16" laptop for Cubase 12 (or 13) - is 1920x1200 or 3840x2400 resolution better?

Hello all, I managed to fry (or rather drown) my old laptop by spilling water on it last week, so I’m unexpectedly looking at Black Friday deals.

I’m looking at a 16" 2-in-1 that comes with two resolution options:

Is it worth paying the extra to get the higher Res display, or will I end up just upscaling anyway? I’ve read conflicting reports about Cubase’s high dpi abilities.

If it’s useful for context, I need glasses for laptop work these days and don’t want more stuff on screen if it means I have to get closer!

I’m.on C12, considering upgrade to C13 but also reading lots of comments about GUI, so thoughts here relating to display resolution also welcome.

Thanks in advance.

As per your description I would chose the HD resolution 1920*1280.
I have a 17" monitor with full HD and to imagine everything would be half the size of what it is now… no, thank you.

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I agree that the 16" is too small for higher resolution.
On the other hand - I really don’t like how C13 looks @1920x1080 :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Thanks @PedroDeluxe - did you have the same concerns with C12, or is it the upgrade which has made it look worse?

2560x1440 might be the best, are you not looking at devices with that resolution available?

Thanks @steve ,

I’d like a 2-in-1 laptop as I like to fold back the keyboard and use a controller in front of the laptop screen. I’ve only been looking at 15.6" and up as anything smaller doesn’t seem suitable for what I need.

I haven’t spotted anything so far with 2560 x 1440 but I’ll take another look.- thanks.

I thought they all did, but I guess there are some budget ones that don’t.

I’ll take another look but as this wasn’t a planned upgrade, I’m swimming in the budget end unfortunately.

That works great for Cubase 12 on my Lenovo laptop (not installed C13 yet on that laptop)

Indeed, I have three displays, a 17 inch at 1920x1200, a 32 inch at 2560 x 1440 and a 55 inch at 3840x2160.

It’s the sweet spot for me.

Thanks @Carvin_Man , what screen size is that laptop please?
Doing searches on my phone rather than a laptop is frustrating…

I’m on 24" @1920x1080.
C12 and all previous versions looking great, but C13 has some weird looking elements (M, S buttons," e" button on some tracks, plus some others) - inconsistent sizes, blurry etc. It bugs me a lot, some people don’t seem to mind :wink:

Thanks @PedroDeluxe , that gives me confidence that 1920 should be fine on a laptop then.

Hmm, maybe I should have been asking about 16:10 Vs 16:9.

I have a 16" 3840x2400 OLED on a Lenovo P16s with i7-1370P (highly recommend BTW). I chose this display for the OLED mainly, not so much the resolution. I love the infinite contrast and wide viewing angles. The calibrated wide color gamut is also great, but admittedly, not useful for CB.

With the 3840x2400 display, you can run it at lower resolutions, but like you said… it may be silly to spend the money if you end up using it at 1920x1200 resolution… (or 200% scaling).

And so I made some tests for you below:

  1. with 1920x1200 you would have 20 sliders (with meters) in the mix console.
  2. with 3840x2400 it’s 41 sliders!!.. but unreadable except maybe for some mutant engineers…
  3. with 2560x1440 it’s 27 sliders, still very readable, but a bit crowded to my own taste.
  4. with 3840x2400 at 175% scaling it’s 23 sliders and still very readable to me (good eyes, my settings).
  5. with 3840x2400 at 225% it’s “only” 18 sliders, but very comfortable I think for any reader.

My conclusion…

If money is no object, the 3840x2400 gives you more flexibility, for ex. option #5 above won’t be there with the 1920x1200 display, if that ends up being your personal comfort sweet spot, or option #3 or #4 if you have the eyes for it.

But if you prefer spending your money elsewhere, you won’t regret either the 1920x1200 option on a 16".
Just make sure this display is also of a good quality (high contrast, etc.)… because resolution is not the only factor for viewing comfort.
If you want/need more real-estate, you might as well keep your money for a secondary portable display, like the Lenovo M14/M14t.

(side note when shopping a laptop for CB… make sure you pick one with a numeric keypad for the shortcuts)


That is a fantastic response @Y-D , I really appreciate the time and thought you’ve put into that, it’s extremely helpful.

Many thanks!

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I just checked… It is a 16 inch screen 2560 x 1600 (16:10)
I use this mostly as a moveable recording rig, with an added 27 inch external screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution… Works great

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I might be going mad here but for the Yoga models at least, I can only find 2560x1600 with an i5 processor, all of the i7s are 1920x1200.

Maybe it’s a black Friday thing and they take the good stuff off the website while they discount the older stuff because it looks too expensive by comparison

The pre-built options are often not very interesting…
In the Lenovo laptop search engine, check only the box for “Build your own” and for the screen size (16").
Then click “Build your PC” on the Yoga model you like.
You should be able to build something like this:

Note the Yoga models are nice but seem limited to 16GB of RAM… Not a big issue if you’re not using large projects, especially large sample libraries, but consider 32GB models if you want to future-proof your laptop.

I don’t like much the touchscreens… (too glossy), so my budget pick today on Lenovo would be the # 21FC002AUS.

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Thanks again @Y-D. Maybe it’s because I’m in the UK - there are only three options for build your own / 2560x1600, and none of them are Yoga models.

You’re right about the 16GB limitation, that seems to be the case on a lot of the 2-in-1 laptops unless you’re willing to double the price tag.

Thanks everyone for the input, much appreciated :slight_smile:

I’m using a Dell Inspiron 16 2in1 that also comes with 16GB as a maximum memory configuration. You can easily open the back of the machine, take the memory out and replace it with 32 or even 64GB of memory. It requires two pieces of SODIMM memory and that’s all.

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