Why do mobile displays get all the love?

With few exceptions, it seems, the gadgets hogging the media limelight today tend to be of the fingerprint-collecting variety. Tablets, phones, tablet-phones, e-readers, and anything else manufacturers can saddle with a media decoding chip and a touchscreen saturate the headlines on a daily basis. Much like during the netbook onslaught of yesteryear, the portion of my brain devoted to caring about such things is reaching full capacity. There is, however, one aspect of these shiny slabs that continues to pique my interest: the displays.

In this regard, mobile devices have become the daddy’s girls of the electronics world. Where PCs have to pinch pennies to score a rusty set of wheels when they reach legal driving age, tablets and phones wake up on their 16th birthday with a brand new Mustang convertible in the driveway. In PC land, aspect ratios keep getting squished, cheap panels abound, and accurate color reproduction and contrast are relegated to budget-busting models. Looking at laptops, the situation is even more dire. Apparently, we all missed the board meeting where it was decided that 1366×768 ought to be enough for anybody.

Smaller mobile devices, on the other hand, are going through a display renaissance of sorts. Manufacturers are doing everything they can to increase pixel counts, and vivid panels based on IPS and OLED technology permeate the market. Apple’s new iPad introduced the world to a 2048×1536 resolution spread across 9.7" of IPS-fueled liquid crystal goodness, and many Android handsets now stretch 720p resolutions across 4" screens. Despite these advances, here I sit, cruising at 35,000 feet, banging out a blog post on a 12.1" screen with a mere 25% of the new iPad’s pixel count.

The average LCD monitor has slowly but surely gained extra color-changing dots over the years. However, the upticks have been somewhat less than dramatic. We’ve basically just stretched the field of 1024×768 and 1280×1024 monitors into squat, 16:9 panels with 1366×768 and 1920×1080 resolutions. Screen sizes have increased to accommodate the additional pixels, but the number of pixels per inch (PPI) has remained largely unchanged.

In stark contrast, the humble smartphone screen has seen its pixel count skyrocket from 320×240 to as much as 1280×720. That’s up to a 12X increase in the number of pixels crammed into displays that have grown perhaps only an inch or two larger. As a result, smartphone screens have managed to ramp up not only their resolution, but also their PPI.

Why does increasing the pixel density matter? Because adding more pixels per unit area makes everything look better, from pictures to icons to text. High-PPI displays are particularly good at smoothing out the jagged edges of fonts, resulting in crisper text that’s easier to read. This added fidelity is particularly beneficial to handheld devices equipped with relatively small screens, so it’s no wonder smartphones have been the first consumer devices to feature higher pixel densities. But why are smartphone and tablet panels advancing at such a breakneck pace while I can still count the individual pixels on my laptop?

If I were a betting man, I’d drop my hard earned dough on the theory that, at a given density, smaller panels offer much higher manufacturing yields than their larger counterparts. LCD panels are created in large batches, with many displays occupying a single sheet of glass. Think of it like CPU fabrication, but on two-meter glass substrates. Larger panels mean fewer screens can be squeezed out of a single substrate. Entire panels must be scrapped if defects exist, even if they only cover a relatively small area, making defects costlier with larger displays. With smaller screens, manufacturers can squeeze more panels onto a single sheet of glass, reducing the amount of waste due to localized defects.

Beyond yields, there is also the matter of capacity. If manufacturers are able to saturate their production lines with smaller displays that offer good yields and consistently sell for a tidy sum, there is little incentive to risk the time and materials on larger panels that may be less profitable. Some vendors have dabbled in high-PPI desktop displays; over a decade ago, IBM pimped a 22.2" 3840×2400 IPS panels to the medical imaging community. That’s a niche market where exorbitant prices are common, though.

Tackling the manufacturing issues involved in creating large, high-density panels is only half the battle. Software compatibility is another hurdle that must be overcome. As much as I want to live the illustrious life of an Apple hater, I feel like the Mac maker has approached the high-resolution conundrum the right way with its Retina displays. By starting with a usable base resolution and increasing the number of pixels by a factor of four in the same area, software can use simple scaling to take advantage of the extra pixels without making all the icons and menus microscopic.

By contrast, the high-density display on Sony’s Z-series ultraportable runs into issues. Even with an impressively dense 1920×1080 pixels under its 13" belt, the screen isn’t conducive to the same seamless upscaling of fonts and icons as the iPhone or iPad. To accomplish that feat, the base resolution would have to be set at a paltry 960×540 to offer the ideal factor-of-four upscaling to 1080p.

Just the other day, Cyril reported on Windows 8’s upcoming scaling features for high-density displays. This scaling is designed to allow 10.1" and 11.6" tablets with 1920×1080 resolutions to display fonts and GUI elements smoothly and macroscopically. The end results remain to be seen, but I would really prefer to see PC manufacturers set their sights on 4X scaling rather than cutting corners with odd upscaling ratios.

When might we reasonably expect high-PPI goodness to permeate laptops and desktop monitors? Sooner rather than later, I hope. Higher-resolution screens have started seeping into premium ultraportables, and Apple is expected to incorporate Retina panels in its next line of MacBook laptops. Stand-alone monitors will probably take longer to catch up, which is a shame considering how many of our readers are pining for higher pixel densities on their desktops.

The success of the fledgling quad-HD (4K) video format will be another crucial factor in the adoption rate of high-resolution displays. The native resolution of 3840×2160 fits the factor-of-four criteria perfectly and provides a new, exciting canvas for video artists to paint on. As a matter of fact, YouTube already hosts a small collection of 4K videos for your bandwidth-crushing pleasure.

What if you don’t really care about 4K video just yet? What if sharper text doesn’t get your motor running? What else could a dramatic increase in pixel density do for the PC? Make games look better, of course. Adding pixels allows for more detail, and making pixels smaller reduces the need for antialiasing algorithms that can slow down rendering—although, on the flip side, your graphics card will have more pixels to render. With more pixels comes more computing responsibility.

Well, I’m landing now. Time to wrap this up. While my jet-lagged ranting probably won’t get super-duper-dense LCDs into our notebooks and desktops any faster, perhaps we can still make a difference. Gentlemen, gather your picket signs and MRE pouches! At the very least, we can raise awareness about the obscene, Volkswagen-sized pixels commonly found on consumer notebooks. Occupy Best Buy! Who’s with me? *crickets*

Comments closed
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    • mekpro
    • 8 years ago

    Retina – Angry Birds
    Poorman TFT – Starcraft, Mass Effect, Crysis, Civilization, many …

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    • DarkUltra
    • 8 years ago

    Even refresh rate, tablets get a lot of love too (though we do have 120hz 3d ready displays)

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4[/url<]

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      only about 24 months after it became standard in TV’s and now TV’s have 240 hz displays at affordable price ranges.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        Is there a point to 240hz TVs? I don’t know of any content that can take advantage of that.

          • Elsoze
          • 8 years ago

          Yes, actually. Very much so. It is a perfectly dividable rate for all video without the need for tricks like 3:2 pulldown.

          TV is generally shot at 30fps (29.97fps for NTSC at times) or even 60fps for a few speciality items. Movies though are shot at 24fps.

          TVs always refresh at the same constant rate. That’s just how they work. So what do they do if the source is 24fps but the destination screen is 60fps? They fill in the gaps using a process called 3 to 2 pulldown. Quite simply, you show 3 of the same frames and then 2 of the same frames. Most of the time this isn’t noticeable, but sometimes it’s *very* noticeable. Mostly on panning shots and on some action. It’ll seem jerky or just *off*.

          With a 240Hz refresh, no fill in needs to happen (at least in North America). 240/30 = 8. 240/60 = 4. 240/24 = 10. All nice and even numbers, erasing the need for stuttering inducing fixes to fill in frames.

          This changes though once you start messing with PAL video and their fancy 25 & 50fps πŸ˜‰

        • diesavagenation
        • 8 years ago
    • allreadydead
    • 8 years ago

    I was never ok with the panels of the notebooks since day 1. When I saw first notebooks in 90s, I was like “its cool but whats wrong with the display ?”.

    LCDs were really bad back in those days but they improved; in a very wrong way. They got:
    1. Worst available TN panels
    2. Glossy finishes to make it impossible to use notebook on illuminated spaces
    3. Very lol resolutions (would use low instead of lol but to empathize things a bit, lol fits better)
    4. Color Gamut and Color reproduction beyond your imaginations..And sadly, beyond any industry standards.
    5. VERY WRONG aspect ratios. Honestly, why the hell I have 1080p resolution in my PC ? I have taskbar, frames and menus on every window. Now, its worse; We have Icon Ribbons instead of slim menus.They all eat my vertical space and yet, panels get wider and have lesser vertical space.

    Those were all “makin’ it cheper” tricks of the industry. And, Apple just came with “Oi, you are doing it wrong” attitude. They were merely pointing out the elephant in the room.
    I resisted the LCDs as long as I could and lol’d at them at every occasion with even my Samsung 757 DFX. They were either very cheap TN horrors or IPS, MVA with comprimises. The prices of good panels in my country were about 2x to 4x of USA prices so I had to settle up with Philips 240 BW. I HAD to cos the industry was decided to kill 16:10 and go for their new LAME champion; 16:9.

    Industry is STILL making it wrong. TN panel@16:9 is still the elephant in the room. Going for mass production of unpotent TN panels and push IPS variants to niche level is still wrong…. And we all know IPS is not the way to go neither. We need to move forward.

    • JMccovery
    • 8 years ago

    I’m still waiting on a 20″ 3840×2160, 3840×2400 or 5120×3200 display… That sells for ~$300. Make it so!

      • Wolfram23
      • 8 years ago

      Here, here!

      Although I’d prefer 24″ or 26″ (yes I realize they go with 27″ in the industry…)

    • siberx
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]http://www.overclock.net/t/1215866/reviewed-400-2560x1440-ips-no-ag-90hz-achieva-shimian-qh270-and-catleap-q270[/url<] I'll just leave this here... I was previously using an L220x, a 22" 1920x1200 monitor. This has higher pixel density than that, and cost me about the same. It's no 4k 22", but it's a step in the right direction. Do your research if you're interested in buying though; the monitors are generally good quality panels but they're exceedingly barebones (no OSD, etc). Also, the current situation is that the high refresh capable variants of the Catleaps (I bought a Catleap and didn't get high refresh) are not curently available, but if OCN has its way that may change sometime soon.

    • thefumigator
    • 8 years ago

    its just for cost reasons. The iphone has a small screen (3.2inch)

    Manufacturing a 22.4 inch screen will take 7 iphones in the diagonal, which means you will need 49 iphones to cover the whole surface. its just too much

    Also a single dead pixel and the whole screen will go to a trash can. unless you don’t care and you are willing to take angry customers for a ride…

    • Kurlon
    • 8 years ago

    Ah how I miss my 2003 Fujitsu Lifebook P-2040… 10″ 1280×768 display and the later models were pushing much higher DPIs…

    Then netbooks landed and screwed that party.

      • FatherXmas
      • 8 years ago

      Because netbooks weren’t meant to be general purpose laptops, they were meant to be small, light weight, Internet only devices that had huge battery life. So they ran Linux, had tiny flash drives to hold your browser and email software.

      They first arrived with tiny 9″ 4:3 screens at 800×600, commercialized versions inspired by OLPC. They grew a little into 10″ ~16:10 screens of 1024×600. But someone kept pushing the screen specs because 600 vertical isn’t great for Windows (because it HAD to run Windows) so they had to push it and we end up at the magical resolution of 1366×768 at 11.6″.

      It sickens me to see Intel Atom/AMD E-450, Netbook class CPU power, now in laptops, with optical drives, 15.6″ 1366×768 displays being sold as the Yugo of laptops.

      We’re seeing the same thing with Ultrabooks. Starts with a very specific set of size, weight and power requirements with no optical drives and now it’s being slapped on an ever fattening laptop that merely lives up to the spirit of the requirements.

      Sometimes I understand why Apple is so successful with their product niches because today’s PC laptop market reminds me of pre-Jobs Apple.

    • Grape Flavor
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah, keep dreaming. You can wish all you want but as of April 2012 there is little to no practical advantage to high DPI displays on the PC. The iPad works with it because the software is an incredibly closed and controlled platform, and the screen is small enough that they can actually manufacture the thing.

    [url<]https://techreport.com/discussions.x/22709?post=624862[/url<] Yeah, downvote me again. But if I'm so wrong why is no manufacturer willing to make these things? Enjoy buying the first $3000 24-inch monitor and the $1200 SLI cards to game at 4K resolution and watch the same half-dozen 4K YouTube videos over and over. I'll stay back here and laugh at you from behind my U2410 screen which will look almost indistinguishable from yours at normal viewing distance once I slap some AA on it. I will be a wiser and richer man while you enjoy your e-peen. Super-DPI displays are cool. Don't get me wrong. But so are jetpacks.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Life is a serious of maximization choices. We choose stuff to maximize our happiness. Our choices are determined by our preferences. Each of us has a unique set of preferences.

      For you to be satisfied with your (hypothetically) cheaper U2410 means that you can get more of other stuff.

      But for some of us, the happiness that would come from that amount of other stuff is less than the happiness that we would get from a superior monitor.

      It’s just personal preference.

        • Grape Flavor
        • 8 years ago

        I like this post and I fully agree with it. It seems, though, that many here think that high-DPI desktop displays are the logical future that’s just around the corner. I am merely pointing out the myriad practical and financial obstacles that prevent this from being true right now.

        In a logical vacuum devoid of real-world concerns and conditions, higher DPI is inherently better, yes. I’m not disputing that. But I didn’t appreciate being downvoted to -11 for pointing out a few easily verifiable facts, such as:

        1. A high DPI display does not magically make high-res content appear from nowhere. Websites and video content do not widely utilize that kind of resolution. Scaling or tiny, choose your poison.
        2. The graphics grunt required to drive high-end gaming at 2560×1600 is beyond what most people are willing or able to spend, and the graphics required to drive 4K at playable framerates may not even exist.
        3. The cost and difficulty involved in manufacturing such a large high-DPI display.

        If you understand all that and still feel such a display is worth your money, than more power to you. But refusing to acknowledge the technology’s current impracticalities is just a fanboy-type attitude. It reeks of the Reality Distortion Field, and TR is a tech-savvy audience that should know better.

          • Firestarter
          • 8 years ago

          1 – Scaling will do just fine for the time being
          2 – The graphics grunt required for any high-end gaming, regardless of resolution is beyond what most people are willing to spend, and again scaling works just fine in the mean time (I’m looking at you, consoles!)
          3 – This looks to be the big problem.

      • bowman
      • 8 years ago

      There is no practical advantage? Do you even play games, you philistine?

      I’m curious what you actually use your computer for if you don’t feel the need for more pixel density. Fuck, even computer-illiterate iPeople realize the benefits in the new iPad, but not you.

      Yes, if you only use your computer for Facebook the pixel density won’t make a difference. Why are you even on a PC enthusiast website if you’re not interested in improving the technology present?

        • chΒ΅ck
        • 8 years ago

        gamers != pc enthusiests != tech report
        I like to think I’m a power user (dual screens, internet, 1080p videos, documents, games), and I get by just fine on my 1680×1050 and 1280×1024 17″ screens. No doubt I would enjoy higher resolution screens, but at the current dpi, it’s not hurting me.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      There’s demand for high DPI displays for graphical professionals, 3D renderings and high-end imaging. It will eventually get there with games, but the primary problem is that gaming consoles are setting the baseline. Game developers have little need to go beyond 2Megapixels.

      The only reason portables benefit from high-DPI displays is because of the form factor. The only way to get 2Megapixels on a portables without making the unit too large is to increase the DPI of the display. I doubt you will portable go beyond 2Megapixels as the vast majority of mainstream content is sticking at 2Megapixels.

      If you think there’s no difference between 2Megapixel and 4Megapixels, especially with a higher DPI display. Your have poor/failing eyesight. The problem is the lack of proper source material.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    While I agree about needing higher PPI on desktops, I don’t about manufacturing defects and software keeping this from happening.

    CRTs (if you remember back in the day) were increasing in resolution like no tommorow. Usually every two years the resolution would leap again in size all the way up to 2048×1536 in some high end monitors. It didn’t matter if the software didn’t scale properly with it, they kept doing it. People buy things because they’re better. Heck a lot of people bought the iPad3 simply because it has a fricking 3 on it.

    Once you start rationalizing making new harder based on having technology to take advantage of it already in place you run into a chicken and an egg scenario, where you no longer improve because you don’t see a reason to improve… even though you should be improving simply to make things better. Take Intel for instance and AMD, they keep pushing chips forward in the desktop area even though desktop chips pretty much do what everyone wants adequately fast. It doesn’t matter if there is software already available to take full advantage of Intels newest extension or dynamic abilities, they’ll improve it anyway.

    Defects in panels reducing yield amounts is common in any new technology. This is a non-argument for the most part. They had defects when they first started producing 1080p panels. They do when they first start producing new wafers on a new fab process for chipsl. They push into the technology, refine it a bit, produce higher yields over time and grow into it. The monitor industry has stagnated completely. They aren’t testing the waters to make sure they get adequate yields, they simply aren’t even bothering to try.

    What you have is a bunch of companies that don’t actually know what consumers want. They just jump on ‘metoo’ trains when they see them happening, like the size, integrating a webcam, putting a pair of speakers on the thing, or adding a USB hub. It’s like no one actually sat down at the company in front of the monitor and used the thing long enough to realize what they really could use.

    • nico1982
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Just the other day, Cyril reported on Windows 8's upcoming scaling features for high-density displays. This scaling is designed to allow 10.1" and 11.6" tablets with 1920x1080 resolutions to display fonts and GUI elements smoothly and macroscopically. The end results remain to be seen, but I would really prefer to see PC manufacturers set their sights on 4X scaling rather than cutting corners with odd upscaling ratios.[/quote<] I'm a little confused. The 2.0 scale factor (4x in the article) is an iOS (and OSX) facility to alleviate developer's workload while designing UI, with backward compatibility as a major upside. Under the hood, iOS does the very same thing the Windows 8 article explains and Android is already doing since Honeycomb: being DPI aware when selecting images and rendering content. The key difference is the amount of combinations resolution-dpi it needs to support. On a generic OS like Windows you need those "odd upscaling ratios" (sic.) because there's no standard hardware and no standard resolution to double. The Vaio's 960x540 part doesn't make any sense to me.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 8 years ago

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought that was weird.

      • FatherXmas
      • 8 years ago

      It’s 1/4 1080p, the same way long ago that 320×240 was 1/4 VGA. Makes down scaling of video easier.

    • Aspleme
    • 8 years ago

    I would love a higher dpi monitor. While I love my 23 inch LG, it would be so much better if the resolution could be doubled (which is really quadrupled…)

    Computers can have far better hardware capable of running super hd screens, now we just need them to give us the screens. Surely if they can afford to build a 2048×1536 9.7 inch screen for the new ipad, then a 3840×2160 23 inch screen can’t be too expensive to make?

      • Vasilyfav
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]then a 3840x2160 23 inch screen can't be too expensive to make?[/quote<] I was under the impression that the vast majority of videocards (barring the newest 7970 and 680) do not support resolutions higher than 2560*1600, so I'm sure 3840*2160 displays are coming in the future, but it isn't time for them yet, because most people wouldn't be able to use them without buying a $600 video card yet.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        DisplayPort 1.2 can do 4k x 2k.

        [url<]http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/displayport-1-2-enables-full-4k-x-2k-resolution-3d-stereo-beyond-full-hd-and-more-20100118/[/url<]

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          That’s true, but look at the specs for graphics cards with this port they all still say that they’re limited to 2560×1600.

          I don’t know why nVidia would do that, but AMD can at least claim to use all that BW to support multiple monitors on one DP port.

        • paulWTAMU
        • 8 years ago

        I’d still love a 22″ monitor with a 2560×1600 resolution. That beats the hell out of what most of them have now.

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        It’s pretty close to that according to the manufacturers pages. nVidia doesn’t seem to have a GeForce card that does 4K–unless I missed it. The 680 has the normal old 2560×1600 limitation.

        For the AMD side, the whole 7000 series seems to support ‘4K’.

        So, since the lowest card there is HD7750 which is a $100 (or near enough) card. So, your $600 figure isn’t realistic, but they will need a pretty darn new card. My old GF9800GTX+ isn’t going to cut it. Unless it does something funny like take two dual link DVI-D cables (like the IBM T221 could/did).

        If someone starts making ‘4K’ PC monitors, they might just as well bundle in an HD7000 card. Maybe get AMD to join in with some taunting “even the lowest end card in our new line does things their highest end card can’t.”

        Note: I didn’t look into workstation types of cards, just normal cunsumer stuff, it’s possible there is a somewhat esoteric card floating around out there that can do the job.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]the humble smartphone screen has seen its pixel count skyrocket from 320x240[/quote<] The first smartphone was the Treo, which had a 'high-resolution color screen' (brochure) of 160 x 160 pixels.

      • adisor19
      • 8 years ago

      1:1 display ratio.. why in the world would anyone think that’s good ratio for a display ?!

      Adi

        • bhtooefr
        • 8 years ago

        The OS was initially designed around that 1:1 ratio, because of the graffiti area below the screen.

        Then, the graffiti area was replaced by a keyboard.

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    I would love one of those T221 displays. Quad-HD…. Droollll……

      • jrr
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve used one. First two things you’ll notice:

      1) Windows has no idea (yet) how to deal with high DPI

      2) Terrible refresh rate

      If I found a deal on one, though, I’d probably snatch it up anyway =]

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      The refresh rate is horrid. It’s a novelty for actual usage.

      I mean, we lust for 120Hz displays, so 41Hz is decidedly moving in the wrong direction.

      In a year or two, we’ll have ~$2000 30″ 4K monitors that will put the T221 to shame. Yes, pixel density will actually be lower, but everything else will be splendid.

    • adisor19
    • 8 years ago

    So essentially, Apple is dragging the PC industry forward little by little. This is good. Everybody wins.

      • vvas
      • 8 years ago

      Indeed, much as I hate to admit it, it’s probably all thanks to Apple. If it weren’t for the iPhone and iPad, we’d probably be stuck with 320×480 smartphones and 1024×600 tablets (or we wouldn’t have smartphones and tablets at all, but let’s not go there). Similarly for laptops, I really hope that the next-gen high-res MacBook rumour comes true; then hopefully we’ll finally see the PC laptop manufacturers follow suit, and break away from the cursed 1366×768. A man can hope right?

        • yokem55
        • 8 years ago

        Not all about Apple pushing display sizes forward. I think it was an HTC winmo phone that first bumped the resolution to 800×480…

          • adisor19
          • 8 years ago

          Agreed. However, Apple is more about increasing the ppi more than resolution. When HTC and all the other manufacturers increased not just the resolution of their devices but also the size. That’s why you see 4″ and 4.6″ and even 5″ Android phones while the iPhone is still at the same size as it was in when it initially came out in 2007. While the increased resolution is good, the increase in panel size kinda offsets the benefits of it an the ppi doesn’t increase that much.

          Adi

        • EtherealN
        • 8 years ago

        “we wouldn’t have smartphones and tablets at all”

        They probably wouldn’t have been as proliferated, but I know I would have had them. I still remember my first “smartphone” lovingly – an Ericsson running Symbian. It was so much fun when people came up on town to ask if they could borrow my phone to make a phone call, and then I’d hand it over (I had dismounted the flip-keypad, preferring the touchscreen) and they’d be all confused and wonder what they’re supposed to do with it. πŸ˜€

        But yeah, Apple definitely pushed the userfriendliness aspect of it, but don’t give the victims of the RDF say that the whole thing with tablets and smartphones is all a market Apple “created” or whatever they like to say. I love the whole “if it wasn’t for apple making the iPhone, there wouldn’t have been an Android either”, which is amusing since Google purchased Android even before the iPhone was made public (if my memory serves – I remember the articles speculating about the implications of the purchase). πŸ˜›

        Agreed about laptop displays though. It’s sort of amazing (and depressing) to see those 13inch laptops advertyised with their damn 1366 screens. I’ve seen so many sweet laptop concepts pass by where I start off with a “ooooh, that looks sweet” and then I see what screen they chose and just back away in disgust. Only narrowly beating my 200 dollar netbook is NOT enough for a “proper” laptop.

        • Antimatter
        • 8 years ago

        You have to remember that Samsung and LG among others produce the displays for the iPad and iPhone. So its likely we would have seen high PPI displays eventually.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      I think the point of this post was that their not. The mobile space is moving forward, but desktop screens are essentially the same.

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        Here’s hope that Apple can break the status quo on this point and the PC industry will have no choice but to follow. If they managed to get something like the Retina iPad out, i’m sure they can at least pull the same kind of stunt with at least their 13″ MacBook Pro. The size of the screen is not THAT much bigger compared with the iPad so it should be feasible from an economical point of view.

        Adi

          • vvas
          • 8 years ago

          Except Apple will not release a 13″ MBP with a high-DPI screen unless they can release [i<]all[/i<] MBPs with high-DPI screens. That's because they like to keep it simple for their customers: bigger means better means more expensive is the structure they generally adopt. On the other hand, if they can't do it for all of their laptops it sounds plausible that they might only do it for the MBAs, which are a different line and thus different rules apply (and they already have higher-DPI screens compared to the MBPs).

            • adisor19
            • 8 years ago

            I don’t agree with this. When Apple introduced the Air, it was only a 13″ model with an SSD as option ONLY. As the technology improved and the manufacturing got better, they made the SSD stanard and introduced the 11″ model.

            Same thing happened with the initial MacBook Pro unibody. They initially had the MacBook unibody. They then transitioned the unibody aluminum design to ther 13 and 15 inch MacBook Pros and finally the 17 inch MacBook pro got the same treatment.

            It’s hard even for Apple to completely transition a brand new technology to their entire lineup of devices. Also, the Air will not be the Air if it needs to increase the battery and weight to the point of supporting a 4K LCD panel. I really think they’ll start with the 13″ MacBook Pro and if we’re lucky, the 15″ will get the HiDPI treatment at the same time.

            Adi

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, funny how many people forget that Apple makes laptops and desktops too when it comes down to it.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 8 years ago

        What do you want them to do? They are already shoving a stubborn industry forward. Billions of dollars can pay for a lot, but there are limits.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          Huh? I didn’t ask Apple to do anything.

      • sigher
      • 7 years ago

      I think windows is holding back the increase with their issues of upscaling smoothly.
      And as samsung makes the retina display I’m not sure you can attribute is completely to apple and I think the article is far too often saying ‘apple’ when it should say samsung too.
      Plus that samsung makes the retina display but does not make desktop monitors with that kind of resolution is very interesting, especially since companies like samsung will make superlarge displays from $20k+ that must have a lousy yield and require a whole complex manufacturing setup but which can’t sell more than a few dozen units, so why be willing to go through that effort but not tap a market for higher res desktop monitors, even when the relative market is smaller and they will cost more you’d be the only source and there are always very wealthy people and businesses and government agencies wanting to buy it.

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