The October 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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What's an iPad? It depends.

iPad customers are definitely "thinking different"

1 min read

When you buy an iPod, you’re most likely going to listen to music on it. When you buy the iphone, you’ll make calls, text, do a little web browsing—sure, you’ll have your favorite apps, but the basic things you do on it won’t be much different from what I’ll be doing.

But when you buy an iPad, all bets are off. Because, it seems, the iPad is a different device to every user.

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At least, that’s what I discovered talking to the people lined up at the Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., on iPad opening day (see video). For some, it’s a game player. For others, it’s a Netflix viewer, or an ebook reader. For others, it’s a travel accessory. And for a few, it’s, finally, an iTouch big enough for the vision impaired. And, of course, this spring, it’s the current geek status symbol. 

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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