Display on 17-inch laptop looks distorted

I just got a laptop computer at work, it’s a 17-inch HP – Compaq nx9600
I’m not too familiar at working with laptops and one thing I have noticed is, the display looks a little distorted, specially graphics look like they are
stretched out horizontally.
How can you fix that?, is it a matter of resolution?, or, the ratio of height to width?. On a regular CRT monitor, which are fairly square, graphics look
about ‘normal’, not ‘flattened out’ like on the laptop.
Will appreciate any ideas or input.
efrain12Asked:
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CallandorCommented:
I'll bet the laptop has a "stretch-to-fit" setting for the display, which you need to disable.  If you want to use the entire screen undistorted, you will need a different resolution, which should be an available option in the display properties.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
sounds like resolution or graphics driver.
i would start by making sure you have the latest graphics driver
then change your resolution settings.
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Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerCommented:
What is the resolution? sounds as though you don't have it set to a wide screen ratio.
Right click on the desktop.
Choose properties from the pop up menu.
Click on the Settings tab. It should probably be set to 1440 x 900.
Other possible setting 1680 x 1050.
Keep it at the native resolution. That's the one which gives you nice crisp text.
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efrain12Author Commented:
I am going to take this as the accepted answer, even though is not exactly the correct one.
The path to the correction is:
Control Panel > Display > Settings > Advanced > Displays > Panel

There,  you can choose between:
   - Expand to full panel size
   - Expand while maintaining aspect ratio

My setting was on "Expand to full panel size".

But, then again, what good is it, if you have a wider screen, but distorted?
The other option gets black stripes on both sides of the screen, but the image is more real (or'normal'?).
Thanks to both replies, thanks EE

Efrain
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Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerCommented:
That "Displays > Panel" option isn't available on all laptops. Not on my Dell for instance. Maybe it's part of the Compaq setup? Could be a utility for use with external monitors maybe.
I learn something new every 5 minutes.
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