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NEC LaVie MX: Reflective LCD & Li-Polymer Bat.

NEC LaVie MX: Reflective LCD & Li-Polymer Bat. - PCSTATS
Abstract: While the integration of the Crusoe processor would bring our attention to this notebook regardless, it is actually the screen that makes this notebook stand out among Crusoe-powered portables.
Filed under: Notebooks Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: NEC Dec 11 2000   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Notebooks > NEC LaVie MX

LaVie MX: Reflective LCD & Li-Polymer


The NEC LaVie MX notebook, with its Crusoe TM5600 processor, recently caused a hefty drop in the value of Transmeta's stock after news that 284 notebooks were being recalled due to a glitch when reinstalling the OS. Now that the dust has settled a bit, its time for a closer look at a few of the technologies that make the LaVie MX one notebook to watch closely.

While the integration of the Crusoe processor would bring our attention to this notebook regardless, it is actually the screen that makes this notebook stand out among Crusoe-powered portables. You see, the NEC LaVie MX has no back light behind its' 10.4" Reflective TFT LCD screen.

The trade-off is that while the LaVie's screen is easy to see under bright light, it not so easy to see under low lighting conditions. Of course this arrangement does translate into huge power savings, giving the LaVie upto 11 hours of usage. This is an unprecedented amount of time for a notebook running the Windows environment, but is it worthwhile? We've all heard about how a laptop's back light consumes a tremendous amount of battery life... so why haven't many notebook manufacturers taken out the back lighting?

Three LCD Screen illumination Technologies:

The main reasons lie with colour quality and resolution. Reflective LCD display technology is still a relatively young technology, and at present there are three main adaptations underway, each with their own benefits and problems. The three technologies are: Reflective LCD, Transflective LCD, and Transmissive LCD.

Since the LaVie MX uses a reflective LCD screen we'll start off with this variant. Reflective LCD technology makes use of only the surrounding ambient light to illuminate the display. Beneath the surface of the display a rear polarizer is combined with a reflector assembly to bounce back ambient light. From our experience with one of the LaVie notebooks on display at COMDEX, the technology only works well in fairly bright light only. The colours are little different from what you might normally be used to, but the display is clear and readable so long as the text is highly contrasted. [Typically Reflective LCD screens are easiest to read about 5,000 LUX of ambient light and have a power consumption of 0.5W to 1.0W for 10-12" sizes.]

Transmissive LCD display technology is essentially how a normal display operates. To view the screen the back light must be on continuously, and brighter then the ambient light or it will be washed out and difficult to read. These displays are naturally very power hungry and operate best in darker lighting conditions (under 5,000 LUX ambient).

Finally, Transflective LCD technology is a combination of Reflective and Transmissive types. The rear of the LCD's polarizer is partially reflective and combined with a back light for use in all types of lighting conditions. The benefit here is the back light can be left on where there is insufficient outside lighting. Conversely when there is enough ambient light it can shut off to conserve power. Transflective takes the best of both worlds and enables viewing in dark environments. Additionally the display won't "wash out" when viewed in direct sunlight. However the contrast rating is not as high as a purely Transmissive display.

All in all the Transflective technology would seem to be the best combination of technologies. We did see some examples of this type of screen at COMDEX 2000 but were unable to see how they faired in sunlight.

© 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: NEC LaVie MX
 Pg 1.  — NEC LaVie MX: Reflective LCD & Li-Polymer Bat.
 Pg 2.  Reflective LCD screen on the LaVie MX
 Pg 3.  Lithium Polymer Batteries

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