How to measure a laptop’s screen size

One of the most common questions we get is “Will my laptop fit in your laptop bags?”. People are often confused when it comes to measuring a laptop screen size. The natural tendency is to measure the screen horizontally from edge to edge, but this will give an incorrect measurement when shopping for laptop bags and cases.

Most companies and retailers that sell laptop bags, including Rainebrooke, will often state that a bag will fit up to a certain size laptop, most of the time referring to the screen size. For example our product pages will say “fits all laptops with screen sizes up to 17 inches”, or “fits most laptops with screen sizes up to 15.4 inches”.

What these laptop screen size measurements define are diagonal measurements. When you measure your laptop screen size, the proper way to measure is diagonally from one corner to another corner. Diagonal measurement of the screen will be larger than the width when measured horizontally. So a laptop with a 17-inch screen will have a diagonal measurement of 17 inches, but the actual width of the screen horizontally will be smaller. For example the Apple 17-inch MacBook Pro has a diagonal screen measurement of 17 inches, but the actual width of the screen is 15.47 inches.

The diagram below shows the difference between a diagonal “screen size” measurement and the “physical dimensions”.

Screen size and physical dimensions when measuring a laptop screen size for a laptop bagThese two types of laptop measurements (screen size, physical dimensions) will help you when you’re shopping for a laptop bag.

On Rainebrooke product pages you’ll find a section called “Dimensions and Materials”. In this section will be a lined labeled “Fits most laptops with screen sizes up to”. This refers to the diagonal screen size measurement described above. You will also find a line labeled “Laptop compartment”. This refers to the physical dimensions. The physical dimensions of your laptop must be smaller than the “Laptop compartment” dimensions which are shown for the product you are interested in.

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Next time your shopping for a laptop bag (or hopefully a woman’s pink laptop bag :-)), you’ll know how to measure your laptop screen size and find the perfect fitting bag.

If you’re still unsure about the dimensions of your laptop, please feel free to send us an email and we’ll look up the dimensions for you.

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2 thoughts on “How to measure a laptop’s screen size

  1. I am so glad to see there are bags that can hold the 17 inch laptops. I have owned 17 inch systems since around 2003. The only leather bag I could find then was a Targas bag. There were also a few canvas bags, but not many. I am spoiled by the 17 inch screen and will be buy more in the future. I recently purchased a HP DV-7 for my wife. She will be so happy to see they fashionable bags she can buy.

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