Is a notebook "ultrabright" screen worth the extra $?
November 1, 2005 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Is an "ultrabright" laptop screen worth it?

I'm about to buy a Dell Inspirion 6000 notebook, but I can't decide if I want to spend $150 extra to upgrade from a WXGA LCD Panel to a UltraSharp WUXGA. This is for a 15.4", and I'll be editing DV. Can anybody with experience with either one of the displays give me advice? I value my eyes but $150 seems steep.

Quick yay or nay responses welcome. Thanks.
posted by muckster to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
 
If you're editing movies you want:

- Maximum contrast ratio (probably now called "ultrabright", beats me what the marketing terms of the month are)
- Fastest response time

You say ultrabright then ultrasharp. The ultrasharp is because WUXGA on a 15.4" display means about a 96 (or higher) dpi, as compared to a more standard 72 dpi. I like that, but on stupid graphical interfaces it means you'll live with smaller text, so if your eyesight is bad, forget it.

The extra resolution probably won't mean much to your video editing, except you'll get more controls on the screen along with the video while it is fullsized. :-)

The $150 would be worth it to me. A couple of years ago I spend $1000 extra to get what you're getting and I love it.
posted by shepd at 12:10 PM on November 1, 2005


You're paying for the resolution more than anything else. If you need to see a lot of stuff on-screen at the same time, it's worth it. WXGA is 1280 x 800; WSXGA is 1680 x 1050; WUXGA is 1920 x 1200.

I bought an Inspiron 9100 last year; the screen is WUXGA. It's a crazy-high resolution, almost 100dpi in 15.4".

I like it. Lots.
posted by lowlife at 12:11 PM on November 1, 2005


It's UltraSharp. I didn't even realize that resolution had anything to do with it; I assumed it was something about the LCD technology that made it look better. Thanks for your answers, I think I'll go for it.
posted by muckster at 12:19 PM on November 1, 2005


I have an Inspiron 6000 with the 15" WUXGA screen. For me, it was all about the resolution.

I do video and image editing and I can never have enough real estate. I probably would have been OK to get the WSXGA but I like having all the pixels I can get.

No matter what size screen you get, the high-res ones can be great for screen real estate of images but tough to read. Try changing the display's DPI (Screen properties/Settings/Advanced) and that will help you avoid problems like b1tr0t describes.
posted by aaronh at 8:05 PM on November 1, 2005


Dell Inspiron 8200 here; 1600x1200 Ultrasharp 15" screen. It's noticeably better than my friend's Inspiron 8100, which also has 1600x1200 15" but not Ultrasharp; brighter, better contrast, and WAY wider usable viewing angle. Make mine a yay.

Also worth noting: I run Red Hat Linux 9 on it, and it looks very good. Windows, on the other hand, looks horrid. To make Windows work on a 120dpi screen, you have to do a lot of fooling around with font sizes - and then lots of application dialog boxes just break.
posted by flabdablet at 8:05 AM on November 2, 2005


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