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1080 vs. 1600x900 on 15.6 display

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
September 4, 2012 7:26:08 PM

I'm looking at buying a ThinkPad W520, 15.6" display. Do I get 1600x900 or 1920x1080 for $300 more? I imagine the most significant factor is scaling HD movies to the smaller resolution, any experience with that?

More about : 1080 1600x900 display

a c 462 D Laptop
September 5, 2012 1:04:03 AM

Well it depends on what you are interested in. The standard 1600x900 resolution screen is a TN panel while the 1920x1080 screen is an H-IPS or S-IPS panel. Huge difference in the cost of manufacturing which is why it is a rather steep upgrade.

For watching movies on a relatively small screen, I would say the difference shouldn't be that great when watching a 1080p on either a 1080p or 900p screen. Shrinking down a high resolution movie to fit a smaller resolution screen is not nearly as bad as stretching a smaller resolution movie to fit a larger resolution screen.

If you are doing photo editing or anything that requires color accuracy, then the $300 for a higher resolution IPS panel would be worth it. If you are just a "normal user", then perhaps sticking with the standard 1600x900 resolution would be the less expensive choice.

If it were me I would be somewhat conflicted. I definitely prefer an IPS panel over a TN panel any day of the week and I would perfer a 1920x1080 resolution screen on a 15.6" laptop. But the $300 upgrade option, just barely high enough to make myself wonder about spending that extra cash. I might just have to down an entire bottle of scotch just to convince myself that the upgrade is worth the $$$.
September 5, 2012 1:38:39 AM

I dunno when I consider that for $300 I could buy an IPS 24" led, I'd rather save the money and buy the extra screen for when at home. But that's just me.
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September 6, 2012 4:36:40 AM

Just general purpose computing, to replace my faithful ThinkPad R60 from 2006. I have been known to do some photoshop from time to time. Color accuracy is important, but I haven't necessarily been annoyed with the results from my current laptop. Could someone link me to a good explanation of TN vs. IPS? I found the 520 for $1300/$1600, a bargain compared to the 530 at ~$2500. I am just really enticed by the 1-to-1 nature of the 1080p display. If it were a hundred bucks cheaper it'd be a no-brainer.