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Definition: native resolution

The maximum resolution of a monitor or printer. In a flat panel display, the native resolution is significant because, unlike older CRTs, which could display several resolutions at the same quality level, the highest resolution (native resolution) of a flat panel generally provides the best quality.

This was especially true in earlier monitors. However, as screen pixels per inch (ppi) have become denser, this is no longer a hard and fast rule. In order to display everything larger on a big screen, the resolution can be set lower than native with excellent sharpness. See ppi, dpi, 4K monitor and 5K monitor.