Many of us may find ourselves using PC and notebook monitors with 16:9 aspect ratios within a few years, if DisplaySearch has its facts straight. According to DigiTimes, the market research firm predicts that 16:9 panels will account for 90% of notebook displays and 67% of desktop monitors by 2010, adding that the transition is "unstoppable."
Wide-screen displays in most of today's notebooks and monitors have 16:10 aspect ratios, leading to resolutions like 1280x800 and 1920x1200. With 16:9 panels, those resolutions would turn into 1280x720 and 1920x1080—that is, you'd get 9/10ths of the vertical pixels but (in theory) all of the horizontal pixels.
Users may not be thrilled about getting smaller panels, but DigiTimes says panel makers are "bent" on promoting the 16:9 aspect ratio. One manufacturer told the site it can make 20% more 15.6", 16:9 panels than 15.4", 16:10 ones using the same 5G substrate. As a result, DisplaySearch predicts that panel manufacturers will soon start phasing out 16:10 panels and push 16:9 panels in their stead. "Panel makers did it for square panels, and they know how to do it again," DisplaySearch's David Hsieh comments.