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709
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2005-02-15, 09:32

Suprised nobody mentioned this little blurb from macosXrumors:
Quote:
One of our readers has sent us this interesting e-mail during the week-end, hinting that Apple plans to release a new Powerbook with a high definition capable display:

I noticed the new powerbook manuals have changed their wording from referencing the 1440x900 panel to:

Depending on how your Powerbook was configured, it may have a wide-screen display that has a “native” resolution of 1920x1200 or 1440x900.

(From my Powerbook manual page 22)

Could it be that Apple is planning on making a 1920x1200 lcd panel an option in the near future? Or perhaps this was planned and then delayed for the release of the G5 notebooks. At any rate, Apple sales has no clue what this is referring to, and suggest it’s just talking about video mirroring; the wording is pretty clear though… Apple intended for the new 17″ powerbooks to come with either 1440x900 or 1920x1200. I sure wish we know if/when this would arrive.


Our reader, Jonathan, had ordered the lastest generation Powerbook 17″ and has just received it. He has also sent us a picture of the mentioned manual’s page.

Considering that 1920x1200 pixels resolution is used for high definition cinema and that Steve Jobs has said that 2005 was the year of high definition, we may draw the conclusion that this feature will come this year on. Will it be a new “Powerbook HD”? Will it be a BTO option? Will it come with G5 based Powerbooks? Time will tell.
Sure, we've all heard about Tiger's upcoming 'resolution independence', but holy hell, a laptop with the same resolution as a 23" Cinema Display?

I was curious on the ppi of Apple's existing PowerBooks, and got this from Apple's site:
Quote:
Best Resolution for Images and Words

The quality of the pixels you see impacts how you use your computer. After years of experience, Apple engineers have discovered the ideal resolution to display both sharp text and graphics — a pixel density of about 100 pixels per inch (ppi). Other vendors may offer a larger monitor, but with less resolution, so you end up with fewer pixels, or a smaller monitor with a high resolution that causes eyestrain and headaches. Apple’s balanced 100 pixels per inch format is optimized for images, yet allows you to easily work with text in email, Safari and sophisticated type treatments in layouts.
OK. So 100ppi is Apple's 'ideal resolution'. This leads to the following possible outcome imo:
1) It's a freakin' typo. Grab a paper bag a breathe in and out deeply, 709.

2) Apple is releasing a PowerBook HD at it's 'ideal' LCD resolution of 100ppi...coming in at an anti-svelte 23".

3) Apple has an uber-dense ppi screen in their underground tunnel labs, making ppi a non-issue.

4) Apple has a 130-ish ppi LCD, and will offer it as a BTO on upcoming 17" PowerBooks. Or maybe offer a 19"-20" PowerBook with this slightly denser ppi for those HD on-the-go people.
Interesting speculation nonetheless. I'd be on a 19" HD PowerBook in a second. Hell, the 17" just about crosses over the 'unweildy' line as far as size (not thickness), I'd gladly lug a 19" around if I could design/edit at 1-1 ratio.

So it goes.
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pscates2.0
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2005-02-15, 09:44

Our buddies at MOSR have gotten in on this:



http://www.macosrumors.com/20050213B.php

From the article:

Quote:
The larger 1920x1200 Powerbook prototypes we've seen were made with cooling high-end G5 processors in mind: somewhat thicker than today's PBG4s and with displays of 19, 20, or 21 inches to allow for sprawling heat-pipe and liquid-cooled structures as well as a huge ATi Radeon 9800 Mobility graphics card.


Okay, first, let's just clear something up before we proceed: THEY haven't "seen" shit.

But, just for the sake of this post, let's pretend they did. A 21" PowerBook?!?!



Well, the cool thing is that they could probably get it to about 3/8" thick, at that "sprawling" size...

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709
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2005-02-15, 09:57

Oh great. I didn't even think to check out macosrumors. Well, if they're on it, it must be true.
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pscates2.0
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2005-02-15, 10:06

Maybe this is the trade-off in getting a G5 into a PowerBook?

"Guys, we got some good news and some bad news...

Good news, we're announcing the G5 PowerBook at WWDC next week. Bad news? It's bigger than your windshield, weighs 19 pounds and costs $4799. But hey, you all just HAD to have a G5-based laptop, so STFU...".

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MCQ
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2005-02-15, 10:19

Wouldn't surprise me. Such higher Res widescreen panels already exist in current PC laptops (what a surprise!)

17" 1920x1200: Sony A270 (8.6 lbs, 16 x 1.7-1.8 x 11 WxDxH):
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...bookComputers#

15.4" 1920x1200 or 1680x1050: Dell 8600, D800 (6.6-7 lbs, 14.2 in x 10.9 in x 1.5 WxDxH)
http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/lear...n&~tab=othe r

Oh yeah, the obiligatory MOSR:
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pscates2.0
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2005-02-15, 10:34

Ugh, I don't know...1920x1200 or 1680x1050 (Apple's 20" resolution) on a 15.4" screen?



I don't know about that...

What was the word frequently used at the other site? Squintronic™

Who was it that said that? It was the guy who always harped on Apple's pricing (like I do their marketing). I can't remember his name...

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709
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2005-02-15, 10:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCQ
Wouldn't surprise me. Such higher Res widescreen panels already exist in current PC laptops (what a surprise!)

17" 1920x1200: Sony A270 (8.6 lbs, 16 x 1.7-1.8 x 11 WxDxH):
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...bookComputers#

15.4" 1920x1200 or 1680x1050: Dell 8600, D800 (6.6-7 lbs, 14.2 in x 10.9 in x 1.5 WxDxH)
http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/lear...n&~tab=othe r
Wait a minute, are those 1920x1200 'native' resolution? Or is that just desktop resolution using that wacky Windows scrolling desktop feature? For the life of me I couldn't find a ppi for either machine.

I find it hard to belive that a Dell 15" notebook has a native 1920x1200 res. Maybe the 17" Sony, but a 15"?

So it goes.
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709
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2005-02-15, 10:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
Who was it that said that? It was the guy who always harped on Apple's pricing (like I do their marketing). I can't remember his name...

Matsu was the price Nazi, but I believe it was Amorph who came up with Squintronic™.
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MCQ
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2005-02-15, 10:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709
Wait a minute, are those 1920x1200 'native' resolution? Or is that just desktop resolution using that wacky Windows scrolling desktop feature? For the life of me I couldn't find a ppi for either machine.

I find it hard to belive that a Dell 15" notebook has a native 1920x1200 res. Maybe the 17" Sony, but a 15"?
I think so? Never seen one in person. Quick Google search turned up this Ars review... no mention of having to desktop scroll that I see:
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/d800.ars/4

The high res thing may not be such an insanely great idea now (though I don't think I'd mind the option)... but would be great in a couple years once they fully hash out resolution independence in the OS.
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709
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2005-02-15, 10:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCQ
I think so? Never seen one in person. Quick Google search turned up this Ars review... no mention of having to desktop scroll that I see:
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/d800.ars/4
Ah. Thanks. It looks like (for the Dell at least) they're just giving an option to run more real estate on the same pixels, which of course causes crunchy text and the like.

I'd be interested in a 1-1 (ie:native resolution) notebook LCD at 1920x1200, but not something like this.

So it goes.
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Kurama
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2005-02-15, 11:04

I don't like the idea of 1920x1200 resolution.

because my parents have a sony vaio with that res. and its so small to see anything even if you adjust the display its not gonna be as crisp and sharp as the 1920.
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2005-02-15, 13:54

Tiger may have resolution independance which would negate your tiny text and squinting arguments
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DMBand0026
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2005-02-15, 14:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
Our buddies at MOSR have gotten in on this:
You can stop reading here. If MSOR is on it, it can't be true.
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709
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2005-02-15, 14:41

OK, then maybe I'm not understanding 'resolution independence' correctly. Wouldn't, by very definition, an optimal LCD resolution be dependent on the ppi? Sure, all notebook screens have a varying resolution scale, but there's always *one* certain resolution that's recommended, otherwise on-screen stuff scales one way or the other and looks like crap.

I guess what this all boils down to, for me at least, is the potential for a mobile workstation I can actually see all my information on. Not scaled or partial...everything.

So it goes.
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dviant
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2005-02-15, 15:05

"Resolution independent" is referring to the operating system GUI. In other words you run your 1920x1200 15.4" monitor at it native resolution and adjust the actual interface of the OS to the size of your liking. In that kind of situation having huge pixel density will actually be great.

In a cool sci-fi future we eventually get to the point where we have 300ppi monitors, 7 pt types actually IS 7 pts high and can be read as clearly as if it were printed. At this point fabled paperless office comes into it's own. :P

Shhhh, I can't see!
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709
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2005-02-15, 15:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by dviant
"Resolution independent" is referring to the operating system GUI. In other words you run your 1920x1200 15.4" monitor at it native resolution and adjust the actual interface of the OS to the size of your liking. In that kind of situation having huge pixel density will actually be great.
OK. This I don't get. Say the GUI scales up (and I'm assuming that every app scales accordingly (I know, I know)) to a certain 'usable' resolution on an LCD with a fixed ppi of 100-150. Why? Why not just get a lower res screen where the resolution is comfortable and crisp? It's a nice thought and all, but, to me anyways, reeks of 'look what I can do'...and in a daily use environment isn't very practical at all. Maybe I'm just being dense here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dviant
In a cool sci-fi future we eventually get to the point where we have 300ppi monitors, 7 pt types actually IS 7 pts high and can be read as clearly as if it were printed. At this point fabled paperless office comes into it's own. :P
Right. That's what I was implying in my first post about ppi being a non-issue on an uber-res screen. Unfortunately it seems we're quite aways away from that being a possibility anytime soon.

So it goes.
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dviant
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2005-02-15, 17:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709
OK. This I don't get. Say the GUI scales up (and I'm assuming that every app scales accordingly (I know, I know)) to a certain 'usable' resolution on an LCD with a fixed ppi of 100-150. Why? Why not just get a lower res screen where the resolution is comfortable and crisp? It's a nice thought and all, but, to me anyways, reeks of 'look what I can do'...and in a daily use environment isn't very practical at all. Maybe I'm just being dense here.
If your GUI is scalable (we're talking physical display size not "resolution" here) independent of your screen resolution then yes, more PPI = "more crisp". It wouldn't be a gimmick or anything. More pixels you have to display one inch of screen, the more clear and crisp it becomes. Same thing like if you print a 72 dpi web image vs a 300 dpi print-ready image. The 300 dpi will be dramatically better. It's not about being "practical" (we can obviously get by with 100ppi just fine as is) its about advancing technology.

Shhhh, I can't see!
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709
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2005-02-15, 17:04

Yup, thanks, I got that...I just don't get it. Ah, well.


[edit:] I should clarify: I get the how, I just don't get the why. When 300+ppi LCDs come along, the why part will make sense.

So it goes.
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wiskedjak
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2005-02-15, 17:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709
Ah. Thanks. It looks like (for the Dell at least) they're just giving an option to run more real estate on the same pixels, which of course causes crunchy text and the like.

I'd be interested in a 1-1 (ie:native resolution) notebook LCD at 1920x1200, but not something like this.
It looks like the Sony is 1920-1200 native. Apple has always lagged behind it's PC counterparts in laptop resolutions
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709
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2005-02-15, 17:30

Interesting. So on a 17" laptop that comes out to 133ppi...that figures to everything decreasing by 25%.....I could live with that.

Bring it!


[edit]: Hey now...according to this newfangled math we could potentially see a 2560x1600 23" display...the same resolution as the 30"!!!

So it goes.

Last edited by 709 : 2005-02-15 at 17:38.
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dviant
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2005-02-15, 17:39

709 so what you're really asking is who cares when its currently just 100 ppi vs 150 ppi? If there WERE a resolution-independent OS right I still think people would care. Without having it be real, it's hard to say what the perceived advantage of an extra 50 ppi would be, but I bet you could notice it. Probably more than the perceived difference in clock speed between the current G5 offerings. When resolution-independent OS's hit, monitor PPI will become very important methinks. Perhaps even as important to consumers as CPU clock speed?

Not sure how you don't get why people would want this or why it wouldn't be advantageous in the world of resolution-independent GUIs. Perhaps you don't work with Photoshop images to have a frame of reference?

Shhhh, I can't see!
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709
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2005-02-15, 17:54



No, believe me I care...a lot. Sorry if it sounded like I don't.

I'm not ripping on the concept of RI, I think that's very exciting. Maybe I took the thread a 'bit' () off topic by even mentioning it, but I'm curious about such things so I started getting into it.

The thing is, we 'don't' have the physical tech to utilize the wonderful world of RI GUIs right now. And I hate the idea of scaling an interface (or anything for that matter) on 'inferior' tech just because we can. Like I said above, when the physical tech (ppi) gets there it will be a non-issue and a wonderful thing. Right now, it's not. But that doesn't make me not want it.

So it goes.
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dviant
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2005-02-15, 18:32

Heh OK... um. I think. Now I'M confused.

Fwiw (if we're misunderstanding each other)... having 1920x1200 on a 15" laptop right now is utterly ridiculous and silly. Without a RI GUI there's not much point unless you have a masochistic enjoyment of eye strain.

Windows sort of deals with it by increasing font sizes and whatnot but its a pretty piss-poor attempt at RI (omg lets increase all the web graphics by 125% that looks great!!! Not. Stupid MS)

Shhhh, I can't see!

Last edited by dviant : 2005-02-15 at 18:37. Reason: clarification
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k squared
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2005-02-15, 20:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiskedjak
It looks like the Sony is 1920-1200 native. Apple has always lagged behind it's PC counterparts in laptop resolutions
You're right, but not in how you phrase it. Apple's PowerBook resolutions are geared toward a certain user experience: that of 100 ppi. Could Apple incorporate higher resolution displays? Of course.
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709
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2005-02-15, 23:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by dviant
Fwiw (if we're misunderstanding each other)... having 1920x1200 on a 15" laptop right now is utterly ridiculous and silly. Without a RI GUI there's not much point unless you have a masochistic enjoyment of eye strain.

Windows sort of deals with it by increasing font sizes and whatnot but its a pretty piss-poor attempt at RI (omg lets increase all the web graphics by 125% that looks great!!! Not. Stupid MS)
Yes! Thank you.


(also, fwiw, my laughing smiley was included only because I make my living off of PhotoShop and the like. I found your comment amusing. Cheers, man.)
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BlueRabbit
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2005-02-16, 00:20

Hmmmm...this kind of fits in with the speculation about a desktop replacement MacBook. What if Apple comes out with a really awesome 17" PB that's a bit thick, but with a better GPU, processor, and other stuff. This computer would be the best candidate to also have an HD display, as it would certainly have enough horsepower to use it, and would undoubtedly be the high-end of Apple's lineup.
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2005-02-16, 00:39

There is one obvious fact people seem to be missing. If Apple offers 1920x1200 and you don't like it or are worried about squinting & illegible text, you don't have to use that resolution. I think it would be great to have that kind of resolution if/when I need it.

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Luca
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2005-02-16, 01:00

The problem is that it would look really crappy to use a non-native resolution. The only way around bad-looking pixel interpolation is to run the LCD at exactly one-quarter of the native resolution, therefore having four physical pixels serve as a single pixel on the screen. On a 1920x1200 screen, that means it'll look good at 960x600 as well as 1920x1200. Obviously, 960x600 is too low a resolution for normal work.

Obviously you can run it at a lower, non-native resolution, and the screen may even become more readable as a result. But you'll lose a lot of sharpness. I'd rather Apple offer it as an option, and allow the buyer to decide whether it's worth the squintyness to get such a high resolution. By the way, I have used one of those Dells with a 15.4" 1920x1200 screen, and it's really bad for text. It's so tiny it becomes difficult to read. Windows has its own form of so-called resolution scaling. but it doesn't do a great job. Basically it resizes all the system fonts and interface elements to be 25% larger or something, but it doesn't work with certain web pages or certain applications, so you're stuck with squinty text even if you enable the option. You really need vector-based interface elements in order to achieve true resolution independence. One thing I will say in the Dell's favor is that the screen was EXTREMELY sharp and crisp. But it's not worth the huge drop in readability. I could see bumping up the resolution a notch on the PowerBooks (to 1680x1050 and 1440x900 would be sharper and still readable unless you have bad eyesight), but I wouldn't want to go any higher than that, and I wouldn't want either of those changes to be forced on anyone.

Another way around resolution independence would be if you could possibly create a screen that can run at quadruple the current resolutions. It would require more advanced hardware than we have now, but only slightly more advanced software. If you could have a 15" PowerBook with a 2560x1708 screen, you could run it at the current native resolution of 1280x854 without any loss in quality. Then you could bump it back up to the high native resolution in certain applications, when you need it. Even have application-specific profiles for quick changes. The 17" would need a 2880x1800 resolution, while the 12" would have to use 2048x1536. Then again, it would probably not be worth the amount of work required to get such high resolution displays out. I mean, all it would accomplish would be a bit of an increase in quality for when you run it at an interpolated resolution. Writing resolution-independent software is much easier than developing huge-resolution screens, not to mention the hardware necessary to drive them. Four times the pixels equals four times the VRAM necessary to buffer all of them, so we're looking at 256-512 MB of VRAM just to drive such huge displays as well as the current PowerBooks drive theirs.

Last edited by Luca : 2005-02-16 at 01:06.
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runner91786
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2005-02-16, 01:52

Yes, Sony's entire A-series line carries the 1900x1200 resolution. It is amazing, I work at Best Buy and see it almost daily.
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admactanium
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2005-02-16, 03:38

again, resolution independence solves all. as much as i'm happy with the current "size" of interface elements as rendered on my pb's screen, i'd be even happier if all the elements were the same size but the type had twice the resolution to make smoother letterforms without some of the fuzzy antialiasing that goes on now.
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