Technology has become a vital part of almost everyone’s life. From phones to laptops, to desktops and even TV screens – home to work – there’s no denying that these advancements have changed human’s way of life, for the better. But as new development comes, so is the constant exposure to the never-ending upgrades, that sometimes, it becomes too overwhelming to take notice of the smaller things that also matter – like the very basic idea of display size and what’s the best one for different usage.
Read our comprehensive guide below to know more about display sizes of the gadgets that you use every single day.
What is display size?
The display size of laptops, desktop monitors and mobile phones refer to the diagonal dimension of the screen. This determines how wide your screen is, although the height and width of the screen is also an important determinant to get the actual size of the screen.
To measure the display size of your screen, whether on phone, laptop, or desktop monitor, simply take the size from one corner of the screen to the opposite diagonal corner. And anyone with a ruler can do this.
Screen size is usually measured in inches. And again, the screen size is the actual screen dimensions of a particular device.
Different types of display sizes
Knowing the screen size of your device is important because there are many different screen sizes available and the screen size, often tied with screen resolution, determines how well a still or moving image can be displayed in a particular device.
Laptops have different display sizes which are usually used to categorize them. The display size often tells how portable the laptop is.
Different Laptop Display Sizes:
- 11 to 12 inches: This is the thinnest and lightest laptop system with 11” to 12” screens and usually weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. One of the most famous 11” to 12” laptops ever introduced are the MacBook Air series which has a typical display size of 11.6” to 12.” Both models, however, have already been discontinued. This display size is also perfect for notebooks and mini laptops.Other laptop models offering 11” to 12” display screen include Microsoft Surface Pro, Lenovo Miix 700, Asus Transformer Book Chi T300, Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260, Dell XPS 12 9250, HP Spectre X2 12, Huawei MateBook E Signature Edition, and various Chromebooks from different brands.
- 13 to 14 inches: The 13” to 14” laptops offer the best balance between usage and portability, with a size able to handle more functions without sacrificing on still being compact as these laptops normally weigh under 4 pounds. This laptop size is just the perfect size. 15” are usually too large, while laptops less than 12” will leave some users squinting.The current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have a 13.3-inch screen. Other laptop models with 13” to 14” display size is Acer Aspire 1, Huawei MateBook 13, Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360, Razer Blade Stealth (for gamers), Asus ZenBook 13, Samsung Notebook 7 Spin, Samsung Notebook 7.
- 15 inches: The 15-inch systems are probably the most popular size of laptop in both performance and size. Laptops with 15” display size usually weigh 4.5 to 6.5 pounds.Consider this size if you want a larger screen and some extra performance for heavy-duty work and gaming.Apple’s biggest laptop is the 15-inch MacBook, which tells a lot about this size as the ideal laptop size for optimized usage. Other laptop models with 15” display size are Dell XPS 15, LG Gram 15Z980, HP Spectre x360 15, Acer Predator Triton 700 (for gaming), Lenovo Yoga 720, Acer Aspire E 15, Surface Book 2, MSI PS63 Modern, HP Spectre x360 15t, and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme.
- 17 to 18 inches: A 17” to 18” laptop is probably the best option if you’re not carrying the laptop all the time. This is best as ultimate productivity machines, whether when using heavy-duty programs, multiple spreadsheets or video streaming online. Since these types of laptops are large and clunky, it is recommended if your laptop is just staying on your desk.Laptop models with 17” to 18” display size is LG Gram 17, Acer Aspire 5, Dell Inspiron 17 7000, HP Envy 17, Alienware Area-51m, Asus TUF Gaming FX705, and Dell Precision 7730.
Computer monitors are measured the same way as the laptop or TV, which is by calculating the size across the screen diagonally and using inches to convey the measurement.
Desktop monitors generally range from 14” to 38” although recently, some monitors already boast 49-inch displays. The recommended size for a desktop monitor is around 22” to 24” since it offers a good compromise between the physical screen size and the bulkiness and space that the monitor takes up.
The display size is usually the most important consideration when buying a desktop depending on the use it is intended for. In general, going big is a good idea unless you have space constraints.
Different Desktop Monitor Display Sizes
- Under 20 inches: Monitors that measures 20-inches or less diagonally are on the budget side of desktop monitors but will be sufficient for office work if they are used in a multi-monitor configuration.Desktop models with under 20” display size are: HP EliteDisplay S14 USB Portable Monitor (14”), ASUS – 20″ LCD Monitor, HP – 20.7″ LED FHD Monitor, ASUS – 19.5″ LED HD Monitor, ViewSonic – 19.5″ LED HD Monitor, Lenovo – ThinkVision 19.5″ IPS LED HD Monitor, and AOC – 18.5″ LED Monitor.
- 21 to 24 inches: The 21” to 24” desktop monitors are the most popular size range because it boasts functionality, good resolution and also just the right size to put in any kind of space. It’s a good choice for viewing multi-page documents or for watching movies in limited desk space. Desktop models with 21” to 24” display size include Apple iMac 21.5-inch (Retina 4K Display), Dell S2340M 23″, Dell UltraSharp U2415, HP Z24n G2, Dell P2415Q, Asus VS239H-P, and ViewSonic VX2452mh.
- 25 to 29 inches: Desktop monitors in this display range tend to have greater resolutions than smaller screens so this 25” to 29” monitors is good for creative professionals. The big viewing area for large monitors is also the best for watching a movie or playing games when you don’t have space constraints. Desktop models with 25” to 29” display size include Apple iMac 27-inch (Retina 5K Display), Asus PB287Q, Dell UltraSharp U2711 27″, HP Dreamcolor Z27x, Acer Predator X27, BenQ PD2710QC, Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor, Samsung CHG70 27-Inch Curved Monitor, and ViewSonic VP2785-4K.
- 29 inches and up: This type of desktop monitors are best for work setup that demands multiple windows in view like in broadcast, weather bureau, and the like. Available in either ultrawide monitors or curved ultrawide monitor, the display size of these monitors will surely turn your desk into a command center.Desktop models with 29” display size and up: Apple Cinema Display 30″, Samsung CF791, Alienware Curved AW3418DW (gaming), LG 34WK95U-W, Acer Predator Gaming X34 (gaming), BenQ EX3501R (video editing), Acer XR382CQK, Panasonic BT-4LH310P, Dell UltraSharp U3011 30″, Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor, and HP Omen X Emperium 65 Big Format Gaming Display.
Tip: A desktop monitor between 24” and 30” is usually perfect for most users regardless of usage as it provides modern resolution, color clarity, fits multiple open webpages and is not that expensive, except top-end models.
The screen size of mobile phones, as with the other display sizes, is the diagonal measurement of the phone’s screen from the top or bottom corner to the opposite corner at the bottom or top of the screen.
The mobile phone display sizes are also usually published in inches. The common standard display size of mobile phones is about 4.0” to 6.5”. Just years ago, a smartphone bigger than a 6” was called a phablet. Now, phone bigger than 6.5” is called a tablet, which combines functionality from the laptop.
Here’s the different smartphone brands and models with their specific display size:
|Mobile Phone Model||Display Screen Size|
|iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, SE||4"||640||1136|
|iPhone 6, 6S||4.7"||750||1334|
|iPhone 8 Plus||5.5"||1080||1920|
|Samsung Galaxy S8+||6.2"||2960||1440|
|Samsung Galaxy S||4"||480||800|
|Samsung Galaxy S6||5.1"||1440||2560|
|Samsung Galaxy J||5.5"||720||1280|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||5.1"||1080||1920|
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge+||5.5"||1440||2560|
|Samsung Galaxy S10 5G||6.7"||1440||3040|
|Samsung Galaxy S10+||6.4"||1440||3040|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e||5.8"||1440||3040|
|Samsung Galaxy S10||6.1"||1440||3040|
|HTC Sensation 4G||4.3"||540||960|
|T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide||3.8"||800||480|
Tip: It’s interesting to note that users of mobile phones smaller than 9” prefer the portrait view of the phone, while those with display sizes larger than 9”, users are more into using landscape mode.
Here are the Display Sizes for Different iPhone models:
|iPhone Model||Display Size|
|iPhone 6S PLUS||5.5"|
|iPhone 7 PLUS||5.5"|
|iPhone 8 PLUS||5.5'|
There are many different options for tablet display size in the market today and knowing which one is best for your needs will determine the overall user experience.
Here are the pros and cons of different tablet display sizes:
- 7-inch Tablets: the smallest tablets available today, which is only slightly bigger than the biggest smartphone in the market. 7-inch tablets are best for light browsing, reading, and other media consumption, although can be too small for document editing and long binge-watching. The best feature of the 7-inch tablets is its portability.Tablets with 7” display size: Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble Nook, Colby Kyros, HTC Flyer, Lenovo Ideapad A1, T-Mobile Springboard. The new Kindle Paperwhite is only 6”.
- 8-inch Tablets: 8-inch tablets are in between the 7-inch tablets and the larger 9”-10” tablets. While it can’t replace the functions of a desktop, it’s still much better in terms of screen space than the 7” tablet. This size is often the most recommended size of the tablet because it remains very portable and is better than the small ones for reading emails, document editing and generally experience-wise.Tablets with 8” display size: Apple iPad Mini series, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, Vizio VTAB1008, Huawei MediaPad M5, Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, and Asus ZenPad 3S.
- 9-inch and 10-inch Tablets: The 9” to 10” tablets offer a great balance between large and small tablets, although they are heavier than the other smaller tablet options. Still, they offer perfect sizes for both media consumption and document editing. And in general, offers the perfect balance in size and function.Tablets with 9” to 10” display size: Apple iPad series, Acer Iconia, iPad Pro 9.7, Asus Transformer TF101, HP Touchpad, Lenovo Thinkpad, LG G-Slate, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Sony Tablet S, and Toshiba Thrive.
- Large Screen Tablets: Apple iPad Pro became the standard for large-screen tablets. With this display size, these are perfect for desktop or laptop replacement for doing document editing, binge-watching, etc. They are made be laptop alternatives and are the most powerful tablets in the market. Although they tend to be bigger and bulkier and you might need to add more accessories to fully replace the functionalities of the laptop.Tablets with 9” to 10” display size: Apple iPad Pro 12.9”, Samsung Galaxy Book 12”, and Microsoft Surface Pro.
What is the best desktop monitor size?
The recommended size for a desktop monitor is around 22” to 24” since it offers a good compromise between the physical screen size and the bulkiness and space that the monitor takes up.
What’s the best screen size for a phone?
Depending on the use of your phone, in the small category phones, the recommended screen size is 5.5” as with iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy J, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
What is the difference between standard and widescreen?
The main difference between the two is the aspect ratio that they use. Widescreen monitors are wider compared to its height, while the standard screen is a little more square in dimensions.