Sharp offers 'billion color' LCD display, more

Sharp Electronics subsidiary Sharp Systems of America has announced a new line of LCD monitors, including the first 10-bit gamma corrected LCD display. Sharp said it's the first LCD panel in a commercial product capable of displaying more than a billion colors.

The US$1,299 LL-T1820 is Sharp's new flagship LCD display. It's an 18-inch monitor that sports new technology which makes it possible to display 10-bits of grayscale per subpixel for a total of 2 to the thirtieth power colors -- 64 times the number of colors displayable by a conventional LCD panel, according to the company.

Sharp Systems senior Vice President and General Manager Greg Nakagawa said that the LL-T1820 raises the bar for LCD displays. "The ability to reproduce a much finer color gradation sweeps away one of the few remaining areas in which a CRT has shown superiority over an LCD in professional applications such a pre-press and medical imaging." said Nakagawa.

The monitor also features 25ms response time and a 170-viewing angle, horizontally and vertically. The display also sports reduced power consumption technology, improved brightness (220 nits), as well as a multi-layer surface treatment that reduces glare and reflection down to about one third of what a conventional LCD produces. It sits in a bezel that measures 17mm, and sports dual DVI inputs. It's available in either black or white casing.

The company also introduced today the LL-T1803, another 18-inch LCD display. It sports analog and DVI inputs, 400:1 contrast ratio, and the same response time and brightness as its upscale counterpart -- ideal for watching DVDs or playing video games, Sharp noted. It also features a backlight rated at 50,000 hours -- 2.5 to 3 times longer than a comparable CRT monitor. It's coming in May and will cost $949.

The LL-T1520 is Sharp's new top-end 15-inch LCD display. The LCD flat panel system features the same ASV technology as the LL-T1820, so it has the same response time (25ms) and the same 170-viewable angle. It also sports the same glare reduction coating. The LL-T1520 features two stereo multimedia speakers, and is available in white or black this May for $499.

Bringing up the low end is Sharp's LL-T15G1. It features a brightness of 260 nits and a 350:1 contrast ration. It also sports auto synchronization and auto gain controls, which Sharp said would yield the best image from a PC or Mac. The base of the LL-T15G1 sports a VESA-compliant hole patter for wall or arm mounting, thus eliminating the need to remove the display's base. The display has a low power consumption backlight (29 watts) and long life (50,000 hours under normal conditions). Coming in May, the LL-T15G1 will cost $249.

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