A brief history of computer displays

From blinking lights and punch cards to LCDs and 3D flat panels, we trace the 70-year history of the tech that users rely on to see what a computer is doing.

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Laptop LCDs Improve

When LCDs first appeared, they were low-contrast monochrome affairs with slow refresh rates. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, LCD technology continued to improve, driven by a market boom in laptop computers. The displays gained more contrast, better viewing angles, and advanced color capabilities, and they began to ship with backlights for night viewing. The LCD would soon be poised to leap from the portable sector into the even more fertile grounds of the desktop PC.

Photos: Altima, Texas Instruments

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