07-29-2017 08:33 AM - edited 07-29-2017 08:38 AM
you probably discussed this particular workstation and panel already over an over in the past. Actually I noticed that there seems to be some real expertise about the "AUO B156HW01 V.4" panel in this forum, so I eventually decided to sign up and now hope you can perhaps help me too.
I am currently searching for a refurbished notebook around 600 Euro (700$) max and my main purpose for it will be photo editing and graphic design (Adobe Creative Suite) and in the future also some Cinema 4D and CAD. So a rather decent display with a high gamut is especially important for me. Of course my budget limits me there a bit, but I'd rather go for the best display than the most powerful machine within that budget.
After some research I ended up taking a closer look at workstations, especially the Lenovo W series and the HP Elitebook. As the latter has the best display with the Dreamcolor option, it is unfortunately out of my budget anyway, so I researched more about Lenovos Workstations and ended up focusing on the W530 with the AUO B156HW01 V.4 Panel. This panel allegedly covers 95% of AdobeRGB and got a lot of praise in forums. But also some criticism (oversatured, red tint, hard to calibrate properly).
So digging up more information about that display, I found out that the W520 uses it too, but I wondered that there were so many deviating display-test results between the W520 and the W530. They seem to handle and display colours rather differently, despite having the same panel: with the W520 a lot more of the colours seem to be in the wrong places than with the W530 (see pictures at the bottom of this post)
So I concluded that the W530 would be the better choice for photo editing and general graphic work.
Would be great if anybody could confirm if I'm right or wrong in my conclusion. Maybe someone here using that workstation for photo editing purpose? Or perhaps even has an alternative notebook suggestion that I didn't find out about yet?
Your help would be much appreciated!
(No native english speaker btw, so please excuse my grammar)
07-29-2017 11:09 AM - edited 07-29-2017 11:12 AM
While that AUO panel (have one in my old W520) is a decent TN panel, keep in mind that it's quite old now, and it received most of the praises in the dark days of PC laptops, when most were shipped with horrible low-res screens (1366x768 TN). Compared to those, yes, it was night and day, matte, colorful, and even viewing angles were excellent for TN panel.
But, AFAIR, it's a 6 bit panel, so gamut isn't everything... http://www.lcd-source.com/Product_Specifications_AUO_B156HW01+V4
You can edit photos on this, if you're on the go in a desert, and there is nothing around for miles. Any external monitor, however, will run circles around it. And I suspect any $600-700+ laptop made in 2016-2017 will sport a better panel than that. And probably better performance, battery life and Windows 10 compatibility (W10 is supported on W530, and not supported while does work on W520).
07-29-2017 12:53 PM
Ok, thank you for your input! I have been reading most of my reviews on notebookcheck.com and on there all the display talk is about gamut, luminance, contrast etc... i dont even remember them ever mentioning if a panel is 6 bit, 8 bit or 10 bit, so i did not deem that factor important resp. didnt even really know what it means until now.
Is there perhaps an easier way to check out how many bit a panel has (maybe a site other than notebokecheck that mentions that information in the tests)? Or is there no way around checking each display number on that site you linked?
And if someone has a recommendation concerning a better notebook choice for me, that would of course be highly appreciated!
07-29-2017 06:08 PM - edited 07-29-2017 06:09 PM
I think it's reasonably safe to assume that most TN panels you'll see in a laptop will be 6 bit, and most IPS - 8bit.
Considering, the cheapest brand new P51s or T570 is about $800 in the US, and less with discounts, coming with an IPS panel (people will complain about this and that, but they're not comparing them to TN panels of 2012!), $700 seems a lot to pay for 5 years old device w/o warranty, that may stop receving future Windows 10 semi-annual updates any time (like Intel Clovertail).
W520/W530 are decent machines, even today, if you care about ports, repairability, multiple storage bays, keyboard/Trackpoint etc, but if you're interested in a good screen, stay away from anything from that era, from any manufacturer.
07-30-2017 10:38 AM
Thank you for the suggestions, I've been looking into the T570 and P51s and 800$ seems to be an amazing deal. But pricing seems to be very different in Germany for some reason. The cheapest T570 I could find here were still around 1500 Euro (1700-1800 $) and the P51s cost even more. And amongst the refurbished sellers I couldn't find it at all... I've noticed that with several notebooks already, that they seem hardly available or still very pricey on the German market. No idea why that is.
So I've been having a look for a few different brands that sport an IPS panel. Amongst others some Acer (Aspire V 15 Nitro) and Asus (ROG).
By cheching the different IPS panels of those series, I basically found out that
a.) almost every 1920x1080 FHD IPS model I checked so far has 262K (6-bit)
b.) some few of the 1920x1080 FHD IPS panels had 16.2M (6-bit) (and were already noticably more expensive around 1000 Euro). And
c.) that only the displays that are 3.840 x 2.160 IPS and have descriptions like UHD or 4k or TrueColor show up with 16.7M (8-bit). And unfortunately those are completely out of my budget (prices over 1500 -3000+ Euro).
Even the T570 FHD IPS panel shows up with 262K (6-bit) and actually only 45% Gamut, whereas it's 4K-IPS panel in 3840x2160 is 16.7M (8-bit) with 72% Gamut.
So I guess I can safely assume, that within my budget, I will probably not find an 8-bit IPS-panel anyway.
And, comparing the W530 panel (FHD, 262K, 6-bit, 95% Gamut) to any other FHD or even FHD-IPS panel (262K, 6-bit, Gamut usually significantly lower than 95%) - I come to the conclusion that it is perhaps still a pretty good screen even compared to newer laptops?