These days, almost everyone prefers to go with a laptop instead of a desktop because of which there are all kinds of laptops available out there. Apart from being different from each other in terms of their internals, different laptops come with different screen sizes and screen panels.
And depending on your requirements, a specific screen size might be more practical for you than other options. Thus, we are here with a complete guide on laptop screen sizes which will help you in understanding everything related to laptop screens and easily picking the right one by the end of this guide.
Types of Laptop Screen Panels
Even though checking the size of your laptop screen is definitely important, you should also check the type of screen panel your laptop is using. This is due to the reason that the panel of your laptop screen affects a lot of factors like the color production, viewing angles, refresh rate, and much more. And since there are various types of laptop screen panels available out there, picking the right one is quite important. For the same, you can refer to the following table to make sure that you are choosing the right type of laptop screen panel:
|Screen Panel||Viewing Angles||Contrast Ratio||Resolution||Brightness||Refresh Rate||Response Time|
|CRT||120-160 degrees||300:1||Up to 1280 x 1024||200-250 nits||60 Hz||8 ms|
|LCD||160-180 degrees||500-1000:1||Up to 1920 x 1080||200-500 nits||60-144 Hz||Under 10 ms|
|LED||Up to 178 degrees||1000-1500:1||Up to 3840 x 2160||200-1000 nits||60-144 Hz||1-5 ms|
|TN||Up to 160-170 degrees||1000:1||Up to 1920 x 1080||–||Up to 240 Hz||Up to 1 ms|
|IPS||Up to 178 degrees||800-1200:1||Up to 3840 x 2160||300-500 nits||60-144 Hz||1-5 ms|
|VA||Up to 178 degrees||3000-6000:1||Up to 1920 x 1080||250-400 nits||60-240 Hz||Up to 1 ms|
|OLED||180 degrees||1000000:1||Up to 3840 x 2400||Up to 800 nits||120-240Hz||Up to 1 ms|
|AMOLED||180 degrees||1000000:1||Up to 2800 x 1800||1000 nits||60-120 Hz||Up to 1 ms|
How are Laptop Screen Sizes Measured?
While choosing the right laptop screen panel type is important, the display size will play a much more important role in your overall experience. Hence, you should know how to measure the size of a given laptop screen. Thankfully, this is quite easy since laptop display sizes are measured just like another display. You simply need to use a measuring tape to measure the diagonal of your display from one corner to the opposite one. Just ensure you do not include the bezel while measuring your laptop screen size.
Laptop Screen Size Options
Once you know how to check the size of a given laptop screen, you can easily check the same for any laptop out there. But before you go ahead and pick a laptop screen according to its size, you should also know about all the various laptop screen size options available out there. While there are definitely a wide range of laptop screen options available out there, here are some of the most common ones:
|Laptop Screen Sizes||Screen Resolution||Laptop Option|
|11.6 inches||1366 x 768||HP Pro x460 Fortis|
|12.5 inches||1920 x 1080||Asus Chromebook Flip|
|13.3 inches||3840 x 2160||Lenovo Thinkpad X13|
|14 inches||3840 x 2160||Lenovo Ideapad Slim 9i|
|15.6 inches||3840 x 2160||MSI Raider GE66|
|16 inches||3840 x 2400||Acer Swift Edge 16|
|17.3 inches||3840 x 2160||Razer Blade Pro 17|
|18 inches||2560 x 1600||Razer Blade 18|
What Laptop Screen Size Do You Need?
Now that you know all of the popular display sizes available out there, you might be ready to pick one for your next laptop purchases.
However, some of you might be confused about which laptop screen size will suit you most. In that case, you need to consider these few things:
- Current Laptop Size: Before you consider the laptop display size you should go for in the future, you should first check your current’s laptop display. This will give you a great perspective in terms of the display size, which will work best for you. You can pick a display size accordingly if you need something bigger or smaller.
- Required Screen Resolution: If you plan to do any kind of creative work on your laptop, you will most likely need a high-resolution display. However, higher resolutions like 4K are generally found in larger display sizes only, which include 13 inches or up.
- Weight & Form Factor: As you would know, the display of your laptop is the largest component of your laptop. Because of this, your laptop’s display affects your laptop’s weight and form factor. Thus, if you want something compact and portable, then you should go with a 13-inch or similar display size. On the other hand, with a larger display size, like 15 inch or 17 inch, it will certainly result in a larger and heavier laptop.
- Multimedia Consumption: Those who use their laptops for multimedia consumption quite often will definitely need a larger display. With larger display sizes like 15-inch or 17-inch, you get a much more immersive multimedia experience than 13-inch or 14-inch displays.
- Workspace Setup: Regarding productivity applications, your laptop display size also depends on your current workspace setup. If you already have an external monitor and a keyboard and mouse, a smaller laptop display will work just fine. But if you want to use your laptop only with a mouse, you should definitely go with something larger.
Factors to Consider for Choosing a Laptop Screen
While we have already covered the two primary factors regarding laptop screens in brief, there is still quite a lot to consider when you are checking displays in laptops. And if you want to go with the best possible display for your laptop, then make sure to check out all these major factors regarding laptop screens:
1. Display Size
Since we are primarily discussing laptop screen sizes in this guide, you should first check the display size of your laptop before anything else. As you would expect, the size of your laptop display will greatly affect your overall experience. Starting with smaller display sizes ranging between 11.6 inches and 14 inch, such laptops are much smaller. While they are great for portable usage, they might not be the best for heavy multitasking. You should go with larger display sizes ranging from 15.6 inches to 18 inches.
2. Aspect Ratio
You should also pick the right aspect ratio and choose the right display size. The aspect ratio of any display tells you how wide or tall a given display is. Thankfully, checking the same should not be an issue since only a few limited options exist. Starting with the exceptions, only a few laptops will offer taller aspect ratios like 3:2 or 4:3, which are only useful for productivity and not multimedia consumption.
When it comes to multimedia consumption, the standard 16:9 aspect ratio is going to be the best. However, going with a 16:10 aspect ratio might be more practical if you want something that offers a middle ground. This aspect ratio is slightly taller, making it perfect for both multimedia consumption and productivity.
The resolution of any display is yet another highly important factor, as it tells you about the detail and quality you can expect out of a given display. If you are considering entry-level laptops, most will offer a 1920 x 1080 FHD display which should get the job done for most users, especially on display sizes of 15.6 inches or smaller.
But if you want a larger display or higher screen quality for creative work, you may want to go with 2560 x 1440 QHD or 3840 x 2160 UHD resolutions. Such higher resolutions offer much more detail and quality, which can be great for various applications. But for most users, going with a QHD display will offer the perfect balance between screen quality, battery life, and getting higher frames while gaming without needing a high-end GPU.
As you know, a laptop is something that you use while on the go, which can also include outdoor usage. And if you also use your laptop outdoors quite often, then you will definitely need something with a bright enough display for the same. While most laptop screens have a maximum brightness of up to 250 to 400 nits, you will need something brighter for outdoors usage. In that case, you should go with a laptop screen that offers a brightness of up to 500 nits or higher where a brighter display is much easier to use outdoors.
5. HDR Support
HDR support in any display can be great for both multimedia consumption as well as creative work. So, if you are also looking for a laptop display with HDR support, then you need to consider a few factors. Starting with the basics, you should look for HDR format support like HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and others, where having support for multiple HDR formats is recommended.
Other than that, you should also check the VESA HDR certification of your display, which includes certifications like VESA HDR 400, VESA HDR 600, VESA HDR 1000, and others where a higher certification means that you get a higher brightness output while using HDR. Lastly, you should also check the number of HDR zones of your laptop display since having more HDR zones makes up for a much better HDR experience.
6. Panel Type
Because there are many display factors to consider while checking laptop screens, you can simply check the panel type of your laptop screen to get a general idea of all of them simultaneously.
Some common laptop panel types you will find out there include LCD, TN, IPS, and OLED panels. LCD and TN panels offer the worst performance regarding color accuracy and overall experience. On the other hand, IPS panels offer great value for money since you get excellent colors without paying a premium.
But if budget is not an issue for you, you should go with an OLED panel since they look the best while offering excellent performance numbers.
7. Refresh Rate
Those of you who are getting a laptop for gaming or just looking for a smoother display in general should check the panel’s refresh rate. A display’s refresh rate tells you how frequently a given display gets updated, whereas a higher frequency results in smoother motion. In other words, if you are going with a 120 Hz or higher refresh rate, it will be much smoother than 60 Hz refresh rate. And if you want the best gaming experience, you should go with a 240 Hz refresh rate or higher.
8. Response Time
If you are a hardcore gamer, the last thing you want in a laptop display is to face high-motion blur. This can make FPS games much more difficult as aiming at moving targets becomes quite difficult. To prevent this, you should use a laptop with a display with a low response time. Even though you can get away with a response time of 3 to 5 ms, many gaming laptops feature a 1 ms response time, which will be much better for gaming.
9. Viewing Angles
Whether you want to share your laptop display with others or just want a more versatile one, you should check the viewing angles of your laptop for the same. As you would expect, the viewing angles of your laptop display are given in degrees. And depending on the laptop you are going for, this can include viewing angles like up to 160 degrees, up to 170 degrees, and even up to 178 degrees, where a higher viewing angle rating is definitely the better one.
10. Color Accuracy
Apart from gaming and general productivity tasks, many of you will also be getting a laptop for creative work. And for such applications, it is highly important to get a laptop display that offers a high color accuracy. If that is the case, then you should check for color accuracy ratings like sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, and a few others. For all of these, you should aim for a higher accuracy rating since a 125% sRGB display will look much better than a 72% sRGB display.
11. Touch & Stylus Input
While this will not be important for all users, some laptop displays also work as input. To be more precise, a few laptop screens can also come with touch input, perfect for things like media consumption, web browsing, and reading documents. And if you are getting a laptop for graphic design, getting a laptop that supports stylus input will be even more practical for you.
12. Display Finish
Apart from all the specifications and features of a laptop display, you should also check a few physical factors like the display finish. Primarily, you will find two types of displays: matte and glossy finish. In comparison with each other, a matte display might not look the most vibrant, but it is definitely the better option for using under direct lighting. On the other hand, a glossy display might not be the best for outdoor usage, but it will look the most vibrant, perfect for color-sensitive work.
Laptop Screen Sizes – FAQs
Ans: By now, we have already covered all of the major laptop display sizes available. While some laptop sizes are ideal for portable usage, others are great for gaming and heavy multitasking. But if you are looking for a one size fits all display size, then a 14 inch laptop will be perfect for you. Not only do you get a decently large display size, but a 14 inch laptop is also compact and lightweight, which is great for portable usage.
Ans: To check the size of a laptop display and determine the size of a given laptop, you need to measure the diagonal of the display. You can simply take a measuring tape from one corner of the display to the opposite. Ensure you are not measuring the display’s bezel and only the screen panel itself to get the correct display size of your laptop.
Ans: The aspect ratio of any given display tells you about the shape of the display in terms of how wide or tall it is. While you can find a 4:3 aspect ratio in older laptops and a 2:3 aspect ratio in convertible tablet laptops, most other laptops will have a standard 16:9 or a slightly taller 16:10 aspect ratio which should be suitable for most users.
Ans: As mentioned earlier, many screens and display panels are available out there, which all offer their benefits. And while different panel types have been used in laptops in previous years, the two commonly used ones include IPS and OLED panels. If you are going with entry-level laptops or gaming laptops with fast displays, they will generally have IPS displays. But if you are going with a high-end laptop for creative work, it will have an OLED panel.
Like all of the other hardware components found in laptops, there are all kinds of laptop screens available. And depending on your requirements and use case scenario, choosing the right display is quite important. Hence, earlier in this guide, we mentioned all the details regarding laptop screen sizes and laptop screen panels. You can find a comparison between various laptop screen sizes and panels. In fact, we have even given the factors to consider while choosing a laptop screen. So, if this guide has helped you pick a laptop, leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.