A guide to 1440p resolution

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1440p, or QHD, is an extremely high definition resolution in between Full HD and 4K. Its high picture quality makes it popular in laptops and cellphones, but it is not as ubiquitous as 1080p or 4K.

There’s a few reasons for that, and they’re worth exploring.

Although televisions considered making 1440p the new standard after 1080p, it was never universally adopted, and the new standard is now 4K. But though 1440p might be the most neglected of the three resolutions, it still has a lot to offer. Let’s explore its common uses and benefits!


Why is it called 1440p?

Those familiar with the nomenclature for resolutions probably know that the number refers to the height, in pixels, of the resolution. So, just as 1920×1080 is shortened to 1080p, 2560×1440 gets shortened to 1440p. The letter after the number, a ‘p’ in this case, refers to how the resolution is drawn on the monitor, indicating if it’s progressive (1440p) or interlaced (1440i).

An interlaced resolution is painted on the screen in alternating frames, with even number frames displaying only even numbered lines, and vice-versa. Switching back and forth between these gives a full picture of the screen to the human eye, but also results in the distinctive “flicker” phenomenon associated with older CRT monitors. By contrast, progressive resolutions constantly paint all lines, giving a much higher quality picture.

Now that you know more about why 1440p is named that way, let’s throw another name for it at you. It’s also called Quad High Definition, or QHD, because it is four times as large as the HD definition, 720p. You might also see 1440p referred to as WQHD, Wide Quad HD, indicating that its aspect ratio is 16:9 as opposed to 4:3. However, don’t confuse it with UWQHD! Ultra-Wide Quad HD actually has a resolution of 3440×1440, and is distinct from 1440p.


1440p compared to 1080p

There are obviously scenarios where you have no option but to use QHD. But when you have the choice, what are the advantages to the resolution? Why choose it over 1080p and 4K?

To begin with, if you’re moving from 1080p to 1440p, there’s a huge difference in video picture quality. Whether or not this change is noticeable to you depends on the size of your screen and how close you are to it. For a computer screen a couple of feet away from your face, you can see a difference if your screen is any larger than 27 inches. But for a television screen you watch from a distance, it’s hard to notice much of a difference moving to 1440p unless your screen is larger than 65 inches. But at that range, 1440p is ideal.