An OLED laptop is more affordable than you might have previously thought.
In the past, pricey OLED laptops were reserved for creative professionals who needed an ultra-detailed display. But the technology has become more common in recent years, and now there are plenty of affordable OLED models out there -- just about everyone can enjoy the stellar contrast and accurate, vibrant colors they provide.
How does an OLED panel achieve this goodness? A quick primer: The pixels in an OLED display can be completely turned off, which means the panel can produce absolute blacks and contrast ratios superior to an LCD screen (where the liquid crystal can only block some of the light). Even an LCD with local dimming can't match an OLED's ability to turn individual pixels on and off. OLED displays also offer a wide color range because primary colors can hit higher saturations that let the display produce more colors. Higher saturation levels lead to more vibrant colors, and with more colors on its palette, an OLED panel can create colors that are more accurate.
Another advantage? OLED displays feature thinner layers than LCD displays and don't require a backlight, which allows for thinner and lighter laptop designs.
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You might reasonably think that an OLED is more energy-efficient than an LCD because it doesn't need to power a backlight and can turn individual pixels completely off. We have found, however, that OLED displays tend to have a negative impact on battery life. They do offer decent battery life; you just can't expect to get a longer runtime from an OLED laptop in addition to the higher image quality.
With a basic understanding of the advantages of an OLED laptop, let's take a look at the best deals I see right now. I've included mainstream laptops that have approachable prices along with high-powered laptops that are currently selling at a discount -- and a Chromebook. Yes, you can get an inexpensive Chromebook with an OLED display. The prices and discounts are valid at the time of this writing, and I'll update this story as sales expire and new deals emerge.
This Asus VivoBook is sleek and compact, and comes equipped with stunning display and a powerful processor. The 14.5-inch OLED screen has 2,880x1,800-pixel resolution. The laptop is powered by a 12th-gen Core i5-12500H CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. The display is a 16:10 panel for more vertical space and has a 120Hz refresh rate -- double that of the standard 60Hz for smoother visuals. It's also rated for a substantial 550 nits of brightness.
This high-end Inspiron convertible boasts a 16-inch OLED touch display with a 4K Plus resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio powered by a 12th-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce MX550 graphics and a 512GB SSD. You also get a 1080p webcam that will allow you to appear clearer in video chats than a 720p camera.
Lenovo's latest premium two-in-one convertible features a 14-inch OLED display wrapped in a thin yet durable all-metal chassis. This discounted model supplies a 12th-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics and a 1TB SSD. The 14-inch touchscreen has an 4K UHD (3840x2400-pixel) resolution and can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode to be tapped, swiped and drawn on with the included active pen.
This 15.6-inch two-in-one convertible from Asus pairs a 12th-gen Core i7 CPU with an Intel Iris Xe GPU. The OLED display's 2,880x1,620-pixel resolution is also a bit better than the typical Full HD resolution. The system also supplies a sufficient 16GB of RAM and a spacious 512GB SSD.
This mainstream model from Asus is one of the most affordable OLED laptops selling right now. It boasts a 15.6-inch OLED display with a full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution. This discounted configuration comes equipped with an 11th-gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which is decent for the price. It also has both Type-A and Type-C USB ports, saving you from having to carry around an adapter. It's a good deal at its $820 list price and an even better buy at its current sale price.
Did you know you could have an OLED display on a Chromebook? Lenovo's two-in-one Chromebook Duet 5 is proof that such a thing is possible. It features a detachable, 13.5-inch OLED display with a full-HD resolution powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and boasts 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. It's a good value even at its full price and can frequently be found for less than $400.