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At the moment, I'm looking at buying a desktop system. It's relatively easy for me to compare PCs, but much harder for me to compare LCD monitors.

I've been using a widescreen monitor on my convertible tablet PC for a while now, and I've definitely decided that I want to go widescreen. The screen on this does a maximum resolution 1280x768, which is somewhere between 16:9 and 16:10. The screen is supposedly 14" on the diagonal, and I'll go with that for calculations. If I calculate the Width and Height using the following two equations
W^2 + H^2 = 14^2
W / H = 1280/768
I can find that the screen dimensions are W = 12.0" and H = 7.2". If I use that along with the screen resolution, I get that the horizontal DPI is 106.7, and the vertical DPI is 106.6, about the same. Now, this is a nice screen, but I certainly wouldn't complain about getting more pixels in the same space. So far, I haven't found anything.

For reference, here's some info on 17" widescreen displays, calculated the same way, using 1440x900 as the resolution (since that's the only resolution I can find):
W = 14.4"
H = 9.0"
Hdpi = 99.86
Vdpi = 99.89

Most of the 19" displays I've found are even worse, in that they'll only do the same resolution:
W = 16.1"
H = 10.0"
Hdpi = 89.39
Vdpi = 89.37

I found one 19" display that is capable of 1680x1050, and it's specifications list a height and width matching my calculations for 19" displays above (as do my calculations using this resolution). It comes out much better
Hdpi = 104.3
Vdpi = 104.3

Still not as good as my laptop. So, one suggested that 19" wasn't a very popular size anymore, though from looking at sites like tigerdirect and newegg, it seems to be the most popular size. So I checked out some larger displays.

20" displays seems to be 1680x1050:
W = 17.0"
H = 10.6"
Hdpi = 99.06
Vdpi = 99.15

22" displays are fairly horrid (almost as bad as normal 19"), with a max resolution of 1680x1050:
W = 18.7"
H = 11.7"
Hdpi = 90.03
Vdpi = 90.05

24" displays are the new small premium size, let's see how they compare. 1920x1200 resolution yeilds:
W = 20.4"
H = 12.7"
Hdpi = 94.35
Vdpi = 94.35

Still well below my laptop display.

Just for S&G, here's how a 30" display compares, with a resolution of 2560x1600"
H = 25.4"
W = 15.9"
Hdpi = 100.6
Vdpi = 100.6

Given that there's still nothing out there that compares with the 15" 1600x1200 display I had on a notebook 5 years ago, I'm quite disappointed. I was really hoping that we would have some 150 dpi displays on the market by now. I'm thankful that we've gotten over 17" monitors that couldn't adequately display anything more than 1024x768 (a whopping 75 dpi).

I can't think of any more research to do on the topic, so it looks like I'll be going with this viewsonic.

Aside from having the highest dpi, it's also got a 1000:1 static contrast ratio (up to 3000:1 dynamic), 2ms response time, 300cd/m^2 brightness, and DVI-D and VGA inputs. I'm not so sure about the stand on it, as I really like the Dell stands that let you rotate the monitor. If it comes down to it, I can probably fabricate something that will work, and paint it a nice matte black. Oh yeah, Newegg and Tigerdirect each have it for $219.99, which isn't too crazy expensive.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Seems like the DPI issue is mainly due to the fact that neither of the major OS's have resolution-independent display modes. I see lots of people at work running their displays at well below max resolution, and when I ask, it's because if they run them at the max, everything gets too small.

Does the current version of X do resolution-independent display? Haven't run it in years...:)
Nov. 11th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
Too small?
The only thing that gets even slightly on the small side for me is the fonts. The icons are all plenty large enough for me to hit as targets.

From checking again, the windows DPI setting changes not only the font sizes, but the icon sizes as well. The default is 96 dpi, and it comes with a 120 dpi "Large Size" option, as well as the ability to do a custom configuration. I'll ask if GNOME has a way to do something similar, since that's easier than rebooting and looking. I'm betting that it's an accessibility option, though
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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