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Say Goodbye to 16:10 Notebook Displays

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • deltatux
    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.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    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.
    Reply
  • KyleSTL
    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.
    Reply
  • Verdauga
    I want my 4:3 back....it's getting hard to even find a desktop LCD in larger sizes that isn't "widescreen"
    Reply
  • 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
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  • hellwig
    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.
    Reply
  • solymnar
    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).
    Reply
  • hellwig
    LK"LCDs weren't available in a vertical resolution greater than 1024" ???Gateway FX P-780 1920x1200I meant they weren't available "at a good price" early on, not that they didn't exist.
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  • gm0n3y
    Who needs more horizontal resolution on a monitor? This is just to make manufacturing cheaper (i.e. same panels as a TV).
    Reply
  • Master Exon
    I don't want 16x9.

    >:o

    >:o

    >:o
    Reply