The German OEM ran into incompatibility issues caused by the Vega iGPUs and was unable to fix these problems because Samsung no longer offers engineering support for those particular OLED panels. Schenker/XMG states that the demand for an OLED option is there and we will most likely see AMD-powered laptops with OLED panels in 2021.
A little over two months ago, Schenker/XMG conducted a survey in order to see if its customer base would be interested in a 4K OLED panel option for the new VIA 15 Pro laptops powered by the AMD Renoir-H APUs. This 4K OLED option produced by Samsung would only cost an additional 215€ on top of the 876€ default configuration cost, making the 15.6-inch custom laptop one of the most affordable with an OLED panel (just over $1,200). Unfortunately, Schenker/XMG is now announcing that the 4K OLED panel will not be added as an option due to compatibility issues with the AMD Vega iGPU.
The German laptop OEM explains that the OLED panel produced by Samsung already reached the end of its mass production cycle, making it very difficult to get additional engineering support in order to fix the compatibility issues. As an alternative solution, Schenker/XMG tried a different 4K OLED panel, but there is another problem: even if this new panel could be made compatible, the panel supplier would not be able to provide large enough quantities to reach an attractive price point for the end users. The aforementioned planned price of 215€ for the 4K OLED option was only possible through a volume deal completed over a year ago. These panels were initially meant to be bundled together with laptops based on Intel Comet Lake supporting the panel out-of-the-box.
Consequently, Schenker/XMG is dropping the OLED option for the VIA 15 Pro laptops for the time being. However, the German OEM also states that the survey data has provided convincing arguments to advocate for high-resolution OLED panels in future premium laptops without dedicated graphics, so we can expect to see an affordable AMD-powered laptop with 4K OLED panel launching in 2021. There is also a new survey for the upcoming XMG Apex 15 that could be powered by AMD’s Zen 3 desktop-class CPUs.
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Bogdan Solca, 2020-09-25 (Update: 2020-09-25)