Laptop Screen Faceoff: The Results May Surprise You

Laptop Screen Faceoff: The Results May Surprise You

Anthony Nguyen
Jan 28, 2009

While the PC vs. Apple fanboy war may not end for quite some time, there is one thing available for a non-biased (well, less biased at least) and that's the quality of the monitors that ship out with the respective hardware giants' laotop offerings. Comparing the Dell Mini 9, Lenovo W700, IBM ThinkPad T60, and the new unibody MacBook Pro, Rob Galbraith used a series of calibration tests against an Eizo ColorEdge CE240W (a color-accurate desktop monitor that has been an essential part of our photo viewing, editing and printing workflow for some time). Here's are the results he found...

Taking into account two of the most important aspects of a good screen, viewing angle and color accuracy, Rob found the above computers to rank in the following orders:

Ordering the displays with an emphasis on colour accuracy, the list looks like this:

  1. Lenovo ThinkPad W700
  2. IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T60
  3. Dell Inspiron Mini 9
  4. Apple late-2008 MacBook Pro 15 inch

Ordering the displays with an emphasis on viewing angle flexibility, the list becomes:

  1. IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T60
  2. Lenovo ThinkPad W700
  3. Apple late-2008 MacBook Pro 15 inch
  4. Dell Inspiron Mini 9

Apparently, the best in both categories appears to be Lenovo's offering of ThinkPads, followed by the Dell Mini and MacBook Pro. However, he follows these results with the following:

"It's important to remember that, even though the late-2008 MacBook Pro 15 inch doesn't keep up in either colour accuracy or viewing angle with laptops from IBM/Lenovo, its display is still quite good and still falls on the right side of the line of acceptable display quality for field use by a working photographer, at least in ambient light that discourages reflections."

That said, all are great screens overall and hardware manufacturers should be proud of the quality of products they are churning out these days. However, if you're a photographer looking for a laptop replacement with excellent viewing angles and color reproduction, consider the recent Lenovo ThinkPad line. They're all definitely A-material.

For those curious on how the tests were performed, feel free to check out Rob's blog for an in-depth writeup of the entire process.

[via Gizmodo and Rob Galbraith]

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