Samsung has previewed a neat new product at the SID 2010 conference: an 18.5" LCD monitor capable of running entirely from USB - no mains adapter required.

According to coverage over on Tech-On, the new monitor is an extremely energy efficient display based around a TN LCD panel featuring a transmittance of around 7 percent - a significant improvement over existing displays. Coupled with the use of edge-lighting via LEDs, Samsung has been able to drop the peak power consumption down to just 6.3W.

Such low power consumption means that the device can be run entirely from bus power over USB - admittedly using a twin USB cable which splits the power draw over a pair of ports.

While host-powered displays are nothing new, Samsung's latest is the largest so far - and likely to prove popular amongst laptop users who want some extra screen real estate while out and about, although strangely Samsung appears to be aiming its initial design run at the desktop market - a group which could quite easily use a traditional monitor which plugs into the mains.

While an actual product based around the technology isn't due until 2011, Samsung has offered up the specifications of its prototype unit: a 1,366 x 768 widescreen resolution, 250cd/m2 brightness, and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. Sadly, there's no clue as to response time - meaning that this is likely to be a gadget for the professionals rather than the gamers.

Do you think an ultra power-efficient USB-powered display is just what you're after, or are you struggling to see the point if there's a power socket nearby? Will it all depend on the specifications - and pricing - of the final product? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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