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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Laptop screen technology

Portable computers are a relatively new invention. Just a few decades ago you would have needed a wheelbarrow to take your computer from home to school or work. These days a netbook is no bigger than a hardback novel and it's so much more powerful than the early computing pioneers ever imagined a machine could be.

Screens and displays have changed radically. Not so long ago the state of the art computer screen showed green text on a black background. The first greyscale (black and white) monitors soon followed, and then came colour, but the evolution of the computer screen was only just getting started. From four basic colours came 16, then 32, then far more. A basic Dell LCD laptop screen may display anything up to 26000 different colours, and there are some that can do far better than that.

Colour is just one aspect of display performance. State of the art Mac or Toshiba laptop screens produce far less glare than their predecessors, which makes on-screen images and text much easier to see. They're less stressful on the eyes and more suitable for long-term, everyday use.

Burn-in is also less of a problem these days. Old screens used to suffer if they had to display a single static image for a long period, so developers invented the screen saver. If a computer was left alone and the screen view unchanged for too long, it would automatically switch to an animation to prevent burn-in. For a modern Dell Inspiron laptop screen, burn-in isn't a problem. That's one of the many ways displays have improved over recent years.

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