Do you need more than a Full HD display on a Chromebook?

Something I see a lot when it comes to Chromebooks or any type of laptop is criticism if the display does not offer Full HD. I totally understand this to some extent because most people have been using Full HD TVs or higher for some years now. The thing is I’m not overly convinced we need to see much more than Full HD when it comes to Chromebooks. Don’t get me wrong, a display offering more than Full HD can look amazing, but how practical are they?

The resolution offered has a lot to do with the display size. I personally do not see it as much of an issue that budget Chromebooks with displays under 12-inches normally come with Standard Definition. Although Standard Definition can look pretty poor on a 14-inch display. It’s not as bad when this resolution is used on a laptop with an 11.6-inch display. Also, a lot of these Chromebooks cost less than £300/$300, so you should not be expecting to get Full HD at that price. When you’re spending more though then Full HD is what you’ll most likely be looking for. The Lenovo C340 is a great Chromebook that offers Standard Definition.

I love my Pixel Slate because it’s just amazing in every way. The images you get from the display are simply out of this world. However, at the same time, I can honestly say trying to use it for browsing the internet at the highest definition isn’t practical. The text is so small you can hardly read what is in front of you. Also, most websites are not coded to take advantage of the extra space, so you just end up with a huge amount of white space on either side. That’s even with the Pixel Slate using a 3:2 aspect ratio.


The Pixel slate native resolution is a whopping 3,000 by 2,000. When you view images that have been captured at this resolution the results are amazing. The problem is I spend most of my time surfing the internet, using social media, writing blog posts. I also edit images for my website, but none of these tasks needs a high resolution of 3,000 by 2,000. I tried to see how long I could leave my Pixel Slate at this resolution for everyday use. It lasted about ten minutes before I had to lower the resolution.

My Pixel Slate uses 3,000 by 2,000 resolution
My Pixel slate has a native resolution of 3,000 by 2,000

It’s fair to say the same resolution on a 14-inch display might be a little more usable. On a 12.3-inch it’s definitely too much for performing the tasks I’ve mentioned above. Now I’m not going against high-resolution displays because they do make everything look great. However, I definitely don’t think a display offering more than Full HD of 1,920 by 1,080 is needed on a 14-inch display. On a huge 32-inch external monitor, absolutely, it would be amazing. On a 14-inch laptop. I’m starting to think it may be a tad excessive.


I will backtrack a little here though. I’ve recently bought an Acer 713 Chromebook. Again, it has an aspect ratio of 3:2, which I’m definitely falling in love with over 16:9. The display is slightly larger at 13.5-inches, and the resolution offered is 2,256 by 1,504. Again, it’s great to have a Chromebook that offers more than Full HD because it does make everything look sharper. Also, on the Acer 713, the extra resolution works just fine. I can easily surf the internet using the native resolution and not struggle to see the text. It’s a lot more practical.

Acer Spin 713 Chromebook
Acer Spin 713 uses 2,256 by 1,504

If you’re spending a crazy amount of money on a Chromebook. Then I’d expect the resolution to offer more than Full HD if the display size is above 13-inches. However, if you’re spending £800/$800 or less you’ll do just fine with a Full HD display. I’m just hoping in the future we don’t see more manufacturers make the mistake that Samsung did with the Galaxy Chromebook.


The main point I’m trying to put across here is that we should not get too hung up on the resolution. Yes, if done right it can work well. If you spend most of your time surfing the net, then I don’ think it’s really necessary. I guess I’m aiming this more at what people expect from a Chromebook under 12-inches when you’re paying a budget price. I’m seeing far too many websites that cater for all types of tech put down certain Chromebooks due to the resolution. This is putting people off buying a laptop they would most likely be 100% happy with. There is such a thing as having too much spec. Only ever buy what you need, and for most people, a Full HD display is just fine.