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Lovable Bastard
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
2008-08-01, 10:50

Originally Posted by noleli2 View Post
I mean, I don't understand why you can get a 17" laptop display at 1920 x 1200, but you can't get that in a desktop monitor for under 24". What's the deal?
It's because, without resolution independent operating systems, you don't want to venture too north of 100 DPI. A 24" monitor with a 1920x1200 max resolution comes in at 98 DPI and is very comfortable. It's more or less okay with desktop monitors because, if you need more dots, you can always buy a bigger monitor.

Manufactures break this rule all the time with laptop screens, though, because the portability factor comes into play. When you hit 17", you've pretty much gone as far as you can go with a laptop before it becomes a luggable. But if you stuck with the 100 DPI rule under those circumstances, you wouldn't get above 1440 x 900, and some people just plain need more dots. So (I believe Dell was the first) the manufacturers started producing these screens with retina-scarring DPIs.

If DPIs get too high, it can put a strain on ones vision. I personally think that 133 DPI - which is what 1920x1200 on 17" generates - is way too high. Hurts my eyes. Hopefully Snow Leopard brings system wide RI, which would be super cool, since it would let Apple ship cinema displays with stratospheric resolutions. Then, maybe, they wouldn't be so overpriced.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope