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What is a bezel

What is a bezel?

Stephen Mash
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This article aims to explain the purpose of a bezel, a term you'll often see concerning computer displays. We'll have a quick look at what a bezel is and why screens need them. Different manufacturers use various terminology, making choosing a new display challenging if you're unsure what they mean and how important it is. We hope this clears things up in a fascinating manner.

What is a bezel?

The bezel around a screen acts in the same manner as a picture frame. As a result, it provides support and protection. In addition, the bezel provides structural integrity to fragile display components.
The derivation of the term bezel goes back to the old French term for the sloping edge of a cutting tool, though it's possible to trace the origins of the root of the word back to ancient names for gemstones with two faces.
The earliest displays that used bezels used cathode ray tubes (CRT). The fundamental physical feature of such displays was the curved display surface bent around at the edges to form the characteristic bulbous shape. The purpose of the bezel was to obscure the highly curved edges of the tube where any image distortion is highest. The bezel ensured that only the part of the CRT display with a non-distorted image was visible to viewers. As screens became flatter, the manufacturers were able to reduce the size of the bezel.
With the introduction of flat thin screens using liquid crystal displays (LCD) and light-emitting diode (LED) based displays, the purpose of the bezel switched to protecting the screen and structural supporting strength to prevent the screen from twisting or bending.

What is a bezel's purpose?

The bezel protects both the display and the user in the case of mobile devices. The glass and plastic-based materials used to manufacture LCD and LED displays can easily chip or break, presenting a risk to anyone handling the display. The bezel provides the user with a safe and tactile handling surface.
The edge of screens is susceptible to cracking and chipping, particularly when placing the device on a hard surface. However, the bezel protects the screen material in everyday use, cushioning gentle impacts and minor shocks.

Does size matter?

The shrinking size of mobile devices has led to the minimization of bezels to maximize the visible screen area without making the devices unwieldy or too large for ergonomic use. This size reduction is particularly important for mobile devices that fit comfortably within an average user's hand and slip into the typical pocket.
We can see that reducing bezel size in handheld mobile devices has significant implications for the ergonomics of holding and using the device. For displays such as those found on laptop computers, computer displays, and televisions, the bezel size is more aesthetic as long as it provides the necessary structural strength.
The disadvantage of minimized bezel size is the reduced protection against knocks and shocks, a susceptibility that has given rise to the protective cases market. This protection is particularly important for smaller mobile devices used in rugged environments.
For larger bezel sizes, the bezel can house user controls in the form of buttons and indicator lights.
While the term bezel-less often appears in adverts and marketing materials, all displays require structural support to maintain their physical integrity and protect against knocks and scrapes. Bezel-less actually means minimizing the bezel such that it is not noticeable when the screen is in use. At HP, the term Micro-Edge describes the minimized bezel size.
Manufacturers typically used plastics to construct bezels, which were popular due to the combination of low cost and weight that allowed the implementation of complex structural designs. However, the move to bezel-less designs has seen increasing use of metals such as aluminum to offer the required strength with minimal bezel material.

Benefits of multi-monitor set-ups

One advantage of a minimized bezel size is that it allows the positioning of multiple displays next to each other to provide a much larger display area without the need to invest in a single large display. A minimal bezel size means that the joins between the smaller displays can effectively disappear when viewed from a distance giving the illusion of a single display area. Multiple smaller displays can be more cost-effective and easier to handle than a single display of equivalent size.

Best small bezel HP laptops

HP Pavilion 15-inch Laptop

Hp Pavilion Laptop 15t-eg200
The HP Pavilion Laptop - 15t-eg200 Laptop is an excellent example of an entry-level laptop with a small bezel. It features a 15.6-inch diagonal screen that offers Full High Definition (FHD) images with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also features HP's anti-glare, which can deliver brightness up to 250 nits.
With the display driven by Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics, upgradeable up to NVIDIA® GeForce® MX550 graphics, it can smoothly stream 4K content and play your favorite games in without needing a dedicated graphics card.

HP 17-inch laptop

HP 17-inch laptop
The HP Laptop 17-cn2047nr is a superb example of a mid-range laptop powered by an Intel Core™ i7 processor with a small bezel.
It features a 17.3-inch diagonal screen that offers Full High Definition (FHD) images with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also features HP's anti-glare, In-Plane Switching (IPS) for improved image quality, can deliver brightness up to 250 nits, and has an NTSC color gamut of 45%.
This laptop offers users a crystal-clear visual experience with vibrant image quality thanks to its two million pixels and excellent resolution.

HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8

HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8 Mobile Workstation
The HP ZBook Firefly G8 14-inch FHD Mobile Workstation powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA T500 graphics is an outstanding example of a high-end laptop with a small bezel.
It features a 14-inch diagonal screen that offers FHD images with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also features HP's anti-glare, IPS for improved image quality, can deliver brightness up to 400 nits, and 100% DCI-P3 coverage and HDR capability.
This laptop offers a fantastic color range and brightness that allows users to work in any light setting comfortably.

Best micro-edge HP laptops

HP 14-inch Chromebook

HP 14-inch Chromebook
HP's Chromebook 14 is an excellent entry-level laptop with a Micro-Edge bezel. It offers affordable mobile computing with great graphics thanks to its HD IPS display powered by Intel UHD Graphics.
It features a 14-inch diagonal screen that offers HD images with a 1366 x 768 resolution. It also features HP's anti-glare for improved image quality, can deliver brightness up to 250 nits, and has an NTSC color gamut of 45%.

HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop

HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop 13-bf0747nr
The HP's ENVY x360 Laptop is a brilliant example of a mid-range laptop with a Micro-Edge bezel.
It features a 13.3-inch diagonal touch screen that offers WUXGA images with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 178-degree wide-viewing angles. It also features HP's anti-glare for improved image quality and can deliver brightness up to 400 nits and 100% coverage of the sRGB color space.
This laptop offers users a crystal-clear high-quality image thanks to its Intel Iris Xe Graphics processor. Manufactured using Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™ for enhanced scratch resistance and reduced scratch visibility, this touchscreen offers a durable display that can handle everyday use.

Victus by HP 16-inch Laptop

Victus by HP Laptop 16z-e100
The HP's Victus is an excellent example of a high-end laptop powered by an AMD Ryzen™ 5 processor and GeForce RTX™ 3050 Ti graphics with a Micro-Edge bezel.
It features a 16.1-inch diagonal screen that offers FHD images with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also features HP's anti-glare and can deliver brightness up to 300 nits.
This laptop combines up to 144 Hz refresh rate with 1080p FHD resolution for smooth, sharp images with reduced lag and ghosting artifacts that make it ideal for multimedia and gaming applications. In addition, the fantastic color range and brightness allow users to work in any light setting comfortably.

Best small bezel HP monitors

HP V24v G5 FHD Monitor

HP V24v G5 FHD Monitor
While it is uncommon to find small bezels in high-quality monitors, the HP V24v G5 FHD Monitor is a superb example of a monitor with a small bezel.
Featuring a 23.8-inch diagonal FHD display with 1920 x 1080 at 75 Hz resolution, it comes with anti-glare and a low blue light mode.
The display area offers vertical and horizontal viewing angles of 178 degrees.

Best micro-edge HP monitors

HP x24ih 23.8-inch FHD Gaming Monitor

HP x24ih 23.8-inch FHD 144hz Gaming Monitor
There is a wide range of HP monitors available with three-sided micro-edge bezels. The HP X24ih FHD IPS Gaming Monitor is an outstanding example.
The 23.8-inch diagonal Full-HD IPS display with 1920 x 1080 at 144 Hz resolution has an impressive 1 ms response and comes with anti-glare and a low blue light mode.
The visible display area is 20.75 in x 11.67 in, offering vertical and horizontal viewing angles of 178 degrees.

Summary

Bezels are essential in the structural integrity of displays and protect the screen components and anyone handling the screen.
Advances in designs, materials, and manufacturing have reduced bezels in size. This miniaturization has aesthetic benefits for users, particularly for handheld mobile devices. It also has functional benefits where adjacently placing multiple screens is necessary to create a larger viewing surface.
Next time you look to purchase a new laptop or monitor, don't forget to think about what type of bezel would best suit your needs. This consideration will help narrow down the options as you look for the perfect solution.

About the Author

Stephen Mash is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Stephen is a UK-based freelance technology writer with a background in cybersecurity and risk management.

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