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Linus Torvalds Advocates For 2560x1600 Standard Laptop Displays 661

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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  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:01PM (#41835115) Homepage
    How about 4K standard desktop resolution for 22" monitors? All this DPI fighting needs to leak over into desktops eventually.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:02PM (#41835131)
    Along with higher resolution.
  • Damn it, Torvolds! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:04PM (#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...

  • Re:Complainer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:05PM (#41835157)

    Apple doesnt have retina displays.

    Samsung, LG, and Sharp do.

    Apple packages/resells retina displays, developed by others.

    These are already available in cheap Chinese tablets, in the new android tablet, Linus has a good point.

  • by quietwalker ( 969769 ) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:05PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:10PM (#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 @05:13PM (#41835271) Journal

    Actually, 2560x1920 would be better. But apparently more people use their laptops to watch videos than to do work.

  • by oic0 ( 1864384 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:15PM (#41835311)
    if I hadn't already replied in this thread I would mod this up.
  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:16PM (#41835313) Journal

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

  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:25PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:27PM (#41835447)

    Apple now offers you two laptops with that res and higher. Yet instead of praising what apple has done, he says "stop with the retina crap". How about advocating that Linux desktop developers make it so these resolutions are usable on laptop displays, as OS X and Windows 7 and 8 do? Have you seen what linux desktops look like on a MBPR? OS X has their method of scaling things properly, win7 in my opinion does a better job, Linux desktop environments simply don't do anything.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:27PM (#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 @05:29PM (#41835477)

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

  • Re:Complainer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:31PM (#41835491)

    Jesus, split those hairs a little more. Did Samsung, LG, and Sharp bother producing these displays before Apple dumped cash into their laps? No.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:32PM (#41835501)

    I've never understood this constant hipsterish complaint about widescreen monitors. There's lots of real work where a widescreen monitor is helpful. Going through a three-way code merge, for example.

  • by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:36PM (#41835541)

    It's not hipsterish, it's just annoying when you can only read a tiny amount of vertical lines for one file and there's tons of wasted space to the right unless you have two files side by side. Even then most setups I've seen have had multiple displays so the need to shove everything into one screen isn't necessary.

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

    by H0p313ss ( 811249 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:40PM (#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.

  • by darkain ( 749283 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:45PM (#41835689) Homepage

    The problem is that they are not indeed "full" keyboards. Some have the 10-key on the side, but they still move around things like the directional arrows and other special keys (or remove them entirely).

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@nOSpam.worf.net> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:47PM (#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).

  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @05:52PM (#41835757) Homepage

    I'll let you know next time I want to do a three-way code merge. Don't hold your breath.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I still use a laptop for word processing. I've already moved my task bar/dock (depending on OS) to the left side, and I've been trying to get used to putting my button bars and such over there too, but these cinemascope-shaped displays still leave big white margins on either side, and just a couple paragraphs of text letterboxed in the middle. Web browsing produces the same wasted space on most sites. And don't get me started about trying to use a tablet for drawing... it's like working on miniature legal-format paper. This has nothing to do with being "hipsterish" (I'm old enough that I can't even do hipster fashion ironically), but simple practicality for lots of standard computer uses. I just thank the legacy of Jobs that at least the iPad is still 4:3.

    I'd be quite happy with 1920x1440 in a small laptop, or 2560x2048 on a larger one, instead of this silly 1440x900.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:02PM (#41835855)

    Praising what Apple done ... do you mean the "building really nice hardware part" or the "doing all they can to destroy the notion of open personal computing part". It is nice hardware, but funding one also funds the other, unfortunately.

  • by pmontra ( 738736 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:11PM (#41835947) Homepage
    They are not widescreen, they are reduced height. When you look at them in this way you understand the complaints.
  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:15PM (#41835979)

    Linus is talking about laptops. You know, the topic of this discussion.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:18PM (#41836005)

    Apple didn't develop shit. They contacted one of the display manufacturers, I believe LG Displays in this case, and said "We want a display with these specs. If you will make us one and guarantee us exclusivity for a period of time, we will guarantee a large minimum order."

    That's all well and good but stop pretending like it was some amazing feat of R&D on Apple's part. They just had a display made for them, same as ever.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:19PM (#41836013)

    The 16:9 format is cheaper to produce simply because it's the most produced screen format for the television market. Once that was standardized it was inevitable that the computer monitor market would follow rather than have the manufacturers produce a better screen at lower quantities for the computer industry.

  • by Lincolnshire Poacher ( 1205798 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:20PM (#41836023)

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

    So you're suggesting that Mr Linux buy a laptop on which .... Linux barely runs, and has no idea how to handle the display resolution? And cannot switch between the integrated and discrete graphics? And which needs a binary blob to even use the b43 wifi?

    How would that make him more productive?

  • Re:Agree 100% (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:24PM (#41836067)

    I'm sure I'll get downmodded, but dont buy an Apple.

  • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:29PM (#41836115) Homepage Journal
    Keypads on laptops are barbaric. The typing space should be centered with the display, buddhammit!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:32PM (#41836151)

    Why the pissy attitude about "retina"? Is it just because Linus didn't snatch up the challenge first and now wants to redefine the terms that are already the standard? Sounds like Linus has a big of stick up his ass about others pushing the limits and defining terms that he can't lay any claim to. But what can he really lay claim to?
    I don't expect much else from the guy who ripped off Unix and acts like he's somehow a revolutionary. I remember how much people moaned when Dennis Ritchie died a few days after Jobs and the media ignored Ritchie. Why doesn't anyone moan about how Ritchie's legacy is largely ignored by Linux fanbois?

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:32PM (#41836153)

    Apple now offers you two laptops with that res and higher. Yet instead of praising what apple has done, he says "stop with the retina crap".

    He's praising the hardware and condemning the marketing term Apple applies to it.

    Stop with the 'retina' crap, just call it 'reasonable resolution.'

    (emphasis mine).

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:34PM (#41836177)

    If Linus Torvalds can't get together the necessary people to get Linux to run decently on the rMBP, there is something very wrong with the world.

  • by synaptik ( 125 ) * on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:35PM (#41836193) Homepage
    Or, you could stop limiting yourself to 80 columns for your code...
  • by TheGoodNamesWereGone ( 1844118 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:44PM (#41836245)

    constant hipsterish complaint about widescreen monitors

    I've been on calls where the client's machine is a typical widescreen laptop with 768 vertical resolution, who had two and even three browser toolbars (I'm looking at YOU, Oracle/Java and YOU, Yahoo) that'd been 'helpfully' installed, leaving almost no space at all for actual content.


    Oh, and it's hard enough finding one with a matte display, rather than the glossy bullshit being foisted off on the consheepmers nowdays. They look great in stores where all lighting is from almost directly overhead. Buyers get it home where lighting might not be optimal and the reflections make it almost unusable.

    It's all because manufacturers can get away with it, so they cut costs. The display that goes into a 20" widescreen monitor is exactly the same as the one that goes into a 20" widescreen TV. The average non-geek consheepmer decided long ago that price was more important to them than features, so all the rest of us get shitty displays.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @07:03PM (#41836427)

    It's not a troll, it's the fundamental concept of Internet Libertarianism: any time the free market has decided that your preferences aren't widespread enough to be worth catering to, it was actually a secret cabal of statists.

    Never mind that CRT monitors take up eight times the store shelf space of LCDs, or that the overwhelming majority of consumers genuinely prefer an LCD flat panel over a CRT, regardless if the CRT has better picture quality, or that every laptop manufacturer other than Apple has been on a cost-cutting race to the bottom for a decade now and that naturally includes the cheapest screens that will fit the size envelope. Oh, no, it's the environmentalists' fault that you can't buy CRT monitors at WalMart anymore, with their dastardly voluntary EnergyStar conspiracy.

  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @07:23PM (#41836587)

    Recommending an annoyingly-to-uselessly narrow display is not an improvement over using an annoyingly-to-uselessly short display.

    In even the simplest non-power-user case of playing Facebook games, many of them don't even fit onscreen vertically on a 1366x768 laptop. Just the bog-standard stock layout of Windows taskbar on the bottom of the screen, and default maximised browser layout does not leave enough room for many games' meager display assumption, and sometimes fullscreening the browser (a rarely used hidden feature) doesn't even get it all.

    Plus, laptop displays have been actively shrinking in the vertical dimension. The "standard" laptop res nowadays is a widescreen version of the circa 1990 1024x768, but the prior low/mid-range standard res at least used to be 800 pixels tall, with 1280x800. And yes, those 40 or so rows matter when you're highly constrained in that dimension.

    Of course, the ThinkPad had a 2048x1536 15" option, but that's really not fair as it's a pretty exclusive upgrade. But it shows that the tech for decent-resolution portable displays has been around forever.

  • by TheGavster ( 774657 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @09:48PM (#41837639) Homepage

    Widescreen movies in a theater are actually 2.35:1. A proper DVD conversion will show black bars even on a 16:9 "widescreen" HDTV.

    I second the desire for 16:10 monitors; that little bit of extra vertical space really makes all the difference!

  • by Ritchie70 ( 860516 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @10:11PM (#41837751) Journal

    Yes! This!

    I bought a laptop a couple years ago (2010) and didn't even think to look at screen resolution. It's a fairly high-spec Dell otherwise - i7 (when i7 was brand new), 8G, etc etc, so I assumed it would be comparable to my old one at least, maybe better. Spent $1200.

    It's this shit 1366x768. I've been mad since I got it and realized how low res it is.

    My prior laptop, also a Dell, had a "WUXGA" resolution. 1920 x 1200. I bought it in 2005. Spent $2200.

    I don't have the money to blow on another laptop. I have, however, done some window-shopping, and it's darn frustrating. It's not even a search option on most sites, and there don't seem to be many laptops that have higher than 1366x768 anyhow. It was expensive in 2005, but it was an option at least. You can barely even buy it today, because of the commoditization of these screens.

    So don't say "buy it if you want it" because you almost can't.

  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @10:38PM (#41837987) Homepage Journal

    Why do they get all the credit for merely delivering technology that has been possible but unavailable from other vendorrs?

    . . . because they deliver technology that has been possible, but unavailable from other vendors. Duh. ;)

  • by djrobxx ( 1095215 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:13AM (#41838929)

    You totally missed the point.

    The Retina display macbook was delivered with an updated OSX which could take advantage of the added resolution, without making everything unusably small. Coordinating those things to offer a desktop OS with a USABLE high resolution screen is, in fact, something to commended.

    I have a 30" cinema display. It looks great under Windows where I can adjust the DPI. However, when you do adjust the DPI, there are an assortment of compatibility problems. Even big ticket apps, like Adobe Photoshop/Dreamweaver don't work right. You'll have dialog boxes pop up with missing controls. There are some "compatibility options" which can fix it, but then you're left with blurry applications. Or you leave the DPI alone and deal with uncomfortably tiny text and icons.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @04:49AM (#41839719) Homepage Journal

    The "Retina" screens add a hefty premium to the 13-15" MBPs

    But the "better than Retina" screen in the Nexus 10 doesn't. It is actually very cheap for a high end 10" tablet. So the conclusion must be that the large Retina display price premium is just Apple's profit margin, not inherent to the technology.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith