How It Works

How It Works: LCD Monitors

Liquid crystal display: A digital display technology that produces images on a flat surface by shining light through liquid crystals and colored filters.

  • Takes up less space, consumes less power, and produces less heat than traditional cathode-ray tube monitors.
  • Lack of flicker and low glare reduce eyestrain.
  • Much more expensive than CRTs of comparable size.

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The Skinny on LCD

Of course, every notebook computer has an LCD. The earliest laptops used 8-inch (diagonal) passive-matrix black-and-white screens. But as LCDs evolved toward active matrix, display sizes grew. Today's LCDs almost exclusively use TFT-based panels, which can provide bright, sharp displays in much larger sizes. But the size of the laptop itself is a constraint. You're not likely to find laptop LCDs larger than 15.1 inches across. Anything larger will most likely be used for a desktop LCD.

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