Is your MacBook Air, way too small to create content on? Or the new Dell XPS that you are eyeing is way too big to be carried around with ease? Well, it’s definitely not about the bulk here. What matters to most laptop enthusiasts is the screen size that eventually determines the sleeve, backpack, accessories, and finally the usage patterns.
Now that you are aware of the importance of the screen expanse, it comes down to measuring it in real-time. But haven’t you already purchased a laptop and how good will the measuring strategies be now?
Well, there is still an explanation for it. Even if you have a laptop by your side, you can measure the screen size to the last few centimeters, only to ensure that you pick the right accessory for it. Also, certain movies, videos, and images look good only if viewed at a given aspect ratio. Measuring the screen perfectly lets you manage all these requirements with ease.
But trust me, there is a lot to measuring screen size than simply picking up the right accessory. If you know the tricks of the trade, it becomes easier to understand how the display and even the entire device will feel in person, even before you have purchased it for real. So, let’s cut the gibberish out and head straight to the nitty-gritty of screen size measurement.
How to Measure the Screen in Person?
Before you plan on measuring the laptop screen, you need to understand how the dimensions work. Firstly, the screen size that is promised by the concerned laptop doesn’t include the width. In the truest possible sense, it even takes the bezels into account, which can be a bit misleading for certain users.
For instance, if you have recently purchased a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, the width is somewhere going to be around 11.97 inches, which is quite adrift of the actual rating. In comparison, the 13.3-inch ThinkPad X390 from Lenovo offers 12.28 inches of screen spread. Therefore, even for comparable screen sizes, the width might actually vary and can impact your experience, almost significantly.
Now that I have established the difference between the claimed and actual screen size, it is important to understand how measurement works. To exclude bezels, it is advisable to measure the screen size diagonally, as that way you get the highest coverage. Also, you need to understand that laptop dimensions take width, height and depth into account and the screen size is actually all about measuring the width by placing measuring tape diagonally.
Also, it is always advisable to measure the screen in inches to maintain a sense of uniformity when it comes to making a comparative analysis with the rated screen size.
How to Measure Screen Size Online?
Measuring the screen that’s right in front of you is easy. However, if you are still planning to purchase a laptop, you must learn how to do it even over online platforms. A good way is to be first aware of the dimensions and keep the laptop width handy for future reference.
Next, you need to find the screen-to-chassis ratio of the concerned device. For instance, if the ratio is 82 or rather 82 percent to be exact, you need to multiply the width by .82 to find the exact screen size, something that you would measure horizontally.
Standard Screen Sizes and Functionalities Explained
When it comes to screen size, most OEMs prefer not adhering to standard configurations. However, based on the inferences drawn from the previous iterations, you can expect them to offer or rather exhibit a specific real estate. For instance, most screens, including the bezels, fall in the 13 to 15-inch range. Ultraportable laptops, however, are rated at 11 inches to up to 13 inches, in most cases.
You can even consider 17+-inch laptops, which usually have larger bezels but still quite a significant area to use. The screen size measuring strategy, however, remains uniform and allows you to get a feel of the existing expanse.
But then measuring the screen size is often secondary? What’s primary is to define the functionality followed by the professional and personal preferences you would want the laptop to serve.
If you want to focus more on portability and content creation on the go, it is advisable to invest in smallish screen sizes, i.e., something in the range of 11 to 13 inches. However, for that to work, it is important for the device to sport smaller bezels and an excellent keyboard. Something that the MacBook Air M1 achieves to perfection. Well, almost!
For standard usage, 15-inch laptops with 14 inches of horizontal space, give and take, are fine. The 15-inch devices are good for video editing and if you can find something as light as the LG Gram, even the portability factor is taken care of. Also, if 15.6-inch seems a bit too much, you can even opt for 14-inch screens.
Can Screen Size affect other Display-Specific Traits?
Well, it can. Larger screens tend to dilute the overall pixel density, making the brightness and color accuracy go down. However, if you have a 4K panel to work with, this shouldn’t be an issue in the first place. Moreover, larger screens aren’t great with viewing angles, unless you can get hold of OLED screens.
Smaller screens are great with sunlight visibility and color reproduction but falter when overall functionality is concerned. There, if it were up to me, I would always consider purchasing 14 or 15-inch laptops, precisely for the sake of overall productivity.
Other Factors to Look at while Measuring and Finalizing Screen Size
If you have come this far into the article, it is important to be aware of the factors that are important to consider while zeroing in on specific screen sizes. Firstly, you must keep the overall experience a priority. This means if you have been using a 17-inch laptop for your professional work, it might not be acceptable to downgrade to a 13-inch variant, even if the screen quality is top-notch.
Portability seekers must always consider smaller screens but should keep an eye on the keyboard quality, more than anything else. Next, you must also factor in multimedia needs like watching movies and stuff, as those experiences might need you to opt for bigger screens.
Finally, it all boils down to your professional preferences for now. For instance, if you are a seasoned video editor, you would want to invest in a laptop with a larger screen. But then, if you have your eyes set on a powerful, 13.3-inch laptop, it is still good enough to go, provided it has ample ports to connect external displays too.
Regardless of what transpires, it eventually comes down to your choice, depending on your highly personalized preferences.