Monday, March 7, 2011

Shrinking Screens

About four months ago, I started thinking seriously about upgrading my laptop. Basically, all I use it for is surfing the internet and email but even that seems to take longer and longer than it should. For a while I contemplated going the table route but I really want a physical keyboard and I find the laptop configuration is easier to use when laying on the couch or in bed.

I won't indulge you with my list of "must haves" just yet but one thing I want is a high resolution screen. As I was looking around, I discovered two interesting trends. Most laptops now have a 16:9 aspect ratio. This makes sense since TV's are all 16:9 now however, it seems that the common aspect recently was 8:5. Personally, I like the 8:5 ratio.

The second observation I had is that screen resolution leaves much to be desired. Just about every model from every manufacturer I looked at only had displays at 1366x768 for sizes up to 15". That's not good enough for me. The manufactures like to "fancy it up" by calling it "720 HD" which is true but clearly a marketing ploy. I realize that full HD (1980x1080) will come at a premium and only be available on a small range of models. However, to not even be able to upgrade to something somewhere in between (around 1600x900) while not breaking the bank is disappointing. Even if I wanted a behemoth 17" laptop, the standard res is 1600x900 and it's next to impossible to find an upgrade. Is this just not important to enough people to warrant offering more upgrade options?

What I find particularly odd about this is that there is more and more buzz about the resolution of smart phones and tablets. My Evo is 800x480 for crying out loud and it's only 4.3"! Meanwhile complaints abound that the iPad 2 is still at 1024x768.

Are my expectations just too high? Should I just become a mac instead?