A laptop screen is all-important. Just as well we have three stunning examples
Displays are super-important. They’re the way we interact with our laptops and, in the case of the Surface Laptop and HP Spectre x360, we can use them for touch, too. If you haven’t used a Windows 10 laptop with touch but used an older Windows touch display, forget everything you knew before; the latest-gen laptops make touch as easy as with an iPhone. That’s not to say Windows is the best operating system for touch-based interaction – in fact at times it’s incredibly annoying – but it’s finally possible to flick through photos or zoom into web pages on Windows just as you would on iOS or Android. Apple’s refusal to give the Mac a touchscreen looks more bizarre with every month that passes, yet it seems like that’s going to be how it stays. You can use trackpad gestures with all these laptops, most notably the MacBook, so basics like pinch-to-zoom do work.
All three displays are bright and punchy, although we found the Surface Laptop the clearest of the bunch – just – and the Spectre seemed a little less bright than the MacBook and Surface Laptop. Despite the HP having a lower resolution than the other two displays, it’s still Full HD. Indeed, all three displays will only seem inadequate if you start playing 4K video. What we do have here are three different display sizes. Only the HP is the more standard 13.3-inch portable size. The 12-inch MacBook is a bit of an acquired taste if you’re not used to that size of screen; it can be hard when multitasking and switching between windows. This is where the multiple desktops feature in macOS (known as Spaces) becomes rather handy. Surface Laptop, too, has a quirk; because the aspect ratio of the ‘PixelSense’ display is 3:2, the screen is taller (it’s 13.5-inches), but it’s our favourite here for sure – after all, you can fit more on the screen with more height.