Linus Torvalds laments low-res notebook displays

The creator of the Linux kernel isn’t quite as outspoken as other, more bearded members of the open-source community. He does speak out on occasion, though. His latest rant went up on Google+ earlier this week, and it’s been spreading like wildfire. Here’s a snippet:

So with even a $399 tablet doing 2560×1600 pixel displays, can we please just make that the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11″? Please. Stop with the “retina” crap, just call it “reasonable resolution”. The fact that laptops stagnated ten years ago (and even regressed, in many cases) at around half that in both directions is just sad.

Torvalds is, of course, referring to the inexplicably ubiquitous 1366×768 resolution that still plagues entirely too many notebooks. “[Expletive], soon even the cellphones will start laughing at the ridiculously bad laptop displays,” he says.

This isn’t exactly an uncommon sentiment, of course. We’ve been expressing it in our laptop reviews for years now. Still, it’s nice to see a high-profile member of the industry speak out against crappy laptop screens.

At least some notebook makers have shaken themselves out of their torpor recently. Apple’s new Retina MacBook Pro laptops have 2560×1600 and 2880×1800 resolutions at 13″ and 15″, respectively, while Asus’ Zenbook Prime UX31A crams 1920×1080 pixels into its 13″ panel. Too bad Windows 8’s support for denser screens still leaves something to be desired, especially in the Modern UI interface.

Comments closed
    • Freon
    • 7 years ago

    As I’ve been shopping recently for a tablet and/or laptop I’ve found it very frustrating to search specifically for high res displays. I have had to wade through oceans of 1366×768 displays in the 11-15.6″ range. It’s downright awful at 14″ or larger to have less than 1024 vertical pixels.

    As much as I am not an Apple fan, I think they’ve helped push the awareness of value of higher dpi displays.

    Now, let’s see if we can get 1440p or 1600p and 120hz to be available outside of a handful of Korean brand desktop displays…

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      The high-resolution screens are here re: Samsung and ASUS, though you will pay for them. Thing is, in the spirit of the free market, you get to vote with your wallet, and companies respond to demand!

    • mutarasector
    • 7 years ago

    Linus laments lo-res notebook displays?

    BFD… like I needed Capatain ‘Duh’s’ opinion. I’m sure notebook makers everywhere will get right on it cuz ‘Linus says so’…

    • alsoRun
    • 7 years ago

    I just bought a 14 inch laptop with Win 8. Previously I had a 11.6 inch laptop. For the same resolution of 1366×768, the 14 inch monitor looks really bad. This low resolution is a real problem. It also makes Win 8 “Snap” feature much less useful.

    • clone
    • 7 years ago

    1920 X 1200 is my sweet spot for notebook… finding one for under $650 with AMD or Nvidia graphics…. no luck so far.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I have a run-of-the-mill Dell D810 for you from, uh, 2005? ‘AMD’ graphics included.

      Oh man. That just shows how bad things are in the laptop space now, doesn’t it…. 🙁

      • Decelerate
      • 7 years ago

      How big a screen?

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    anyone know why they can’t get a notebook lcd with the same contrast ratio and quality as a desktop lcd?

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, the two main things that make higher contrast ratios are more/thicker/heavier/higher-quality polarising filters and more powerful backlights to overcome the thicker, more effective filtering layers.

      The two main problems with laptops is that firstly, powerful backlights are battery-killers, and secondly, in their almost-infantile obsession with *[i<]thin[/i<]*, manufacturers are happy leaving out important parts of the screen that affect image quality. I MEAN OH MY GOD. I'M SO GLAD I HAVE THIS ULTRABOOK WITH A 6MM THICK SCREEN. THAT OLD LAPTOP WITH THE 9MM THICK SCREEN WAS SO OBNOXIOUSLY THICK THAT I COULDN'T EVEN SLIDE IT UNDER THE DOOR. HOW HORRIBLY INCONVENIENT. IN FACT I AM PRETTY SURE ANYONE USING A 9MM THICK SCREEN IS PROBABLY A SATAN-WORSHIPPING, RACIST NAZI THAT MURDERS NEWBORN KITTENS FOR FUN. Be thankful that your glossy, washed-out, and low-gamut screen is both thin, and doesn't identify you as a kitten-murdering fascist 😉

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    Until the software catches up, 2560×1600 in laptops would just be a pain IMO. Just look at TR’s UX31A review… there’s no elegant way to scale current applications to that resolution in Windows. Linux isn’t quite ready for it either.

    Apple gets away with it by simply quadrupling the standard resolution, and mapping every pixel to 4 of the screen’s pixels in most applications. They have enough control over all the software to make some use of the high DPI panel. The standardized, small product line means they can actually pull this off without a compatibility nightmare, whereas Windows and Linux have no such standard configuration.

    What we DO need are are better standard laptop displays. 1600×900 PLS/IPS sounds perfect for a mid range laptop, 1080p is good for 15.6″ and up, and 1600×900 TN or 1366×768 IPS should be fine for smaller/cheaper machines.

    Desktop monitors are a different story.

      • TEAMSWITCHER
      • 7 years ago

      Apple doesn’t get away with anything. The OS X display pipeline for retina panels is more complex that you understand. That’s why their high-dpi panels can simulate other resolutions without horrible aliasing artifacts. It’s an impressive accomplishment – and I hope Apple hasn’t patented it.

        • adisor19
        • 7 years ago

        Yup, they even coded their own GPU shaders to use when scaling non retina resolutions. The results speak for them themselves.

        Adi

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    I blame Intel for forcing companies to have a certain display resolution based on the CPU inside. I really hate that Intel has enough power as a supplier to dictate how manufacturers build their own products.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      You probably also hate Intel for causing the national debt, Sandy the storm and the scary kids’ costumes that made you soil your underwear last night

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      W.T.F.? Did I miss something with the new X86 “resolution limitation” instruction that is in all Intel CPUs? Or are you just so desperate to bash Intel that you felt the need to make a completely wrong and not even relevant comment in a story about display hardware?

        • jdaven
        • 7 years ago

        Intel sets the screen size if you are going to use one of its processors in a Netbook/Ultrabook. The screen size has an influence on resolution when it comes to cheaper products which make up the majority of the market.

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          Hrmm.. Newegg search for all AMD notebooks with a resolution of 1920×1080 or higher:

          [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152372[/url<] Yup, [b<]ONE[/b<] model there fanboy. (Oh, I should mention that it's out of stock, so no, you can't actually buy one). [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&Subcategory=32&Description=&Type=&N=100006740&IsNodeId=1&IsPowerSearch=1&srchInDesc=&MinPrice=&MaxPrice=&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A48216&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A28102&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A6628&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A40856&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A6623&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A11057&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A23203&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A19756&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A53922&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A53928&PropertyCodeValue=393%3A49576&PropertyCodeValue=400%3A40986&PropertyCodeValue=400%3A6723&PropertyCodeValue=400%3A292825&PropertyCodeValue=400%3A317126<]This link goes to all Intel notebooks with a resolution of 1920x1080 or higher. [/url<] I'm sorry I didn't list all the notebooks individually, [b<]EXCEPT THAT COPYING AND PASTING INDIVIDUAL LINKS FOR 111 MODELS WOULD TAKE TOO LONG[/b<]. So who exactly is "holding back" high resolution displays again? When's the last time Rory Read said "no" when some OEM asked to dump an AMD chip in notebook with a crappy display? How come we don't hear complaints about how hard it is to scale the graphics to a high resolution screen when TR does a review of an AMD notebook??

          • Ringofett
          • 7 years ago

          If Intel enforced any such thing, somebody didn’t tell Apple.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I think you’re confusing this and the stupid Microsoft licensing rules for Windows7 Starter, which could only be licensed on a machine with 1GB of RAM and a screen less than 10.2″

      Alternatively there’s the Intel Ultrabook(TM) qualification which only affected physical dimensions, minimum battery life and maximum wake-from-hibernate times.

      Nobody has ever stopped a company from putting a 4MP display in a 11″ laptop. They’re just too gutless to actually risk doing it.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        This, maybe?
        [url<]http://www.techspot.com/news/43706-intel-tweaks-netbook-hardware-restrictions-ahead-of-cedar-trail.html[/url<]

    • deruberhanyok
    • 7 years ago

    [i<]When Linus Torvalds does speak out, however, he seems to say awfully sensible things.[/i<] Eh... I feel the need to point out that this is not always the case: [url<]http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/06/torvalds-nvidia-linux/[/url<]

      • nagashi
      • 7 years ago

      Sorry, what’s wrong with that? Have you ever tried to configure xorg with an nvidia card? they’re a pain in the ass. Nvidia tries to do everything their own way on linux and breaks LOTS of things. Sadly intel is by far the best company for graphics on linux, with matrox and amd being not terribly far behind, but not terribly close either. Linus’ position there to me reflects the reality of the situation: whatever one might say about Nvidia’s performance, the way their drivers work on linux is worth on big Fuck You.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]Have you ever tried to configure xorg with an nvidia card? [/quote<] Yes, on multiple systems with multiple cards and it's just as easy (if not easier) than using any other graphics solution under Linux. The rest of your post seems to indicate that you are more of a fanboy than a Linux user.

          • nagashi
          • 7 years ago

          >Yes, on multiple systems with multiple cards and it’s just as easy (if not easier)

          Laughable. Intel is the easiest by far. And the slowest, so that shouldn’t be taken as a blanket endorsement of their graphics solutions. I’m no fan of intel, but they got their linux drivers right (poulsbo aside).

          > more of a fanboy than a Linux user.

          heh, ok. Let’s whip out our e-peen and measure, shall we? or not.

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t need to whip anything out.. and I also don’t have to “configure” an X-server to run with Nvidia drivers, I just run pacman, grab the drivers, and start X. Interestingly, on my Intel graphics systems, I just run pacman, grab the drivers, and start X. Is it harder for you to type “nvidia” because of the two non-standard consonants being placed together in the name?

            If you need to mess with an archaic xorg.conf file to use the Nvidia driver then it just proves you don’t know how to configure your system properly.

            Pro-tip: The fact that you managed to click through an Ubuntu install and have the system sort of run does not make you smarter than everyone else.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 7 years ago

        I’d expect it from an anonymous commenter on the internet, but not from the man responsible for Linux, one of the biggest names in the open source community.

        I understand his audience loved it, though.

          • Alexko
          • 7 years ago

          So what? A little honesty is kind of refreshing, and no one died.

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      Good point. Post edited. 😉

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    Running 1600×900 on a 14″ screen, I have to scale things up a bit.

    The problem is not the resolution. It’s that the screen is still a POS, worse than my 8+ year old 1028×1024 desktop monitor, despite being an “upgrade” on an already not so cheap laptop.

    Higher resolutions have been a paid option on countless laptops since time immemorial. But where are the screen options that aren’t washed out with backlight bleed and shifting colors every time you move 3 inches?

    I’ve stopped even considering traditional laptops and I’ll only be looking at convertible tablets now. Choosing a “laptop” this way is much easier and less of a compromise. A few months from now, you won’t have to do much more than pick whether you want a Haswell, Jaguar, or A15.

    The keyboard may suck, but with everything having gone wireless, you don’t have to settle for a particular model that supports a docking station or X peripheral anymore.

    Laptops are done for. OEMs never really did get them right and they never will.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Correct, resolution is only part of the equation. I’d just as soon have a high quality panel at an ‘average’ resolution (within reason – 1366×768 has no place on 15″ laptops) than a poor one at a high resolution.

      • bhtooefr
      • 7 years ago

      Or, just stop buying cheap crap laptops.

      Some business-grade laptops, and many workstation-grade laptops are getting IPS options.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks for the constructive advice. I’ll remember that next time Lenovo only has one model with a low resolution IPS screen that is not available to me, and also when I’m shopping for a “workstation-grade” ultraportable device such as the afformentioned tablets.

      • adisor19
      • 7 years ago

      Umm, so time to get a Mac laptop?

      Adi

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 7 years ago

        The new 13″ Pro is pretty nice. But we must keep things in perspective.

        At twice the price of its competitors, is it twice as useful? Would it keep me from having to upgrade if I bought it instead of a Zenbook or Series 9? And why should I buy those when tablets are cheaper and have additional uses?

        I could buy an Ivy Bridge tablet now, and a Haswell tablet next year, and actually get more out of the same amount of money. And that would [i<]still[/i<] be very silly. It's as if Apple says, "I see your $200 high DPI computer of the future...and raise you $2,000 high DPI computers of the past!" What happened to the "think different" and magic and innovation? Again, this just goes to show how laptops are doing it wrong. You have to dig for cherry picked exceptions to the norm, only to find a significant compromise. Netbooks began to expose this and tablets are finishing the job.

    • mockingbird
    • 7 years ago

    Linus Torvalds is an idiot who thinks his desires must be implemented at will.

    Last month he was demanding nVidia release their source code so his minions could continue making a fortune whoring themselves out to the corporate establishment.

    He’s taking Linux right into the ground.

      • thanatos355
      • 7 years ago

      So design something better and stick it to the man, man!

      • ermo
      • 7 years ago

      “Linus Torvalds. Taking Linux right into the ground since 1991.”

      You can call Linus a lot of things, but I’m pretty sure he isn’t an idiot per se. If he was, he’d probably have been booted from the project by his peers a LONG time ago.

        • mockingbird
        • 7 years ago

        As long as huge multinationals control the direction of Linux development, there will never be a competetive Desktop Linux available. Ubuntu is nice, Mint is nice, basically anything Debian based is very nice in my opinion, but experimenting with them over the years has lead me to conclude that the whole endeavour resembles something like a tower of babel to me.

        Trivial things are always immediately addressed by kernel and OS developers when they are brought to attention by the corporations, and blatant things which need fixing for the end user are either horribly mutilated or completely ignored.

        I quote Con Kolivas, former Kernel hacker:

        [url=http://apcmag.com/why_i_quit_kernel_developer_con_kolivas.htm<]Why I quit[/url<] [i<]"The developers were all developing for something that wasn't the desktop. They had all been employed by big name manufacturers who couldn't care less about the desktop (and still don't) but want their last 1% on their database benchmark or throughput benchmark or whatever."[/i<] Yea, he goes on the usual tirade of every Linux enthusiast in blaming Microsoft for abducting their firstborn children and sacrificing them, but you do get a kernel of truth from the interview, no pun intended. Ultimately, we end up with Windows 8, Microsoft comfortable with their monopoly.

          • shank15217
          • 7 years ago

          linux may not run your desktop but it runs your phones, tablets and most of your e-services. Developers need to eat too, writing free software for free isn’t very good for your stomach or your sex life. BTW android is a pretty good os that could become a desktop os, so could chrome os. Ask yourself why there are 100 variants of debian and why did the mint developers decide to run off and make their own distro. The point is people have a lot of egos and have a hard time working together. I’ve used mint.. its a hardly better than ubuntu, it might have been more productive to create a better ubuntu. Fragmentation in the linux desktop world is incredible and only because everybody wants their favorite window manager to be the default one.

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          [quote=”mockingbird”<] Ultimately, we end up with Windows 8, Microsoft comfortable with their monopoly. [/quote<] *cough* OS X *cough* Linux on the desktop never saw popular adoption and never will for a thousand sound reasons. It doesn't really merit a deep discussion, but power users have and will always have other compelling options other than Windows and that's fine by me.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    1366×768 is not bad on a 11″ laptop.
    My issue is with large format monitors.

    30″ 2560×1600 monitor have been in the same price since 2006.
    Its soon 2013.. any 30″ 3840×2400 monitors,
    or do we need to wait another 5 years for the PC industry to wakeup?

    Best monitor you could get in 2005 $2200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you could get in 2006 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you could get in 2007 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you could get in 2008 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you could get in 2009 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you could get in 2010 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you could get in 2011 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600
    Best monitor you can get in 2012 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600

    I see a pattern emerge. My prediction

    Best monitor you will be able to get in 2013 ~$1200, 30″ 2560×1600

      • RtFusion
      • 7 years ago

      Gottoa agree with you on that one. I’ve been eyeing a 30″ Dell monitor at 2560X1600 but its going to cost me $1,300 CDN. I’ve been looking at lower cost alternatives to high resolution displays but the closest thing I have come across are 27″ monitors but at a horrifying 16:9 display ratio at 2560X1440. Personally, I just don’t like the “look” and subjective “feel” of 16:9 monitors for desktop use. It just doesn’t seem “pleasing” to me like 16:10 monitors. Maybe because 16:10 is very close to the golden ratio in architecture and art.

      It just astounds me that prices have remained that way for so long.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        I usually post around here to stir the pot, but I’m glad to know that some people dont find me a complete lunatic 🙂

        Historical reference:

        Nov 21, 2006 : “I got a 3007WFP 3 weeks ago at $1279 thinking it was already a very good value but Dell further dropped the price to $1083”
        [url<]http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/1814681[/url<] And since this is so old, as a reference, 2 year earlier (2004) Apple released their flagship 30" Cinema display [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Cinema_Display[/url<] Today I only see Apple selling a 27" 2560x1440 model... "Regression" for whats happening to the PC display is right on.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          you get my + for your post too.

        • djgandy
        • 7 years ago

        It’s not that astounding. Very few people buy those monitors. Look at the price of 24″ TN panels. They have massively fallen in price.

        There is very little demand for higher resolutions on the desktop. Don’t get me wrong I’d love a higher res screen to work on, but for writing word documents and such most people don’t care beyond ~1080p.

        What sort of crazed lunatic is going to put up the capital required to develop 4K 24″ panels that then have to sell for twice the cost of a PC. I don’t see many businesses buying their $700 HP machines with $1400 monitors.

        • Flying Fox
        • 7 years ago

        There were deals that pushed it lower to near 1K, you just have to watch redflagdeals like a hawk. 😉

          • cynan
          • 7 years ago

          Yup. I got my 3007wfp-HC in 2009 just before they discontinued them for $899 on dell.ca. Would never have paid $1000+ for a 30″ monitor…

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      This is so true.

      I think 4K ultra definition or whatever it’s going to be called will probably help push monitors to at least match what HDTV’s will get.

      • exmachina64
      • 7 years ago

      Adjusting for inflation, those prices really reflect a slight decrease in price year over year.

      • Lazier_Said
      • 7 years ago

      It would be nice if the 30″ panels would come down in price but there’s no point to a 150 dpi desktop display when you’re going to sit 4 feet away from it.

        • Kurotetsu
        • 7 years ago

        I agree with you, but I personally feel that the focus shouldn’t be on ever increasing resolution. There are still serious issues with panel quality that, despite LCDs being on the market for over a decade or so, its still necessary to cross your fingers and knock on wood so you get a decent one. I’m talking defects like dead pixels, color shifting, and backlight bleed which are still prevalent (which is unacceptable at this point in time). Other metrics like response time (I personally have not had any huge issues with this, but others have and their arguments are mostly valid) and refresh rate (why the HELL are we still stuck on 60hz as standard, and why do 120hz monitors continue to be so overpriced?) are still inferior to the standard set by the CRTs which LCDs were supposed to succeed.

        I would think after so long the manufacturing process for LCDs would have matured to a point where all these concerns would’ve largely evaporated. But they’re still there and they’re still annoying as hell. Its both sad and concerning that the cheap Korean models selling for $300 appear to have superior screen quality, in regards to defects listed above, compared to the massively overpriced models sold by the likes of Dell and HP.

        EDIT:

        Crap, sorry. This was supposed to be in response to sschaem’s opening post.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Your eyes are 4 feet away from your monitor ?

        I’m about arm lenght (maybe 4 inch or so farther) and thats just a little more then 2ft.

        On my 24″ 1920×1200 monitor, I cant reduce text size to small because it look a bit to fuzzy (even with clear type well calibrated)
        edit: its not horrible, but I spent like 26 hours a day looking at my monitor, so if it can be made even just a little sharper, just a little clearer, its invaluable.

        So 100 ppi is not optimal for small text,
        and certainly not for any imaging work (from photography to CAD)

        150 ppi, 3840×2400 on 30″, would be great step forward. I would spent $1200 on one of those.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 7 years ago

      Standards have been the reason why that resolution hasn’t been surpassed. Dual-link DVI can go higher, but you’re sacrificing refresh rate:
      [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface[/url<] Now that Display Port is gaining adoption, we'll start seeing screens with 3840x2160.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        3840×2160? no thanks. I dont need a TV, I need a work monitor.

        edit: But I realize this might be the only choice…

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        To be fair, that’s a bit of a chicken and the egg type of problem. If there had been a need by the manufacturers to make higher res displays, they would have pushed a higher BW interconnect standard through to make it possible.

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          To say more on the topic, the only thing that pushed HDMI up in capacity was the need for 1080p60 or higher for 3D displays. Display port has the advantage of supporting multiple monitors on one port. That’s got the side benefit of allowing it to support higher resolution monitors.

          Neither of these BW increases were actually targeted at supporting higher resolution displays, that’s just a side benefit of the BW improvements that were made for other reasons.

      • bhtooefr
      • 7 years ago

      Actually, best monitor you could get in 2005 was ~$7500, 22.2″ 3840×2400.

      Nothing outside of the medical realm has even MATCHED that display mode since. (3840×2160 is it, and usually not at anything resembling a desktop size.)

      (The medical realm has been cranking out ~21″ 2560×2048 greyscale displays for many years, and there’s now a 21″ 2800×2096 greyscale display. Also, there’s a 30″ 3280×2048 color and 4096×2560 greyscale medical display out there.)

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        I need to start to troll (the fishing meaning of the word) medical auctions. 4K mono would make a great programming display! (some of us are colorblind and don’t really care for colorized stuff in IDEs)

          • bhtooefr
          • 7 years ago

          Also doesn’t hurt to watch good ol’ eBay. But, an IBM T221 will be much cheaper, if you don’t mind 204 ppi, and will display 9.2 MP (versus 10.5 MP for a Barco Coronis Fusion 10MP, at 161 ppi).

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            They are all drool-worthy. Thanks for the heads-up on another market segment to watch.

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]I need to start to troll (the fishing meaning of the word)[/quote<] LOL, I did a double-take there. Trolling in the fish industry? This is surely something new and meme-worthy, yase? Then I realised you mean trawl 😛

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Low volume => no high-volume-driven cost reductions

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        High price => low volume

        How do you break the cycle?

        They can sell 27″ 2560×1440 IPS monitor for $299 and make a profit.
        But you have to pay 4 time as much for a the 30″ model ???

        That makes no sense.

        Somewhere in Korea:
        “Yes sir, we can build 27″ 2560×1440 IPS monitor for $240”
        “No sir, if you want a 30″ 2560×1600 pannel, that will be $960”

        This argument was valid back in 2004, not in late 2012

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 7 years ago

      I bought mine in 2006 for $1100.

    • Adaptive
    • 7 years ago

    What we really need is resolution-independent OSes and vector based graphics. Then high resolution on small panels will be great!

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not sure if someone who has so much clout in the Linux world necessarily has much clout in the Windows world, so I don’t think his comments will make much of a difference.

    I do think that Apple moving to higher resolutions for laptop screens will make other companies go to higher resolutions as well. Manufacturers are realizing that the hardware specifications are becoming less important and all that really matters is the appearance, which includes the monitor.

    • phez
    • 7 years ago

    1366×768 is exactly the reason I haven’t purchased a laptop that I need oh so badly. Not only is it a dumb resolution, I can’t get over the fact companies are using it as a product segmentation tool to charge exorbitant prices for their 1600-/1920- models. I have a WXGA screen from 2004 damn it and 8 years later there has been virtually no progress. And companies wonder why their ultrabooks are selling like crap?

    For once there’s something I can actually give credit to Apple.

    • DeathanDecay
    • 7 years ago

    My gf thinks Linus is hot.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      One of the best comments I’ve read all week.

    • spugm1r3
    • 7 years ago

    I think most people are missing the point with his comments about “retina.” He is not lamenting the use of the term, rather that in order to get high resolution on a laptop, it’s couture instead of standard. Like many consumers, he believes that something greater than 1366 x 768 should be expected on a device we use for school, work and play when we can find it on a device that was originally designed to simply allow us to talk without wires.

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      Correct. In other words, it should be standard, not special. He’s saying he doesn’t want 2560×1600 to be “high-def” or “retina”, but simply “standard”.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Linus is too late. Apple starts the ball rolling with “Retina” and 2 years later most other laptop makers will have latched onto the idea with at least a few models. But you’ll always have the super-cheap PC market where the race to the lowest spec is always run.

    • CaptTomato
    • 7 years ago

    Hi res crazies.
    I could probably live with 1080p on a 17.3, but 768 is fine on my 15.6, but It’s just a back up laptop to my desktop.
    I’d much rather a proper 8 bit panel ahead of resolution anyday.

    • boing
    • 7 years ago

    The best laptop display I ever used was a Dell D610 14″ at 1400×1050 resolution. I wish they’d kept the 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio for non-gaming laptops.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t you know it’s [b<]illegal[/b<] to say that [i<]anything[/i<] other than 16:10 is acceptable?

        • Helmore
        • 7 years ago

        Tell that to those laptop makers that are cramming 16:9 displays in pretty much every laptop these days. Even the ThinkPads are converting to a 16:9 ratio. I had hoped that Lenovo would be a little more sensible than that.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          You are (not) preaching to the choir

    • Lans
    • 7 years ago

    Except I want a “reasonably priced” (say around $500) laptop with “reasonable resolution”… Well that has pushed me to buy older model with a Core 2 Duo instead Core i3/i5/i7 etc but even that is more than powerful enough for me since I got a desktop for backup.

    • asdzxc57
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t know why anyone buys low-resolution laptops, but I think it is caused by the poor display of Windows XP on small, high resolution screens.

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      wrong.. windows xp is quite usable at 1600×900 or 1920×1200 with 13 to 17 inch screen.. go checkout viao and thinkpads from 2005-2006

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      People buy them because they are cheaper!!!

      I’d love to have gotten a Core i7 with Geforce GT500 SS WRX STi Evolution Type-R graphics and 16 gb of RAM, but for the $600 i spent, it wasnt going to happen!

      Not everyone cares THAT much about how many light-up squares their plastic laptop has.

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        Also, I was involved in a rollout of 15.4″ 1920×1200 laptops.

        A constant stream of “the letters are too small!” ensued. You really do need either good resolution independence, or an Apple-like system of faking it until you make it, to get it right.

      • Malphas
      • 7 years ago

      Why the hell would it be caused by that? No-one buys a new computer and installs XP on it (other than businesses with legacy software and the occasional weirdo).

    • Ryhadar
    • 7 years ago

    I’m perfectly happy with 1366×768 on my 11.6″ netbook. I really wouldn’t want a higher res on it. I feel bad for you guys that have larger screens with that resolution though.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I <3 Linus’ brutal honesty. [i<]Regression[/i<] is the right word for laptop displays. People will bemoan the shoddy resolution scaling of Websites and Windows applications, but that's because manufacturers are still making half-assed attempts at "high-dpi" Apple did it right, and simply; [list<][*<]DOUBLE the minimum desired resolution[/*<][*<]Scale legacy, raster-based objects by exactly 2.0[/*<][/list<]

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      I disagree, what apple did was entirely unnecessary, they also priced those laptops above the budget of most users. I think 1600×900 for 11 to 13inch and 1920×1200 from 13-15 inch screen is plenty for most users.

        • kuraegomon
        • 7 years ago

        Er, Apple prices _everything_ above the budget of most users 🙂 You wanted them to make an exception for their super-duper (which should be normal, but still) resolution laptops? Good luck with that.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        That’s exactly the kind of half-assed approach that got us stuck in the 1366×768 rut in the first place.
        If a scaling factor of 2 is the first one that works cleanly:

        [list<][*<]1600x900 is equivalent to a 800x450 on a 13" screen (unusable) [/*<][*<]1920x1200 is equivalent to 960x600 on a 15" screen (barely usable)[/*<][/list<] Given that 10" netbooks are not nice to use at 1024x600, I would say that the minimum 1x scaled resolution is 1280x720, meaning that 2560x1440 would be the lower-limit for 2x scaling; Anything claiming to be "high-DPI" with less that that is classified as "half-assed" in my book.

          • shank15217
          • 7 years ago

          one of the most important reasons to buy a high res display is to be able to see more on the screen. If you buy a 2200+ laptop and set the effective resolution to 1440×900 then you either have vision issues or you’re just about the looks.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            The scale-factor of 2 is a workaround [b<]only[/b<] for old raster-based UI and web elements. For everything else the extra resolution is actually valuable.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            Both rMBPs support GPU side resolution scaling and are capable of multiple resolutions above the 1/4 default. Being able to choose between pixel perfect clarity and a higher effective resolution is incredibly useful on a laptop.

    • Kougar
    • 7 years ago

    As much as I agree with Torvald’s point of view here, the “reasonable resolution” bit is just silly. That’s not a marketing term, and it’s not even a specific term at all. A reasonable resolution means widely different things to different people. So in order for the general public to understand XYZ system offers an unmatched resolution above anything else in the market, it needs a marketing term and “Retina” does just fine.

    Given Apple was the only company to force OEMs to begin building consumer IPS panels above 2560×1600 in the first place, they can call it whatever they please.

    • Ifalna
    • 7 years ago

    Don’t know squat about Linux, but I have to agree with the dude. Sitting at my friends Laptop with 1366 resolution makes me want to tear my hair out every time. <_<

      • Decelerate
      • 7 years ago

      Sometimes I feel like 1366×768, especially the 768 part, is the Devil’s resolution.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      It’s actually fine for media consumption- it’s the whole ‘doing work’ part that kills it. 1080P (1200P preferably) is my working minimum.

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    As others will and have stated many times before, increasing laptop and phone resolutions is nice, but can we please also get some better resolutions for desktop monitors as well? I currently have a 24″ 1920×1200 display. I like the size, it’s not too big, not too small, and I prefer for the 16:10 aspect ratio over the more popular 16:9, but it would certainly be nice if we could even get a panel of that size that only has a 2560×1600. Compared to the displays companies are putting in laptops, tablets and phones, that would still be an incredibly small resolution / PPI, but at least it would be better than the same stuff we have had for a decade now. Heck, my old 19″ CRT monitor from 15 years ago (1600×1200) had a better PPI than my 24″ LCD monitor does! I even had a higher end 17″ CRT monitor that would push 1600×1200. The fact that desktop LCD displays has stagnated the way it has, to me, is even sadder than the way laptop displays have stagnated. Especially once you consider the fact that a desktop is the one machine that is actually likely to have the processing power to take full advantage of higher resolutions.

    Personally, I would like to see 3840×2400 on a 24″ panel at affordable prices, but for right now I would settle for 2560×1600.

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      you sit closer to laptop than your desktop so it makes sense to have higher resolutions.

        • thanatos355
        • 7 years ago

        Says who? It’s all a matter of perception. 😛

          • sparkman
          • 7 years ago

          Says your eyes. Pixel density is what it is.

          I’m not saying ultra high res desktop monitors wouldn’t be better than sliced bread — they’d be great. But your eyes actually need higher resolution the closer you get to the screen. Otherwise, at some distance you’ll start noticing each individual pixel.

            • thanatos355
            • 7 years ago

            The main thing I was addressing with my post was “you sit closer to laptop than your desktop”. Says who? I personally sit very close to my desktop monitor and that’s the way I like it. When I work on a laptop for someone, it sits as far back on my legs as possible or on a table/stand at about the length of my arms. Again, that’s the way that I like it.

            So, says who?

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            so you also sit 6 inches away from your hdtv? I happen to have a 30 inch dell lcd monitor, to see the entire monitor i sit about 3 feet away from it, infact i still cant see the whole monitor at once so having an ultra high resolution does me no freaking good, 2560×1600 is pretty darn good and gives me tons of desktop space. No one is discounting high resolution monitors are bad but at 30 inch getting 200+ ppi is extremely expensive and frankly its nice to be able to afford my displays because I actually do real work on them rather than watch pretty pictures and talk about how nice the display is.

      • esterhasz
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, I’d love to have a 24″ at 3840×2400. The main reason why I can’t get over the price of the new 13″ MBPro is because I currently plug my laptop into a 24″ 19×12 both at home and at work, both for the desktop real estate and the body position it allows.

      But since I started using the iPad 3, I really, really want higher resolution on my main screens – I cannot exclude that I am fooled by my brain, but I find the eyestrain on the iPad 3 to be greatly reduced. I can read longer and am less prone to headaches.

      It would be great if Dell tried something like a 22″ at 2560×1600 to test the waters. Dear Dell marketing data-mining bot, If you are listening to this, I am willing to spend $1000+ today to keep my aching body from giving up on me.

        • Olreich
        • 7 years ago

        Korean 27″ LG-IPS screen at 2560×1440. Not exactly the 22″ 300PPI screen you want, but it’s only $400 or so.

      • shaq_mobile
      • 7 years ago

      2560×1440 on my 27″ panel is fine for me and probably overkill for about 99% of users. It’s easy for us tech folks to forget that we don’t make up the majority of users. Most of the users I work with can’t(*won’t*, but they don’t know the difference) tolerate much more than 1024×768 on a 19 inch screen. We started switching them to 23″ monitors with 1080p and the majority of them request we set it back to 1280×1024, regardless of the hideous stretched look it has.

        • thanatos355
        • 7 years ago

        I get that all the time when I go to work on someone’s computer. Drives me insane while I’m there, but it’s their call to make.

      • cobalt
      • 7 years ago

      Agreed. That said, on the desktop, multiple monitors is at least an option to increase real estate, and graphics cards have even better multi-monitor support than they used to (namely Kepler and Eyefinity), which is nice. That doesn’t solve the DPI problem, of course. I guess maybe we can hope for 4K adoption, since maybe some of that will trickle to the desktop monitor space.

      • Malphas
      • 7 years ago

      16:10 won’t be back for the foreseeable future. It just makes no economic or logistical sense anymore. 16:9 is going to be the dominant ratio for all screens and devices for years to come, even though it’s not ideal for any of them. It’s a good enough compromise for most people, and cutting screens all at the same ratio keeps prices down from economies of scale.

      I’m personally holding out for 3840 x 2160 (4k) to avoid scaling issues with 1920×1080 content, and so I can continue playing games at 1920×1080 on ultra detail with mid range graphics cards, and simply quadruple the pixels (again avoids scaling issues) rather than trying to run at higher resolutions and therefore need to fork out for more expensive graphics cards.

        • moose17145
        • 7 years ago

        [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007617+600012663&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=20&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=[/url<] Don't seem to be dead to me... granted there are hardly as many options as there are 16:9 displays, but it's not like you can't get a 16:10 display. Also the 32" panels at 2560x1600 are 16:10 as well. Sure you can get a 16:9 ratio display cheaper, but honestly, for something that I will have through multiple computer builds, and which I will literally be staring at for hours on end almost every day of the week, I feel it is worth it to spend the extra money for something that I am happy with and will enjoy instead of something that I will just feel like I "compromised" for. I also do the same with my keyboards and mice. Spend a bit of extra money for something I am actually happy with. After you break the price down per year... its really not bad considering how long a good keyboard, mouse, and monitor can last! 🙂 But to each their own. That's what's great about having options! I know several people who wouldn't want a higher resolution monitor, and many think that the 19x12 that mine does is already too high and produces text too small for their personal comfort. As such that is fine, I have no issues with companies offering lower res 19x12 / 1080 displays, but I would at least like the OPTION to get something with a higher PPI in the same aspect ratio and size. But right now there is no options... if you want a (roughly) 24" monitor you are stuck with 1920x1080/1200, and that's it. I haven't even found any professional grade LCD panels that have a higher resolution, and I have met plenty of professionals who deal with graphics as their day job who have said they would LOVE to have a display in the same size that they currently have, but with double or even triple the resolution. The market IS out there... someone just needs to get off their butts and make a good high PPI desktop display already. Oh and leave the touch screen crap off it. Seriously... I can't stand fingerprints on my monitors. I have a hard enough time dealing with them on my touch phone...

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Super Full Quad HD REASONABLE RESOLUTION Laptop for sale….

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Just rolls off your tongue. Linus is a marketing genius.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Never go Full Quad HD!

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    ” Stop with the “retina” crap, just call it “reasonable resolution”.

    you had to go there………….. the shame.

    “Apple’s new Retina MacBook Pro laptops”

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t see how “reasonable resolution” is better than “Retina”…

    Edit for the ones that fail to comprehend my statement:
    I agree with Linus’ complaint. I just don’t see how “reasonable” is a more precise term than “Retina”. If anything, it’s even more ambiguous.

    There’s a reason why Wifi standards have coding like “a/b/g/n” or video resolutions are “VGA/XVGA/WQSXGA”. Most/all of them were “reasonable” at one point in time. How would that evolve? “Reasonable 2”, “Reasonable X”, “Super Reasonable”?

      • homerdog
      • 7 years ago

      I certainly do.

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Retina is just a damn marketing name they gave to high DPI LCD screens so why can’t we use the metric that actually matters instead of a broad marketing term that actually doesn’t have a fixed value, since afaik, various retina labeled displays have different DPI.

      Steps in the right direction need to be taken and a first increase in resolution be it modest or not has to be done asap. It’s been too long and it gotten ridiculous and stupid. Hardware is better now, we need displays that offer better clarity. I often lean towards my 1080p 22″ desktop LCD screen from 2011 and notice the pixels…..

        • TEAMSWITCHER
        • 7 years ago

        To Apple’s credit the “Retina” moniker used to sell devices has been an unparalleled success. Taking a single aspect of display technology and turning it into a “seal of quality” is marketing genius.

        But this trick would not have worked if other aspects of it’s displays were not quality as well. Apple displays always do well when compared in extensive technical reviews. The Anandtech website has been particularly impressed with Apple displays – lauding their wide color gamut, contrast, and consistency.

        Be careful what you ask for, the PC makers can certainly bump the DPI specs on the parts they order. But without paying attention to other equally important details, the benefits may be only numerical.

          • Arclight
          • 7 years ago

          Using “retina” won’t keep any other metric fixed or definable either, as with DPI i’m certain that they differ with regards to other specs. There are a few specs i care about: respons time (preffered 2ms), refresh rate, resolution, screen size, viewing angle. When i look for a monitor i filter those first and the rest i try to choose the one that seems to have the best, highest numbers and i also read a review or two before purchasing.

          But damn it all, i’ve waited for a long time for manufacturers to bring higher resolutions to smaller sized screens in order to increase DPI. Like others said though, OS makers need to play nice and scale the font and UI elements correctly.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            It is in Apple’s best interest to keep the premium quality to the “Retina” moniker. It is purely marketing but so far it works.

            Again, nothing out of the definition of the word “Reasonable” would imply quality. It’s not like “1080p” or “4k” or “8k” resolution.

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            Are we really going to get hand up on what the right marketing slogan/moniker should be? Has this really been the reason why manufacturers haven’t increased DPI for desktop monitors, TVs and laptop screens? Let’s get real here.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            Did you really read my original statement?

            [quote<]I don't see how "reasonable resolution" is better than "Retina"...[/quote<] If you want to [i<]get real[/i<], you shouldn't have replied to this post in the first place.

          • TEAMSWITCHER
          • 7 years ago

          Go ahead, thumb me down! PC makers will just read these forums and think they were right – PC users don’t want high-DPI panels. Apple hatred is holding back the entire PC industry. If you don’t want to follow Apple’s lead, then you have one choice – stick with the same crappy panels you bought three years ago. Good luck with that strategy.

          • bhtooefr
          • 7 years ago

          Actually, “Retina” DOESN’T mean quality.

          I give you the 4th generation iPod Touch.

          (Every other display branded as a “Retina Display” has been high quality, though.)

          • clone
          • 7 years ago

          you’re far to generous with the term genius…. it’s a marketing ploy…. wow…. interesting, typical not genius.

          I’d disagree with the “unqualified success” comment but why bother, Apples products haven’t quite lost the reality distortion field effects leftover from Steve Jobs legacy…. ppl want to believe Apple is doing it differently even when they aren’t which is allowing Apple to take ownership of whole categories of technology in spirit.

          my neighbor was pooh poohing his BlackBerry while talking about how excited he was about the upcoming Iphone 5 because he was 100% convinced it would be rendering games in full virtual 3d above the display, connecting to other Iphone 5’s and playing with them on virtual keyboards, I just started laughing.

          he didn’t buy an Iphone 5 when it came out and is thoroughly disappointed in himself for falling for the pre-release hype.

          it’ll be an interesting ride while it lasts but regardless ppl falling for marketing ploys is nothing new… calling it “genius” is like calling the guy who came up with the Swiffer broom a “genius”, the guy who came up with the pet rock a “genius”, along with all the Star Wars fans who consider George Lucas a “genius” despite the reality that Lucas lost confidence in Star Wars while making and placed a bet with Steven Spielberg against it doing well…. yet he’s still a “genius”…….. lucky would seem the more accurate term as in Apple is lucky to have the cache they have.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        In economics it’s called “First Mover’s Advantage” and in the public’s eyes, Apple has it. Furthermore, “Retina” doesn’t prevent industry standardization.

        “reasonable resolution” however is ambiguous. “Reasonable” is ambiguous:
        1.(of a person) Having sound judgment; fair and sensible.
        2.Based on good sense: “a reasonable request”.

        Ask any company if they have “sound judgement”, and even Acer will tell you that they do.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      I think what he should have said was, “Stop with the ‘retina’ crap, just default to high resolution.” Because that’s a sentiment I agree with. For far too long, display makers have treated resolution like Apple treats larger amounts of flash: a way to milk the consumer.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Retina is Apple’s trademark, not an industry lingo. As Apple’s trademark, they have full control over its meaning. Of course, they better have that meaning defined and maintained, because if the term loses its power, Apple will be the one losing, and its competitors winning.

        Don’t get me wrong, I am in full agreement with Linus’ complaint. I simply don’t understand why he’s attacking the one significant brand that actually does this.

        It’s kind of like saying “Please increase the performance of all cars, I’m tired of crappy ones. Why do they have to be called 911s? Just call them speedy cars”.

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        Hell, it’s not even that.

        A lot of manufacturers simply didn’t make high resolution displays available, period. So, it wasn’t “a way to milk the consumer”. (And, Apple sure wants a pretty penny for their high-res stuff.)

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t either other then Apple coined the phrase and Torvalds isn’t exactly a fan of Apple (although he loves his Mac hardware *rolls eyes*).

      • helix
      • 7 years ago

      Just wondering: Do you consider “WQSXGA” a more reasonable name than 3200×2048?
      I personally always need wikipedia to translate that silly all-caps letter soup into something I can relate to.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    Phoronix recently did an interesting investigation on how Linux fares on a Retina MacBook. Short story: It does atrociously badly.

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      Linux is certainly capable of supporting 2560×1600 display resolutions, but you need working drivers to pull it off. The new Macbooks are not well supported under Linux, so the results are not too good. Hopefully if the high-resolution displays showed up in normal notebooks the support would be much better.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        It’s not the drivers that creates the problem in Linux. It’s the lack of proper hidpi assets in the current gui’s for Linux.

          • ermo
          • 7 years ago

          Lack of proper hidpi assets?

          I’m currently sitting in front of a 19″ 1280×1024 monitor on an XUbuntu 12.10 system.

          Looking inside [code<]/usr/share/icons/[/code<] reveals that many (if not most) of the icon (bitmap) assets are available in the sizes [16,22,24,32,48,64,128]. If we imagine that I keep my display at 19" and just double the resolution in each direction from 1280x1024 to 2560x2048, I'd need to scale the icons up to double their current size to get equivalent relative sizes. This wouldn't be a problem -- at most, I'd need additional 96x96 bit assets, which are presumably easy to build from the high-resolution master. Similarly, fonts would need to be scaled from their current size 9-11 to 18-22, which is perfectly feasible given that they are TrueType vector fonts. And since the WM titlebars and buttons scale in relation to the font size used (at least on GNOME3), that shouldn't be a big issue either. Given the above, could you perhaps help me understand why you think we are lacking proper hidpi assets in the current GUIs for Linux?

            • nagashi
            • 7 years ago

            > many (if not most) of the icon (bitmap) assets are available in the sizes [16,22,24,32,48,64,128].

            Yep, the linux world is fine on hidpi assets.

            > And since the WM titlebars and buttons scale in relation to the font size used (at least on GNOME3), that shouldn’t be a big issue either.

            They may in gnome3, but they certainly don’t in xubuntu, assuming you’re using xfwm4 as your window manager.

            Even assuming the window managers all scale their widgets and such, there’s a bigger problem: applications aren’t written with layouts that can scale to high dpi displays. THings like icon buttons don’t scale. Form layouts get mangled with font sizes > 20pt. GTK and QT haven’t done a good job of abstracting the actual DPI of the display from the layout. That needs to get fixed, and then every single application needs to be modified to take advantage of it. Ubuntu might manage it by 14.04, but I’m skeptical.

            • ermo
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, xfwm4 button assets and gradients are typically bitmaps (.xpm or even .png), I’ll give you that.

            And thanks for the info re. toolkits. That was a real eye-opener.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            OS X’s HiDPI icons are 1024×1024, again the linux desktops still don’t have the proper graphic assets for a HiDPI display.

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Most Linux Icons are just bitmapped versions of SVG originals. It shouldn’t be too hard to just regenerate larger versions of the icons.

            P.S. –> Even on a Retina display a 1024×1024 bitmap is going to take up a pretty massive chunk of screen (1024^2= 1 Megapixel, and the best Retina screens are ~8MP right?) How big do you *really* need those icons to be?

            P.P.S. –> I take that back, the highest-resolution Retina displays are about 5 MP, so one icon can take up ~20% of the display.

            • ermo
            • 7 years ago

            Interesting. I suppose OS X uses Core Image to scale the icons?

            Only having one icon size in high resolution certainly sounds useful provided you have super fast, highly optimized scaling tech that takes advantage of the high degree of integration between the OS and the hardware.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            OS X also does it’s resolution scaling GPU side, so it’s quite fast and accurate.

            • kc77
            • 7 years ago

            I actually read that review and properly scaling assets were not the problem. Their biggest problem was just hardware support in general. Everything from Thunderbolt to switchable graphics was broken.

      • nagashi
      • 7 years ago

      It wasn’t all that recent, perhaps things have improved. It seems somewhat unlikely though, given where the challenge lies: with the toolkits. We might have to wait a full major version of QT and GTK before the situation improves. Which frankly sucks because the 15″ retina is basically everything I’ve ever wanted in a laptop, ever. Except for the OS, obviously.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    That’s the First thing I check in a laptop’s spec sheet.

      • anotherengineer
      • 7 years ago

      2nd is if it is a TN, VA or IPS panel.

      Nothing worse that shelling out a grand for a laptop and getting a crapx768 TN panel, just fail.

        • colinstu12
        • 7 years ago

        Not sure why this is getting so much thumbs down. TN panels deserve to be put in the dumpster, especially on a laptop where the screen is constantly changing angles from your face.

        IPS > high res unfortunately. The 1366×768 IPS panel in my X220 is pretty damn good. The only thing I wish it had was more vertical resolution, but I can deal with it. I love having NICE colors and AWESOME viewing angles.

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