Laptops

What is a 120Hz laptop screen and is it worth the price?

Gaming on a 120Hz gaming laptop

Laptops with 120Hz displays have become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, today’s customers who are willing to spend big on a new laptop don’t want to settle for a standard 60Hz display.

So what makes these laptop screens tempting, and should you consider one for your next laptop, especially if you’re on a budget?

Well, it all depends on what you plan to do on your laptop. So read on as we discuss everything you need to know about 120Hz laptops so you can decide if it’s worth it.


What does “120Hz screen” mean on a laptop?

Simply put, a laptop with a 120Hz screen means it is capable of refreshing 120 times per second, Hertz (Hz) being the unit of measurement for refresh rate. The standard 60Hz screens we’ve seen for years on laptops, phones, and desktop monitors can only refresh 60 times per second, which means a 120Hz screen is twice as fast. than a 60 Hz panel.

So if a laptop has a 120Hz screen, that basically means it’s a high refresh rate panel. Some high-end gaming laptops even have a faster 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rate, targeting consumers who want the best of the best.


However, just because you have a 120Hz laptop screen doesn’t mean that all of the content you view will match the refresh rate. For example, movies are rarely shot at more than 24 frames per second, so whether you have a 60Hz or 120Hz display, you’ll get an identical viewing experience. But the 120 Hz screen has many advantages, which we will discuss below.

What are the advantages of a 120 Hz screen?

The first thing you’ll notice when you start using a 120Hz high refresh rate display is how smooth the UI animations are, regardless of what operating system the machine is using. Even when you move your mouse cursor over a high refresh rate display, you’ll notice twice as many cursors appear on the screen as opposed to a 60Hz display.

On top of that, most people want a high refresh rate 120Hz screen on a laptop for gaming. Fast-moving scenes are best experienced on a 120Hz or higher refresh rate display, especially when playing first-person shooters. Plus, a 120Hz display gives you an immediate competitive advantage in online multiplayer games if your opponents are on a standard 60Hz display.

And yes, the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz screens is noticeable to the untrained eye, even if you don’t plan on gaming on your laptop all day. As we mentioned earlier, navigating the system menu, opening/closing windows, and scrolling, in general, are much more pleasant on a 120Hz laptop screen.

When it comes to video content, you will be hard pressed to find 120FPS videos on the internet as major platforms like YouTube, Twitch, etc. don’t support it yet. Also, 120FPS is not an appropriate frame rate for video consumption, which is the main reason most YouTube content is limited to 60Hz in the first place.

Another huge benefit of a high refresh rate screen that most people seem to overlook is that it causes less eye strain. This is because your eyes perceive movement more fluidly and the flicker at 120Hz becomes almost imperceptible. So if you’re someone who puts your eye health first, a smoother 120Hz display is definitely worth the investment.


Is it worth buying a laptop with a 120Hz screen?

The short answer is: it’s definitely worth buying a laptop with a 120Hz screen if you can afford it. However, if you are on a strict budget, you will need to consider whether you have ever experienced 120Hz display, for example on your smartphone, TV, monitor, etc. If the answer is no, you would be satisfied. with a 60Hz laptop ticking every other box in the hardware department.

However, if you already have 120Hz devices, you’ll have a hard time switching back to 60Hz. You’ll almost immediately notice the slow movement of the display as your eyes gradually adjust over time. Therefore, you might want to stretch your budget to buy this laptop with 120Hz display to avoid such issues.

And if you plan on gaming on your laptop, a 120Hz display is a no-brainer. Gaming is one of the best use cases for a high refresh rate screen, and it will greatly benefit you in fast-paced games. These displays also tend to have faster response times and lower input lag, giving you the edge over gamers in competitive gaming. A 120Hz display is a great starting point if you’re trying to become a pro gamer.


That said, beware that a 120Hz display is meaningless if the hardware inside isn’t capable enough to drive it. Therefore, you need to make sure that the laptop can actually run the games you intend to play at 120fps. For 2022 standards, you’ll need a laptop with at least an NVIDIA RTX 3060 or AMD RX 6600M to play most multiplayer games at 120FPS or higher.

On the other hand, if you plan to use your laptop purely for media consumption, you won’t benefit from a 120Hz display, as 99% of video content is at 60 fps or less. Your favorite TV shows and movies will all look the same as they did on a good old 60Hz panel. In such cases, it would be wise to spend that money elsewhere, like a superior OLED panel over an LCD that can offer true blacks and unparalleled viewing angles.

Choose the right monitor for your laptop

While we love 120Hz high refresh rate displays, there are several other important factors to consider when buying a laptop. Often these high refresh rate screens come with inferior LCD panels which could be a deal breaker for some users. For example, if you’re doing video editing or professional color grading, an OLED screen would be a much better option, even if it’s 60Hz, because of its unmatched color accuracy.

However, if you can afford a laptop that offers the best of both worlds – an OLED panel and a 120Hz display, you won’t be disappointed, as long as you make sure the rest of the hardware is powerful enough to drive the rate. high refresh. display.