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1440p resolution on your laptop? Yes it is possible, we tell you how to do it

Before 4K became the desired setting for all home entertainment , 1440p, also known as WQHD (2560 × 1440 pixels), was an excellent sweet spot above 1080p (Full HD or 1920 x 1080), providing Graphics fidelity without affecting systems that cannot handle 4K ideally. However, not all laptops offer the 1440p resolution. Next, we explain why and how to recover it.

EVGA SC17 laptop to add 1440p resolution

Easier use means fewer options

When we asked HP about the lack of 1440p resolution on its ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation , a representative explained that the company seeks to simplify the embedded display identification data . In other words, even though we found that the panel did support 1440p, HP simply wanted to shorten the list of resolutions you see in Windows 10.

For example, if you right-click on the desktop, select Display settings from the list and scroll down and select the Advanced display settings option , and then click Show adapter properties .

When you expand the Show all modes list , you may not see the 1440p option. That means Windows 10 doesn't see the settings in the Extended Display Identification Data. The panel can support 1440p, but Windows cannot use it.

"It is worth noting that professional applications from HP software vendors have been optimized for FHD and are now transitioning to UHD (3840×2160 or 4K)," said a representative at the time. "The company's goal is simply to provide the best possible UHD display for its users."

We also reached out to EVGA to discuss their SC17 1080 laptop , which was not at 1440p resolution, although its 4K display was clearly quite capable of supporting it.

A representative said that the panel used in the laptop did not officially support 1440p due to hardware limitations. However, he was unable to tell us exactly why that was the case.

You can force the resolution to 1440p

EVGA's response was interesting, given that the SC17 1080's screen could clearly handle 1440p. We managed to compare this resolution by forcing the settings. Here's how we did it using the Nvidia control panel:

Display settings in Windows 10 to force 1440p resolution

Step 1 : Right-click on the desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel from the pop-up menu.

Step 2 : Select Change resolution, which appears in the Screen option on the left.

Step 3 : Click the Customize button at the bottom.

Step 4 : Check the box next to Enable resolutions not exposed by the screen . If 1440p resolution suddenly appears on the list, you don't need to create it manually. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

Step 5 : Click the Create Custom Resolution button in the pop-up window.

Step 6 : Enter 2560 as the number of horizontal pixels and 1440 as the vertical option. You can also manually enter the desired refresh rate, choose the type of scan, and change the time through presets or manually.

Step 7 : Click the Test button to see if this change works. If the test fails, you will be prompted to adjust the resolution and retest. If you accept it, click the Yes button in the pop-up window to save the settings.

Step 8 : close the Nvidia control panel.

On AMD-based computers, do the following:

Step 1 : Right-click on the desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings from the pop-up menu.

Step 2 : AMD Radeon Configuration Client appears on the screen. Select the Settings gear in the upper right.

Step 3 : Select Display , then choose Custom Resolutions .

Step 4 : Click the Accept button (to accept AMD's disclaimer), followed by Create New .

Step 5 : Enter 2560 as the number of horizontal pixels and 1440 as the number of vertical pixels. You can also manually enter the desired refresh rate, choose the type of scan, and adjust the time through presets or manually.

Step 6 : Click Save to complete. If the settings don't work, you will be prompted to make adjustments and click the Save button again. If the settings work, the custom resolution will appear in the Custom Resolutions menu.

Step 7 : close the Radeon settings.

Configure the correct GPU

Even if you still want to set a resolution that is not listed, the laptop manufacturer may not provide the means to do so by default. There is a way to do this, although it may not work for everyone.

In the case of HP's ZBook Studio G4 with the Nvidia Quadro discrete graphics chip, we jumped into the Nvidia Control Panel only to find that most of the customizable settings were gone, including the option to create a custom resolution.

Then we dive into Intel's software managing integrated graphics where we see that Intel's resolution creation option is gone as well.

That sent us to investigate the laptop's BIOS, a built-in “operating system” that controls all hardware operations, inputs and outputs. Here we found out that you can configure the laptop to use one of two graphics options by default: Intel's integrated component or Nvidia's discrete Quadro chip.

By default, the laptop was set to rely on Intel's iGPU, but once we switched to the discrete Quadro chip and rebooted, Nvidia's control panel unlocked its full set of settings. This allowed us to create a custom 1440p resolution for testing purposes.

1440p never had a chance to be the norm

Lowering the resolution to 1440p seems to fit the way manufacturers now think about laptops.

Laptop on desk with gaming screen Bill Robertson / Digital Trends

As with HDTVs, the most common and well-known resolutions are 1080p and 4K. 1440p resolution is not very common outside of computer games; even consoles went from 1080p to 4K thanks to the television market.

Add in the fact that 4K panels are now the new norm, and 1440p really seems unnecessary for the average laptop owner.

However, that does not mean that the loss of 1440p is acceptable. Laptop owners should have the option to choose from a variety of resolutions.

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