OLED laptops are about to get brighter, thinner, and more expensive

A woman holds a laptop with the LG Tandem OLED logo on it.

LG’s new Tandem OLED panel is entering mass production, which is good news for upcoming AI laptops. Today, LG announced that it’s the first manufacturer to produce the Tandem OLED panel in a 13-inch variant, and the displays are said to be much thinner and lighter while delivering better performance. The catch? This screen upgrade, which is already available in the latest Dell XPS 13 Copilot+ PC, is going to cost you a pretty penny.

Tandem OLED is a display panel design that has mostly been used in cars up until now, and LG is breaking new ground by producing it for laptops. However, it’s not the first time we’ve seen this design applied to consumer electronics, as Apple’s M4 iPad Pros utilize Tandem OLED displays.

The way this panel works is that two layers of organic light-emitting diodes are stacked on top of each other, which results in many different benefits. For starters, the panels are said to be capable of reaching much higher peak brightness, while drawing less power. In its press release, LG promises to deliver “double the lifespan and triple the brightness” of a typical single-layer OLED display.

A boost like this would normally result in a much higher power draw, but LG claims that it managed to reduce power consumption by up to 40%. Tandem OLED is also a lot more compact at around 40% thinner and 28% lighter than current OLED laptop screens.

Up till now, if you wanted to get your hands on this Tandem OLED novelty, you’d have to get a Dell XPS with the right type of screen. This generation of the XPS 13 comes with several screen options, but only the 13-inch 2880 x 1800 touchscreen, which maxes out at 60Hz and a peak SDR brightness of 400 nits, is available right now.

Watching video on M4 iPad Pro.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

We’ve seen the non-tandem OLED screen in person in the latest Intel-based Dell XPS 13, and we were impressed by its ability to deliver excellent colors thanks to the 100% of DCI-P3 that it can provide. The display reached 482 nits of peak brightness, which is in line with what Dell had promised. With deep contrasts and perfect blacks, the laptop leaves nothing to complain about in the way of the display. But hopefully, we’ll see tandem OLED improve these displays even further.

The one downside of Tandem OLED is that it’s expensive, so we’ll most likely only see it in premium laptops for now. In the Dell XPS 13, the upgrade to this display panel costs $300, but it’s also bundled with a forced upgrade to RAM, which overall means that you’ll be spending at least $1,800. Hopefully we’ll be able to test out these new displays soon, though, to see if they’re worth the extra cash.