OLED has been the de facto display technology in high-end smartphones and TVs for a few years now for good reason: it combines rich colors with a wide range of contrast and inky-deep blacks that just can’t be matched by other screen types. But while you may have an OLED screen in your pocket or hanging on your wall, you likely don’t have one in that other device you spend hours looking at every day: your laptop.
There have been a few laptops released over the years with OLED screens in them, but none ever became particularly popular or sold very well. Early OLED laptops struggled with high battery consumption and high prices, which made them hard to accept compared to the more price- and power-efficient LCD screen options.
That’s looking to change, though, as this year, there are a number of new laptops on the market with OLED screen options and without exorbitant markups. Lenovo, Razer, and HP all have announced or released OLED laptops in the first half of this year with similar display specs across the board. They all have 15-inch touchscreen panels with 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rates. (Yes, they are all using basically the same Samsung panel, which is what dictates the size, resolution, and other display specs.) That’s larger and has a higher resolution than what we’ve seen in prior laptops with OLED screens.
I’ve been testing out the HP Spectre x360 15 AMOLED (what a name) for the past few weeks, which puts one of those panels in the refreshed Spectre x360 design that was released late last year. It’s priced at $1,999, a not-insignificant $400 premium over an LCD-equipped version with the same specs (though the OLED model does come with 1TB of storage versus 512GB in the LCD version).
The Spectre x360 15’s display is tremendous, and I see no reason why someone would pick an LCD over this OLED, given the option. It’s absolutely worth the higher cost. The screen is bright, colorful, pixel-dense, and has those trademark rich blacks that have made OLED screens so desirable in phones and TVs. Unfortunately, the wonderful screen doesn’t make up for the HP’s abysmal trackpad, so I don’t recommend running out and buying this laptop in any configuration. But what it does show is that OLED laptops’ time has come.
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