Are there any laptops screens that meet your standards? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What laptops have the best black levels?
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-23-2012, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd really like to know what HDTV enthusiasts think of the quality of laptop screens... I've started shopping for my first Blu-ray laptop, and in my opinion the only computer monitors that have black levels good enough for watching movies are Samsung monitors. But in the mobile space, it always seems like it's Apple vs. everyone else when it comes to display quality. There's just one problem, Apple doesn't support Blu-ray, so....

What laptop has the best black levels, in your opinion? Does anyone here own a Samsung laptop? Are their laptop screens as good as their desktop monitors? Strangely, there only seems to be a few Samsung laptops that actually have a Blu-ray drive.

[Apologies in advance to anyone who may think this is off-topic, but in my experience computer-geek types don't understand movie picture quality, or movies in general for that matter, so I really want to hear what home theater "geeks" think. -Thanks.]
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-24-2012, 12:00 AM
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There's more to image quality than simply black level/contrast ratio. Colour accuracy, viewing angle, motion handling etc. are all important.
If you want the best notebook display, you'll buy one of the new Retina MacBook Pros.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review/4

You won't get a Blu-ray drive in one of them though.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-24-2012, 09:48 AM
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The need for a physical removable disc playback is so 20th century, when there is plenty of storage to load your BRs for the trip.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-24-2012, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

There's more to image quality than simply black level/contrast ratio. Colour accuracy, viewing angle, motion handling etc. are all important.
If you want the best notebook display, you'll buy one of the new Retina MacBook Pros.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review/4
You won't get a Blu-ray drive in one of them though.

The only metric to me that matters is black levels. In my opinion, modern displays have great picture quality in all those metrics you mentioned, but as a film buff, I can't stand washed-out black levels and dark colors. I see it as the last area of any real picture quality contention, hence all the hype around OLED, which solves that problem. But I'm not really interested in debating that issue.

I know Macs have the best picture, but the lack of a Blu-ray player is a deal breaker for me. I wouldn't think I would have to argue that point in a home theater forum.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-24-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

The need for a physical removable disc playback is so 20th century, when there is plenty of storage to load your BRs for the trip.

Not sure if you're being serious or not. Blu-ray discs are 60 gigs. The biggest Macbook has only 750gigs, which works out to holding only 12 Blu-rays, without any space for any of my other data. Hauling around a bunch of external drives is more of a hassle than a CD wallet. And even if I had a ton of money to blow on storage, I wouldn't bother spending all that time ripping my entire collection. In addition, I plan on renting movies, so I need a drive anyway.

On top of all that, it's illegal.

I'm shocked I would need to point that out at a forum like this. You guys are Home Theater enthusiasts, right?
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-24-2012, 04:34 PM
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Check out HP EliteBooks with optional DreamColor IPS displays.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-24-2012, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigmaEcho View Post

I wouldn't bother spending all that time ripping my entire collection.

Oh you have a need to take your ENTIRE COLLECTION on the road. Never mind my suggestion then.

Quote:
I'm shocked I would need to point that out at a forum like this.

By all means don't sell bootleg copies on eBay, Mother Teresa.


If u start saying can't do this, and can't do that... sounds to me you already placed lots of limitations on yourself.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #8 of 20 Old 06-25-2012, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Oh you have a need to take your ENTIRE COLLECTION on the road. Never mind my suggestion then.

Not necessarily my entire collection, but without a drive, I'd have to pre-rip any movie I'd want to watch. I don't want to spend my life ripping huge blu-ray movies, or blow my money on all those drives. And I'd still have to buy a blu-ray drive for my desktop anyway, so it doesn't make even a bit of sense to me to go that route.
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By all means don't sell bootleg copies on eBay, Mother Teresa.

Actually, I was referring to the need to defend Blu-ray as a format. I specifically posted on AVS to avoid arguing with a bunch of tech people about why Blu-ray is a worthwhile format. In my experience, computer people arn't movie buffs, and just don't get it. They'll tell you "physical media is dead" or "just download everything". I was not expecting that kind of perspective to come from AVS readers.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-25-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Check out HP EliteBooks with optional DreamColor IPS displays.

Thanks, I'll look into it, although I swore off all HP products a long time ago, I'm surprised they're the only ones making an IPS laptop. Right now I'm looking at the ASUS N76VZ - light, huge screen, affordable and I love Asus stuff, but I'll need to see the picture quality of Asus screens in person.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 05:09 AM
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I have yet to see a Laptop display that even close close to something watchable or usable for photo editing.

There are IPS Laptops?? eek.gif

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 05:11 AM
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On top of all that, it's illegal.
Who cares. rolleyes.gif
DILLIGAF

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigmaEcho View Post

Thanks, I'll look into it, although I swore off all HP products a long time ago, I'm surprised they're the only ones making an IPS laptop. Right now I'm looking at the ASUS N76VZ - light, huge screen, affordable and I love Asus stuff, but I'll need to see the picture quality of Asus screens in person.

I'm pretty sure Dell (M4600), Sony (Vaio S - 15.5" only) and Lenovo (X230 - no optical drive) also have IPS display options. Since you are an Asus fan, the new, upcoming Zenbooks will have IPS displays. I'm not sure when the release date is or whether they have built-in optical drives though.

http://ultrabooknews.com/2012/06/14/zenbook-prime-1080p-ips-display-bests-macbook-pro-1800p-display-in-contrast-ratio/

Sounds pretty good. Mind you, I think it's only a matter of time until someone releases an oled notebook ( if you don't mind waiting).
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, wow, wow. exciting stuff, you're really making me think I should wait...
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Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

I'm pretty sure Dell, Sony and Lenovo also have IPS display options.
I googled, it, first result said it was the only one, I'm guessing that was out of date.
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Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Since you are an Asus fan, the new, upcoming Zenbooks will have IPS displays. I'm not sure when the release date is or whether they have built-in optical drives though.
http://ultrabooknews.com/2012/06/14/zenbook-prime-1080p-ips-display-bests-macbook-pro-1800p-display-in-contrast-ratio/
Sounds pretty good.

Again, wow, a PC laptop with a BETTER screen than a Macbook?! Really exciting, too bad it's an Ultrabook, so no optical drive, otherwise, I think they might have sold me. I guess I'll have to wait to see if ASUS puts out an IPS with a blu-ray drive.
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Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Mind you, I think it's only a matter of time until someone releases an oled notebook ( if you don't mind waiting).

Just the thought of a OLED laptop is thrilling, but I should know by now not to get my hopes up - it's always 1-3 years away. But you're right, that should be the next step, right? The biggest OLED device I know of is the Samsung Galaxy Note, and that's a 5" screen. I'm guessing that laptop manufactures are scared of the price tag it would have, but I think anyone who cares about video quality would gladly pay extra for such fantastic viewing experience. I'm still in awe of how good the Sony OLED XEL-1 looked, and if people saw the difference in person, I think you could sell them on paying the extra to watch movies on it.
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigmaEcho View Post

Again, wow, a PC laptop with a BETTER screen than a Macbook?! Really exciting, too bad it's an Ultrabook, so no optical drive, otherwise, I think they might have sold me.
Higher contrast ≠ better quality. To begin with, the Zenbook Prime display is only 165 PPI compared to the MacBook Pro's 220 PPI, which is a significant difference, especially when Windows is not at all optimised for resolution scaling like OS X is. There are 125 and 150% font size options, but they completely break a lot of applications. The main thing that seems to make it higher contrast is that it's brigher.

You're going to find it harder and harder to buy notebooks with a Blu-ray drive in them these days. Other than watching Blu-ray films, there's basically no reason for a PC to have an optical drive in 2012, and that space can either be used to significantly improve battery life, or significantly slim down the form-factor of the machine.

You're far better off buying a portable drive, ripping a couple of films for your trip, and leaving the drive at home. As others have said, do you really need to take a big stack of films with you?
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I have yet to see a Laptop display that even close close to something watchable or usable for photo editing.
There are IPS Laptops?? eek.gif
There have always been one or two ThinkPads with IPS screens in the past, and HP used them with their DreamColor laptops, but that's about it. Apple's push towards using IPS displays, first with the iPhone, then the iMacs, the iPads and now the MacBook Pros seems to have brought about a resurgence in the popularity of IPS displays on notebooks, with many vendors (such as ASUS) implementing high resolution IPS displays in anticipation of the Retina MacBook announcements. It looks like they were expecting the MacBook Airs to get Retina displays first, rather than the MacBook Pro, as it seems to mostly be ultrabooks that have been getting them.
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Originally Posted by SigmaEcho View Post

The only metric to me that matters is black levels. In my opinion, modern displays have great picture quality in all those metrics you mentioned, but as a film buff, I can't stand washed-out black levels and dark colors. I see it as the last area of any real picture quality contention, hence all the hype around OLED, which solves that problem. But I'm not really interested in debating that issue.
The difference in black levels between modern IPS panels is minimal at best, and many notebook displays are very poorly calibrated. (something Apple does a great job with)
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Originally Posted by SigmaEcho View Post

I'm shocked I would need to point that out at a forum like this. You guys are Home Theater enthusiasts, right?
Home Theater being the operative phrase here. Watching films on my laptop or my iPad is not a priority, and for the few times where it might be a possibility, I'm going to rip them so I don't need to carry any discs around or kill the battery life.

Portability and battery life are significantly more important to me than having an optical drive. I've been saying that Apple and other vendors should be ditching them for years now. (in real notebooks, rather than low-voltage ultrabooks) Resolution and quality of the display are far more important for getting work done (video & image editing) than having a Blu-ray drive.


Anyway, if you don't care enough about the display quality to buy a Retina MacBook Pro, one of HP's DreamColor notebooks with a Blu-ray drive is your best option.
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post #15 of 20 Old 06-27-2012, 12:49 AM
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I know Samsung developed their own version of IPS for their monitors, PLS. I don't know/wonder if it'll find its way into their laptop displays.

Aside from casually browsing on a Macbook, I've never tried to watch dark or mixed-contrast content on a laptop display, but traditionally IPS panels have less contrast and poorer black levels compared to other panel types, eg. VA panels. They tend to have better color reproduction and better viewing angles than other panel types, but if you're looking for deep blacks and tons of contrast I don't know if IPS will cut it.

I'm not really up on monitor/laptop display tech, but I recently bought a cheaper LG IPS (IPS236) monitor for my desktop, and it looks great and very natural for viewing photos, etc. but I don't watch films on it. I tested it out when I first got it with some letterboxed content and the black bars were light purplish-gray, not black in the least. I'm happy with it but would probably use something else if I planned on watching movies on it. I have a three year old Asus U81 laptop and it probably uses some kind of cheap TN panel - has good contrast if I'm looking at it "right" but if I move off-axis at all it looks like absolute garbage.

Whatever panel my Sharp LE700 LCD TV uses looks better than either PC display to me. It was advertised as an "X-Gen" panel, and I'm pretty sure it was an ASV panel, and they started using UV2A panels in later model years. I don't think Sharp makes laptop displays, but their panels seem to have a really good native contrast, although color looks a little less natural than my IPS monitor.

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post #16 of 20 Old 06-27-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

I know Samsung developed their own version of IPS for their monitors, PLS. I don't know/wonder if it'll find its way into their laptop displays.
If you look, you will be able to find sources on this, but PLS is nowhere near as good as IPS. Just like so many other Samsung technologies, it sounds good on paper, but doesn't live up to it in the real world.
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Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

Aside from casually browsing on a Macbook, I've never tried to watch dark or mixed-contrast content on a laptop display, but traditionally IPS panels have less contrast and poorer black levels compared to other panel types, eg. VA panels. They tend to have better color reproduction and better viewing angles than other panel types, but if you're looking for deep blacks and tons of contrast I don't know if IPS will cut it.
On laptops, the vast majority of displays are basically 1,000:1 or less. While IPS panels top out around that, it means they're actually among the higher contrast laptop displays, rather than being some of the lowest contrast displays when you start looking at monitors or televisions.
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Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

I'm not really up on monitor/laptop display tech, but I recently bought a cheaper LG IPS (IPS236) monitor for my desktop, and it looks great and very natural for viewing photos, etc. but I don't watch films on it. I tested it out when I first got it with some letterboxed content and the black bars were light purplish-gray, not black in the least. I'm happy with it but would probably use something else if I planned on watching movies on it. I have a three year old Asus U81 laptop and it probably uses some kind of cheap TN panel - has good contrast if I'm looking at it "right" but if I move off-axis at all it looks like absolute garbage.
This is why I would only ever recommend IPS in a laptop, or monitor. (well maybe you want a TN monitor if you need a 120Hz low-latency gaming screen)
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Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

Whatever panel my Sharp LE700 LCD TV uses looks better than either PC display to me. It was advertised as an "X-Gen" panel, and I'm pretty sure it was an ASV panel, and they started using UV2A panels in later model years. I don't think Sharp makes laptop displays, but their panels seem to have a really good native contrast, although color looks a little less natural than my IPS monitor.
Both ASV and UV2A are VA panel types. ASV was reasonably good contrast, and I believe UV2A panels are still the highest contrast panels on the market today. Being VA panel types though, the viewing angles are poor, and response times are uneven. Again, for any kind of portable device, or a monitor, you want IPS.

Frankly, I'd want IPS in a television if they managed to improve the contrast. Being stuck around 1,000:1 when Sharp's UV2A panels are 5,000:1 is quite a difference.
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post #17 of 20 Old 06-27-2012, 06:53 PM
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Great post! thanks for the information.

Going a little more off topic here, I think IPS would be a great solution for home theater displays considering its strengths if they just fix the contrast issue. You;d figure it could be addressed by full-array backlighting with local dimming, but apparently not according to the lackluster reviews of this year's LM9600. Come to think of it, their full array models haven't seemed to garner much praise in the last couple of years, eg. the LW9800 and the LX9500.

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post #18 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 01:45 PM
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I think some facts are not know about IPS panels. There are different versions of IPS panels on notebooks. There is the traditional IPS panel with wide viewing angles but that are still WLED and about 72% color gamut and then there are the IPS RGB panels with over 100% of the Adobe color gamut and supporting 1 billion colors. The Dell Precision M4600 & M6600 and the HP Elitebook 8560w & 8760w both have the IPS RGB panels. These are the only notebooks currently on the market today with 100% color gamut. I think they have new systems coming out with the same panels again. All of the others are regular IPS panels. The Apple Macbook with the Retina display is only 72% color gamut. Yes it has a very high resolution but the color is not even close to the Dell and HP systems.
If there are other notebooks out there with IPS RGB panels it would be nice to know as IPS is nice but it is NOT the same as IPS RGB technology.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 02:24 AM
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Sager and the Clevo companies make laptops with 90 to 95 percent gamut. Such a screen is a $95 upgrade, but it is an option for those who want a nice display in a laptop. 

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post #20 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

Great post! thanks for the information.
Going a little more off topic here, I think IPS would be a great solution for home theater displays considering its strengths if they just fix the contrast issue. You;d figure it could be addressed by full-array backlighting with local dimming, but apparently not according to the lackluster reviews of this year's LM9600. Come to think of it, their full array models haven't seemed to garner much praise in the last couple of years, eg. the LW9800 and the LX9500.
IPS panels don't have nearly enough contrast to mask the "haloing" problems inherent to a full array local-dimming LED backlight system. This is why the Sony HX900 and Sharp Elites are the best local-dimming LCDs available to date by far, due to the use of high contrast UV2A panels.

And regardless of panel type, viewing angles are always going to be significantly compromised when using a local-dimming backlight system.
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Originally Posted by havoc6266 View Post

I think some facts are not know about IPS panels. There are different versions of IPS panels on notebooks. There is the traditional IPS panel with wide viewing angles but that are still WLED and about 72% color gamut and then there are the IPS RGB panels with over 100% of the Adobe color gamut and supporting 1 billion colors. The Dell Precision M4600 & M6600 and the HP Elitebook 8560w & 8760w both have the IPS RGB panels. These are the only notebooks currently on the market today with 100% color gamut. I think they have new systems coming out with the same panels again. All of the others are regular IPS panels. The Apple Macbook with the Retina display is only 72% color gamut. Yes it has a very high resolution but the color is not even close to the Dell and HP systems.
If there are other notebooks out there with IPS RGB panels it would be nice to know as IPS is nice but it is NOT the same as IPS RGB technology.
You are describing differences in backlighting (White LEDs vs RGB LEDs) not panel types. (though there are many IPS panel types)

Furthermore, it is detrimental to video quality, to exceed the sRGB/BT.709 gamut, and the MacBook displays have all been close to sRGB in recent years.

Matching or exceeding the Adobe RGB gamut is great for photographers or anyone doing print work where the output medium can exceed sRGB/BT.709, but not for video or the majority of other computer tasks.
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