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Dec 6, 2007 by Mike Chin
LED backlight LCD monitors are all the rage in low power computing this year. The Apple Macbooks, OLPC XO and the Asus Eee PC are but a few of the many new notebooks to feature LED backlight LCD monitors. The main objective is reduced power consumption, which is certainly a holy grail in mobile computing. The trend is much weaker among stand-alone desktop LCD monitors, which are still dominated by CCFL backlighting.
Interestingly, when LED backlight technology first showed up (around 2004), the promise of power savings was secondary to improved color accuracy. The reality is that the LED-backlight LCD monitors showing up in laptops do not actually provide much better color accuracy than conventional CCFL backlight LCDs. It's energy efficiency that's taken the front seat. Environmentally, LEDs are also superior, as they don't contain mercury like CCFLs, although they are not completely without toxic content (trace amounts of Gallium and Arsenic).
In contrast, the Samsung XL20 desktop monitor's primary reason for existence is high color accuracy. This is Samsung's first LED-backlight LCD monitor, released about a year ago. It's promoted as a tool for graphics artists and imaging professionals. SPCR's interest in it was mainly to check the power consumption, as this is one of the often-repeated benefits of LED-backlight LCD monitors. My reaction to the XL20: The more I used it, the more I wanted to keep it, despite the audible noise of its fan.
It looks ordinary, but once it's turned on, the exceptional color accuracy of the XL20 is obvious to anyone.
SAMSUNG XL20 SPECIFICATIONS
|Pixel Pitch (mm)
|Response Time (ms)
||Horiz. Rate (Analog)
||16.7 million from palette of 1 billion
||Input Video Signal
||Analog RGB, DVI
||Separate H/V, Composite
|Plug & Play
|USB Powered Hub Option
||1 up, 2 down
||huey Calibrator, Hood
||With stand (WxHxD)
||Height Adjustable Pivot
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