You may be wondering why you need to know the screen size of your laptop and the precise dimensions of your machine. Well, one of the most obvious reasons is that you might want to purchase a bag to carry it around in or to protect it.
It is also useful to know the exact dimensions of your laptop screen if you need to replace it. Or, perhaps you are thinking about buying a new laptop and want to get one that has the same size screen as the one that you currently own.
Whatever the reason that you need to know the size of your laptop screen or the dimensions of your laptop, we have all of the answers for you in this complete guide. After reading this guide, you will be in no doubt of what you need to do to determine exact measurements.
How to measure your laptop screen—two methods
There are two methods that you can use to measure the size of your laptop screen. The simplest way is to use a tape measure or a ruler and take the measurement from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of your laptop screen.
The other way of finding out the screen size of your laptop is to check the specifications from your laptop manufacturer. If your laptop came with a user manual then it is likely that the dimensions of your laptop screen will be in there. If not, you can check the manufacturer’s website to find the information.
How to measure laptop screen size
To physically measure the size of your laptop screen, it is better to use a tape measure (for measuring garments) than it is to use a ruler. The standard measurement for a laptop screen is in inches. Therefore, if you live in a country that uses the metric system you will need to convert the metric measurements into inches. There are online convertors for this.
You will need to measure your laptop screen diagonally, so you will need to choose a starting point. You can start at the bottom left of your laptop screen or the bottom right. It doesn’t matter which of these you choose.
Please bear in mind that you just want to measure the size of the screen and not the enclosure that keeps it in place. Begin the measuring process at the corner where your screen starts to be visible outside of the enclosure.
Now you need to extend your measuring tape in a straight line diagonally to the opposite corner of your laptop screen. Therefore, if you began in the bottom left corner, you need to extend to the top right corner and if you started in the bottom right corner, then extend to the top left corner.
If you are wondering why you need to take a diagonal measurement, the blame for this lies with the screen and laptop manufacturers. A diagonal measurement will produce a larger screen measurement, which is a good selling point.
You will find that the majority of online retailers and stores that sell laptops advertise the screen size using tenths of an inch. This is not helpful as most standard measuring tapes use sixteenths of an inch marks. If this is the case, you will need to work out your screen size to the nearest tenth of an inch.
If you have measured your laptop screen size in centimeters, then the conversion process is somewhat easier. You can use an online convertor that will provide the results in tenths of an inch so that there is no guesswork involved. Alternatively, you could do a manual calculation by dividing the number in centimeters by 2.54.
Maybe you have measured your laptop screen size in inches, but want to know what the measurement is in centimeters? Just multiply the inches by 2.54. So, for example, if your laptop screen measures 13.2 inches, then this will be 33.528 centimeters. Again, you can use an online convertor tool if you want.
Know the height of your machine
Knowing the height of your laptop could be important to you. To measure the height of your machine properly, you need to close the laptop screen and ensure that it is snapped into the locators in the case.
Choose a side of your laptop and place your tape measure at the bottom. If your laptop has a slope when you close it then measure the part that is thickest. Extend your tape measure to the top of the screen when it is closed. You will usually find that most laptops are no more than 2 inches in height.
If you want to convert the size in inches into centimeters, you can multiply by 2.54 or use an online convertor.
Measuring the width
Choose either the front left corner or the front right corner and place your tape measure here. We recommend that you choose the front corner to start, as you will not have to contend with any ports that protrude.
Extend your tape measure across your laptop until you reach the opposite front corner. Most laptops have rounded edges so be sure to measure right to the end of any rounded edges. Your laptop may measure around 14 inches, so if you want to convert to centimeters just multiply by 2.54 or use an online convertor.
Measuring the depth
Position your tape measure at a back corner, either left or right. Now extend your tape measure down the side of your laptop, remembering to keep the tape taught and straight. If you have rounded edges on your laptop then include these in the measurement.
Again, you can convert the inches measurement into centimeters by simply multiplying by 2.54 or using an online conversion tool.
Why not use a ruler?
Can you use a ruler to measure your laptop size? Yes, you can, but a ruler is not flexible so it will be a more difficult task. Bear in mind that the majority of laptops have rounded edges and you can easily compensate for this with a tape measure but not with a solid ruler.
Of course, if you do not have access to a tape measure then using a ruler is the next best thing. Nevertheless, you need to be aware that the measurements that you take are less likely to be as accurate as they will be with a tape measure.
It’s all about screen size
When you see a laptop advertised as 14 inches, this does not refer to the actual width of the laptop. It is the size of the laptop screen. This can be confusing for those new to laptops but it is what it is.
We will explain this with a few examples. Apple lists the MacBook Pro as being 13.3 inches. But the laptop is not 13.3 inches wide. It is in fact 11.97 inches wide. A 13.3 inches X395 Lenovo ThinkPad measures 12.28 inches in width.
Some common Screen sizes
With all of this screen size measuring, you may be wondering what the most common sizes of laptop screens are. Here are some popular examples:
- 11.6 inches
- 12.1 inches
- 13.3 inches
- 14 inches
- 15 inches
- 15.6 inches
- 17 inches
As a general guide, laptop screens start at around 11 inches at the smallest end and go up to around 17 inches at the larger end. Therefore, you have quite a choice here. If you are buying a new laptop, decide on the size of the screen that you want first. You are going to pay more for a larger screen.
You now know how to measure your laptop screen and also the height, width, and depth. Use this information if you want to purchase a bag for your laptop or to make a comparison with other laptops. Remember that the size of the laptop quoted by the manufacturers is always the screen size and not the width of the machine.