One of the biggest announcements at CES 2021 seemed to come and go without much fanfare. Shadowed by Nvidia’s debut of RTX 3000 series notebook graphics chips, you may have missed hearing that an increasing number of manufacturers are finally build fast-refreshing QHD monitors in their portable gaming machines.
Standalone QHD (1440p) monitors are a popular choice for discerning gamers who use desktops for several reasons. First, the monitors are often less expensive and feature-rich than most 4K monitors, while looking almost as good. And more importantly, modern high-end graphics cards, such as the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Nvidia RTX 3080 (and even some recent generation products), run games very well on QHD.
Frustrating and inexplicable, but QHD has not been an option if you want one built into your portable game. You have chosen either 1
I’m still of the opinion that 1080p looks fine for most use cases, however, I would not argue that displaying games in 1080p with relatively smooth performance is a low hurdle for smooth midrange laptop hardware to remove. On the other hand, it’s both impressive and mediocre to play the latest AAA games in 4K resolution with all the graphics settings set to max, with frame rates often in the unplayable zone. QHD monitors on powerful laptops can offer good visual fidelity with hardware that has no problem keeping up.
Razer’s Blade 15 is one of the few laptops announced at CES 2021 that allows you to add a QHD monitor to your order, and I was pleased to see that it will not add much to the total. For $ 2199 ($ 200 more than the model that has an FHD 144Hz panel) you get a machine with a QHD IPS monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate, along with the new Nvidia RTX 3070 and a six-core 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor. This price is on par with many current laptops equipped with latest generation parts and a fast refreshing 1080p screen.
In fact, I would not be surprised to see gaming laptops with QHD monitors falling below the $ 2K price point this year. Acer’s Nitro 5 for 2021 will also have the ability to be configured with a QHD monitor, and I’m sure many other OEMs will follow suit.
I can not yet tell you what kind of performance Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series delivers on new laptops until later this month. But if you’re used to playing on a 1080p screen, it can be revealing to see everything running on a more pixel-dense QHD screen.