G-sync and Freesync
alignment). VA is sometimes alternately referred to as “wide viewing angle” technology. (Many assume this spec to be IPS, but it’s not). In our experience, we’ve found VA panels to run the gamut from being worthy competitors to IPS to being worse than the better TN panels. The Gigabyte Aero 15 that we recommend above has a good VA panel.
Generally, if color accuracy is important, go IPS (a trademark of Sharp), and if you want the fastest response times go for a gamingoriented TN panel. With the variability of VA, we recommend you check feedback from reviewers and users of a particular model.
The wildcard in all this are Oled-based panels. OLED panels have been used in phones for years but have recently migrated to larger screens in laptops. IPS, TN, and VA all use LEDS behind the screen or along the edges. “Black” is produced by a shutter-like mechanism that blocks light from coming through. As you can imagine, there’s usually some light leakage, which means the black tends to be gray. OLED panels, however, don’t rely on edge- or backlighting and instead each pixel generates its own light. To produce black, it just switches the light off. This amounts to truly stunning contrast ratios and vibrant colors. OLEDS also boast fantastic response times too. The negatives include smaller screen sizes (we haven’t seen anything larger than 13 inches yet), higher cost, and lack of support for variable refresh rate. Okay, we called this section G-sync and Freesync, but the reality is, when it comes to beefy gaming laptops, it’s a Geforce GPU world. And that means it’s a G-sync world. In a nutshell, Nvidia and AMD’S respective variable-refresh-rate technologies help synchronize the monitor and the GPU to greatly reduce screen tearing. Variable refresh rates can make gaming at 40 fps far smoother to your eyes than a screen without it.
The first variable-refresh-rate panels for
Razer was the first manufacturer that we know of to use an offset trackpad as an ad hoc gaming “mouse.”