Gaming Laptops – Which Display Resolution Should I Get?
Most times, this question about screen or display resolution, is often overlooked when a potential buyer is considering a gaming laptop. Everyone is worried about the type and performance level of the graphics and processor or the amount of RAM the laptop has installed. However, if your laptop doesn’t have the best or the right resolution, your viewing enjoyment can be greatly impeded.
Display resolution means the number of actual pixels which can be displayed in each dimension and is quoted as width by height – with the unit obviously being pixels. For example, in laptops, one common resolution is called XGA (extended graphics adapter) and is 1024 by 768 pixels. Just to put this resolution into some context, a device with a XGA resolution has around 796,432 total pixels or almost 1 megapixel.
Standard LCD Display Resolutions:
In the above listings, S = Super, U = Ultra, Q = Quantum, W = Widescreen, and as mention before XGA = Extended Graphics Adapter, while the lowest resolution VGA = Video Graphics Array.
Another very important factor to consider when talking about resolutions is the aspect ratio. This ratio tells or gives you the proportional “relationship” between your display’s width and height. Take for example, a VGA display will have a resolution of 640×480 pixels, but has a 4:3 aspect ratio – this image ratio is often referred to as the old television format, while another very common aspect ratio 16:9 is generally known as the widescreen movie format.
One of the most important factors of your gaming laptop is its native resolution. This is the absolute maximum resolution of your laptop display screen. Native resolution is very important because it determines the actual quality of the viewing image/screen on your laptop. Don’t confuse your laptop display with a CRT monitor which can adjust the resolution to match the incoming signal. However, on your laptop LCD display this is not the case, since it has a fixed raster (bitmap) and receiving the optimal or best picture quality will only be achieved when the input signal perfectly matches your laptop’s native resolution.
Therefore, knowing your laptop’s native resolution is extremely important if you want to get the best viewing quality when playing games and watching movies. Usually, the native resolution will be stated in your laptop’s list of specs or specifications. If it’s not listed, don’t worry, you can always check for the native resolution yourself.
How To Find The Native Resolution of Your Laptop?
Simply check by clicking
start –> control panel –> display
Usually, you will get information on how to adjust your laptop’s display resolution from this location and your laptop’s native resolution will be the maximum one shown. You can also alter your resolution from here but you may have to re-start your machine before the new changes take effect.
Why Is Your Display Resolution So Important?
One of the main reasons, besides picture quality, why your laptop’s display resolution is so important has to do with the “amount” of material which can be displayed on your screen. Remember, a higher resolution will let you view much more material on your screen, this is important for running/viewing numerous applications at once. However, one of the drawbacks of having this “larger real estate” sometimes means the font and text is too small for many people to read comfortably.
Best Resolution for gaming?
Gamers are a picky lot, they tend to want to play their games at the highest settings possible. Gamers also want a High Definition display which usually means at least a 720p display but more likely a 1080p display (while the p stands for progressive scan and is mainly for transmission formats, this has more to do with TV and Monitors than the LCD display on your laptop). Now a full HD 1080p display is a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Many high-end gaming rigs you see on the market today have a WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution or higher.
Nothing beats checking out your laptop display first-hand to see if it meets your expectations, but if you’re looking for a HD display then the following general guideline could be used. We are giving resolutions to screen size and these resolutions are on the high side, especially for the smaller screens.
Smaller laptop with 11 to 13 inch display – 1366×768
Medium laptop with 14 to 15 inch display – 1600×900
Larger laptop with over 15 inch display – 1920×1080
If you find these resolutions too high and your text too small to read, here’s a helpful tip regarding DPI scaling. You can adjust this scaling by right clicking on your desktop computer and then click the “personalize” section to find a “Adjust font size or DPI” link. The usual default setting is 96 Dots Per Inch – you can now scale this up to make everything bigger and much easier to read. Again, this will affect the appearance of your display, but keep in mind, regardless of what’s recommended, the best resolution for your laptop is the one you’re comfortable with viewing and using.
There you have it, hopefully this information of display resolutions will prove helpful when you go to buy your next laptop – gaming or otherwise. Keep in mind, technology never stands still. These resolutions, even the higher Full HD ones, will keep on increasing in the future. Just look at what Apple is doing with its Retina Display on the iPad 3 with 2048 x 1536 resolution on a 9.7-inch display, that’s about 264 pixels per inch. Even more impressive is the new Retina MacBook Pro which has 2880×1800 resolution on a 15 inch screen, that’s over 5 megapixels. One would expect other laptop makers to follow Apple’s lead into the future.
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