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PC and Laptop screens - Size Matters

PC and Laptop screens - Size Matters

Then there was the CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor that displayed the text electronically in a pretty monochrome green. This was followed by better and better CRT monitors able to display pretty graphics and play video. Then the laptop came along and with it the LCD (liquid crystal display) first in black and white, and then colour. This technology was quickly taken up in PC screens as well and the rest, as they say, is history. Today LCD has ben replaced by LED and OLED (organic light emitting diode) flat screens and I have only seen one old CRT monitor in the last two years… they’re really are old-tech now.

If you have a PC then you’re spoilt for choice nowadays. Prices have tumbled since the eye-watering early days of flat screens and you can choose from 19” up to 38” ultra-wide. In reality, for us simple users, the top end would be a 27” from about £145 where you have the option to either increase the size of what you see by using a lower resolution (if like me your eyesight is failing), or be able to see more on the screen by using a higher resolution. A 19” is really as small as you would want to go otherwise it defeats to purpose of having a PC … you’d be better off with a laptop.

If you have a laptop then its all about the trade-off between size and portability. The largest common laptop on the market is a 17.3” and there really are pretty big and clumpy, hardly portable at all. However if your tight for space then a 17.3” on your desk as a permanent feature instead of a PC, screen keyboard and mouse then it does start to make a bit more sense.

Going down the scale we come to the commonest size at 15.6” where there is a huge choice of laptops that are both portable and still big enough to be a real replacement for a PC. Below that we come to 14”, 13” and 12” that actually become more expensive as the bones of the laptop have to be squeezed into a smaller and smaller space – however these laptops are pretty cute in size and really portable especially as the latest ultra-thin ones are fan-less and have solid state disk technology. Below them are the tablets and e-readers between 7” and 11”, and finally the mobile phones at 6” and under.

So what’s best for you? I always tell people to have a good look around before making any decision as you may have been using a little old screen for years and you simply don’t realise how affordable a bigger screen can be. Whilst I’ve never been a fan of PC World, they’re great at lining up everything they’ve got for you to compare side-by-side so make good use of them … then do your shopping to find the best prices.

As always, if you need help with this or any other technology you know where to come.

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Added: 2nd May 2018

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