Laptop Computer Screens

What can i say? It’s amazing how far display technologies designed for laptop computers have been evolving since 1976, when the first notebook was prototyped. The one who invented the laptop had to start with a monochrome screen with a very low resolution, but today we have plenty of sizes and features we can choose from.
Laptop Computer Screens
When I talk about the size I am referring at the screen resolution and diagonal, which make the difference between a classic screen and a wide one, but it also specifies the details level of the image produced.

First we’ll see which are the laptop screen resolutions and then two categories of display technologies used today by the most popular manufacturers.

The abbreviation letters are a shortcut for No. of Pixels on Horizontal x No. of Pixels on Vertical, and all resolutions are derived from the Extended Graphics Array standard, known as XGA, which was introduced back in 1990 by IBM, representing 1024 x 768 pixels.

Super eXtended Graphics Array display standard, or SXGA, has either 1280 x 960 pixels or 1280 x 1024 pixels, the latter displaying a 5:4 aspect ratio.

Ultra eXtended Graphics Array, also called UXGA, is the shortcut for 1600 x 1200 pixels. It is used in 15-inch 4:3 laptop screens and some 14-inch models.

The highest resolution for a laptop monitor is Quad eXtended Graphics Array, in short QXGA, which has 2048 x 1536 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio. It is 4 times the XGA and there exists a 15-inch panel for laptops, produced by IDTech, but it isn’t provided yet as a standard option.

Other laptop display resolutions are: WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels), WXGA+ (1440 x 900 pixels), WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050 pixels), WUXGA (1920 x 1200 pixels), all widescreens and all the most popular.

Laptop Computer Screens

WXGA refers at Wide XGA, 1280 × 800 pixel resolution with an aspect ratio of 16:10.
Acer introduced recently the 2 unconventional laptop displays integrated in the Acer Gemstone Blue models, featuring High Definition 1920 x 1080 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio.

These days you can choose from various sizes. The first Eee PC model features a 7-inch display, the classic dimensions is of 15 inches, but if you are a professional you need a 17-inch widescreen.

As you’ve probably already noticed, all these LCD monitors are not perfect. As CRTs produce eye fatigue after an hour of working at the computer, the image on an LCD is never perfect. For this reason the top screen manufacturers and designers come up with new advanced display technologies to enhance the brightness in low light conditions, or to produce natural and vivid colors.

There are 2 display technology categories i want to tell you about: one describing what the display is made of, while the other names the technology used to enhance the image display.
Most of the laptop screens on the market are TFT LCDs, which comes from thin film transistor liquid crystal display.
This type is an active matrix liquid crystal display using thin film transistor technology. Another one is the Transreflective Liquid Crystal Display that reflects the sunlight, increasing or decreasing this way the screen’s light. This is better than the already common TFT LCDs because you won’t need to adjust brightness manually. When there is a near light source it doesn’t matter how strong it is, the backlight coming from the side or back of the display compensating for this automatically.

OLED display technology referrs at organic light-emitting diode and consists of a light-emitting diode with the emissive electroluminescent layer formed by a film of organic compounds. OLED consumes less power than the other existent displays and doesn’t need backlight. One negative aspect is the short life time, due to the fast degradation of the compounding materials.

Samsung has a laptop prototype with an AMOLED display. This active-matrix OLED uses a thin film transistor backplane for switching individual pixels on or off, leading to higher resolution and larger display sizes.
Samsung’s AMOLED has a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels and 20% better contrast ratio compared to LCDs.
Flexible displays are a cool concept and they could be implemented in laptop computers as folding displays.

The other category is larger and includes all the display technologies used by various manufacturers to enhance the viewing experience.
Just to enumerate a few we can remember Acer’s CineCrystal, Asus’ Color Shine display, Averatec AveraBrite, Benq’s UltraVivid Technology with Display Brilliance Enhancement Film, Compaq BrightView technology, Dell DirectVue display, Fujitsu-Siemens Crystal View LED wide display, Gigabyte Anti-Glare technology, HP mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED displays, Lenovo VibrantView, Sony XBRITE-HiColor technology, MSI Amazing Crystal Vision TFT LCD display, Zepto Zero Bright Dot display technology, and Zepto UltraCrisp screen technology.

Laptop Computer Screens

A display enhancement technology such as the Acer’s CineCrystal delivers high definition imaging, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 14% larger viewing area compared to the other 15.4-inch screens.
Asus has the Color Shine, Colour Shine and Crystal Shine technologies used in notebooks with high-gloss anti-reflexive screens. A thin film layer laminated is the polarizer placed on the outermost layer of the glass, and its function is to filter light waves produced by the screen, to generate an image. Asus’ polarizer has a smooth chemically-treated surface that reduces ambient light reflection by absorbing most of the external light instead of diffusing it at different angles. Other notebooks have a matte surface polarizer with anti-glare properties, diffusing the light at different angles, reducing this way the intensity of the light reflected to the user’s eye. This causes distorted images, lower contrast ratio and less vivid colors among other things. Asus’s technology produces crisper images, brilliant colors, sharp contrast, wider viewing angles, reducing eye fatigue.

AveraBrite from Averatec is described as a glossy screen coating that should provide great imaging in any light conditions but it seems that it’is not that effective as it is not overly reflective.
Benq’s UltraVivid technology with Display Brilliance Enhancement Film enables 200 nits brightness for the screen coated with a low-reflectivity layer.
Dell’s DirectVue raises brightness level even more, reaching 500 nits, thanks to the backlight technology.
HP mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED displays are optional and feature lighter weight and energy efficiency.
The company plans to remove mercury from its displays until 2010.

Sony XBRITE-HiColor technology is characterized by deeper blacks and brighter whites. It features vivid colors, sharper images, a glare filter and anti-reflective coating.

These are some examples to give you a bigger picture of what the top companies are trying to do, and we can’t finish our story without discussing about how to take care of these LCD displays, which the more sophisticated are becoming, the more sensitive they are, requiring special attention during cleaning.
Cleaning LCD monitors is simple if you respect some basic rules. In any store you have to look for those sets containing a microfiber cloth and a gel spray specially designed for cleaning laptop computer screens.

Laptop Computer Screens

Clean the LCD for about 1 minute, until the gel gets dry, and if the surface is larger, than remember to clean only with the dry cloth surface, never use the dirty and wet parts. You could check the user’s manual for the recommended cleaning method in case your LCD model is let’s say, more special.
One specific characteristic of these cleaning kits is that they don’t contain ammonia or alcohol while the cloth has anti static properties, so they don’t leave tiny pieces of material behind and do not attract the dust in the air while touching the surface.

(Sources ScreenTek;

Comments are closed.