What To Check To Make Sure Your New Gadget’s Screen Doesn’t Suck

What To Check To Make Sure Your New Gadget’s Screen Doesn’t Suck

The quality of the display on a smartphone, tablet or laptop is one of the most important purchase considerations. (After all, you’re going to be staring at the screen for hours.) Laptop Magazine highlights six signs that a screen isn’t up to par.

Photo by IntelFreePress

Among the list are basics like screen resolution (the higher the better, so you can see more information without scrolling) and whether the device can be seen in the sun. Two of the most useful tips for evaluating a screen in person at the store include checking the viewing angles on smaller laptops and comparing devices for true whites:

If you have to push back a laptop’s screen 30 degrees to make out the image, don’t buy it. What happens when you get on the plane and the person in front of you jams his seat all the way back? We’re forgiving of narrow viewing angles on 15-inch budget laptops that likely won’t leave the living room, but not on notebooks that are designed to be used in tight quarters.

I don’t mean to keep picking on AMOLED screens (sorry, Galaxy S III) but I’ve noticed that many of them tend to have a blue cast when displaying a white background. Not having a white that’s really white doesn’t necessarily ruin the user experience, but it’s just annoying. A good way to test this out is to open the browser and enter “about:blank” and compare devices side by side.

Check out the full article for more signs to watch out for.

6 Signs Your Gadget’s Screen Sucks [Laptop]


  • Some stores lock their machines by securing the screen, so can’t change the angle. I’ve asked before if they could unlock them so I can test viewing angles, and the response was “No”

  • Nice article.

    I would like to mention a few other things to look out for:

    1. Battery life – my last laptop when brand new lasted 40 minutes
    2. Processor speed – 2 GHz AMD dual core that is slower than 1.4GHz in the MacBook Air
    3. Noise – When using the laptop, every minute or two the fan would spin up for 3-5 minutes and create enough noise for people in the entire office to notice.
    4. Structural rigidity – When picked up, the laptop would creak and bend beyond belief.

    The above is based on my purchase of HP TX2500 tablet, one of the worst designed computer I have ever used. And I have used over 50 different models in my job.

  • When choosing a laptop, I would also suggest looking at the hinge that attaches the screen to the base. Make sure it’s a sturdy connection, I have had a couple break on me!

  • Notebookcheck is a great (and likely the only) resource that provides in depth and comparable benchmarks of screens. Wouldn’t consider a laptop without checking them.

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