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Understanding Color Gamut Specs on Laptop Displays

Oct 19, 2023

Author: ASUS    Reading time: 5 minutes

A man is using his laptop on the rooftop. The Zenbook's dual screens showcases a vibrant night view of the city vividly.

Oct 19, 2023

When shopping for a laptop and comparing different display options, you will likely notice some of them list out certain specs that may not be obvious, such as the percentages of different color space (aka gamut) coverages. The most popular of those are sRGB, DCI-P3, and Adobe RGB. But what exactly do these numbers mean?

Let’s take a look at what different display color gamut standards are and how to select the right display for your needs.

What is Display Color Gamut

Color gamut, also known as color space, is the mathematical description of the range of colors a display can reproduce. It’s also used in recording devices, such as cameras, to describe how many colors the device can capture.

Color gamut is usually graphically demonstrated on a two-dimensional graph called a chromaticity diagram, with the visible color spectrum imagined as a shape similar to a rounded triangle, with basic display colors —red, green, and blue — lying on the corners, and white being around the middle of the graph. It usually looks like this:

When talking about color, we usually use three dimensions: hue, saturation, and brightness. But three dimensions are hard to display on a screen, so the traditional, most commonly used gamut graph ignores the brightness and instead focuses on hue and saturation only.

It's worth noting that the source gamut and the display gamut should match for optimal results. The color spaces can be "translated", but sometimes, especially when transforming from a larger to smaller color gamut (e.g. Adobe RGB to sRGB), some “out of gamut” values can return inaccurate results. When capturing or creating content, it’s best to keep in mind where it will be displayed from the start and adjust the source color gamut accordingly.

Now, in such a graph, different color space standards are represented by triangles placed inside the full-color spectrum shape, to describe the range of colors each of the standards covers. These standards vary, depending on their purpose. Let’s take a look at the three most popular ones.


The most common standard for consumer computer displays is sRGB. It covers approximately 35% of all visible colors, making it a somewhat basic color gamut.

It was created in 1998 by the International Electromechanical Commission (IEC) to standardize how colors are reproduced on computer screens and the Internet. It’s now also frequently used in smartphones and other digital devices, as well as TV screens and many inkjet printers. As a result, it’s frequently the default color space in many digital cameras and scanners as well. The goal is to ensure consistent color reproduction across many different digital devices and media.

The sRGB color gamut standard should be something that you should pay attention to if you wish to create content intended for screens (e.g. social media content), or simply wish to enjoy colorful, vivid images when watching movies, surfing the internet, or gaming.


DCI-P3 is a color gamut standard developed by the Digital Cinema Initiatives and is said to cover about 25% more colors than sRGB. DCI-P3 is more evenly spread out across the color spectrum, as opposed to Adobe RBG with its slight cyan bias.

It’s particularly popular among video professionals as well as gamers. This color gamut is supposed to replace the sRBG as the standard in the foreseeable future. It is now growing in popularity, becoming more and more the leading indicator for modern high-end displays’ color quality. It’s also compatible with HDR (high dynamic range), which makes it an attractive one to pay attention to for vivid visuals with great contrast.

DCI-P3 is especially well suited for high-resolution video. If you work with video content, enjoy high-end cinematic experiences, or do some serious gaming, this is the standard you should pay attention to. In addition, as this is becoming more and more the “general” standard for displays, casual and productivity users would also benefit from laptop screens with rich DCI-P3 coverage.

Adobe RGB

Adobe RGB is a color model created by the company behind the world’s most popular creative software suite — Adobe. It is often considered to be approximately 35% wider than the sRGB.

Adobe RBG was designed for professional photographers and was made to be compatible with CMYK printers. It excels particularly in the reproduction of the green and blue colors, where it significantly exceeds the sRGB standard. The result is a vibrant, saturated color.

This is the standard that professional visual content creators should pay attention to —especially photographers and others who create content for print.

Other Indicators of Color Accuracy

While color gamut tells you how many colors your laptop display is capable of reproducing, it would be good to pay attention to color accuracy as well. There are two ways to verify this.

The first is the more obvious one. As the absolute authority in the world of color, Pantone awards the displays with outstanding color accuracy and great color fidelity with a Pantone Validated badge. This is an indication of the screen's ability to accurately reproduce colors according to the Pantone Matching System. This is especially useful for those working with content for print.

If you wish to look deeper into the display spec table, you will also notice a Delta E (∆E) metric. It’s a mathematical measurement of the color variance, indicating how much of a difference there is between the color you are supposed to see, and the color the screen displays. The smaller the number, the better. For professional content creators who need a color-accurate screen, you should aim at the Delta E metric below 3.

Choosing a Suitable Laptop Display

When choosing laptops and selecting different screen options, the color gamut is an important indication of how many colors it can reproduce. But there is more to a display than that.

You will also want to pay attention to the technology used. OLED displays, such as the ASUS Lumina OLED ones, tend to offer superior viewing experiences, with deep, inky blacks and great color accuracy, even with the low brightness level. They also cut down the blue light emissions and flicker, helping you protect your eyes.

The screen resolution should also be one of the main considerations. Full high-definition (FHD), also known as 1080p (1920x1080) would be the minimum for a modern display. You can also often find QHD (2560x1440) screens on some laptops. Top-end laptops can even feature up to 4K resolution (3840 x 2160), which assures outstandingly crisp, detailed images.

Another useful indicator of screen quality would be the refresh rate. As described in Hertz (Hz), it's a measure of how many images the screen can show per second. The higher the number, the smoother the on-screen movement. 120 Hz would be a good number for anyone who cares about good visuals.

At the end of the day, you will need to evaluate what you need the laptop for, and what will be your priorities. If color accuracy is the top priority for you, you will want to consider laptops with as much as 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage. 100% sRBG coverage would be plenty to ensure outstanding visuals for everyday activities if you don't need the pro-grade color reproduction. And either way, it's great if the laptop's screen is Pantone validated. This is a great indication that not only the laptop shows a lot of colors, but it also reproduces them accurately.

Armed with this knowledge, you should be ready to choose the laptop with the perfect display for your needs. Make sure to learn more about ASUS Lumina OLED and check out the ASUS laptops equipped with such screens by clicking the button below!

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