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Samsung prototype laptop uses AMOLED display

We've just come back from a trip to South Korea with Samsung, but it appears the company was holding out on us -- it's just unveiled a new laptop with an AMOLED display

While on a trip to visit Samsung in South Korea last week, the company's top brass asked our opinion on laptops with OLED screens. "They don't exist," we said, "but if they did, they'd probably be awesome. Not to mention expensive."

Nothing more was said at the time -- aside from a hastily retracted allusion to quitting the laptop business -- but now we're back in the UK, it would appear Samsung was holding out on us. It's actually created a prototype laptop with a 12-inch active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) screen that pushes 1,280x768 pixels and, according to Samsung, has a contrast ratio 20 times higher than that of a standard LCD.

Most of you have probably heard of OLED displays without the AM prefix. Many of these displays -- such as those on mobile phones, and cameras -- are passive matrix (PMOLED) units, which aren't as good as their AMOLED counterparts. AMOLEDs displays are said to have wider viewing angles, lower power consumption, higher resolution, and the possibility of larger screen sizes that don't reduce in brightness as they get larger. There are drawbacks, however: the AMOLED manufacturing process is more complex and the final products are pricier.

Samsung's prototype has other cool touches, including a touch-sensitive keyboard that allows the laptop to be extremely thin. This raises all sorts of questions, though: will resting your fingers on the keys cause the laptop to go ballistic? Will it have some kind of pressure sensitivity? Will it have any tactile feedback such as vibration? Is this an effective, or even feasible, substitute for real keys?

It's unlikely we'll see this particular model reach the market, but if the cost can be reduced, the screen technology will almost inevitably make an appearance on future Samsung laptops, and on the laptops of Samsung's competitors -- many of whom use Samsung displays. More as we get it. -Rory Reid