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Displays Graphics Portables

Linus Torvalds Advocates For 2560x1600 Standard Laptop Displays 661

Posted by Soulskill
from the at-least-catch-up-to-mid-'90s-CRT-screens dept.
beeudoublez points out a Google+ post by Linus Torvalds arguing that today's standard laptop display resolution is unreasonably low. He said, "...with even a $399 tablet doing 2560x1600 pixel displays, can we please just make that the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11"? Please. Stop with the 'retina' crap, just call it 'reasonable resolution.' The fact that laptops stagnated ten years ago (and even regressed, in many cases) at around half that in both directions is just sad. I still don't want big luggable laptops, but that 1366x768 is so last century."
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Linus Torvalds Advocates For 2560x1600 Standard Laptop Displays

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  • Agree 100% (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @03:58PM (#41835069)

    My 7 year old laptop had a 1920x1200 resolution and when I bought a new one a few months ago I had to look all over just to find one that had a 1920x1080 resolution.

    • Re:Agree 100% (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:03PM (#41835135) Journal

      My 7 year old laptop had a 1920x1200 resolution and when I bought a new one a few months ago I had to look all over just to find one that had a 1920x1080 resolution.

      We share the same gripe. This was posted from my 8½ year old laptop, which also has WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution. I'm holding out on replacing it until I can get something with more pixels. Shortscreen FHD (1920x1080) is a step downwards, while I want to go upwards in pixels. Luckily, Xubuntu 12.04 runs fine on this old hardware.

      • Re:Agree 100% (Score:5, Informative)

        by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:22PM (#41835391)
        Hell, the 'step down' is happening among monitors as well. I have 1920x1200 on my monitors and everything I see in a reasonable consumer space has gone 'down' to just HD pixels of 1920x1080.

        And my 24/28" monitors weren't anything special, under $500 a few years ago.
        • I, too have a 28" 1920x1200... I had been looking for a better quality one (one which can letterbox 1920x1080 so that my PS3 isn't vertically stretched) but I gave up after realizing I can't even find something *as good* as the one I have. When this goes I'll probably do something weird like use a 1080p TV as my primary display and an old 20" widescreen rotated 90 degrees for web browsing / document viewing...

          • Yeah, thanks for making me feel bad for breaking not one but two of my nice 1920x1200 LCDs.

            OTOH, 1920x1080 is getting cheap enough that you could grab 2 or even 3 for the price of one WUXGA display. Which makes me want to work and/or play three screens...
            http://techreport.com/review/23217/triple-screen-gaming-on-today-graphics-cards [techreport.com]

            But since I'm a cheapskate, I just picked up a handful of cheap 19" - 21" CRTs from craigslist for between $5 - $20 each.

            For laptops, I would just as soon try to set up

          • Whats so weird about using a HDTV as a monitor? I've been using my 40" 1080P Bravia for a few yeas now after I got it on sale. Almost all GFX cards and newer notebooks ( including many netbooks ) output directly to HDMI so it makes it stupid easy to connect to pretty much any random TV made in the last what, something like 5-6 years?

             

          • by kimvette (919543)

            I've got a 25.5" monitor (a Samsung T260HD) and an Acer monitor (the Sammy was discontinued when I replaced my other screen). Both are 1920x1200. I've been looking into displays again to upgrade to 3D for gaming, and they max out at 1080p. Even if I want to drop $1K on a monitor, if you want 3D 1080p is as good as it gets. as far as I'm concerned that's a downgrade. I need the vertical screen estate for actual work.

        • Re:Agree 100% (Score:4, Informative)

          by rrohbeck (944847) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @07:34PM (#41837155)

          Yay for Yamakasi and Crossover. Why isn't any of the big boys importing them yet? I'm a little hesitant to buy on eBay with questionable warranty.

        • Heck I have a 20" 1600x1200 monitor and it's great. Crazy to think to get larger screen which only hash out same resolution 7 years !

        • 1920x1200, $369 regular price (but it goes on sale periodically)

      • Shortscreen FHD (1920x1080) is a step downwards

        No no, it's "HDTV", an upgrade! That's what happened, people wanted "HD" because it was an upgrade for their TV and thus computer displays went down to meet their expectations.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        That's more resolution than my large screen lcd computer monitor at home...

        The problem really is that the applications haven't caught up really and don't know how to deal with huge screen area, whereas on phones all the applications are brand new.

        I actually use the higher resolution to shove in more windows rather than have the same number of windows smoothed to a degree where no human eye can detect the pixels anymore.

    • Re:Agree 100% (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TWX (665546) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:07PM (#41835201)
      Hell, I had a 14" Daytek by Daewoo tube monitor that could handle 1600x1200 in 1996. It's disappointing that it hasn't gotten better.
      • by epine (68316)

        Hell, I had a 14" Daytek by Daewoo tube monitor that could handle 1600x1200 in 1996. It's disappointing that it hasn't gotten better.

        No it didn't. The electronics would show a picture when fed such a signal, but the phosphor wasn't adequate to show all the pixels. I had a monitor in 1991 which would take 1600x1200 interlaced. The displayed picture wasn't worth a damn *and* it gave you headaches. It worked best 768x1024. Yeah, I've *always* written rows x columns. Just yesterday I learned that the qub

      • Re:Agree 100% (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rbrander (73222) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:08AM (#41838917) Homepage

        I'm still discovering what my 1998 vintage, 21" Compaq P1210 can do. The last version of Mint, I discovered it doesn't top out at 1600x1200 - a new resolution of 1792x1344 came up in the drivers, and it seems to work. I think the phosphor can show that many pixels, because fonts got smaller but still readable.

        Now, in 1998 when it was made, I don't think you could get 1600x1200; quite the futureproofed product.

        Also, I have to keep it; it doubles as a catwarmer [cuug.ab.ca]

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:34PM (#41835519)
      breaking news: linus tells everybody to get a retina macbook.
      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Yes, I'm sure Linux is thrilled by the direction Apple is trying to push the softare industry.

    • Re:Agree 100% (Score:5, Insightful)

      by H0p313ss (811249) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:40PM (#41835609)

      My 7 year old laptop had a 1920x1200 resolution and when I bought a new one a few months ago I had to look all over just to find one that had a 1920x1080 resolution.

      Which is precisely why I went to a macbook. Apple isn't perfect, but goddamn they make sexy hardware.

    • Unfortunately, the next Slashdot article will be about a design patent that Apple has on laptops with a high resolution.

    • by 3dr (169908)

      The race for "HD" televisions has ruined computer monitor selection. It's like most computer users didn't realize their computer monitors were higher-resolution than their new flat TVs, or they didn't realize the importance. It's utter crap what is available out there. Most of the available monitors seem to be 1920x1080; it's hard to find one with even 1200 rows, for example.

      I will not be surprised when manufacturers bring back higher-resolution displays and couch them in MP-speak. We'll have 2MP displays

  • Amen! (Score:4, Funny)

    by mschaffer (97223) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:00PM (#41835093)

    Go Linus!

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:01PM (#41835115) Homepage
    How about 4K standard desktop resolution for 22" monitors? All this DPI fighting needs to leak over into desktops eventually.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:10PM (#41835233)

      How about 4K standard desktop resolution for 22" monitors? All this DPI fighting needs to leak over into desktops eventually.

      Can your average onboard video card drive monitors at that resolution?

      • by maxwell demon (590494) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:16PM (#41835313) Journal

        If you can afford such a monitor, you also can afford a separate graphics card.

      • by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:24PM (#41835407)

        It's a shame you've been modded down. The answer is no, unfortunately. More so, there's also no current display cable standard capable of transmitting the resolutions needed for desktop monitors to be doubled up.

        A few of examples:
        The Intel HD {2000 | 2500 | 3000 | 4000} you'll find on pretty much all intel CPUs of late, and hence in 90% of desktop computers sold just now has a maximum framebuffer and texture size of 4096x4096. The road map for haswell and broadwell does not indicate this increasing. So for 27" monitors, where you'd want at least 5120x2880, that's simply not good enough.

        Similarly, HDMI maxes out currently at 2560x1600, DVI at the same, and even Display Port at 3840x2160, so again – not good enough.

        • by KingMotley (944240) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:50PM (#41835747) Journal

          3840x2160 *IS* what most people call 4k resolution. So I think you've answered your own question, just flip no to yes.

          Yes, there are many competing 4k resolutions, but 3840x2160 is the most common of them, being given the moniker "4k UHD".

        • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @08:36PM (#41837593) Homepage

          Intel has shown Ivy Bridge running 4K over two DP cables. Video acceleration also works. Haswell has been promised to do 4K over one cable, I hope 3840x2160x60 fps over DisplayPort and not just 3840x2160x24 fps over HDMI 1.4 or maybe HDMI 2.0 will show up - but we'll know in half a year or so. Here's a clip [youtube.com] of Haswell decoding a 200 Mbps 4K video stream in hardware, 1% CPU. So by this time next year, mainstream CPUs will be able to do it. Meanwhile people have tested it for gaming, top end cards in CF/SLI will give you okay frame rates. It is also rumored that the PS4 will support 4K video output - not unlikely since Sony also sells 4K TVs now - with that not being said that games will be in 4K resolution, just like the PS3 plays 720p games and outputs 1080p BluRay.

          The huge elephant in the closet is of course still the cost of 4K displays. The "Retina" screens add a hefty premium to the 13-15" MBPs, I suspect for a >20 inch 4K monitor you are looking at least $1000 extra, even if Apple plans to make up for it on volume. Remember current 4K monitors are way over $10k, though they're only for special use in industry/medical/military which of course means a huge sticker price. That said, no doubt a $34,999 Eizo monitor is overpriced when you can get LGs 84" 4K TV for $16,999 but still it's a good stretch down to normal consumer prices.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        Can your average onboard video card drive monitors at that resolution?

        Most of the silicon supports it, even if the connections might not. Intel's Ivy Bridge supports 4K output [anandtech.com], but this requires dual-DisplayPort. Haswell will support it through a single port.

        The early adopters for 4K will probably be using at least midrange graphics cards, which do this resolution just fine (though of course the framerate on Crysis may be less than stellar). By the time the monitors are widely available, standard integrat

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:14PM (#41835295)

      How about 4K standard desktop resolution for 22" monitors? All this DPI fighting needs to leak over into desktops eventually.

      It's called the IBM T221, with a 3840 x 2400 resolution, 22" size and it's been around since 2001, although the $5,000+ price when new put some people off ($600 to $900 on a certain auction site). Sharp currently makes a 3840 x 2160 panel (no electronics) for around the same price in sample quantities. Remember, if each pixel has 3 transistors (one per color) you're looking at 27.6 MILLION PARTS per panel, right now that means a lot of defects and a large price to cover the costs.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        The problem with the T221 is that it has a very low refresh rate (so you can't play most video games on it, even older 2D stuff in emulators). Having to use multiple connections and having to buy used monitors off of eBay will also be a deterrent to many buyers. I'd like to try one but I am not sure I'd feel comfortable shelling out $600-$900 for a business-used monitor that in some cases has screen burn-in (according to the descriptions). We need to get smaller and much cheaper 4K TVs in the mass market, t

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:02PM (#41835131)
    Along with higher resolution.
  • Damn it, Torvolds! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:04PM (#41835151) Journal

    I realize that this is a lost cause and all; but why would you endorse a 16:10(at least it's not bloody 16:9...) rather than a 4:3 for a laptop? For a tablet, sure, where you can change the orientation and turn your sprawling rectangle into a nice, readable, page-width reading surface; but a laptop, where the keyboard keeps you from doing that?

    If virtually all laptop displays are going to be laid out as though they are used for nothing but watching movies it would be nice if they at least threw in some additional pixels; but do we have to give up the shape that is better for dealing with text in a reasonably sized package? Absurdly wide desktop screens are fine, because you can just make them larger, and treat them as multiple page-sized screens when needed; but laptops have space constraints to deal with...

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Very simple – because I have a code editor that's not retarded, and doesn't require me to display only one column of text. Instead, I can have 2 or 3 documents open side by side, each showing 3-4 methods at once, on one 16:10, 2560x1600 panel.

    • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:38PM (#41835581)

      I prefer 16:10 monitors to 4:3 (old-school) or 16:9 ("widescreen HD modern crap").

      4:3 works fine for a single-window app, but it's hard to do two side-by-side windows. Even some fullscreen apps don't work well with it. I prefer my text editors to have a lot of horizontal space for text - I threw the 80 columns rule out a decade ago.

      Meanwhile, 16:9 is a bit condensed for productivity stuff. For movies and games, 16:9 works fine. But so does 16:10. Movies you can just blackbar, and games look fine on 16:10.

      So I find 16:10 to be a good compromise for aspect ratio. It's wide enough to do widescreen movies and side-by-side windows, but not so wide that a fullscreen editor feels stretched. I currently put up with 16:9, since 1920x1080 is about half the cost of 1920x1200, but my ideal setup would be 16:10.

      Also, for the mathematically inclined, 16:10 is a close approximation of the golden ratio.

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:05PM (#41835165)

    It was years before LCDs even had something available in a store approaching the higher-res CRT monitors, much less at a reasonable price.

    Yet they phased all the CRTs out well before they had reached that point.

    Who makes decisions like this, and the re: the laptop resolutions? How can we make them ~rue~ those choices?

    • by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:27PM (#41835455)

      Who makes decisions like this, and the re: the laptop resolutions? How can we make them ~rue~ those choices?

      1. The people who think they have the right totell you that you are using too much energy and pass laws to stop you.

      2. We can't. They're too happy forcing you to be green to notice that you are unhappy being artificially technologically limited.

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:29PM (#41835477)

      Right, it was years before LCDs matched CRTs for their ability as laptop displays... wait.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:47PM (#41836783)

        LCDs still suck. They just suck less then they used to. I want BLACK backgrounds, not grey. I want an excellent color gamut. You can get passable color gamut but you still can't get much above 1000:1 real contrast ratios. Those million to one ratios are full on to full off, where the monitor turns down the backlight on the black test. Do an ANSI checkerboard test and you're around 1000:1 on the very best ones.
        I don't mind the lack of deflection distortions though.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:25PM (#41835413)
    Wasn't its 1024x768 and 1280x1024 that were popular in the late 90's?

    1366x768 is the bastardised "720p HD Ready" TV panel. Its cheap and everyone produces them.

    I don't think its a coincidence that Samsung stopped producing high res panels for Apple just before a new range of high res Android devices were announced.
    Samsung and LG seem to be the only ones with the capability/capacity to do it in volume right now. Low res panels are cheap because everyone can do it.
  • by bertok (226922) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:33PM (#41835507)

    The problem with laptop and desktop LCDs, is that they adhere to the 1080p TV display spec, probably to shave cents of some controller somewhere, or to share a production line. Apparently it's vital that the hundreds of millions of computer displays made each year have everything in common with the non-existent 15" TV market, or whatever the fuck.

    Luckily, there's a lot of progress on making 4K resolution [wikipedia.org] the new standard for video, which means that it should trickle "down" to computer displays. Despite the name, the new standard will have 3840 x 2160 resolution, but that is still notably higher than what Linus is asking for, providing 183 dpi even on a 24" display!

    If you can't wait, there's going to be affordable 4K TVs appearing soon with HDMI input. Just replace the monitor on you desk with a TV mounted on the wall behind your desk. You'll probably need a new video card, but the good thing is that most OS-es now hardware accelerate desktop composition, so the result should be silky smooth. You might even be able to get 120Hz going, but don't hold your breath: display connectors haven't caught up with the required bandwidth. Your 3D card might be able to generate a 48-bit 8.3 megapixel image at 120Hz, but that's almost 50 Gbps, and there is no PC video standard that will carry that.

    Next, the operating system vendors need to get their heads out of their asses and finish implementing proper multi-resolution support instead of the half-assed job they've been getting away with for decades because of the persistent assumption that higher-resolution = bigger-surface-area!

  • by guidryp (702488) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:36PM (#41835549)

    You know what drives changes like this. People showing they will pay a premium to have it.

    By a 2880x1800 or 2560x1600 Retina Macbook, when they sell in numbers, competitors will follow.

    You know why there is a 2560x1600 Tablet. Because Apple sold shipping containers full of Retina iPads (2048x1536) and Google took notice and decided to one up them.

    Putting your money where your mouth is, trumps whining on a blog every time.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <[ten.frow] [ta] [todhsals]> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:47PM (#41835711)

    The problem has been that the PC market was so commoditized that the amount of money made is so little. Everyone cries for the sub-$500 laptop, so manufacturers comply, leading to cutting of corners everywhere - LCDs are expensive (especially high-res ones), GPUs, etc. CPUs, RAM and hard drives are cheap, so you can get ones with the best gigas for marketing.

    The only reaosn we have manufacturers going for higher quality displays is because of well, Apple. Since Apple refuses to participate in the low end ("Macs are overpriced!") it means Apple hsa to constantly refine their PCs to make it worth the money.

    E.g., use of full metal bodies, high res displays, SSDs, etc. They do this to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

    Heck, once you promise better margins to manufacturers, they start spending that money on R&D - see the ultrabook line. They all cost around the price of a Macbook Air, or easily double or triple what the low end laptops sell for. As a result, we get them with all sorts of different screen resolutions.

    Basically in the race to produce the cheapest laptop, they've left the premium market to Apple, who appeals to those who like a laptop with clean lines, "exotic" materials and other things.

    Oh, and Apple invested a lot of money making high-res displays - it's not as easy to build a 15" 2880x1800 screen as it is a 15" 1366x768 screen. First off, more pixels mean more transistors and greater chance of dead pixels, lowering yield. Second, being able to address those transistors and ensure the pixels are all good is a lot harder with the smaller pixel size. So Apple's pretty much owning all the R&D on that (especially with Sharp in financial trouble).

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