TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) we are talking about here TN (Twisted Nematic) type TFT displays which align with the term in the TV and computer market. Now, TFT displays have taken over the majority of the low-end color display market. They have wide applications in TV, computer monitors, medical, appliance, automotive, kiosk, POS terminals, low-end mobile phones, marine, aerospace, industrial meters, smart homes, consumer electronic products, etc. For more information about TFT displays, please visit our knowledge base.
Talking about the Pros and Cons of TFT displays, we need to clarify which display they are compared to. To some displays, TFT displays might have advantages, but compared with other displays, the same character might become the disadvantage of TFT displays. We will try our best to make it clear as below.
1. Less Energy Consumption: Compared with CRT(Cathode-Ray Tube) VFD ( Vacuum Fluorescent Display) and LED (Light Emitting Diode) display, which made laptops possible.
2. Good visibility and color: Compared with old CSTN (Color Super Twisted Nematic) or passive LCDs
3. Good response time and viewing angle: Compared with old CSTN or passive LCDs
4. Good cost: Compared with high-end IPS (In-Plane Switching) LCDs, AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic LED) displays, and recent micro-LED displays.
5. Excellent physical design: TFT displays are very easy to design and integrated with other components, such as resistive and capacitive touch panels (RTP, CTP, PCAP), etc.
6. Minimum Eye Strain: Because the TFT panel itself doesn’t emit light like CRT, LED, or VFD. The light source is LED backlight which is filtered well with the TFT glass in front for the blue light.
7. Space-efficient design (can be placed anywhere in your workspace on a rotational mount so you can turn it in all directions).
1. More Energy Consumption: Compared with monochrome displays and OLED (PMOLED and AMOLED) displays, which makes TFT displays less attractive in wearable devices.
2. Poor color saturation: Compared with IPS LCD displays and AMOLED displays.
3. Poor response time and viewing angle: Compared with IPS LCD displays, AMOLED displays, and recent micro-LED displays. TFT displays still need to note the viewing angle of 6 o’clock or 12 o’clock in the datasheet and still have the grayscale inversion issue.
4. High tooling cost: Depending on which generation production line to produce and also depending on its size. Building a TFT display fab normally needs billions of dollars. For a big size display which needs high generation production line to produce. The NRE cost can be millions of dollars.
5. Sunlight Readability: Because it is very expensive to produce transflective TFT LCD displays, to be readable under the sunlight, a very bright LED backlight (> 1,000 nits) has to be used. The power needed is high and also needs to deal with heat management. If used together with a touch panel, expensive optical bonding (OCA or OCR) and surface treatment (AR, AF) technologies have to be used.