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Laptop Screen Resolution Explained

What is laptop screen resolution?

Laptop screens are manufactured to different specifications. These obviously include physical size, such as 15.6 inches, and also the resolution of the screen. As laptop screens are made up of tiny dots (cells or pixels), the more dots the screen has the better the quality of the image will be. This is the same principle that applies to printers (dots per inch), the more dots for any given area, the higher the quality of the image on the display.

How is the resolution measured?

There are 3 ways that a laptop screen resolution can be measured. These are:

1.) Pixel length X pixel width (e.g 1366x768)

This kind of measurement is the industry defacto and denotes the dots or pixels horizontally times by the dots or pixels vertically. This type of screen has 768 horizontal lines each containing 1366 pixels, giving a total pixel count of 1049088 (just over a million dots to make up the entire image).

2.) Resolution name

The different types of resolution are given names by the LCD industry. These names identify with abbreviation the resolution of the screen. They are if you like codes that represent different resolutions of screen. In our example, 1366x768 is given the name HD. You may have also heard the expression FULL HD or FULLHD, this term refers to the much higher resolution 1920x1080 screens that display an image using almost twice the amount of dots or pixels as an HD screen operating at 1366x768.

3.) Shorthand name

Manufacturers of laptops, TVs, gaming systems or any other system using a screen have coined additional shorthand names as well as the two references listed above for the same product. These shorthand names are numbers and letters in an abreviated format that signify the resolution of the screen. For example shorthand name 768p is also known as HD and refers to the resolution of 1366x768. Shorthand name 1080p or FULL HD refers to the resolution of 1920x1080.

Laptop screen resolutions  

Understanding your screen resolution

With DELL laptops, a printout of the configuration of the laptop you have purchased is usually included with the sale. This printout usually tells you what type of screen you have. Other laptops may have stickers on the laptop or include some kind of documentation that tells you either resolution, resolution name or shorthand name. You can use the following table to assist you in identifying the correct replacement screen for your laptop.

800x480   WSVGA YES
1024x578   WSVGA YES
1024x600   WSVGA YES
1024x768   XGA NO
1152x768   WXGA YES
1280x800   WXGA YES
1366x768   HD or 768p YES
1400x1050   SXGA NO
1440x900   WXGA+ YES
1600x900   WXGA++ or HD YES
1680x945   HD+ YES
1680x1050   WSXGA YES
1920x1080   FULL HD or 1080p YES
1920x1200   WUXGA YES

Other methods for working out your original laptop screen resolution

If part of your original display is still functional, you can use the Windows Control Panel to retrieve your laptop screen maximum resolution. Please note that this must not be done with an external display attached to the laptop, as you will be viewing the maximum resolution of the external display and not your internal laptop lcd screen.

1. Go to your Windows Display Settings and the Advanced Configuration, push the slider for resolution as far to the right as possible and record the laptop screens maximum resolution. You can the compare that to the chart above to assist in selecting the correct laptop screen.

Laptop resolutions: Instructions for finding Windows Display Settings

Instructions for Windows 7 & Vista here 

Instructions for Windows XP here

Instructions for MAC OS here

Instructions for Linux here

Instructions for Android here

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