•  Ray
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Over the years, we've seen some pretty unusual notebook designs. There have been large ones, small ones and ones with tilting/swiveling screens. A few have even shipped with two LCDs, and Lenovo even created one with a slide-out LCD. But by and large, the general notebook design has remained constant over the years. Is it time for a major overhaul? Possibly, and Samsung Electronics may be the company leading the charge. At FPD China 2011, Samsung introduced and showcased a 14" see-though LCD panel. That's right: it's an LCD panel that you can see through.

It's obviously a prototype for now; Samsung's not ready to ship these in commercial products. But still, the idea is terrific, and if Samsung is investing the money in this idea, it's logical to think that we'd see them in retail products before too long. As of now, the prototype has a 1680x1080 resolution, and a white LED unit is installed on each of the four sides of the panel. Light from the outside takes the place of a backlight, which greatly increases battery life. While great for notebooks, Samsung envisions a future where these see-through LCDs are also used in larger panels.

The company showcased a 22" and 46" version, which are currently expected to be used as windowpanes or outdoor signs. In a perfect world, we'd love to see these in bathroom mirrors and possible for use as televisions. The best news of all is that Samsung is actually giving consumers a time frame to look forward to. Unlike many prototype devices, which are simply shown with no expected date of commercialization, Samsung had this to say on this particular product: "We are planning to commercialize them for one of those applications in or after the third quarter of 2011 (from July to September 2011)." Here's hoping it doesn't cost and arm and a leg when it ships!

Hmmmm..... Its pretty cool... But, how in the world is this practical for notebooks? I'm looking at a screen, i dont want to see whats behind the screen, especially when watching a movie/videos etc.


Yeah; coolice this is one of those features which is pointless, at least to me. Yeah it is cool I guess to some degree, but also useless. It is kind of like a 40" "3D" television, what is the point a 1" 3d dragon flies off your screen, wow really. Now don't get me wrong as I am sure sooner or later this will move on to virtual imaging, but for now it is just something kind of like it, and over all pretty much useless. Yeah 3D on a theater screen might be cool, but unless you are rich enough to afford at least a semi wall size screen. it is kind of pointless really. The only homes I have seen that it would be really cool in are a few sport's, actor, musician etc homes I have installed equipment in back in the day (IE: the Atlanta Falcon's/Home Depot owner, a few ATL BRAVES, and Hawk's players, two singers, and a few others!), would have enough in there home theater to warrant it. Of course they also cannot leave there house and go to a movie without being mobbed. Either way this is mainly a gimmick which will get a low return as well as largely be a waste as far as R&D goes. Now if you could make the whole laptop automatically shut off all power usage, and go entirely invisible when not being used cool, but basically this is a somewhat see through screen backing.


This is a horrible idea! People think this is cool because they saw it in Minority Report or Matrix: Revolutions. They only do it in the movie so you can see the actors face and what he sees on his screen. Otherwise, it's pointless. Can you imagine sitting in an airport and trying to read a document with people walking around. Not only is their movement distracting, but they can see what's on your screen. You would need a solid white wall behind your screen to read or watch videos. Again, horrible idea.


This is the next big for pervs like the bluetooth headset was for crazy people. Now they can sit on their laptop and stare at the guy looking at me or his laptop??? Just like we can no longer tell if someone is crazy and talking to themselves or actually talking on their phone. Thanks Samsung.

But seriously I agree with Biggins it looks awesome in the movies but would be a huge distraction in reality.


Uhm... I think the focus is on interactive displays with touch options at storefronts. The notebook thing was probably just an example, it might be more useful in a slate format.

So you'd be able to see product displays and be able to get additional info on the products being displayed on the glass right in front of you.

Seriously is "awww what a horrible idea" all you can think of?


They've had these for a while. Here's CES 10:

and here's CES 09:


I've seen similar screens at Casinos, but never seen one in a laptop. Very cool!


what if you can use the see thru as a scope like functionality.