What PC makers think is happening at retail

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    • willyolio
    • 8 years ago

    actually, this probably IS what’s happening.

    Non-savvy user sees computers on display at Best Buy. Most of them can’t get past the user login screen, at best they’ll see the desktop.

    Small screen laptop: Icons and text are tiny
    Big screen laptop with high-res screen: icons and text are tiny
    Big screen laptop with low-res screen: icons and text are large and easy to read. YES PLEASE!

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      I can understand the argument for large screens with crap resolution. I would rather get a Lasik, though.

    • VILLAIN_xx
    • 8 years ago

    Sellers and consumers really say they want more pixels? heh. Alright.

    • CaptTomato
    • 8 years ago

    I use a 26in 1920×1200 PC LCD and a 1080p HDTV on my desktop, but laptop is 15.6 with 13×768, and I have no problem with the resolution.
    I think people equate lower res with lower quality, but the most important factor to me is “readability”, and my laptop is fine at that res.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Hey um, to be honest I don’t like these new comics. Techreport–to me at least–has always given me a sense of uh, [i<]professionalism[/i<] with its content. These comics just don't feel like they fit with that vibe. Sorry.

      • SecretMaster
      • 8 years ago

      I agree

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        I disagree.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Lost your sense of humor?

      • jackaroon
      • 8 years ago

      It really gives this website a “high school newspaper” feel. Also, why is it in both the news and blogs RSS feeds?

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      i dunno, lots of newspapers still run [i<]Garfield[/i<].

    • Coulda
    • 8 years ago

    15 inchers are not usually premium laptops. Lots of budget laptops are found on 15 inch size. 13-14 inchers are usually not cheaper as you have to pay premiums for increased mobility (even at the expense of peformance) in laptop world. 15 inches being low resolution merely reflects that segmentation. When 1366 x 768 15 inch LCD panel is being mass produced, it doesn’t make business sense for manufacturers to source high resolution LCDs for said size.

    • oldog
    • 8 years ago

    I’ll bet she’s at Best Buy.

      • thanatos355
      • 8 years ago

      No, if she were at BB she’d have a half dozen “associates” swarming around her telling her how much she needs the one that costs three times as much, has half of the performance of the one she wants, and convincing her she needs their three year “protection plan” that costs half of the price of the damn thing to begin with.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        You know, the guy on the left has a blue shirt…

          • thanatos355
          • 8 years ago

          I noticed that, but he’s not handing her the most expensive thing on the shelf (no matter what she asked for), so I knew it was just happenstance.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        I was watching some woman get sold a $70 copy of Norton a few months ago. I tried to tell her she could download Microsoft Security Essentials for free, but she didn’t listen to me.

    • Parallax
    • 8 years ago

    All those screens just happen to appear glossy too.

    • FatherXmas
    • 8 years ago

    Well 720P (1280×720) is still considered “HD” and nearly all 720P TV sets use 1366×768 panels so I don’t have the problem with manufacturers calling them “HD”.

    As for myself, I’m not a big fan of PPI for the sake of PPI. A 15″ 1920×1080 or 1200 panel doesn’t do me any good if I’m simply reading documents or slinging code since I’m not planning on reading or writing text that’s less then 10-12 points in size. 90-100 PPI is “good enough” for me so at 1366×768, a 17″ panel is OK.

      • bfar
      • 8 years ago

      At less than 42″ it’s pretty hard to tell the difference even between 1080p and 720p, when you’re sitting 4 or 5 meters away from the screen. Obviously younger eyes are better. I think TV resolution is adaquate for the time being so long as you’re not going beyond 50″ territory.

      Monitors are a different story. Anything greater than 23″ that’s still using 1080p is not ‘high res’ imo, and is actually a step back from the old CRT’s in terms of PPI.

        • CaptTomato
        • 8 years ago

        Anything greater than 23″ that’s still using 1080p is not ‘high res’ imo, and is actually a step back from the old CRT’s in terms of PPI.

        I’m reading this on my 1080p 26in at 900mm using Chrome blown up to 172%.
        100% is like ants

          • barich
          • 8 years ago

          You need better eyes. I’m reading this on my 1080p 15.6″ laptop at 100%. The 1600×1200 Dell 2001FP on my desktop PC is like looking through a screen door in comparison.

            • CaptTomato
            • 8 years ago

            Don’t need glasses, but do like making things comfortable, hence why I zoom to ensure readability rather than conforming to online crazy talk.
            It’s like asking which GFX card to get and some yobbo says a 6990 or you’re somehow defective.

        • FatherXmas
        • 8 years ago

        Well “high res” is a term for television resolution and not computer monitors. We’ve had CAD monitors with 1200 vertical resolution for at least 15-20 years ago. So for PC users “high” resolution was common place.

        Now because the general public is more familiar with TVs than computer monitors, saying a monitor is HD simply means it’s not 4:3 and can display 720P content at native or higher resolution. A vertical resolution that people had back in the days of Windows 386, it’s just the 16:9 or 16:10 that’s new.

        Now if it’s desktop space you are looking for then multiple monitors is way cheaper than those 30″ 2560×1600 monitors. That works out to 100dpi, a little higher than a 24″ 1920×1200 monitor (95dpi). But you can get three or more of those for the price of one 2560×1600.

        Now I can understand the guy who’s annoyed his 70″ HDTV is only 30dpi, which he can see because he sits 6 feet from it, wanting a higher resolution screen but for people sitting two to three feet away?

        Sorry, your iPhone 4s have spoiled you rotten if you expect an 8 megapixel monitor anytime soon.

      • DarkUltra
      • 8 years ago

      You would discover how nice icons, thumbnails and text looks on a higher ppi monitor, if you set the ppi/ui scaling up along with it. Why not have text at 12-14 pixels at the same size? Don’t hold technology back; teach people how to increase the ui scale level.

    • tejas84
    • 8 years ago

    Is it me or is the blonde girl cute with how naive she is?

    Silly blonde American girls

      • Contingency
      • 8 years ago

      You are creepy.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      If you like completely helpless women that are doomed to a life tied to a stove or a dance pole.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Her muppet-mouth and embedded-purse-shoulder turns me off.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    They’re just pandering to people like me with poor eye sight.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 8 years ago

    i prefer higher res displays 1080p is the min i would use on a 15″ laptop

    • axeman
    • 8 years ago

    As an enthusiast, all these “HD” displays are maddening. (No one tells the consumer a “1080p” display is actually a step backwards from what used to be.) But from a PC makers’ standpoint, it makes sense. Because what PC makers “think” is happening is exactly what’s happening. Average Joe wants a big display to make things MOAR BIGGAR, not to get more screen real estate. The nerd rage doesn’t take into account that probably at least 1/2 of the world wasn’t ever running the native resolution of the panel anyways, even on lowly 19″ 5:4 panels of 1280×1024, even those weren’t even close to high resolution (86dpi). Putting in more expensive panels with more pixels is lost on most consumers.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Bingo. My high school had a bunch of 1280×1024 19″ displays and they ran those damn things at 800×600 shoved into a 5:4 monitor. It was disgusting.

      I found a way to change it and people after me would bitch to teachers that “everything was small”. You just can’t win with people.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        My dad made the same “everything’s too small” complaint when I changed the resolution on our first family PC to 800×600. I totally get your frustrations.

        OTOH, my high school had a bunch of IBM all-in-one netboot systems with 286 CPUs and 2MB of RAM. You couldn’t change the resolution because every app we used was in text mode.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      I lived for about a decade with a 17″ 1600×1024 SGI LCD. Looked beautiful and the PPI was very nice. It was always a bitch to get the resolution configured. Well, in Windows it was.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Exacty, the only people who care about resolution, dpi, geometry, refresh rate, color detail etc are videophiles a.k.a a vocal minority. Average Joe doesn’t care enough about those minor details. He only cares about the display working.

      The market is driven by the average joe’s needs. They find that 16:9 works well enough and that’s what videophiles are “stuck” with unless they are willing to pay up for premium features (16:10, IPS, adjustable mounts etc).

        • Kurotetsu
        • 8 years ago

        So people with good eyes are beholden to the people with crappy ones. Awesome.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          No, not really. It’s a matter of who cares and how much they’re willing to spend if they care.

    • Noigel
    • 8 years ago

    I’m a big advocate of the following combinations:

    “Ctrl” and “+”
    “Ctrl” and “-”
    “Ctrl” and “Mouse Wheel Forward”
    “Ctrl” and “Mouse Wheel Back”

    I’ll be working with people… showing them info in a web browser or Word/Excel/Outlook and do this and they freak the heck out. Then they become big fans of it too.

    Squinting sucks and a lot of people are doing it without knowing that interfaces have gotten a lot better at making views larger. I blame IE6.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      IE5 and 6 had those features. Why blame them?

        • Noigel
        • 8 years ago

        Haha, definitely not as elegant as today’s IE, Firefox, or Chrome. Remember setting the font size way up? How it distorted the HTML positioning? Fond memories but I’m glad it’s gone. πŸ™‚

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      Lots of people squint because they need glasses.

      • Mentawl
      • 8 years ago

      Why bother zooming all the time when you could just have a lower resolution panel and be able to see everything natively?

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        Because different websites set different font sizes. The zoom levels stay put.

        Lower resolution eats up screen real-estate quite badly for every single application:period. The best compromise is always highest resolution you can possibly afford and higher DPI for your particular needs.

    • kvndoom
    • 8 years ago

    The only way to have made that cartoon more perfect would have been sizing it at 1366×768 pixels.

    • jpostel
    • 8 years ago

    Thank you Henry Ford. PC makers have learned your lesson:

    You can have any color (size) you want, as long as it’s black (1366×768).

      • cynan
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah. And he’s also the same guy that is credited with this arrogant sounding quote: “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said “a faster horse””. Apparently larger pixels are more innovative…

      Apparently Steve Jobs likes this quote. Both Apple and Ford were successful because they had the vision to provide their customers with a product before they even knew they needed/wanted it.

      Ironically, in Ford’s case, their success was largely due to offering a relatively reliable car that was, for the first time, affordable, while in Apple’s case, the products are, on average, much more expensive than the rest of the market. Go Figure.

      So, as far as the issue with notebook resolutions goes, PC manufacturers are simply taking a page from these two hugely influential American corporations and have learned the true key to success: [b<]Treat your customers like the mindless sheep that they are[/b<]. mmbaaah!

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 8 years ago

        Well, to be fair, they are pretty mindless.

    • just brew it!
    • 8 years ago

    It pisses me off that 5:4 and 4:3 aspect ratio monitors seem to have become an insanely expensive niche product if you want anything over 1280×1024 resolution. I use a pair of old 21″ ViewSonic 1600×1200 LCDs at work, and love ’em; wish I could get something like that at home without shelling out upwards of $800 per monitor.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      I agree with you re: vertical pixels, but why do you want 4:3 so badly? Just get a 16:10 ratio monitor with the same number of vertical pixels and added horizontal pixels.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      It is because 16:10 and 16:9 have effectively replaced 5:4 and 4:3.

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        It looks like somebody doesn’t understand scale of economics.

        The only reason 16:10 and 16:9 have taken over is because of production costs.

        It is cheaper for display manufactuers to setup a standard line for one or two ratio aspect instead of several difference units. The only users that care about 5:4 and 4:3 are a tiny minority. If they want that badly, they have to pay up for it.

        It looks like 16:9 is going to be the ratio that rules them all. It is because of the HDTV revolution. Again, it is cheaper for display manufacturers to have one dedicated production line then make several different lines. The difference between 16:10 and 16:9 is trivial at best. If you need more vertical resolution, you can rolate the display and set it to landscape mode (9:16), which is perfect for viewing web browsing, word processing and databases.

          • DarkUltra
          • 8 years ago

          No, 1200 vertical pixels can fit two windows 7 double-sized task bars. That is a significant real estate. Pictures and photos are usually 4:3, and benefit greatly with the extra vertical space. So does fps games and most rts games, and especially old games that run best at 1600×1200. Multitasking with cascaded windows is also much better at 1920×1200.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    1366×768 is good…for an 11.6″ screen.

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 8 years ago

    I have an Envy 14 with the discontinued Radiance display. 1600×900. I think it’s perfect on a 14.5″ display and would probably be fine with it on a 13.3″ – 16″ display. 1366×768 on the 13.3″ HP dm3z I had previous found me scrolling too much. I’m thinking above 16″ i would opt for a 1080p display though but that’s me. My eyes aren’t what they were just 3 years ago, let alone 20.

    I think something a few people don’t realize is that Windows 7’s GUI looks better on high res screens than Vista and especially XP…. the icon and text ratios etc are better suited.

    • no51
    • 8 years ago

    But how will they market it as “HD” if it wasn’t 1366×768? Even hybrid digital radio is getting in on the “HD” scam.

      • Hirokuzu
      • 8 years ago

      900p is considered “HD+” on lenovo’s site, FYI.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t think that’s official, just marketing speak.

    • ClickClick5
    • 8 years ago

    I miss 1024×768 era.

    These SUPER high res screens hurt to look at just three feet away. Small Icon == Small Icon.

      • Waco
      • 8 years ago

      Indeed. I remember being excited when I could finally play games at 512×384 instead of 320×240.

      People these days are spoiled. That said, I am thoroughly enjoying the 30″ Cinema Display that I get to use this summer. πŸ˜›

    • Mentawl
    • 8 years ago

    Am I the only person who honestly prefers lower-resolution screens? My 15.6″ laptop has a 1440*900 screen resolution, and that’s about perfect for it in my opinion. My sister’s laptop is a 13.3″ and has a 1280*800 resolution, again pretty much spot on for it for readability.

    1920*1080 on a 15″ screen just screams eye-strain to me :/

      • dragosmp
      • 8 years ago

      My take – you need 900 vertical pixels, 1024 or 1080 are even better.

        • ET3D
        • 8 years ago

        1200 are even better, but nobody does that these days. Damned 16×9 displays.

        • axeman
        • 8 years ago

        or 1050. I love me some 1680×1050. 1440×900 is for chumps.

      • yogibbear
      • 8 years ago

      Almost every program you use has zoom functionality.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        why bother with a zoom, when the bro is fine with lower density? that’s just adding an extra step when he’s already satisfied!

        • Mentawl
        • 8 years ago

        That’s like saying “It’s ok, I don’t need glasses, I’ll just hold the paper closer to my face”. Why not just have it so you can read things all the time?

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          I think choosing a lower density screen instead of just calibrating it to how you like is actually the other side of the glasses analogy.

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      All you have to do is increase the dpi of the fonts to 120dpi and it will look even better than your low res screen. There is no substitute for smaller dot pitch, you just need to learn how to customize your desktop properly.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Second this… even my mom found this setting instead of resorting to 800×600 all the time.

          • SPOOFE
          • 8 years ago

          Reminds me of my dad; back in the ’90s he shelled out for a gigantic 24″ CRT monitor…. and had it set at 1024×768.

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            Back in the day, some FPS junkies did this. It is because the huge CRTs could do 1024×768@100-120Hz depending on the mointor.

            • Firestarter
            • 8 years ago

            I remember playing Quake3 on a 19″ CRT at 1024×768, for exactly that reason. It could do 800×600@120hz but that got really distracting.

            • Zoomer
            • 8 years ago

            You mean at 200 Hz. That was sweet.

        • bjm
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, but then the fonts look funny.

      • SHOES
      • 8 years ago

      I agree with the rest in that your settings will fix that problem however I also believe that they should stop throwing these crazy high resolutions at laptops Isnt 1440×900 enough for a laptop screen(17″ and under)? Considering most ppl do at least some light gaming and will offer up smoother frame rates.

        • cynan
        • 8 years ago

        If you do a lot of Photoshop or play RTS games where you can zoom in and out on the fly, then the more resolution the better.

        But I do agree, for most things, after a certain point, there is minimal or no benefit. I think that for 95% of users, 1366×768 for 11.1 to 13.3; 1680×1050 for anything else up to 18″ is very adequate. But hey, if it doesn’t cost too much extra, or if it fattens sales margins and can be spun to look compelling by marketing then, by george, they’re gonna try and upsell you.

        It’s no different with the bleeding edge of smart phones. The next Google-Samsung phone is purported to have 720p resolution (in, I’m assuming, a screen size of 5″ or less). And it makes even less sense for a smart phone display.

          • DarkUltra
          • 8 years ago

          The current system in Windows 7 is borked. There should be both a zoom level and a dpi setting. DPI/PPI is constant on LCDs at their native resolution and helps programs display documents and images at their correct size. Zoom level, or perhaps UI scale, should be set at the users comfort and distance to the monitor.

        • khands
        • 8 years ago

        I’d prefer 1600×900 (or better yet, 1680×1050) at 15.6, but yeah, smaller than that you don’t really need it.

      • Thrashdog
      • 8 years ago

      I used a 15-inch 1680X1050 screen for years, didn’t especially bother me. Granted I have 20/15 vision, so YMMV, but most of the work I do is graphically-oriented, so high resolution and plenty of work-space is typically more important than the size of the text of a webpage.

      • Kougar
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, 1920×1080 is a total strain… I like 1920×1200 @ 17″ much better! If I can’t discern individual pixels then I’m happy. πŸ˜‰

      • gnujoe2001
      • 8 years ago

      1920×1080 is quite nice on a 15″ actually. IDE’s like Eclipse use up that vertical resolution nicely to include source, console/log, stack, memory map, and watch windows. Its also pretty cool being able to run Virtualized or Emulator environments in “normal” resolutions like 1366×768 or so and still have real estate on the host desktop.

      I would have been willing to pay a tad extra for 1920×1200, but wasn’t an option on most current laptops within reason.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 8 years ago

    I hate that most notebooks are such a crappy resolution.
    I’d have to go HP Elitebook Workstation to get anything reasonable.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 8 years ago

    that is true.. women nowadays are more attracted to males with enormous pennxels

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      How about dual-screens?

        • thanatos355
        • 8 years ago

        Oh, sure, if you can talk her into that sort of thing. Hope it’s your birthday, pal.

    • Dygear
    • 8 years ago

    I would honestly prefer a 1280×800 screen resolution then a 1366×768.

      • axeman
      • 8 years ago

      Me too, that’s why I have one. But 16:10 displays are all but dead, and 768 is better than 720, at least when you’re not having to scale 720p video.

    • thanatos355
    • 8 years ago

    If she wants big pixels….I have a big screen tv from the early 80s that will BLOW HER FUGGIN’ MIND! πŸ˜€

      • cheddarlump
      • 8 years ago

      She needs a light-bright.

      • RAMBO
      • 8 years ago

      I have a Sony Trio or something, 32 years old!! Still works, weighs about 250lbs. I want to drop it just to hear the boob tube self implode.

    • ChunΒ’
    • 8 years ago

    my 15 inch HP Dv6t Select has this problem. It’s even the premium model. Compare that to my brother’s Studio 15 that’s a few years older even, and it’s display is 1920×1080. This comic makes me sad.

      • axeman
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah 1366×768 on 15″ screens make keanu sad.

    • bhtooefr
    • 8 years ago

    The thing is, normal users seem to want the text to be big, and they run everything fullscreen anyway, so… the easiest way to do that is to make a low-resolution display, because resolution independence seems to fail in the real world. (Yes, even with Windows 7, it doesn’t work well.)

      • Lianna
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, and even when it works, they don’t have anyone to turn on 120dpi fonts for them. And a lot of people in their 50s and 60s need + prescription glasses, but they don’t like to wear them, so bright screen (smaller eye aperture gives deeper DoF) and big pixels are a must.

      They don’t have anyone to tell them that in IE they can use default text enlargement, either.

        • bhtooefr
        • 8 years ago

        Myself, my answer is, I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 3, and bifocals since I was 10, due to my right eye. (My left eye is 20/20, though. Funny how that works.)

        Bring on the absurdly high res displays, for me.

        • bhtooefr
        • 8 years ago

        Technically, there are ways to deal with that at the OS level. (However, application support is the problem, and both Win7 and OS X (10.6 has the resolution independence options buried) have shown that even the OS can be inconsistent with itself there, let alone applications.)

        First off, EDIDs for monitors support storing X and Y sizes – meaning that the OS can be aware of not just the pixel dimensions, but the physical dimensions of the monitor, and scaling appropriately. From there, a 12 point font can be 12/72 of an inch tall on all displays, no matter the size, and monitor size, not pixel area, determines how much desktop area you have.

        Second, during initial setup, there can always be options for, “select the font size that you prefer to read”, and setting all OS scaling based on that.

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    I just bought an Acer Aspire netbook with a C-50 processor. It came with a 1366×768 display.

    I’m looking at buying an HP dv6z machine with the fastest A8 processor and discrete graphics. It comes with a 1366×768 display.

    *sigh*

      • ET3D
      • 8 years ago

      What Acer Aspire is 1366×768? The C-50 I know is 720p (1280×720). Not a big difference but still not the same.

      Also, the dv6z Quad has a 1080p option. You can buy it even with the slowest A6 processor and integrated graphics.

      So please stop sighing unnecessarily.

        • axeman
        • 8 years ago

        Aspire One 722. C-50, 1366×768 11.5″ screen.

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          That’s the one. So far, it’s beating the pants off of the Toshiba NB255-N245 netbook we have. I think I’m going to give that one to my wife. πŸ™‚

            • axeman
            • 8 years ago

            Yeah I was going to give that one a look. Netbook size and price, but with a better than Atom CPU, and much better gfx? Yes please.

            edit: well maybe not a “netbook” with a 11.6″ display, but I find 11.6 to be the best size, any smaller, and you start having to make serious compromises with the keyboard layout and size.

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            It was/is on sale at Target for $249 with a $50 gift card. So, it cost the same as the Atom based netbook we have–actually a bit cheaper as the Atom came with 1G/160G and this came with 2G/320G (Yeah, the product description said 250G, but inside the box was a nice little unmentioned upgrade. Yay!)

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      There is an option to upgrade 15″ Pavillions.

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        Yep, $150. I can either have a faster HD, larger battery, and good discrete graphics or an HD pannel. Sorry, pixels…..

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Hehe, she said she likes enormous sizes ^^ , that figures…….

      • glacius555
      • 8 years ago

      Yep, that’s exactly what she said..

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      that does feagures. whatever that means…

      • Wirko
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, she may have no clue of what a “pixel” is but she knows that more is better. She’s the kind of person that would also gladly buy a notebook with 100% reflective screen, rather than 1%, and this is what PC makers [i<]know[/i<] is happening at retail.

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