In the modern world, our eyes are constantly bombarded with information from displays. Whether it be from a laptop, smartphone, or some other device, many of us spend a significant portion of our day staring at some kind of display. As such, it is paramount that we should understand the strain placed on our vision and some steps we can take to improve and protect the health of our eyes.
Our vision is perhaps the most valuable tool at our disposal. While we learn about the world through its various sounds, smells, tastes, and textures, it is our sight that feeds the most information to our brains. Because of this, protecting our vision is one of the most important things we can do for our overall health. That’s easier said than done in the modern world.
Now that we know what to look for in a laptop, here is a list of some suggested devices that meet most of the criteria listed above. Again, there is not one “perfect” laptop when it comes to eye health. Still, the following devices come close and should help alleviate eye strain. Remember, the best way to protect your eyes is to take action yourself.
HP EliteBook 840 G5
The laptop display that ticks the most boxes perhaps belongs to the 14-inch HP EliteBook 840 G5. The FHD panel is reasonably pixel-dense (157 PPI), has a good contrast ratio (1170:1), and is fairly color-accurate. What really sets the EliteBook 840 G5 apart is its backlight, which is one of (if not the) brightest on the market right now. The screen shines at an insane 630 nits on average, and the backlight is very evenly distributed (93%). In addition, the matte finish across the panel eliminates reflections and allows for use in all but the brightest conditions. While the 14-inch display may be too small for comfortable viewing from a distance, the EliteBook 840 G5 offers one of the best displays for eye health on the market today.
Dell XPS 15 9570 (FHD)
The Dell XPS 15 has long been touted as the Windows alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro line for many reasons, but the display is often one of them. While Dell offers an alternative SKU of the XPS 15 9570, its glossy panel readily shows reflections and is thus not as conducive to eye health as its FHD matte sibling. While PPI could be higher on the FHD panel, the screen is pixel dense enough for most users. What makes the FHD XPS 15 9570 a good choice is its bright and relatively even backlight, its excellent contrast ratio, and matte finish. PWM is high enough that it will not bother most users, although some very sensitive eyes may be affected. Despite these small compromises, the FHD XPS 9570 is perhaps the best balanced display when it comes to eye health.
Lenovo ThinkPad P71 (4K)
.For those that want a larger screen, it’s hard to beat the 4K Lenovo ThinkPad P71. The 17.3-inch display is large enough to be easily viewed from a normal working distance, and the 4K resolution packs 255 pixels into every square inch. The 4K P71 offers a good contrast ratio (1155:1), good viewing angles, great color accuracy, and a matte finish. Its main weakness lies in the display backlight, which is somewhat dim (~330 nits) and uneven, making outdoor use more difficult than with the EliteBook 840 G5 or the XPS 15. The P71 is perhaps the best large display and one of the best for eye health.
Apple MacBook Pro 15
.There’s a reason why Apple’s MacBook Pro devices are often praised for their displays. The panel on the MacBook Pro 15, in particular, is one of the brightest screens in the industry (~520 nits). The pixel-dense (~220 PPI), color-accurate screen has an excellent contrast ratio (1333:1). The device’s “Retina” display can be set to a wide variety of brightness levels for almost any lighting situation and has almost imperceptible PWM (>20,000 Hz). The one flaw in the display is its glossy finish. While the backlight gets bright enough to help reduce reflections in most lighting conditions, bright days outdoors turn the screen into a mirror, which can be highly distracting and fatiguing. If you rarely or never work outdoors or under bright lights, though, the MacBook Pro 15 should offer easy viewing.