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Say Goodbye to 16:10 Notebook Displays

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 47 comments

Apparently PC widescreen displays aren't wide enough

While some computer users are still hanging onto their 4:3 (or even 5:4) LCD displays, the industry made the shift to 16:10 – what we thought to be the computer industry’s version of widescreen.

HDTV’s are all 16:9, but that makes sense for the viewing of TV shows and movies. Computer content, such as webpages, are designed for vertical strolling, making the slightly added vertical resolution of a 16:10 display somewhat more practical.

But throwing practicality aside, the computer industry is already shoving the 16:10 computer displays aside and replacing them with 16:9 versions. Earlier this month, Dell revised its Studio 15 laptop with a 16:9 1366 x 768 screen, ditching the 16:10 options (which came in 1200 x 800 and 1440 x 900). Even HP is going 16:9 with its newest notebook line meant for business users.

According to a Digitimes report, computer makers such as Dell and HP will be dropping the prices of its 16:10 notebooks to clear them out before ushering in new 16:9 models. The price drops are to happen between now and through the third quarter before new models hit in time for the holiday season.

Oddly enough, Digitimes has another story up today reporting that prices for 14.1-inch 16:10 LCD panels are expected to increase in the following months because of short supply caused by manufacturers switching over to 16:9.

With estimates that more than half of all notebook LCD panels will be 16:9 by the end of this year, it might be time to considering jumping into 16:10 before it’s gone like the days of 4:3 and 5:4.

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  • 20 Hide
    deltatux , April 29, 2009 5:15 PM
    I prefer 16:10 laptops more than 16:9. Wide is good, too wide is stupid. 16:9 is only good for gaming or video watching, but when working, you'd want a more boxed screen since you would like to see more of what's below and not everyone likes to keep scrolling.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    deltatux , April 29, 2009 5:15 PM
    I prefer 16:10 laptops more than 16:9. Wide is good, too wide is stupid. 16:9 is only good for gaming or video watching, but when working, you'd want a more boxed screen since you would like to see more of what's below and not everyone likes to keep scrolling.
  • 8 Hide
    hellwig , April 29, 2009 5:27 PM
    The reason I waited to go LCD for so long was that your normal 16:10 LCDs weren't available in a vertical resolution greater than 1024, which is not enough for me. Granted laptops are expected to be smaller, but 768 vertical pixels is just going backwards.
  • 0 Hide
    KyleSTL , April 29, 2009 5:34 PM
    People keep complaining about aspect ratio when what they are saying clearly states that vertical pixel count is far more important. Please be specific in your gripes, as the symptom does not seem to match the cause.
  • 3 Hide
    Verdauga , April 29, 2009 5:43 PM
    I want my 4:3 back....it's getting hard to even find a desktop LCD in larger sizes that isn't "widescreen"
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 29, 2009 5:43 PM
    amen to that "Wide is good, too wide is stupid" -deltatux
    "LCDs weren't available in a vertical resolution greater than 1024" ???Gateway FX P-780 1920x1200
  • 8 Hide
    hellwig , April 29, 2009 5:49 PM
    KyleSTLPeople keep complaining about aspect ratio when what they are saying clearly states that vertical pixel count is far more important. Please be specific in your gripes, as the symptom does not seem to match the cause.

    Who are you talking about, me? My point with wide-aspect screens is that typically they have lower vertical resolution. It took a few years before a 16:10 1680x1050 monitor was an affordable price.

    The move to 16x9 means less vertical resolution with the same technology. As the article states, Dell currently offers 16:10 resolutions of 1200x800 and 1440x900, but their new 16:9 comes in 1366x768. Therefore, the move to a different aspect ratio has led to a decrease in vertical pixels due to the constrained size of the laptop itself. Here, resolution and aspect ratio are directly tied together.
  • 3 Hide
    solymnar , April 29, 2009 5:51 PM
    Interestingly enough, it brings back more practicality to having an autosensing rotational display.

    Granted that has been around for a long time, but having an even (proportionally) narrower feild of view makes it notably more useful to be able to rotate your monitor vertical for many apps (surfing, typing) and then flip it back wide for others (spreadsheets, gaming and the like).
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , April 29, 2009 5:54 PM
    LK"LCDs weren't available in a vertical resolution greater than 1024" ???Gateway FX P-780 1920x1200

    I meant they weren't available "at a good price" early on, not that they didn't exist.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 29, 2009 6:01 PM
    Who needs more horizontal resolution on a monitor? This is just to make manufacturing cheaper (i.e. same panels as a TV).
  • 1 Hide
    Master Exon , April 29, 2009 6:18 PM
    I don't want 16x9.

    >:o 

    >:o 

    >:o 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 29, 2009 6:36 PM
    16:9 is nice if it has at least a 22" diagonal. Many Applications like Most IDEs and Painting programs have a sidebar that fits well in 16:9. It's also nice to have firefox on the left while watching tv on the right side... I like my 16:9 monitor more than my 5:4.
  • 0 Hide
    alentor , April 29, 2009 6:40 PM
    LKamen to that "Wide is good, too wide is stupid" -deltatux"LCDs weren't available in a vertical resolution greater than 1024" ???Gateway FX P-780 1920x1200


    yeah i know what you mean.. ;/
  • 1 Hide
    alentor , April 29, 2009 6:43 PM
    Master ExonI don't want 16x9.>>>

    im with u bro... i want 4:3
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , April 29, 2009 6:55 PM
    I'm mixed on this.

    This is a bummer for older games and other programs that don't support the 16x9 resolutions. I have a 24" LCD monitor and a 46" HDTV. One supports 1600 x 1200 resolution for some older 4x3 games, while the other only supports up to 1024 x 768. Guess which is which...

    I know this is as much the software author's fault as anything else, but that software was here first.

    On the flip side, there is a real possibility that this can help drive a convergence towards standardized aspect ratios across computer and entertainment equipment, which is a good thing given where things are headed with internet TV, media centers, etc.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 29, 2009 7:11 PM
    This will only be a good thing if they start making more rotatable monitors. There's a line from HP that rotate from landscape to portrait, but I still hate the 16:9 concept for computers. They are productivity machines, not just entertainment machines.
  • 3 Hide
    ricardok , April 29, 2009 7:12 PM
    I'm on to 16:10 anyday.. 16:9 are too wide for a computer screen. Not practical at all.. I even keep my taskbar to the right side of the panel just to increase the overal size of the pages I'm working with (meaning spreadsheets, text editors, image editors)..
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 29, 2009 7:26 PM
    16:10 is preferable for both my laptop screen and my desktop monitors.

    I will not purchase a 16:9 laptop unless the vertical resolution was at the very least 1200 or more.
  • 3 Hide
    4c1dr41n4 , April 29, 2009 7:43 PM
    Bash me if you will, but I like standardization. It simply makes things easier. I never liked 5:4 because it was a deviation from standard 4:3. I think 16:10 should have never existed. We should have had 16:9 from the start, so it would be compatible with the HDTV ratio.

    I also agree that rotatable monitors are nice. Mine is! I use it in portrait mode for office/web surfing, and in landscape for gaming/watching video.
  • 0 Hide
    Luscious , April 29, 2009 8:28 PM
    I'll concur with the arguments for standardization, but the fact of the matter is I want a 17" 1920x1200 notebook for serious work use and they are becoming just too hard to find or overly expensive. Professional users who need the screen real estate won't be too happy moving down from 16:10 to 16:9.

    I guess it's time to invest in that 30" panel - wonder when those disappear.
  • 3 Hide
    talzara , April 29, 2009 8:53 PM
    Now if Microsoft would only fix Cleartype for portrait mode ...
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