Eye Candy: Top Laptop Brands for Stunning Displays

Key Points

  • Understanding certain key terms transforms your knowledge of what makes the best laptop display.

  • LED is the method by which a screen is illuminated and there are different versions of LED.

  • The highest refresh rate is 500Hz.

  • There are 10 popular laptop brands, with five producing the best laptop displays.

Are you in the market for a new laptop? Are laptop screens important to you? Not sure which brand has the best screens? Look no further! There are many features to look for when choosing the best laptop display. The industry’s top laptop brands are so good at their job that it isn’t easy to choose one as the best.

Whether you're a designer, a gamer, or just need a reliable work device, selecting the best laptop display is important. Besides the keyboard, the screen is the most used object on a laptop. You rely on it to accurately input and analyze data, regardless of whether that data is a video or spreadsheet..

Many features are considered when measuring the quality of a laptop screen, such as resolution, color accuracy, and performance. These features affect your overall experience. There are several brands to consider when looking for a high-quality laptop.

The Nitty Gritty of Display Jargon

There’s a lot of information about computer displays you need to know to be a well-informed customer. If you go in blind, you may pick up a laptop that has none of the specifications you’re looking for. 

As is the case in any specialty field, it has a language of its own. This collection of words and expressions is called jargon, and it is often difficult for outsiders to understand. Once you know what the computer guys are saying, you can follow right along.

Cartoon laptop with landscape background

Nits

If you read articles about computer monitors or televisions, you’ve seen the word “nit” bounce around. In computer jargon, a nit is a unit of measurement that tells you how bright a screen appears to the human eye. It’s equal to one candela per square meter. Before you ask, a candela is another computer-speak term to measure the light intensity.

Nit actually comes from the Latin word “nitere,” which means “to shine.” In other words, it’s all about how much the screen is shining and how bright it looks.

A standard laptop display has 200 nits. For comparison purposes, a high-definition LCD TV screen has over 1,000 nits.

LED Technology

LED stands for light-emitting diode, and it is a type of semiconductor device that converts electricity into light. This method of laptop display is vastly different from the old liquid crystal displays (LCD) that used cold cathode fluorescent lamps for their screens. The more modern LEDs are also LCDs because they use liquid crystals. However, not all LCDs are LEDs because they do not use light-emitting diodes.

To make matters complicated, different types of LED monitors are available, each with unique features and benefits. Those include:

  • OLED monitors: OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and it is a type of LED technology that uses organic compounds to create light. OLED monitors have several advantages over traditional LED monitors, including deep black levels, wide viewing angles, and fast refresh rates. They are also thinner and more flexible than traditional LED monitors. They tend to be more expensive and have a shorter lifespan than LED monitors.

  • Edge-Lit LED: As the name suggests, this kind of display has its LEDs arranged along the rim rather than throughout the entire screen. This LED formation allows for slimmer screen designs and uses fewer LEDs, bringing down energy consumption. A light-guide plate directs the light to be evenly distributed throughout the entire display. That’s not to say edge-lit LED screens aren’t without their flaws. Since LEDs are along the edge, there are issues with the uniformity of the brightness across the screen. 

Various apple devices and screen resolutions

  • MiniLED monitors: MiniLED monitors are a newer type that uses smaller LEDs as backlighting. This allows for more precise control of the backlighting, resulting in better contrast and more accurate colors. MiniLED monitors also have a longer lifespan than traditional LED monitors and are more energy efficient. They are more expensive than traditional LED monitors.

  • QLED: The Quantum dot Light-Emitting Diode monitors use quantum dot technology to enhance the color accuracy and brightness of the display. Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor particles that produce specific colors of light when excited by an energy source. Quantum dot monitors are more expensive than traditional LED monitors but offer improved color accuracy and a wider color gamut.

Pixels

Pixels are the building blocks of a computer monitor display. They are tiny, individual dots that make up the display on a computer monitor. Each pixel consists of red, green, and blue sub-pixels. These sub-pixels are controlled by the graphics card and the monitor's driver to create the image displayed on the screen.

The resolution of a monitor is determined by its number of pixels. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and the more detailed the image appears. For example, a monitor with a resolution of 1920×1080 has about 2 million pixels, whereas a 4K monitor has about 8 million pixels.

The pixel density, measured in pixels per inch (PPI), also affects the sharpness and quality of a display. A higher PPI means pixels are packed more densely on the screen, creating a sharper and more detailed display. The higher the PPI, the better the image quality.

Resolution

When a laptop's screen has a high resolution it packs a lot of pixels into a small space, resulting in a clear and sharp image. On the other hand, a low-resolution screen will result in a pixelated — or blurry — image because it has fewer pixels per inch.

It's important to consider the resolution of a laptop screen when shopping for a new one, especially if you plan on using it for tasks that require a lot of visual detail, like photo or video editing.

The most popular computer resolutions used are:

  • 720p (1280×720): Standard Definition (SD), usually on smaller monitors and laptops.

  • 1080p (1920×1080): Full High Definition (FHD), the most common, used on most monitors and laptops.

  • 1440p (2560×1440): Quad High Definition (QHD), found on larger monitors and high-end laptops, offering greater detail than 1080p.

  • 4K (3840×2160): Ultra HD (UHD), offers four times the number of pixels as 1080p, resulting in a highly detailed and immersive visual experience. It is usually on high-end monitors, TVs, and some laptops.

  • 8K (7680×4320): Full Ultra HD (FUHD) or Super Hi-Vision, offers 16 times the number of pixels as 1080p, resulting in a highly detailed and immersive visual experience. It's used in high-end monitors and TVs and is less common on laptops.

New standards are constantly being developed as technology advances, bringing new resolutions to the market. 

Refresh Rate

When somebody mentions a screen's refresh rate, they're referring to the number of times per second the image on a screen refreshes. This rate is measured in Hertz (Hz).

A higher refresh rate means the image on the screen refreshes more frequently, resulting in a more fluid image. This is particularly important for fast-paced games and videos, where a high refresh rate significantly impacts the overall experience.

Common refresh rates for computer monitors are 60Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz, with 60Hz being the standard. 144Hz or higher is common for gaming monitors and 500Hz was recently attained by Asus, making it the highest refresh rate on the market.

Laptop store with various models on shelf

The Most Popular Laptop Brands

While many computer companies design and manufacture laptops, they are not all created equal. These are the most popular on the market going into 2023:

  • Dell: A name that's been in the market for decades, Dell produces laptops suited for business and gaming. It's widely recognized for its durability and performance.

  • Hewlett-Packard (HP): A company that's been around since the '30s and didn't begin its business with computers, HP laptops are known for their versatility and design. They offer a range of options for consumers from budget-friendly models to high-performance gaming machines.

  • Lenovo: Lenovo, a Chinese multinational technology company, produces a wide range of laptops for consumers and businesses, including ThinkPad laptops.

  • Asus: A Taiwan-based multinational computer hardware and electronics company that produces a wide range of laptops, including ultrabooks, gaming laptops, and 2-in-1 convertibles.

  • Acer: A Taiwan-based multinational hardware and electronics corporation that produces budget-friendly computers and gaming laptops.

  • MacBook (Apple): Known for their sleek design and user-friendly operating system, MacBook laptops are produced by Apple and are popular among creatives and professionals.

  • MSI: An internationally renowned technology company popular for its gaming laptops and computer hardware. If you dive into the gaming realm of technology, you've heard this name.

  • Razer: "For gamers. By gamers." is their slogan. It is known for its high-performance gaming laptops and accessories.

  • LG: A multinational company that produces a wide range of electronics, including laptops. It's a reliable brand known for its high-end models and good design.

  • Google: A technology company that everybody knows. Google entered the hardware market with its Chromebook, which runs Chrome OS and is aimed at providing a fast, simple, and secure computing experience.

High resolution touch screen display

Best Laptop Brands For Displays

Of the most popular laptop brands, these companies' products have the best displays. From top-of-the-line resolutions to vibrant colors and deep blacks, these laptops provide an immersive and enjoyable viewing experience.

Asus

During the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 in Las Vegas, Asus unveiled the Vivobook Pro 16x 3D, a laptop with a display that leaves you breathless.

It doesn’t have the highest refresh rate out there nor a record-breaking resolution, but what this powerful laptop does have is a 3D perspective without the use of 3D glasses.

While this isn’t new technology, ASUS is the first company to implement it on an OLED display. The display is 16 inches from corner to corner with a brightness of 550 nits, 3200X2000 resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate.

It’s a solid laptop, coming with an Intel i9-13980HX processor and an NVIDIA GTX 4070. The graphics card implies that it can be used for gaming, but the display's glossy finish argues against that use.

Dell XPS 13 Plus

Not only is the Dell XPS 13 Plus a solid evolution from previous iterations, but its 4K OLED display is also one of the best out there. It uses in-plane switching (IPS) technology, providing wide viewing angles and accurate color representation.

The laptop has a 13.4-inch display with an InfinityEdge touchscreen and a resolution of 3456×2160. Working with the magnificent screen is an Intel Core i7 or i5 processor, and features 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and up to 2TB of solid-state storage.

Train worker uses laptop in train yard

MSI’s Creator 17

The MSI Creator 17 is a high-performance laptop designed for professionals in the creative industries such as graphic designers, video editors, and 3D animators. It comes equipped with a 17.3-inch 4K display capable of attaining 1,000 nits of brightness, providing clear and detailed visuals.

As with most 4k displays, the Creator 17 can only reach 60Hz unless you get the FHD (1920 x 1080) version that offers 120Hz. This provides smooth and seamless visuals for video playback and photo editing.

The display features an anti-glare coating to reduce reflection and minimize eye strain. This makes it easier to work on the laptop for long periods. It also boasts a thin bezel design that maximizes the screen-to-body ratio, creating a compact chassis that packs a punch.

Powering the MSI Creator 17 is the latest Intel Core i7 or i9 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card, providing the power and performance needed to handle demanding tasks. It also comes with massive memory and storage options, supporting up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 2TB of NVMe SSD storage — ample space for all your files and software.

The biggest drawback to this creative machine is its price tag. The cost of this laptop could be the downpayment for a new car.

Razer

Razer Blade 15 has a 15.6-inch full HD or 4K display with a fast refresh rate that provides smooth and seamless visuals for gaming and video playback. The 4k model only supports a 60Hz refresh rate, making it less desirable for gamers. However, the QHD (2560 x 1440) option exists with 240Hz and is ideal for gamers. The display also covers 100% of the sRGB color space, making it a great option for color-sensitive work such as graphics editing.

Under the hood, the Razer Blade 15 is powered by the latest Intel Core i7 or i9 processors and a 3000 series NVIDIA graphics card, allowing it to easily handle demanding games and software. It has storage for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 2TB of SSD, providing ample space for all your games, documents and multimedia files.

Apple Macbook Pro 16

The Apple MacBook Pro 16's stunning 16-inch display truly immerses users in a world of vivid colors and sharp visuals. With a resolution of 3072 x 1920, the display offers a high level of detail and clarity, making it an ideal choice for photographers, designers, and video editors who need to view their work with precision.

The wide color gamut and True Tone technology also ensure colors are displayed accurately and naturally, making it easy to edit and create content. The screen’s glossy finish makes the colors pop. With 500 nits of brightness, it's easy to work in any environment. To top it off, the viewing angles are exceptional and hardly have any color shifting at different angles.

LED display dots

Final Thoughts

There are positives and negatives to all versions of laptop screens. 4K is the best resolution for laptops, but they only attain a refresh rate of 60Hz. Meanwhile, while not as crisp and stunning as 4K, a lower resolution is sharp and achieves a higher refresh rate.

Asus, Dell, MSI, Razer, and Apple make excellent machines and are constantly pushing the boundaries of what a laptop screen is capable of doing. As laptops continue to evolve, expect even more display advancements beyond 3D. 

When you know what to look for in a laptop screen or computer monitor, you’re better able to choose the right laptop. It never hurts to see what others have to say about a product, so check out in-depth reviews to find what best meets your needs.

Whether gaming, business, or casual, there’s a laptop on the market with the right kind of display for you.