Trash belongs in the trash bin. Or in this case, in an ASUS laptop.…
Avoid these subpar Panda LM156LF IPS displays when buying your next gaming laptop (Image source: Asus)
Avoid these subpar Panda LM156LF IPS displays when buying your next gaming laptop (Image source: Asus)

Asus should really stop using these Panda panels on their laptops. Don’t be fooled by their high native refresh rates as Panda panels have some of the slowest black-white response times and narrowest color space of any other high refresh rate display.

To gamers, jumping from regular 60 Hz displays to ones capable of 120 Hz or greater can feel like night and day. The gaming experience will always be tangibly smoother and with improved responsiveness on a 120+ Hz refresh rate monitor when compared to any 60 Hz option. Almost every high refresh rate panel on laptops have the added benefit of fast black-white response times and full sRGB coverage to minimize ghosting and allow for deeper colors as well, respectively.

We have to say “almost every high refresh rate panel” because at least one manufacturer is making cheap high refresh rate panels with both significantly slow black-white response times and limited colors. The Panda LM156LF series may have native refresh rates of 120 Hz or 144 Hz, but its black-white response times can be almost 3x slower and with a 30 percent narrower color range than similar options from BOE, LG Philips, AU Optronics, or others. These hidden drawbacks make laptops equipped with Panda panels substandard for gaming even though such panels are found exclusively on gaming laptops.

Our table below compares a number of gaming laptops equipped with the high refresh rate Panda LM156LF panel — most of them from Asus — to other high refresh rate options from AU Optronics, Sharp, and LG Philips. Panels from Panda are consistently narrower in color range (60% sRGB vs. >90% sRGB) and with slower black-white response times (>13 ms vs. 4 ms to 7 ms) than those from any of the aforementioned alternatives. The differences aren’t minor either as ghosting is more apparent and colors aren’t as deep based on our experience with all of these laptops.

If you want the best high refresh panel on your next gaming laptop purchase, then we recommend avoiding these Panda options as their high native refresh rates are somewhat mitigated by their slower black-white response times and shallower color reproduction.

Asus VivoBook 15 K571LI-PB71

Panda LM156LF-GL03, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74

Panda LM156LF-GL02, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Asus TUF FX505DY

Panda LM156LF-CL03, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Asus Zephyrus G15 GA502IU-ES76

Panda LM156LF-2F01, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI

Panda LM156LF-2F01, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172

LM156LF-2F01, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44-R5FT

Panda LM156LF-2F01 (NCP004D), IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q

AU Optronics B156HAN12.0, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE-045

Sharp LQ156M1JW03, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH

LG Display LP156WFG-SPB2, IPS, 15.6, 1920×1080
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *

28.4 (16.8, 11.6)

26 (13.6, 12.4)

8%

44.8 (18.8, 26)

-58%

24.4 (11.6, 12.8)

14%

33.6 (18.4, 15.2)

-18%

34 (16, 18)

-20%

40.8 (19.2, 21.6)

-44%

3.2 (1.4, 1.8)

89%

12 (7.6, 4.4)

58%

15 (8, 7)

47%

Response Time Black / White *

24 (13.2, 10.8)

25.6 (14.8, 10.8)

-7%

30.8 (17.6, 13.2)

-28%

25.6 (15.2, 10.4)

-7%

27.6 (15.6, 12)

-15%

24 (13, 11)

-0%

30 (16.8, 13.2)

-25%

8 (4, 4)

67%

10.4 (6, 4.4)

57%

11 (7, 4)

54%

PWM Frequency

20830 (30)

23580 (19)

Brightness middle

263.9

290.1

10%

211.5

-20%

255.9

-3%

271.2

3%

280

6%

287

9%

345.4

31%

272

3%

305

16%

Brightness

246

274

11%

200

-19%

246

0%

252

2%

254

3%

271

10%

342

39%

259

5%

284

15%

Brightness Distribution

87

86

-1%

82

-6%

89

2%

79

-9%

88

1%

88

1%

90

3%

91

5%

83

-5%

Black Level *

0.26

0.54

-108%

0.23

12%

0.22

15%

0.53

-104%

0.15

42%

0.25

4%

0.34

-31%

0.27

-4%

0.52

-100%

Contrast

1015

537

-47%

920

-9%

1163

15%

512

-50%

1867

84%

1148

13%

1016

0%

1007

-1%

587

-42%

Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *

5.56

5.16

7%

3.92

29%

5.15

7%

5.04

9%

5.89

-6%

4.77

14%

3.18

43%

2.42

56%

3.63

35%

Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *

16.11

18.09

-12%

17.63

-9%

17.11

-6%

16.07

-0%

19

-18%

17.15

-6%

6.57

59%

6.93

57%

8.18

49%

Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *

4.3

4.35

-1%

4.16

3%

4.83

-12%

4.26

1%

4.79

-11%

3.73

13%

1.77

59%

0.88

80%

1.31

70%

Greyscale DeltaE2000 *

5.8

4.4

24%

3.1

47%

4.2

28%

3.4

41%

4.08

30%

2.7

53%

3.8

34%

4.5

22%

4.77

18%

Gamma

2.16 102%

2.1 105%

2.23 99%

2.16 102%

2.09 105%

2.33 94%

2.115 104%

2.15 102%

2.188 101%

2.54 87%

CCT

7828 83%

7362 88%

6578 99%

7500 87%

7079 92%

7303 89%

7187 90%

7109 91%

7369 88%

7500 87%

Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)

38.2

38.1

0%

38.1

0%

36.9

-3%

37.8

-1%

37

-3%

43

13%

64.3

68%

69

81%

59

54%

Color Space (Percent of sRGB)

60.1

60

0%

60

0%

58

-3%

59.5

-1%

58

-3%

61

1%

99

65%

91

51%

93

55%

* … smaller is better

Allen Ngo, 2020-09-15 (Update: 2020-09-15)

Allen Ngo

After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There’s a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I’m not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.

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