| VIDEO SCREENS | IMAGE RESOLUTION | HDR | VIDEO CONNECTION |
DRIVE CONNECTIONS | USB | USB-C | THUNDERBOLT | SD CARDS |
What do those Acronyms mean?
VIDEO SCREEN TECHNOLOGY FORMATS:
(Plasma) In the early days of flat-panel High Definition TVs, plasma, with its inky blacks and top-notch picture quality, was the prevalent flat-panel technology, especially among videophiles. Now, Plasma has been overtaken and supplanted by LCD/LED technology.
See this How-to-Geek article to find out what happened to Plasma TVs.
Not sure what LED is? This How-to-Geek article explains.
(LCD) Liquid Crystal Display, (LED) Light-Emitting Diode technology replaced Plasma screens even though picture quality was and is subpar to Plasma. LCDs with LED backlighting, became less expensive and more capable, and finally overtook plasma in popularity.
(QLED) or quantum dot LED TV is a LED screen technology that adds a quantum dot film to the LCD. Unlike OLED the quantum dots are transmissive rather than emissive and rely on an LED backlight. Seen primarily in Samsung and TCL branded TVs.
(OLED) An organic light-emitting diode is a light-emitting diode (LED) screen technology in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current. OLED began and is still more expensive than LCD/LEDs, but OLED now produces picture quality generally as good or better than Plasma, mostly seen in high-end TVs and smartphones. All OLED display panels are manufactured by either LG or Samsung.
(AMOLED) active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, screen technology as seen on the brightest high-end smart phones and tablets, a step forward from OLED for small display screens.
The next advance in LED displays will be called Mini-LED and Micro-LED.
Mini-LEDs will likely be used in normal-sized screens such as PC and tablet screens and regular sized TVs (up to 65" or even 75"). For more detailed information on Mini-LED TVs and displays see OLED vs. Mini-LED: The PC displays of the future, compared from PC World Magazine.
Micro-LEDs are modular in nature and will probably be used primarily in extra large screens such as Sony's Crystal LED and Samsung's The Wall, which use millions of LEDs, one for each pixel. Micro-LEDs are currently much more expensive than other LED technologies, including Mini-LEDs.
"Resolution is one of the most common specifications used to sell TVs, partly because "4K" and "8K" sound really high-tech and impressive. However, resolution is not the most important ingredient in picture quality. Just because a TV has higher resolution than another, doesn't always mean it's looks better. It might, but not always, and for reasons that have little to do with resolution. A TV with better high dynamic range (HDR) performance, a better overall contrast ratio or better color will look better than one that just has more pixels." (CNET)
USB versions Note: Later version features sometimes overlap
USB Types and connectors
USB type A and B connectors
NOT reversible or interchangeable except through the use of dongles or adaptors.
USB TYPE C
USB-C, created in 2016, is roughly one third the size of the common USB-A port and connector. It has a 24-pin reversible plug and its small size makes its ports ideal for use on the new thin PC's, tablets and Smartphones.
USB-C also supports power delivery (up to 100watts) and Video as well as data transfer for connections of either USB Version 3.1 Gen 1 at 5 Gbps and USB Version 3.1 Gen 2 at 10 Gbps or sometimes USB Version 3.2 at up to 20 Gbps. The latest USB version to be introduced is Version 4, which promises data transfer rates at up to 40 Gbps, on par with Thunderbolt 4. (see below)
Note: To achieve these rated speeds all connectors and cables used must rated the same version.
USB-C is backwards compatible with earlier USB versions and can be interconnected with other types of USB cables and ports with commonly available dongles and docking stations.
Throughput speeds will always be that of the lowest version devices connected.
If you wish more detailed information on USB-C check out this excellent article from PC Magazine.
Even though Thunderbold is not an acronym its inclusion here is a natural progression since Thunderbolt uses the USB-C port to increase throughput.
The earliest version of Thunderbolt, created in 2011, used miniDisplayPort connectors and could transfer data at up to 10 Gbps when Apple was the primary user. Thunderbolt version 2 from 2013 could transfer data at 20 Gbps.
Now the latest Thunderbolt 3 version (late 2015, early 2016) uses the USB Type C connector and port to achieve connection speeds of up to 40 Gbps (Gigabits per second, power delivery up to 100 watts and multiple 4K video connections).
Even though Thunderbolt is a proprietary Intel protocol and has been reserved for devices which use Intel processors, full support for PCs with AMD processors is in the works and upcoming.
Thunderbolt connectors and ports are marked with a lightning bolt and are commonly found on high-end laptop PC's from manufacturers such as Apple, Dell, and Hewlett Packard (HP).
Note: Even though Thunderbolt is backward compatible with USB-C right now any USB Type-C device or cable plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port won't support Thunderbolt full features and speed. Also Thunderbolt 3 peripherals plugged into a regular USB Type-C port won't support Thunderbolt features either.
However the upcoming USB version 4 protocol is slated to support Thunderbolt 3 devices and capabilities.
Update: 09/03/2022 - USB4 leaps ahead of Thunderbolt with 80Gbps standard from PC World Magazine
If you work from home:
SD CARDSSecure Digital (SD) is the current standard for removable flash storage cards mainly for cameras, audio and video recorders and other mobile devices such as digital tablets and smart phones. SD card slots can be found in both laptop and desktop PCs also. They come in three physical sizes with different speeds and capacities.
The physical sizes are: Full Size, Mini, and Micro
The capacity sizes are SD, SDHC, and SDXC.
Note: As of this writing, the largest capacity SDXC card you can purchase is 1TB, which was introduced in September of 2016 by SanDisk.
SD Card SpeedsIn addition to Size and capacity, SD cards also come in different speeds. Standard speed classes range from Class 2 at 2 Megabytes per second (2MB/s) to Class 10 at 10 Megabytes per second (10MB/s).
The standard SD speed classes are (C2) 2mb/s, (C4) 4MB/s, (C6) 6MB/s, and (C10) 10MB/s.
In addition to the Standard Speed classes SD cards are also available in two faster speed classes. The first is called Ultra High Speed or UHS.
The first is UHS class 1 speed which is 10 Megabytes per second or 10MB/s.
The second is UHS class 2 speed, which is 30 Megabytes per second or 30MB/s.
The newest speed class is called Video Speed Class.
The Video Speed Class is as follows: V10 is 10MB/s, V30 is 30MB/s, V60 is 60MB/s and V90 is 90MB/s.
The table below shows the speed classes and workloads. Keep in mind that the higher capacity and faster SD cards will carry a hefty price increase.
Table from and for more detailed info see minitool.com
A1 vs A2?
In addition to all the other SD card ratings we also have what is called the Application Performance Class. According to the SDcard.org "The Application Performance Class was introduced to realize comfortable application manipulation such as compilation of data which is stored in an SD memory card." Therefore, most experts recommend a SD card with an A2 rating (Application Speed Class 2) since "It makes SD memory card much higher performance than A1 performance by using functions of Command Queuing and Cache."
Example Amazon listing - SanDisk Extreme Pro Micro SDXC UHS-I U3 A2 V30 Memory Card