Which PC notebook computers have the best screens?
March 1, 2011 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Which PC notebook computers have the best screens?

Unless you're a photographer, designer, or artist, you may not have noticed that notebook computer display panel quality has gone down a lot over the years, mainly due to price issues. Pricy in-plane switching (IPS) panels are apparently difficult/expensive to source, leaving other inferior technologies to carry the burden. The problem is that a lot of these other technologies have far narrower viewing angles and improper color reduction... a no-go for any visual artist.

Doing some cursory research, it doesn't seem like many (if any!) manufacturers use anything but garden-variety TN panels in their PC laptops. Even the Full HD display on Lenovo's best workstation isn't IPS!

Now I realize IPS isn't the end-all, be-all of great quality displays, so... are there any manufacturers that offer high quality display panels in their PC laptops while keeping the price south of $1,500 or so?
posted by speedgraphic to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The HP EliteBook comes in a couple of models (8540w and 8740w) that have an optional IPS display, which HP calls DreamColor. Here's a review.
posted by jedicus at 12:45 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I should mention that the price is well above your range. The DreamColor upgrade alone is $425 on the 8540w and $550 on the 8740w.
posted by jedicus at 12:48 PM on March 1, 2011

I know you mentioned Lenovo as not giving you IPS, but the company does offer Pantone calibration, if you think that might be of service. I didn't opt for it on mine W510 because it was an added cost to an already spec'd up computer and I really don't need it, but now I'm thinking it may have been a nice option to have.

This article mentions the feature in a W701.
posted by sardonyx at 1:01 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, I LOVE the Pantone feature (apparently it's a built-in PANTONE huey) on the Lenovo W series, I'm definitely getting it if I go Lenovo.
posted by speedgraphic at 1:06 PM on March 1, 2011

Dell calls its IPS displays UltraSharp, and offers them as options on its Latitude models.

I still use a Dell Inspiron 8200 I bought in 2000. At the time, its 1600x1200 15.4" UltraSharp panel crapped mightily upon every other flat panel display in the market, whether built into a notebook or not. Its backlight is a little dimmer these days, but it's still lovely to use.

Dell's new UltraSharp panels have LED backlights, which should make them last even better.
posted by flabdablet at 4:44 PM on March 1, 2011

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