How are Laptop Screens Measured?

how are laptop screens measured

You need to know the laptop screen size, whether you wish to get a laptop case/bag, replace your current screen, and even make a general comparison between two devices.

Though it’s relatively simple and only takes a few seconds, many people do not know how to find the accurate screen size of a laptop or monitor. Unfortunately, an incorrect measurement can have serious consequences.

You’ll find different laptops available in a range of sizes. Generally, the screen sizes can be anywhere between 11 to 30 inches, but there’s no universal standard. Each year you find a new model in the markets with new features and varying sizes.

While all laptops have a good demand in the market, when buying the right size, you’ll often consider things like portability, price, screen resolution, etc. These will give you an idea about which size suits you best. In this article, we’ve covered it all in detail.

Before we get to how to measure your laptop screen size correctly, let’s take a look at why it’s so significant.

Why Is the Laptop Screen Size Important?

An incorrect measurement can be very problematic and can often lead to making wrong buying choices. For example:

  • A wrong size consideration when buying a new laptop can lead to issues with portability and resolution.
  • You may be stuck with the wrong-sized laptop bags/cases.
  • Accessories like a screen protector, for instance, will require precise measurement. If it’s even a little off, you will not be able to use it.
  • It is needed when you have a technical issue at hand. For example, if you need a screen replacement, you will need to know the exact size.
  • It is also necessary when making a general comparison between two or more devices.

How to Measure Laptop Screen Size

There are various ways or techniques to find out the exact size. However, the most widely used and the simplest of all is the tape measure. We’ll go through all the methods one by one starting with the basic ones:

The Tape Measure

Though it sounds simple, there are three key ideas you must keep in mind. 

  1. Screen size is measured diagonally.
  2. The bezel or ‘frame’ is not part of the measurement.
  3. The measuring unit generally taken as a standard is ‘inches,’ not centimeters.

A general misunderstanding is that the size is measured horizontally. That’s a big mistake, and unfortunately, many people still believe that the width is the size. Going diagonal doesn’t cross a newbie’s mind, at least!

Secondly, the ‘bezel’ that is the monitor’s frame, i.e., the black part, should be excluded from your measurement. That often adds a mistaken inch to the actual size.

Finally, measure in inches; this is a standard unit. If you have the tape measure in centimeters, say, for instance, it measures 38.1 centimeters. Just multiply it by 2.54 to get the measurement in inches.

These considerations will help you get the exact measure the very first time. Let’s have a look at the correct way of using the measuring tape to find the precise laptop screen size:

How to Measure Using the Measuring Tape?

Take the measuring tape – or ruler – and start from a corner of the screen and go to the other corner, diagonally and that’s how you find the exact measurement of your screen!

If you start from the top left corner of the screen, you go down to the bottom right corner to find the right size.

The measurement is taken diagonally, not just for laptop screens; it’s the same rule we use for measuring the Television screen, monitor, or other screens.

Taking the measurement ‘diagonally’ is a marketing strategy. In this way, instead of the width, the diagonal measure gives you a more significant number. Hence this sounds more appealing to the buyers who have to make a purchase decision.

Using the Ruler

If you wish to take the manual measurement but do not have a measuring tape, you can use a ruler. We do not recommend it, though it often gets hard to measure the nooks accurately as it is relatively rigid.

However, it is still your best bet without the tape measure when you still want to measure the laptop screen physically.

Look for Laptop Specifications

Now, what happens if you need the measurement and do not have a measuring tape? In such a scenario, there are not one but many ways to find the correct screen size. You may:

  • Look up your device specifications on the internet.
  • Go to your device ‘settings’ and look for the screen size mentioned there.
  • Look for your user manual.
  • Look up the model number on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Do a web search using the laptop’s model number.

Measure the Screen Online

Some websites can also find the size by measuring the length remotely. These work with calibration. However, it may not give you a precise result. Hence it’s not highly recommended, but still an option you can explore.

Find the Laptop Screen Size in Windows 10

Here’s how to find your correct size if you are using Windows 10.

  1. Go to your ‘start menu.’
  2. Navigate to ‘settings.’
  3. Go to ‘system’ and ‘display.’
  4. Click the ‘advance display settings.

Here you will find all the information about the screen size, resolution, color format, etc.

Top Considerations – Choosing the Right Screen Size

Deciding the correct screen size depends on various factors, such as:

  • Your current screen size
  • Portability
  • Budget
  • Usage
  • Workplace

Let’s look at each so you can work out and decide the best fit for your requirements.

Current Screen Size

Often the starting point for choosing the size of the new laptop is your current screen size.

If the current screen seems smaller to you, go for a bigger one. If it makes the whole laptop too bulky for you to carry around, opt for a smaller one.

Current usage is also another essential consideration you should make. The important thing is that you should know the exact screen size to make a wise comparison. For that, you have to make sure you’ve measured it right.

For example, if you start from the left corner of the laptop screen, go to the right corner – diagonally – to get the correct measurement.

Else, if you start from the top right, go down to the bottom left, making a perfect diagonal with your tape. Permanently exclude the frame and ensure that the measurement is in inches.

Portability

Do you keep your laptop at home or office only? Or, do you need a handy one, and you can carry it around wherever you go?

If you have a fixed station for your laptop and hardly ever want to carry it around, you can safely opt for a bigger size.

But, if you are on the go with your job or work, you need one that’s portable. So a smaller-sized screen would be better in that case. Smaller laptops are ideal for travel too!

Budget

When buying a new laptop or any other device, budget is one of the top-most considerations. Generally, larger displays come at a higher cost.

If you want it not to cost you an arm and a leg, it’s wise to spend on a smaller screen. However, if money isn’t a constraint and you wish to enjoy the big screen excitement, go for the large display.

Usage

Usually, gamers and those of us who stream videos, etc., prefer a larger display. That enhances the whole viewership experience.

Whereas for those who want it for work or office, the smaller screen is a better fit.

Work Area

If you have a good workplace with a lot of space, you can safely invest in more giant screens. But if the work area has space limitations, large size will only make work unmanageable.

Though it may seem like an excellent option to get a more prominent display when you have a fixed work area, always remember, the bigger size will take up a lot of space. So there won’t be much left for other gadgets and accessories.

The Bottomline

Here you have it, all the information you need to measure the screen size the right way, summed up in this article.

It will save you a lot of trouble in cases where there’s a technical problem with the desktop or display. It is also needed when you want to buy a new laptop or a laptop bag. However, you will also need to work out the size of the laptop (i.e., the height, width, and depth).

So the next time you want to know the screen size, grab a measuring tape or look up the model number on the web, manual or view your settings, and voila!

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Steve
Steve currently serves as a chief editor at Techdentro, covering all things Tech, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. He's also passionate about solving android mobile issues.