There’s a battle of TV thinness going on right now at the world’s largest consumer electronics show, across the pond at IFA in Berlin, where manufacturers continue the war started last January at CES. The idea is, these are called “flat panels” for a reason, and the company whose TV is the flattest wins.
Never mind that nobody in his right mind spends any time walking around the side of a TV to look at how thin it is, at least not after the first few days after purchase. Never mind that this is just a trade show game between testosterone-addled tech engineers. These things are beautiful. They could cut you like a knife. They’re skinnier than an iPhone. Check out the top four in this round:
Here’s Sharp with the opening volley, its Aquos XS1 that started its life as a vaporous design concept last year at this time, but now it’s a real LCD TV in 52-inch and 65-inch sizes. To be first rolled out in Europe in October, this beauty is a mere 23mm thin.
Next, Panasonic weighs in with a trio of plasma screens, but these are prototypes for bragging rights and had no sale date attached. Shown in 50, 58 and 65-inch sizes, that 50-incher is 24.7mm thick. Panasonic has wireless HD hooked up to them, too, adding to the neato factor.
Sony tops that with its Bravia Edge LED ZX1, (KDL-40ZX1), an 40-inch LED-backlit LCD HDTV that’s 9.9mm thick. Too bad about that 40-inch size, small in today’s TV land. It keeps its svelte form by relegating most of its electronics to an outboard box into which you plug your sources. The ZX-1 ships November 10, and Sony actually quoted a price — $4714 — way too steep for a 40-incher.
Sony thought it had snagged the crown of world’s thinnest, but then along came Phillips. It rolled out its LCD display with an even thinner 8mm screen, using some tricky and super-skinny LumiLED backlights inside the top and bottom of the display to light this baby up. Too bad the prototype on display was only 32 inches, but Philips engineers say there’s at least a 42-incher in the cards. Way to go, Philips, you win. Next bout: CES in January, 2009, where even-thinner OLED displays will make these beauties look like bloated clunkers.