The source and program monitor can not be used for determining quality. For that you need a properly calibrated external monitor.
It is also possible that - in light of your very weak laptop with its limited resolution with this material - the playback quality is set to 1/4 instead of full. You have to decide whether you prefer quality and choppiness/jerkiness of the preview or lower quality with less choppiness/jerkiness. Slow it will be anyway.
I take your point about a calibrated monitor but to be honest it's not the laptop that's the problem, I was using a trial version of Avid on it with no problems and great resolution no pixel problems at all.
Playback quality is set to full and not jerky, in fact when I change the quality it doesn't seem to make any difference.
I've run a trial export and it's still bad quality.
Still looking for help if anyone can suggest something??
On a 1600 x 900 monitor the source and program monitors would typically occupy around 25% each of the screen estate, meaning around 400 x 225 for 1920 x 1080 source material. Degradation is expected, especially with on-board graphics from Intel.
To be honest, it is about your laptop, I expect. It is slower than molasses in winter and may earn the top ranking score in the Benchmark Results, in terms of the highest rank and the highest time, but when looking at results, we tends to consider lower as better, not higher.
What were your export settings?
My question would be why was this not an issue in Avid where no degradation occurred on the same laptop?
Export settings are H264 HD 1080p, 25 (UK)
Bitate, multiplexing, audio format, length of the timeline, etc.?