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How do I Choose the Best Laptop LCD?

A couple using a laptop with an LCD screen.
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  • Written By: John Lister
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A laptop LCD is the most common type of screen on portable computers. In most laptops, replacing the screen will be so expensive that it may not be cost-effective and may mean that buying a new laptop altogether is a better value option. For this reason, it is particularly important to pay close attention to the screen when choosing a laptop, much more so than with a desktop computer where you can buy a new screen later on.

Check the resolution on the laptop LCD you are considering. Generally, a larger screen will have a larger resolution, as you would expect. However, sometimes cheap screens will have a lower resolution than other models with the same screen size. This may cause a noticeable difference if you work with very detailed images such as with picture editing or watching videos. Some screens have particularly high resolution which means you can fit more detail on to the screen, though this can cause problems if you don't have good close-range vision.

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You may have choose between a regular laptop LCD with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and one with a widescreen 16:9 display. The best option depends on your needs. If you use the machine mainly for office tasks such as word processing, a regular aspect ratio will likely be better as you'll get more screen space on the same sized laptop. If you are likely to watch a lot of video files such as movies and TV shows, a widescreen display will give a better viewing experience, as with a TV set.

More expensive laptops will have a type of screen known as an active matrix display. The way these work means the display is usually brighter with more color detail. The screens also update more quickly, which gives the impression of a more detailed picture, particularly for video. Although this type of laptop LCD usually adds to the computer's price, it is often worth getting, particularly if you are likely to be using it in situations where you don't have as much external light, for example on airplanes.

One of the major problems which you may encounter with a laptop LCD is a defective pixel. This can be either a dead pixel, which is continually either lit or unlit, or a stuck pixel, which is continually the same color. Defective pixels rarely cause functional problems, but can be extremely annoying. It's worth checking reviews of a laptop to see if it has a reputation for suffering from defective pixels. You should also check what the manufacturer's policy is for refunds and repairs as some firms sell screens on the basis that a certain number of defective pixels is considered acceptable and thus not a fault.

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Discuss this Article

anon247690
Post 1

Well, I'll tell you how to choose. Take a good look at the website, and e-mail them see how long they take to reply. See what kind of reply you get.

Some are cheaper and some more expensive, but ultimately, they're all around the same price, so you may as well go for the best service and help if something goes wrong.

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