Should We Really Pay More For A Bigger Laptop Size?

When we purchase laptops, we are sometimes forced to choose between different screen sizes. However, when there is a difference of 2 inches for example, does it really matter? Furthermore, is the price worth it? To solve these questions, let’s investigate the classic 11 inch vs 13 inch Mac example:

Let’s assume we have these two options at the store:

Showing laptops with different screen size
Same specs, different screen size…

The Screen Size Difference

By examining the specs of the two laptops, we can tell that the only difference is the screen size. Now, which option should we pick? Furthermore, is the additional $200 worth it? To find out, let’s explore what happens when the diagonal across the screen increases by 2 inches:

Modelling how the two laptop screens are different...
Laptop screen dimensions…

How Does This Help?

Now, we have to look at two things: a better way to compare the screens and the price gap. Meaning, for an additional $200, should we purchase the 13-inch screen? Thus, let’s analyze:

Calculating area of a rectangle
There is a 23.55 inches^2 difference in area!

Ok, we have identified that there is a difference of 23.55 inches squared between the two screens. More importantly, this value is meaningless. Instead of looking at the difference, let’s calculate the percentage gain from switching to the 13 inch laptop:

Calculating percentage increase
That is actually a shocking 41.4% increase in screen area!

As a result, we can conclude that purchasing the bigger screen laptop actually benefits us quite a lot. Not to mention, for an additional 18% in price, we are gaining 41% in screen size. Thus, it turns out to be quite a good deal. Now, we can actually generalize this idea, where the screen diagonal will be x and x + 2 respectively:

Comparing laptop with screen size x against laptop with screen size x + 2. Furthermore, calculating the area difference and finding out which is better for a given price difference...
The % increase will vary with the values as we get a function…

We can now view the percentage increase graph:

Graph, function, quadratic, linear, cubic, formula, parabola
Check out for your graphing needs!

Regardless, we now know that for most cases of a 2 inch difference in screen size, with no difference in specs, it is best to go for the upgrade, where the increase in price percentage is up to around half of the percentage increase of screen size, for a good value buy. Note: If you are interested in analyzing equations and formulas just like we did here, please take a look at the post we did on why the differences in various relations are the same: WHY ARE THE DIFFERENCES IN EQUATIONS THE SAME?

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