Computers

Explaining OLED screens and Dark Mode

Why that screen fits in the dark

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Most of the applications you’re currently using must have rolled out their own version of dark mode by now. The smooth transition from a light to dark interface can be done through a push of a button, or by sending the moon emoji on Messenger. A lot of people also find dark mode quite sexy, and that’s probably because of the screen they’re looking at.

A lot of newly released smartphones now have OLED screens, and dark mode seems to work best on such displays! But why is that? How do OLED panels allow dark mode to flourish?

Better, blacker, affordable screens

Organic LED (light-emitting diode) or OLED is essentially a kind of display technology. In a nutshell, OLED panels allow for better and clearer images and colors.

Thin layers of carbon fiber make up OLED screens. Because of these lightweight fibers, screens show brighter and more vibrant colors. Apart from that, OLED screens show deeper blacks and reduce instances of motion blur when navigating. The best part is that OLED screens are becoming gradually cheaper to manufacture. That explains why more and more of today’s smartphones use this panel.

More colorful than the rest

In comparison to regular LED screens of the past, OLED promises more accurate colors by producing light from individual pixels, instead of relying on backlighting. Back then, LCD screens relied heavily on the backlight of the display to make colors pop. Although, such displays also make the colors seem washed, especially when compared to OLED.

Image credit: Denise Chan

However, OLED’s colors don’t always turn out better than on LED and LCD screens. One such case is when you turn your screen’s brightness to its maximum, especially under strong daylight conditions. LED and LCD screens are designed to perform relatively better in color accuracy when your screen’s brightness is set to max. OLED screens were not designed for maximum brightness, so colors at that point would be saturated.

Which OLED is best?

There are two types of OLED technologies that currently exist: AMOLED and PMOLED. A lot of people hear AMOLED tossed around a lot because lots of smartphones use it. Essentially, AMOLED uses a storage capacitor that controls how much light each individual pixel will give off. It’s the one responsible for projecting all sorts of vibrant colors on most OLED smartphone screens. Apart from that, AMOLED screens do support wider resolutions at a more affordable and efficient rate.

PMOLED, on the other hand, does not have a storage capacitor and instead relies on user control. Essentially, the user will control lighting settings, and the individual pixels will adjust accordingly. You can find PMOLED screens on smaller devices like older iPods and pocket Wi-Fi devices. Take note that these screens use more power to implement such color changes.

Joining the dark side

Ever since dark mode rolled out for different apps and interfaces, people have been contemplating on switching to it — and for good reason. On normal LED or LCD screens, the new feature does not bode well with the technology. The depth of the black their dark mode possesses is not reflected well, to the point that the blacks look more gray than actual black. This is much more obvious when the screen’s brightness is turned all the way up.

Image credit: Mike Enerio

Aesthetically, dark mode looks better on OLED screens because of the technology’s emphasis on deeper blacks. Most OLED screens have capacitors that control light passing through each pixel, which also works for blacks and whites. As such, dark mode shows up deeper and blacker, which is the intended look compared to regular modes. But, there’s actually more to just aesthetics for this mode.

It’s also been proven that dark mode on OLED helps save your battery life. Google confirmed this at its Android Dev Summit, citing that on max brightness, blacks consume less power than all other colors. Individual pixels need less electricity to show blacks on screen, which results in lower power consumption through time. Note that Google got these findings through tests on their original Pixel smartphones and their own apps like YouTube.

What’s left for OLED and dark mode

Apps and operating systems are now starting to embrace or consider incorporating dark mode into their software. While apps like Twitter and YouTube introduced such an option early on, others are beginning to take notice. Of course, you’re gonna need the right screen to fully immerse yourself.

Image credit: Simone Dalmeri

It has been proven: OLED and dark mode are indeed a perfect match. But, it is entirely up to you whether you want to stay in the light or switch to the dark side.

Computers

Windows 11 not working properly with AMD chips

A fix is coming

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Microsoft recently opened the first wave of Windows 11 updates. The first desktops and laptops are starting to get the major update. However, if you’re next in line for the update while sporting an AMD chipset, you might want to hold off on getting the update for now.

AMD has officially confirmed that its processors are having some issues with Windows 11. Currently compatible processors will experience performance dips especially with some program and games. The company notes “applications sensitive to memory subsystem” and “games commonly used for eSports.” Though the report does not include the names of such games, any eSports-focused games will certainly suffer from a 10-15% dip in performance. Most affected apps, however, will only experience a 3-5% dip.

Both AMD and Microsoft have already acknowledged the bug and are working on a fix. An update will reportedly come out later within the month. Unfortunately, without the update, AMD recommends staying with the most updated version of Windows 10 for now.

The delay shouldn’t be that much of an issue, though. Because the update is still new, only a handful of devices should receive Windows 11 for now. Early adopter FOMO probably won’t set in for the first month.

SEE ALSO: Windows 11 is official with major UI and performance changes

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Computers

Windows 11 is finally here

Here’s how to install the new update

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Windows 11 is finally here. After months of beta testing and teasing, Microsoft has officially launched the major operating system update today. Of course, as with most updates, it will roll out to eligible devices gradually, not at once. Whether you’re a part of that esteemed first adopter group or still waiting for your turn, here’s how you can check if you can install Windows 11 already.

In your Windows 10 PC, go to Windows Update. Once the window opens, check for new updates. If your PC is eligible for the update, a banner for the update should pop up, prompting you to install the update when you can. The on-screen prompt will help you throughout the update process.

Naturally, before you install the update, double check whether your PC can actually handle the update or not. Also, back up your data before installing, just in case something goes wrong along the way.

Besides a plethora of performance updates, Windows 11 will bring a major UI refresh for the operating system. For one, the Start button and pinned icons will move to the center, rather than its traditional spot on the left corner. The update also introduces a new widget system and ways to organize information.

As always, Microsoft is prioritizing new laptops before rolling the update out to a more widespread audience.

SEE ALSO: Windows 11 is official with major UI and performance changes

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Computers

HP launches new laptops and AIO PCs for your home office

Bolster your home office

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More than a year into the pandemic, the need for a powerful home office keeps intensifying. Companies are discovering the benefits (or the demand) for a more permanent work-from-home system. Adding more options for workers, HP has launched a flurry of new products for professionals and creatives.

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop PC

Even in a home setting, a hybrid device can make all the difference. Taking your work device into several rooms keeps the productivity flow going.

Touted as the world’s first 16-inch laptop with an integrated 5-megapixel camera, the HP Spectre X360 makes it easy to take your laptop wherever you go. The laptop sports the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD of internal storage, and Windows 11. Its 16-inch frame houses a UHD+ OLED display with VESA True Black HDR and a 16:10 ratio. The battery can last up to 17 hours on a single charge.

The laptop also comes packed with features to make video calls and working much more of a breeze. HP GlamCam automatically touches you up for calls, adjusts lighting. It can also lock your device automatically if you walk away and can blur your screen when someone is peeking in behind you.

The HP Spectre x360 ships in October starting at US$ 1,639.

HP Envy AIO PC

For a more robust office experience, the HP Envy delivers an all-in-one experience like no other. The device is reportedly the world’s first 34-inch AIO PC with a 5K display. It sports an 11th-generation Intel Core i9 octa-core processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, 32GB of RAM, 512GB SSD of internal storage, and Windows 11.

Further, it comes with a detachable, magnetic 16-megapixel camera. HP’s Enhanced Lighting can also improve how you look behind the camera.

The HP Envy ships in October and starts at US$ 1,999.

HP U32 4K DHR and M34d WQHD Curved Monitor

Rounding out the new releases, HP is launching a duo of monitors to supplement your setup. The HP U32 4K HDR monitor is a 31.5-inch diagonal 4K HDR monitor that can deliver stunning images. Meanwhile, the HP M34d WQHD Curved monitor adds in a curved form factor and integrated speakers to a 34-inch device.

The HP U32 4K HDR ships in October for US$ 499, while the HP M34d WQHD Curved monitor sells for US$ 529.99.

SEE ALSO: HP unveils its new OMEN 15 gaming laptop – GadgetMatch

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