Tech Trend: Brighter Laptop Screens

Illustration by Harry Campbell.
Illustration: Harry Campbell
Laptop screens traditionally have been lit by fluorescent lamp technology, but several new notebook models are offering a superior display technology: light-emitting-diode (LED) backlighting.

Compared with standard fluorescent displays, LED-backlit alternatives tout up to 30 percent greater brightness (better for use outdoors), lower power consumption, and greater uniformity of the image throughout the screen. Equally important, the technology lets manufacturers build thinner laptop lids.

Three ultraportables (Toshiba's Portégé R400, Asus's U1F, and Fujitsu's LifeBook P7230) that we tested for "The Best Vista Notebooks" use LED-backlit displays--we found them noticeably brighter and easier to read. Sony also has LED-backlit models, and Apple and HP are expected to follow suit soon.

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