Sharpness of 1080p screen

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by bearflag, May 7, 2019.

  1. bearflag

    bearflag Notebook Guru

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    I've gotten all my laptops in 2K resolution or higher (13"-15" screen sizes) because to me the text looks noticeably sharper. However a lot of reviews seem to say that 4K is overkill.

    The one time I saw a 14" 1080p laptop I thought that the text on some websites (news articles, etc.) I viewed looked ever so slightly blurry compared to when I viewed the same websites on a 4K display. Since so many people get 1080p laptops, I wonder if it might have been the one 1080p laptop that I saw, which had this issue.

    For those of you who have 1080p screens, do you find the text to be not as sharp as a 4K screen too? If so, does it not bother you?
     
  2. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @bearflag it depends on one's eyesight too. I have a 12.5" FHD device at 100% scaling, and almost perfect eyesight - would definitely prefer WQHD or something comparable 3:2 at this display size. Also have a 10.8" 1920x1280 device, using it at 100% scaling just fine - and that is the level of sharpness I am comfortable with. Should be noted that I have browser scaling set to 120% in both - on some websites e.g. NBR forum, smaller fonts require too much effort and strain eyes otherwise.
     
  3. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Deity

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    I use a 17 inch display but I never found 1080p to be noticeably blurry/pixellated. Then again I've never used a 4K display at this size, and my eyesight isn't perfect anyway. I don't think I'd go above 1440p at this size unless I had to edit a lot of photos/videos. Funnily enough, my phone actually has a higher display resolution than my laptop (2960x1440), but I rarely use the higher resolution on that as the improvement is not really noticeable unless you have the screen at the end of your nose.
     
  4. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    [​IMG]

    A guide to where the benefits of hi res are visible. 15/17" laptops in the 2-3ft range are indeed in the range where 4K is distinguishable from lower res.

    However ultimately it is subjective. I find text far easier and less straining to read on a 17" display in 4K than I do at 1080p due to the more resolved curves. The desktop real estate is bliss from the reclaimed space wasted on tab bars, menus and icons, as is being able to zoom out and still resolve detail. Dragging boxes sometimes is tougher to line up, that's something I haven't been able to find a fix for. The rest of the criticisms about blurry scaling and whatnot are pretty much just anachronism now. Strategy style games where things are also zoomed out a lot look way better. Action games not so much, the laggy 60fps panel and frame pacing can start to show up there and hurt the experience.

    1080p to my eyes is noticeably less resolved especially reading things on the windoze desktop, but it's not usually something I notice much unless I'm trying to do something like read something tiny or have lots of stuff onscreen at once
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  5. bearflag

    bearflag Notebook Guru

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    Ok so text does seem more sharp to you guys in WQHD vs FHD. Glad it's just not me. How come you guys are ok with buying laptops at FHD then?

    I read a lot of articles and use Word on my laptop so having sharp text is important to me.
     
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  6. bobbie424242

    bobbie424242 Notebook Guru

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    Anybody that cannot tell the difference between a 4K and 2K panel displaying text (assuming text is displayed at the same physical size), even at small panel sizes, has not good vision. Once you go with high pixel density, it's hard to go back.
     
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  7. bobbie424242

    bobbie424242 Notebook Guru

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    Add to that, that at high pixel density and with adequate vision, super small fonts remain highly readable.
    Not that is a good idea to use too small fonts, but the fact they remain readable is a bonus.
     
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  8. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    I find higher PPI displays do show text more clearly. I write reports for a living* (some administrative errata, too, but mostly report writing).

    I have an old 1080p 14" laptop and a much newer 1440p 14" laptop. Whatever laptop I get next will be a 1080p (or thereabouts) 15.6" (or thereabouts) laptop.

    In my experience, text may be sharper, but I just don't care. UI is still written for ~100 PPI.

    In my case, I wanted a higher resolution display for running an IDE + references side by side. At 1920 horizontal pixels, most applications are just too greedy to share space with each other (even video game clients demand at least ~1000+ horizontal pixels). However, having dealt with scaling issues over the past 7 months, I find myself using the 1080p display more and more.


    If there was a 3:2, 2160x1440 display in the 15" range, I'd jump ship immediately. I think a 16:10 2048x1280 might do as well (afaik, there was a 16:9 2048x1152 a long time ago).


    *My forum posts are often shockingly poorly written, given this.
     
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  9. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    Good question.

    Before, I was using laptops with HD screens only, due to poor eyesight (which was addressed by laser eye surgery). When I was choosing my current laptop, FHD vs WQHD boiled down to two choices:

    1. smaller 12.5" laptop with upgradeable RAM, FHD sunlight-readable screen & factory-applied matte screen protector

    2. bigger 14" laptop with onboard RAM and pretty dim WQHD glossy display

    The latter cost about twice more, since I would have to purchase top configuration with 16GB RAM - that was the amount I required. At the time, I believed FHD was enough, and both upgradeable RAM and sunlight-readability were important factors to me. Also, I had negative experience applying third-party matte screen protector on a pretty big laptop display, and was not really enthusiastic about going through that experience again. Finally, there was the price.

    I still use the same laptop for over 2 years already, mostly happy with it, and planning to put 32GB RAM stick in it since my RAM consumption has increased - instead of purchasing top of the line model with 4K HDR (or at least dim WQHD) and 32GB onboard RAM for very respectable amount of $ after its introduction next month. Bottom line, If I purchased the more expensive model back in the day, despite WQHD, I would have worse experience in bright days and especially outdoors, and be forced to upgrade the whole laptop earlier despite initially paying twice more.

    I mostly suffer from FHD when reading double pages of comics in album orientation - image is often not sharp enough, I have to rotate it to portrait and read like single pages - and very much when browsing in portrait orientation (because I have too much tabs, both pinned and unpinned) - the latter became a problem only earlier this year, after Firefox dropped support for Tab Mix Plus, and neither workaround provided me with a satisfactory experience.

    Overall, I am still happy with the device, despite mentioned drawbacks.

    p.s. Honestly, neither WQHD nor 4K are perfect - what would work best for me is something 3:2, but such displays are very sadly only available on devices lacking in other regards for my particular use case. Slap a Surface Book 2 13 3000x2000 display and battery on a Thinkpad Yoga L380 or L390 (both up to 64GB upgradeable RAM) - and I'm sold.
     
  10. AlexusR

    AlexusR Guest

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    Sharpness is subjective. I am satisfied with 1080p on 15" displays, the text looks sharp (I do wear glasses when using laptops or desktop) and image quality looks good overall. I would much rather have higher contrast ratio - I have VA-based desktop monitor which has higher contrast ratio than any IPS or TN monitors and after experiencing this when watching images or playing games I do not want to use IPS or TN monitors on desktop again. Unfortunately on laptops I do not have the choice.
     
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