix part of the OLED.

As for hypothesis (1) Why would you do this though? Isn't the point of the the AMOLED that the OLED is managed by pixel addressing with an active matrix? What benefit do you get from mixing the two technologies in the same screen?

As for hypothesis (2), I see an enormous number of articles arguing for AMOLED or IPS being better technologies, so could they be marketing this as a hybrid so that buyers say "this has both!". Since AMOLED stands for active matrix OLED and IPS is technically an active matrix, could it be that HP or Samsung is using the term to describe the thin film transistor matrix that addresses the OLEDs. Am I overthinking this?

What actually is going on with this product?

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OLED and AMOLED displays do not use backlights as they are light emitting. IPS specifically is used for LCD displays only, as far as I know.

I’d say it’s either a mistake or they are using AMOLEDs to produce the backlight, which seems strange to me. My bet is on the former.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it could easily be a mistake. I talked to the sales people at HP and they were trying to convince me that an AMOLED screen would look good, so I think "IPS" is just a mistake and it's just an AMOLED screen with no LCD. \$\endgroup\$ – Dawson Baker Jul 17 at 21:45
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Click through to the HP page, it says

15.6" diagonal 4K IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen

so it's likely an error.

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