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Avoid these subpar Panda LM156LF IPS displays when buying your next gaming laptop

Avoid these subpar Panda LM156LF IPS displays when buying your next gaming laptop (Image source: panelook.com)
Avoid these subpar Panda LM156LF IPS displays when buying your next gaming laptop (Image source: panelook.com)
Manufacturers 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 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 slower 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 reviewed gaming laptops equipped with the high refresh rate Panda LM156LF panel 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, 15.60, 1920x1080
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Panda LM156LF-GL02, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
Panda LM156LF-1F02, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Asus TUF FX505DY
Panda LM156LF-CL03, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44-R5FT
Panda LM156LF-2F01 (NCP004D), IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus G15 GA502IU-ES76
Panda LM156LF-2F01, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WW
CEC PANDA LM156LF-CL07, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
Panda LM156LF-2F01, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
LM156LF-2F01, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
AU Optronics B156HAN12.0, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE-045
Sharp LQ156M1JW03, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
LG Display LP156WFG-SPB2, IPS, 15.60, 1920x1080
Response Times
1%
64%
-43%
-35%
4%
-16%
-17%
-10%
78%
58%
51%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
28.4 (16.8, 11.6)
26 (13.6, 12.4)
8%
10 (5.2, 4.8)
65%
44.8 (18.8, 26)
-58%
40.8 (19.2, 21.6)
-44%
24.4 (11.6, 12.8)
14%
36 (18, 18)
-27%
33.6 (18.4, 15.2)
-18%
34 (16, 18)
-20%
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%
9.2 (4.4, 4.8)
62%
30.8 (17.6, 13.2)
-28%
30 (16.8, 13.2)
-25%
25.6 (15.2, 10.4)
-7%
25 (14, 11)
-4%
27.6 (15.6, 12)
-15%
24 (13, 11)
-0%
8 (4, 4)
67%
10.4 (6, 4.4)
57%
11 (7, 4)
54%
PWM Frequency
20830 (30)
178 (10)
23580 (19)
Screen
-11%
14%
3%
11%
4%
3%
-10%
11%
34%
32%
15%
Brightness middle
263.9
290.1
10%
300
14%
211.5
-20%
287
9%
255.9
-3%
250
-5%
271.2
3%
280
6%
345.4
31%
272
3%
305
16%
Brightness
246
274
11%
281
14%
200
-19%
271
10%
246
0%
228
-7%
252
2%
254
3%
342
39%
259
5%
284
15%
Brightness Distribution
87
86
-1%
80
-8%
82
-6%
88
1%
89
2%
83
-5%
79
-9%
88
1%
90
3%
91
5%
83
-5%
Black Level *
0.26
0.54
-108%
0.29
-12%
0.23
12%
0.25
4%
0.22
15%
0.205
21%
0.53
-104%
0.15
42%
0.34
-31%
0.27
-4%
0.52
-100%
Contrast
1015
537
-47%
1034
2%
920
-9%
1148
13%
1163
15%
1220
20%
512
-50%
1867
84%
1016
0%
1007
-1%
587
-42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.56
5.16
7%
5.39
3%
3.92
29%
4.77
14%
5.15
7%
5.65
-2%
5.04
9%
5.89
-6%
3.18
43%
2.42
56%
3.63
35%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
16.11
18.09
-12%
14.35
11%
17.63
-9%
17.15
-6%
17.11
-6%
13.7
15%
16.07
-0%
19
-18%
6.57
59%
6.93
57%
8.18
49%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.3
4.35
-1%
1.73
60%
4.16
3%
3.73
13%
4.83
-12%
4.26
1%
4.79
-11%
1.77
59%
0.88
80%
1.31
70%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.8
4.4
24%
9.8
-69%
3.1
47%
2.7
53%
4.2
28%
6.32
-9%
3.4
41%
4.08
30%
3.8
34%
4.5
22%
4.77
18%
Gamma
2.16 102%
2.1 105%
2.019 109%
2.23 99%
2.115 104%
2.16 102%
2.45 90%
2.09 105%
2.33 94%
2.15 102%
2.188 101%
2.54 87%
CCT
7828 83%
7362 88%
8174 80%
6578 99%
7187 90%
7500 87%
7287 89%
7079 92%
7303 89%
7109 91%
7369 88%
7500 87%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38.2
38.1
0%
69
81%
38.1
0%
43
13%
36.9
-3%
38
-1%
37.8
-1%
37
-3%
64.3
68%
69
81%
59
54%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
60.1
60
0%
92
53%
60
0%
61
1%
58
-3%
59
-2%
59.5
-1%
58
-3%
99
65%
91
51%
93
55%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-5% / -9%
39% / 21%
-20% / -4%
-12% / 4%
4% / 4%
-7% / -1%
-14% / -11%
1% / 8%
56% / 40%
45% / 36%
33% / 20%

* ... smaller is better

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > Avoid these subpar Panda LM156LF IPS displays when buying your next gaming laptop
Allen Ngo, 2020-09-15 (Update: 2020-09-16)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
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.