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Apple, Dell to debut more LED-lit notebooks?

updated 10:15 am EST, Tue December 4, 2007

Apple and Dell LED Laptops

Both Apple and Dell are already set to receive large quantities of small LCDs with LED backlights for imminent notebooks, according to a new report from Taiwan manufacturers. Local firms Kenmos and Nano-Op are said to be producing the thinner, more power-efficient backlights for LCD display makers AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei respectively that will be used for compact notebooks by both of the American notebook designers. Although details of Kenmos' production plans are unclear and may include existing systems such as the 15-inch MacBook Pro or the XPS M1330, AUO and Nano-Op are allegedly producing a 13.3-inch screen for Apple and a 12.1-inch screen for Dell, the report's industry sources claim.

No hints are given as to the nature of the systems, though Kenmos' production is targeted at "high-end models."

Importantly, the AUO displays are already close to or already in production for systems to launch in the near future, according to the report. LEDs for Dell's smaller systems are already reportedly in production, while Apple's have been validated for use and should enter production by December. The contract for Macs will boost production significantly and should jump Nano-Op's production from 10,000 units a month in November to 90,000 in December. Other companies are also increasing their production levels for LEDs but are not confirmed as producing them for specific notebook makers at this time.

The news comes on the heels of Apple's confirmation that its chief Steve Jobs will keynote Macworld San Francisco and amid claims from analysts that the company will introduce a lightweight or ultraportable MacBook at the January event, either of which could benefit significantly from an LED display. The technology allows a slimmer display lid and extends battery life substantially. Brightness and color uniformity also increase in these displays versus traditional displays, which use cold-cathode fluorescent backlights.

Leaks have not yet pointed to a specific Dell system that would use a 12.1-inch LED, though the size points to a Latitude model in the vein of the D430.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    13.3" is Low End

    A 13.3" screen would be a low end or mid range laptop Mac laptop, certainly not the "high-end models" they are talking about. It would be great to see a 17" LED screen, heres to hoping.

  1. davesmall

    Joined: Dec 1969


    New Ultra-Thin 13.3" Mac

    There have been enough rumors out there to convince me that an ultra-thin MacBook Pro with 13.3" high resolution LED screen will be introduced at MacWorld. This fills a gap in the product line that has existed since the Intel MacBook Pro's were introduced with 15" being the smallest.

    I haven't seen much speculation about other innovations that might be included but I think a hybrid disk drive (combo flash and traditional disk) would be one obvious possibility. That enhance both speed and battery life.

    Another thought is that they might bring over some of the touch screen technology first introduced in the iPhone but that's just conjecture on my part. In that event it might be more of a tablet design than a true laptop. The virtual keyboard from the iPhone would work much better in a larger tablet computer form factor.

    Best bet is for a thin, light, compact MacBook Pro with a bright and sharp high resolution screen giving the user a lot more screen real estate to work with than the 13" MacBook. Also a good bet is long battery life based on a hybrid disk.

    Apple needs to keep moving the goalposts on laptop computers to maintain their lead and to continue gaining market share. This product introduction could do just that.

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