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Displays Portables

Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display 333

Posted by timothy
from the closer-closer dept.
MojoKid writes "Mobile device displays continue to evolve and along with the advancements in technology, resolution continues to scale higher, from Apple's Retina Display line to high resolution IPS and OLED display in various Android and Windows phone products. Notebooks are now also starting to follow the trend, driving very high resolution panels approaching 4K UltraHD even in 13-inch ultrabook form factors. Lenovo's Yoga 2 Pro, for example, is a three pound, .61-inch thick 13.3-inch ultrabook that sports a full QHD+ IPS display with a 3200X1800 native resolution. Samsung's ATIV 9 Plus also boast the same 3200X1800 13-inch panel, while other recent releases from ASUS and Toshiba are packing 2560X1440 displays as well. There's no question, machines like Lenovo's Yoga 2 Pro are really nice and offer a ton of screen real estate for the money but just how useful is a 3 or 4K display in a 13 to 15-inch design? Things can get pretty tight at these high resolutions and you'll end up turning screen magnification up in many cases so fonts are clear and things are legible. Granted, you can fit a lot more on your desktop but it raises the question, isn't 1080p enough?"
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Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

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  • 16:10 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:06AM (#45765381)

    screw 1080p

    • Re:16:10 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CadentOrange (2429626) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:44AM (#45765533)
      Ended up with a Macbook precisely because of the aspect ratio. Now if there was a decent 4:3 laptop, I'd buy that in a heartbeat. The Chromebook pixel is nice, but too pricey for what it is.
      • by pmontra (738736)

        I'm writing this on a 16:10 screen (old HP notebook). A 4:3 screen with the same width (33 cm, or 13.2") would be 24.75 cm tall (9.9"), 4 cm (1.6") taller than my one. That means 4 cm of extra depth for the laptop and a different backpack. Maybe it's too much but am I tempted by a 4:3 screen like that? Yes I do, because the extra vertical space is so valuable. 33 cm wide is already enough to put two windows side by side.

        I really can't understand why PC manufacturers are shunning people asking for 16:10 disp

        • Here's an idea make a laptop where the long direction is the vertical. Stability is probably the limitation but 16:10 would be great if the 16 was the height. Same size and shape of laptop cases would work the hinge would just be on another side and you'd have ~ a 13" laptop's keyboard on a 15" laptop form factor.

        • Re:16:10 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Octorian (14086) on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:58AM (#45766645) Homepage

          I kept using my old HP notebook (with a 1920x1200 display) for years after I should have replaced it, precisely because all the PC laptop manufacturers seem to have colluded to deny me the option of ever buying a display with that resolution again. This year, when they finally started coming around, they seemed to think that high res was *far* more important in a dinky 13-inch screen, and dragged their feet on 15-inch offerings as long as possible. While they may now finally exist, they're quite hard to find and in limited selection.

          So I basically just waited until the Haswell 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro came out, caved, and bought that. 16:10 screen and all.
          (And its great, except when developers of many of the more cross-platform software projects look at this "retina" thing as something they don't really need to care about, resulting in apps the OS upscale in ways that look horrible. Just a note: "retina" support is basically resolution-independent scaling of some portions of the UI, because the full native res of the screen is actually "too" high without it.)

        • Re:16:10 (Score:4, Informative)

          by Solandri (704621) on Monday December 23, 2013 @01:27PM (#45767789)

          I really can't understand why PC manufacturers are shunning people asking for 16:10 displays.

          It's pretty obvious to me. The vast majority of people are content consumers. The vast majority of people buy PC laptops. Most video is now 16:9, so a 16:9 laptop display makes sense.

          A significant chunk of Apple's customer-base are (artistic) content creators. If you're editing a 16:9 movie on a 16:9 screen, there's no room for additional graphical editing controls. In particular, if you're showing a 1920x1080 movie on a 1920x0180 display, the only way to add controls is to cover up part of the image, or to shrink the image down to smaller than a 1:1 pixel representation. Neither of those choices is acceptable when you're supposed to be reviewing the movie for graphical artifacts and defects. 16:10 with a thin row of extra pixels at the top of bottom is much more preferable. (Actually a second monitor is most preferable, but we're talking about laptop screens here.)

          16:10 is also a lot closer to the golden ratio (1.618) than 16:9 (1.778), so appeals to artistic types (who are frequently the only ones outside of mathematicians who know what the golden ratio is).

          Why not 4:3? The original draw of 16:10 was that you could display two full-size working apps side-by-side (16:10 becomes 2x 8:10, which is almost exactly the aspect ratio of 8.5x11 US letter-sized paper).

          In tablet space (dual-use display in landscape and portrait mode), I've been playing with a Nook tablet which comes in a 3:2 aspect ratio. I think I like it even better than 16:10. 16:10 or 16:9 plays movies well in landscape mode, but has broad black bars on the top and bottom in portrait mode when displaying documents. 4:3 displays documents well in portrait mode, but has broad black bars when showing movies in landscape. 3:2 has thin black bars in either orientation, and seems like the least compromise.

  • by etash (1907284) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:12AM (#45765397)
    universal DPI (like for example 300PPI - god i fucking hate inches, metric ftw) and build every display with that standard density?

    Yeah I know depending on the viewing distance, a 200PPI display could be the same as a 300PPI device viewed from a shorter distance.
    • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:57AM (#45765981)

      11.811023622 pixels per mm. There you happy now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:12AM (#45765399)

    It's pretty cool. Shoulda done that long ago. Just like tablets are pretty neat, and were, in hindsight, a long time coming.

    The thing is, though, that indiscriminate use means everybody else needs to upgrade, too. And that is really not done, for it means that just a small leading edge having fun with their latest, newest gadgets, are inadvertently pushing a lot of costs to upgrade on everyone else.

    How this works? Look at any random website that's recently had an overhaul, or is just plain new-ish. Hipsteriffic developers such as abound in the website world have the latest stuff and assume everyone else has, too, or you're not "in". Yet their audience is invariably much greater. Millions greater. But look at the designs they come up with. Optimised to be visible under fat fingerprints on the screen, and sized to be readily legible on screens with DPI ratings well over what's still widely deployed everywhere.

    It means that, say, a 1024x768 screen is a right pain to use regardless of size, even though at this writing that size is still ubiquitous, and in poorer places, will remain so for a while to come. A little consideration for the rest of the world, outside of your comfy job and your comfy corporate commuter bus, would be nice, dear digital hipsters.

    • Agree. The flip side are all those old business software applications that seem to stick around forever. They run only on legacy platforms - hardware/OS/browser (IE)/screen res./etc.

      Corporates sometimes cannot move to newer platforms just because they're stuck with some software they purchased a decade or more ago that is not compatible with new, widely used standards (not even cutting edge ones).

    • by number17 (952777)
      "Responsive web design" should take care of that. Cater to the large and and the small.
  • Work? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ebonum (830686) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:15AM (#45765415)

    Perhaps the only reason you have a laptop is to watch YouTube. Some people do actual work on a laptop.

    If you use Word, Excel, Eclipse, etc. you don't get enough lines top to bottom. Even at 1080p. For many applications such as web browsing you have tons of unused white space on the left and/or right with 1080p, but you are constantly scrolling up and down.

    The more horizontal lines of resolution, the better. In an IDE with lots of tool bars and debug windows, etc. I have the up down space of a 1984 Mac for my code. It sucks.

    • by etash (1907284)
      how would a higher resolution on the same frame help you with your problem? if your screen is still let's say 15 inches and you double the resolution, the excel cells would need to be drawn on twice the size (in pixels) for them to remain on a constant physical size (otherwise your excel cells would be too small to see), thus you'd still see the same number of cells on that double-resolution monitor.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        I recently got a "retina" MacBook Pro for the first time and I am surprised at how much bigger it makes the screen feel. I have always gone with the 15" but, had I known, would more seriously have considered the 13". Smaller fonts are so much more legible.

        More pixels = better, at least well beyond 1080p.

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      I have the up down space of a 1984 Mac for my code.

      The reason for that is because the hardware hasn't improved noticeably since 1984. The hardware, in this case, being the human eye. If you are limited to the physical height of a laptop screen, it doesn't matter how much you can increase the resolution by, adding more lines of text/code makes those lines physically smaller. And the physically smaller they are, the more difficult they are to read and thus work work with.

      You could have a 4K resolutio

      • You could have a 4K resolution on a laptop screen, and it's not going to solve the fundamental problem. The capabilities of the human eye and the physical size of the thing that you are carrying around with you are the limiting factors here, not the resolution.

        Maybe you have bad eyes, and so this is true for you -- it certainly is for some people. However, for nominal 20/20 vision, the usual resolutions are the limiting factor, because normal people can read printed words substantially smaller than can be displayed (in reasonable fonts) on a 15" 1920x1080 laptop display. And if one accepts unreasonable fonts (~20px* TT fonts and smaller) to try to cram more lines in, the text is less readable than printed text of the same size -- which is, of course, why those fo

    • by fisted (2295862)
      protip: rotate it. 9:16 is great for coding
    • Urm, if, as it sounds, you use your computer a lot for work, then why not get another screen and put it vertically?
      Or invest in a swivel arm. I have two big screens on such, hooked up to a docking station for my laptop.
      It's an amazing boost in both comfort and productivity.

    • For many applications such as web browsing you have tons of unused white space on the left and/or right with 1080p

      Then resize your window to half the screen width. You don't have to maximize everything on a 16:9 screen; you can treat it as two 8:9 screens.

      In an IDE with lots of tool bars and debug windows, etc. I have the up down space of a 1984 Mac for my code.

      An original Mac, fat Mac, Mac Plus, Mac SE, Mac Classic, or Mac Classic II had close to EGA height: 512x342 pixels. Subtract the menu bar, title bar, and horizontal scroll bar, and one had 280 vertical pixels left for about 23 lines of code with the Monaco 9 font. Unless you're on a 7" netbook, your laptop has far more vertical space than that. Split it down the middl

  • About bloody time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:24AM (#45765459)

    The 1920x1080 / 1366x768 resolution curse has been the worst thing to happen to laptops in a long time. That and glossy screens.

  • Laptops? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lennier1 (264730)

    Finally take care of the goddamn desktop market where the lion's share of commercial work is being done!!!

    • by jimshatt (1002452)
      Citation needed?
    • by rossdee (243626)

      Yeah, affordable desktop monitors stop at 27inches and 1080p.
      I have a nearly 6 yr old monitor that cost me $250 new, 28in and 1920 x 1200
      I don't want to replace it with a smaller monitor

      • by EvilSS (557649)
        Depends on what you consider cheap. If you just need the real estate then Monoprice has a decent 2560x1440 display for under $400. Not a terrific monitor for hard core gaming or video/photo editing probably but for everyday use it would be hard to beat.
  • DPI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slash d o t . f i renzee.com> on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:28AM (#45765475) Homepage

    A higher resolution should not translate to more things on screen, it should translate to greater levels of detail, assuming the UI is designed properly...
    Font sizes for instance are measures in points, where 72 points equals an inch. As such, a 72 point font should always be an inch high when displayed on screen, irrespective of how many pixels are required to render it.
    Or to put it another way, when you watch a standard def movie on an hdtv you don't get a small box in the top corner and a big empty black space around it, the movie fills up the whole screen as best it can and you just have less detail than if it was an hd feed.

    The extra level of detail may make it viable for smaller font sizes to still be readable...

    • That depends upon what you are using it for. Some applications benefit from showing a lot more on a screen. RTS games come to mind: Some games can use the higher resolution to display a greater area of the battlefield without all the units turning into vague blobs. Very handy for commanding those epic battles, which can take up a sizeable area of the level when you're dealing with things like two-pronged attacks.

    • by NoZart (961808)

      I do video editing and 3D modeling, and i benefit GREATLY from having more stuff on the screen. I don't have to scroll around in the timeline as much and the toolbars don't take as much space, thus giving me more viewport estate.

    • Re:DPI (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Solandri (704621) on Monday December 23, 2013 @01:48PM (#45767969)

      As such, a 72 point font should always be an inch high when displayed on screen, irrespective of how many pixels are required to render it.

      That's what the Mac did (does). It queries the monitor you connect to determine its physical size (the Apple-branded monitors report their size), then based on the screen resolution you select it auto-scales everything so a 72 point font is always an inch high. It's the right way to do this. People shouldn't be selecting 125% screen resolution as their preferred text size because that's not a constant. You may prefer 100% on one screen while you prefer 150% on another.

      Which has me totally baffled why Apple abandoned this approach with iOS. As much as I dislike Apple's current practices, this is one problem they solved the right way. Then they tossed it out the window with iOS and went with fixed resolution for everything. With the iPhone you program for 480x320 or 960x640 (the iPhone 5's 1136x640 is just a slice of extra pixels added to one end which is ignored with legacy apps). With the iPad you program for 1024x768 or 2048x1536. This worked great when your only choices were a 3.5" or 9.7" screen. But it's causing problems now that they've got the iPad mini (same resolution as the full iPad, but now everything on the screen is smaller) and are thinking of enlarging the iPhone screen even more.

  • by XaXXon (202882)

    What a peasant. I don't know what you do on a laptop, but 1080p is a terrible resolution.

    If nothing else, there's not nearly enough vertical resolution -- but in general 1080p is a very low resolution for any computer to have.

  • by Derec01 (1668942) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:30AM (#45765487)

    The summary makes the same ridiculous assumption I see repeatedly, which is that a desire for higher resolutions means that I want the text to remain tied to a number of pixels. Of course I don't want the text to get arbitrarily smaller; I just want it to get sharper. And I definitely notice. Every time I take a look at my boss's MacBook Pro I feel my eyes relax a bit compared to the jagged fonts on my Air.

    The real problem is that the OSes are terrible at rescaling to take advantage of the increased ppi. OSX is unfortunately bitmap based and many parts look pretty terrible if you turn the HiDef monitor option on. Windows is actually a little better with arbitrary % scaling, but many third party programs will still look awful.

    • by _xeno_ (155264) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:42AM (#45765523) Homepage Journal

      OSX is unfortunately bitmap based and many parts look pretty terrible if you turn the HiDef monitor option on. Windows is actually a little better with arbitrary % scaling, but many third party programs will still look awful.

      Which is hilarious, because the OS X UI was originally based on Display PostScript, which evolved into Quartz2D, where one of the stated design goals is "resolution-independent rendering."

      Which, of course, it does not really do. I remember seeing a non-"retina" app running on a retina MacBook, apparently they "solve" this case by bilinearly scaling the app up. Genius!

      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday December 23, 2013 @11:10AM (#45766741) Homepage Journal

        Which, of course, it does not really do.

        I attended a class at WWDC on this, in '98, and "the next release" was going to support resolution-independent Cocoa "fully". That would have been 10.3 at the time IIRC.

        Yeah, more than fifteen years ago. At some point you need to conclude that they don't really care about doing it right.

        • by mikael_j (106439) on Monday December 23, 2013 @12:04PM (#45767149)

          I think you've got your years wrong. I too remember talk of OS X going completely resolution independent but OS X hadn't even been released in 1998.

          I remember seeing some examples of what UI scaling in OS X looked like back in the 10.5 (I think) days looked like when enabled (which it obviously wasn't in the actual release version of OS X). It was looking pretty good, a few minor glitches here and there but definitely promising. Sadly they abandoned this approach in favor of the bitmap-based solution they've got now (though it works surprisingly well, if you had told me in the mid 90s that by 2013 we'd be up- and down-scaling desktop-size bitmaps in realtime with no visible UI lag I would've thought you were full of shit).

    • Every time I take a look at my boss's MacBook Pro I feel my eyes relax a bit compared to the jagged fonts on my Air.

      It depends on your eyesight. Mine is not so good, I don't really see the difference between a Retina display and a regular one. And I am happy with the low price I paid for my MacBook Air :-)

    • The real problem is that the OSes are terrible at rescaling to take advantage of the increased ppi. OSX is unfortunately bitmap based and many parts look pretty terrible if you turn the HiDef monitor option on. Windows is actually a little better with arbitrary % scaling, but many third party programs will still look awful.

      What parts of the OS look bad? And what parts of apps that have been written in the last two years? "Bitmap based" doesn't matter if the bitmap is a 1,024 x 1,024 pixel icon.

      • by GordonBX (1059078)

        What parts of the OS look bad? And what parts of apps that have been written in the last two years? "Bitmap based" doesn't matter if the bitmap is a 1,024 x 1,024 pixel icon.

        Well, er yes it does mater if it is bitmap based because only integer multiples of resolutions will look good (which is why that's what Apple did in iOS). If you want to do a 1.33 times scaling, then a bitmap will be horribly interpolated.

  • 1920 x 1280 is about the resolution I want. It has enough res to watch movies in high definition, gives text just enough crispness, and has an aspect ratio of 3:2, yet doesn't requires a new set of icons all over the place.

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:43AM (#45765527)
    One day everyone's complaining notebook screens aren't keeping up with hi res of modern tablets and smartphones.

    Now you're bitching that 4K is too much for an utrabook.

    Which is it, damnit?????
    • by jimshatt (1002452)
      Well, as with most things, there isn't a single, objective truth. Some people want hi res to have more screen real estate, some want hi res to have crisper fonts and images. And then there's some that don't want hi-res but rather high fps in their games (fps in your FPS).
  • First, in mid-2000's there was ThinkPad T42 with 2048×1536 option (not saying about rather common 1600×1200 resolution). Then, 4:3 was screwed and 1920×1200 became the new standard. And then, there were NO FUCKING NOTEBOOK WITH VERTICAL RESOLUTION GREATER THAN 1080 PIXELS FOR TWO FUCKING GENERATIONS (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, namely; except Apple MacBooks, of course). So, if you want your real estate, you stuck with your aging Nehalem-based (or core-based) laptop and can't buy any new lapt
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:59AM (#45765569) Homepage

    Granted, you can fit a lot more on your desktop but it raises the question, isn't 1080p enough?

    10 internet points to you for not using "begs the question."

    As for an answer, no, IMO, it's not enough (it's also not quite the right question to ask, because what really matters is pixels per degree). "Enough" will be when anti-aliasing/cleartype no longer have any visible effect.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      "Raises the question" just reads so much more pleasantly, I agree with you.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Could be a while. Cleartype effectively triples the horizontal resolution so you would need to go to 8k to get beyond it. 8k is due to be available in Japan for the Olympics, so around 2020.

  • 1366 x 768 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by temcat (873475) on Monday December 23, 2013 @06:59AM (#45765571)

    Screw super high res. Just give me laptops with resolution better than 1366 x 768 at 13" at least without the need to pay through the nose for this alleged "luxury".

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Monday December 23, 2013 @07:01AM (#45765583)

    For prolonged use, you need to have a comfortable distance from your eyes to the screen. That is, in general, at least 60cm (2 feet). Anything closer than that will make the focusing muscles in your eyes tired. The amount of detail we humans can comfortably dissolve at that distance stops at somewhere around 200dpi and the difference between 110dpi and 200dpi isn't much any more.

    Given these hard biological facts, going anywhere over 110dpi for screens you look on longer than a few seconds at the time is mostly luxury and posing. Sure, you can put more information on a screen with more pixels, but you can't really use it effectively, since you will have to leer over to look at the screen more closely and your eyes and brain will have to work a lot harder to get that information processed if you don't. This does not apply to short term screens like your phone or tablet, but for laptops and desktops, just get a screen that has great colour rendition and enough resolution to look pretty at a comfortable distance.

    • For prolonged use, you need to have a comfortable distance from your eyes to the screen. That is, in general, at least 60cm (2 feet). Anything closer than that will make the focusing muscles in your eyes tired. The amount of detail we humans can comfortably dissolve at that distance stops at somewhere around 200dpi and the difference between 110dpi and 200dpi isn't much any more.

      [citation needed]

      When, as a kid, I first took an interest in computers, 300dpi laser printers were all the rage. Now they boast

    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      "Given these hard biological facts"... not even sure what that means.

      It's like the difference between looking at a fax and a laser printed page. Worse actually, since the fax has discrete black dots, whereas the 96-120dpi display renders colour by mixing rgb at a higher horizontal resolution under a fine mesh.

      And laptops are often used at less than 2'. Either you're reaching with your shoulders and killing your back, or you're looking down all the time and killing your neck. Horrible ergonomics.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Easy to verify: Display this [imgur.com] at 1:1.
      If you can see a step in the line, you don't have high enough resolution yet.

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        Easy to verify: Display this [imgur.com] at 1:1.
        If you can see a step in the line, you don't have high enough resolution yet.

        That's interesting. With a little bit of testing different distances and some extrapolation it looks like 360 PPI would be good enough for me.

        • That's interesting. With a little bit of testing different distances and some extrapolation it looks like 360 PPI would be good enough for me.

          At which distance?

      • by ihtoit (3393327)

        damn. Just tested this out on my HP W1907V 19" at 1440x900 and I could still make out the step - without squinting - from 11 feet across the room!

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      we humans can comfortably dissolve at that distance

      You can dissolve things with your eyes? Cool! :-)

      the difference between 110dpi and 200dpi isn't much any more.

      It looks significant to me. In fact you can quite easily check this by printing stuff at 300 dpi and then at 600 dpi - the quality difference is easily visible. It's less so on a moving image but still I have no problem seeing it and can't wait for such displays to become common.

    • by Solandri (704621) on Monday December 23, 2013 @01:57PM (#45768021)
      Close. I played around a lot with different dpi, printing different resolution photos at different resolution. The old rule of thumb is correct. At hand-held distance (which is a bit closer than a monitor screen's distance), 150 dpi is when things start to look really sharp, and 300 dpi is about the limit beyond which you'll see no improvement.

      20/20 vision is defined as the ability to resolve a line pair 1 arc-minute apart. The actual limit of human acuity is about 0.4 arc-minutes (that's the spacing between your cones at your fovea), but due to optical defects in the cornea and lens it's rare to get an individual who approaches that (20/10 or 20/8 vision). If you work out the math (I need to get going so I can't show you the calcs), at a handheld viewing distance this works out to about 300 dpi as the upper limit for 20/20 vision.
    • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Monday December 23, 2013 @03:15PM (#45768667)

      The amount of detail we humans can comfortably dissolve at that distance stops at somewhere around 200dpi and the difference between 110dpi and 200dpi isn't much any more.

      Given these hard biological facts, going anywhere over 110dpi for screens you look on longer than a few seconds at the time is mostly luxury and posing.

      You aren't considering hyperacuity [wikipedia.org]. Remember, there's more to vision than a mosaic of photosensors. There's a monstrous amount of real-time image-processing going on in your eye and your brain. Some of that processing is able to extract data far below naively-calculated "physical limits" of resolution or signal/noise.

  • 300 DPI, no matter what size the page.
  • I have a large TV/monitor for 16:9 content, I actually want to do work on my laptop. Give me at least 16:10 please (4:3 would be so much better, but I don't want to be difficult) and I don't care for super-ultra-high rez - I REALLY can't see the difference from where I'm sitting...
    Oh, and I don't want a fucking mirror for a display, I don't work in a dark dungeon.

  • 1080 lines of horizontal resolution is not enough and we were stuck there for the longest time now.

    The one thing I do wish for though is once ultra high res becomes a thing, is to split wide screens in half and have the OS tree it as two monitors in portrait mode side by side. 13" screen, circa 11.2" horizontal at 300 dpi equals around 3,300 pixels. 7 inches = 2100 dpi. 1650 x 2100 res for each split? Sounds golden. Good enought to browse in one and code in the other.

    • The relationship between text size, number of pixels, and readability isn't linear (yeah, I know, that's three things, you know what I mean).

    • by jon3k (691256)
      If you read up on the 31" ASUS 4K monitor actually does this, it has two boards that each control 1/2 of the screen. It shows up in windows as 2 monitors and you combine them into one desktop. Now if only we could create arbitrary sets of "monitors" to show our video card.
  • by Knutsi (959723) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:16AM (#45766053)

    I recently bought a new laptop to replace my old Windows laptop. I ended up getting Macbook precisely because of the extraordinary quality of the retina screen.

    I do allot of reading, writing and some coding on my laptop, and the change has been extremely pleasing. For the same price, I could have gotten a marginally more powerful machine with more memory and disk space and touch screen, but all things considered, the high-def "retina" screen *completely* trumped that for me. High-def screens is one of those things I think you need to experience yourself. My girlfriend has a lower resolution screen, and I find it hard not to get annoyed at pixels when I use it, and everything seems blurred. I find reading much easier on the eyes on the new machine than others. To me that means its not just a luxury thing - it really makes a difference.

    So, I for one welcome our new high resolution overlords with open arms. The very argument "X should be enough for everyone, no need to progress" was invalidated a long time ago anyway. Screen tech is obviously evolving in synergistic ways between laptops, phones and tablets, and as long as they can make them better, please do.

  • Bingo. Maybe for watching movies having 1080p or 720p would be "good enough", maybe for monowindows desktop environments (android or win8) it won't hurt a lot, but for having a lot of windows open that must have readable text more resolution (specially vertical) matters there. 1980x1024 is "good enough", but having more won't hurt.
  • if you're doing anything other than playing games or watching movies.

    I write a lot. I find it inconvenient having to hide my toolbars just so I can see my layouts. What I've ended up doing is rotating an external monitor 90 degrees *just so I can see the layout and keep my toolbar on the main screen*. I didn't have to do this on my 4:3 Latitude with its 1600x1200 resolution, toolbars sat there comfortably to the right of the main pane and neither got in the way of the other. I miss that.

    The joke of the whol

  • I've got one guy on a 7 year old Dell laptop with WinXP because the newer laptops have worse screens. The step backwards to 1080 is annoying.
  • by MrKaos (858439) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:58AM (#45766263) Journal
    IT IS NEVER ENOUGH!!!
  • Because of entertainment sources, laptops and desktop monitors are all wide-screen 16x9... ...but that resolution ONLY works for entertainment video. Reading requires vertical height and narrow width (books are the shape they are for a reason), so the more horizontal space that is given at the loss of vertical, the less comfortable reading and writing (and *coding*) are because one can't fit enough vertical lines on the page to be able to speed-scan for context, and at other times someone doesn't bother to limit their readable space width (or it is a plain text file) and so the horizontal line goes well beyond the comfortable 10-12 word limit.

    In short, it just doesn't work when the medium is text. (Say what you will about the coming illiterate age at this point...)

    1080 is actually very uncomfortable for those of us who were coding in 1440x1280 4x3's prior to the HDMI standard locking us all down to 1080. I personally keep an external monitor rotated 90degrees in order to have a decent working space, separate from my "entertainment" and browsing space.

    Who else had a long vertical orientation to the monitor, knowing it was a better way to work? Xerox PARC.

  • by rebill (87977) on Monday December 23, 2013 @11:33AM (#45766905) Journal

    No.

    1080p is fine for watching movies - but that is not the only thing that I use my laptop for.

    I need a mobile workstation, and when I dropped $3k on a laptop last year, finding a major brand with a resolution better/taller than 1920x1080 would have been the deciding factor.

    It looks like some of the major manufacturers have figured it out, finally.

  • One of the reasons we didn't support the iPad 1 in my last two games was that Apple put an iPhone 4 GPU in it to drive 4X as many pixels as it was driving on the iPhone, and this fill rate strain made the iPad 1 super hard to get a decent frame rate on.

    If you're doing anything media-rich, particularly if it involves any kind of screen-space post processing (like deferred rendering, glow, depth of field, or one of many others), then you're really going to feel the cost of that extra resolution in both frame rate and battery life.

    As with most things, balance in design is what you want.

  • by caywen (942955) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @03:21AM (#45773357)

    As a Lenovo Y2P owner, I have to just say that 3200x1800 is plain great. First, to the detractors of 16:9 aspect ratio, I really like this aspect. Running Blender, I can keep the side panels open and still have a reasonable working area. Same goes for Unity 3D. Web browsing is good, but 16:9 really shines when you side-by-side 2 browser windows.

    As for the resolution, having text this sharp is a noticeable, if minor, convenience. I actually find that displaying 20MP photos is astonishingly clear. I thought it would be the other way around, originally. I thought the text readability would be the huge win and the photos/video win would be minor. In either case, more pixels are better than fewer.

    And for those complaining about the Windows desktop at really high DPI: I just set the scaling to 200% and it works just great. Some apps kind of suck at scaling, though. I wish those Windows devs would get off their asses and fix it. But they are all probably busy writing Android or iOS apps right now.

    Overall, the resolution is great, and the aspect ratio is just fine. Even in tablet mode - having a long page is just fine be me.

    If there's one thing I would warn about in general about high res laptop displays, it's that the GPU can easily be underpowered for this. The Y2P's HD Graphics 4400 does an OK job, but the HD 5000 would have been way better. That's my one gripe about the Y2P.

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