OLED displays are big on premium phones, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen OLED displays in laptops. The last mainstream laptops to offer panels with this technology were the Alienware 13 R3 and the 2nd-gen Lenovo X1 Yoga. The reason for the dearth of laptops with this vivid, low response-time, high contrast technology is that there simply weren’t enough panel manufacturers putting out displays designed for laptops. An exciting announcement from CES 2019 this year is that this looks like it’s about to change.
It isn’t clear which manufacturer the panels are being sourced from, but it seems that Dell, HP, Razer, and others are going to be offering 15-inch OLED displays on their most popular laptops. The Dell XPS 15 is one of the most sought-after laptop to receive the upgrade, especially since the XPS 15 series has always suffered from particularly high response times.
Unfortunately, there are no other updates to the XPS 15 as announced of yet, which means considering the bugs in the current XPS 15 platform, we would recommend waiting for a full refresh of the line before buying, despite the allure of an OLED panel.
It also isn’t clear if some of the drawbacks of OLED panels have been addressed; these include high cost, power draw, and burn-in. The advantages of OLED panels over IPS still make the technology very attractive, however.
OLED allows blacks to be truly black, creating infinitely better contrast and vibrance than traditionally backlit displays like IPS, VA, or TN. The pixel response times are also nearly instantaneous rather than numbering in the tens of milliseconds, making them excellent for those who take their gaming seriously. Hopefully we will be able to get our hands on some review units with these panels around then.
The OLED-equipped laptops are expected to be available from March, 2019 for likely a several-hundred-dollar premium over IPS displays.