• Ryan M. Pierson

Do You Need Full 1080p Resolution on a Laptop?

Unlimited Ragna, a member of the LockerGnome community at large asked: “Is full HD worth the extra cost of a laptop?

Buying a laptop with full HD support on the included screen is a great way to increase the screen real estate available to you, the user. In addition, HD videos can be seen in their intended crisp and complete resolution. Unfortunately, this added resolution comes with a higher price tag. So, is it really worth the investment?

There are several advantages to having more pixels on the screen. In addition to the extra real estate, text appears crisper and more legible. The documents you work with will be easier to read on the smaller screen that comes with a laptop. This also means that your movies and games will look a lot better than they would otherwise. Many games really shine at higher resolutions, while their UIs appeared too cluttered on lower resolution screens.


There are, of course, a few disadvantages to be aware of. For some, the decision between 1080p and smaller screen resolutions comes down to actual screen size, rather than pixels per inch. In these cases, you’re going to have to face a difficult decision between portability and functionality. Lugging around a larger laptop is never fun, or easy. A 17.3″ gaming laptop may sound like an impressive piece of kit, but when you’re lugging it between classes or attempting to set it up on a smaller desktop, you may regret not having a smaller 13-15″ solution in your bag. Speaking of bags, they cost more as they get bigger, too.

Battery life can also be impacted by a higher-resolution screen. Your GPU has to work a bit harder to provide updates, the CPU may also take a hit if you’re playing a game at full resolution, and a number of other factors can decrease your battery life. One of the big reasons tablet computers last so much longer than their laptop counterparts is that they have smaller screens with less resolution. There isn’t as much demand on the hardware to keep up, making them last longer.

Over all, the decision comes down to what the user feels most comfortable using. Do you enjoy the extra real estate of a 1080p screen, or the portability and power efficiency of less-demanding graphics more?

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