Hint: this post is also available in Chinese
Back in the last century, when the CRT was still the most common technology for computer monitors. It was quite common to see such an argument: the LCD will probably evolve and produce better images, but it is never going to replace the CRTs. CRTs are just objectively way superior in terms of image quality, and LCDs are only suitable for applications requires absolute low profile and low power consumption. Several decades later, we all know what happened in the end. I think it was be fun to take a look at the LCDs at that time, are they really that bad? What it would be like to use that kind of screen in 2019?
LCDs in the last century
There were several different types of display being used on portable PCs last century. The very first portable PC in the last century usually comes with CRT displays, like Compaq Portable (1983) or IBM 5155 (1984). Of course, it is clear that CRTs just too heavy to be used on these portable devices. Later they switch to TN LCDs, like on IBM 5140 (1986) and Toshiba T1000 (1987). These TN displays has very low contrast and very poor viewing angles.
Later some companies experimented other technologies like Gas Plasma screens on Toshiba T3200 (1987) or IBM PS/2 P70 (1991). Gas Plasma screens provides perfect contrast, but the color was limited to different shades of orange, and was very expensive to produce.
Finally, in the early 90s, the industry switched to the STN LCD screens. These STN screens provided not too bad contrast (typically 1:5 to 1:50), and few shades of gray. Given these laptops are mainly for business uses, STN screens was good enough. But what if one want color display? There were two choices, CSTN and Color TFT. The first laptop with a color TFT screen was the NEC PC9801NC, came out in 1990. The TFT screen provided much higher contrast ratio and much lower response time, with one drawback: it was expensive to manufacture. CSTN, on the other hand, was basically a STN screen plus a color filter. Cheap to manufacture but the performance was limited. As a result, STN and CSTN continues to dominate the market, and being used widely on low-end laptops. Today we can still see CSTN screens being used on New York subway trains.