Solitaire

I'm looking into buying a new laptop, and I have a choice of a similar model which is available in both regular (3 x 4 aspect ratio) and wide-screen (6 x 9 aspect ratio).

There are many advantages to having a wide screen, but I would like to know how it would work with the code window. Does it reduce the number of vertical rows Which native resolution is recommended Any other advice

The laptop I'm considering (a new model 15" Lenovo/IBM) is on sale until tomorrow so I need to decide right away.




Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

JohnWein

The one with the most total pixels.





Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

Solitaire

If the resolution is too high, I have to reduce it to 1024, a more comfortable size for my eyes. Of necessity, I have to scroll the text vertically to see more of the page. How much of the bottom of a vertical page would I be missing in a wide-screen format






Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

JohnWein

Something we all have to accept sometime in our lives: Glasses.





Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

nobugz

LCD screens only look good when used in their native resolution. Personally, I like the wide-screen aspect, just more pixels for Visual Studio et al. It needs all the pixels you have. The only down-side is DirectX games, they are normally programmed for 3:4 aspect ratios. Be sure to turn off the automatic stretching in the BIOS settings; having black bars at the left and right is better than out-of-whack screens.





Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

Solitaire

John Wein: Glasses are nothing new to me -- I've been wearing them all my life, since I was 10 years old. In addition to my bifocals and varilux lenses, I've been using intermediate range glasses for over 25 years, which includes computer use. (I originally got them for reading music at my piano keyboard.) I'm very nearsighted so everything up close is clear to me, but it's still a strain to see all those tiny letters on the computer screen.

Nobugs: That info is useful about adding black sidebars. But what is the end result Is it equivalent to a smaller size screen with the normal number of vertical rows (more than the number on a wide screen) Or does the number of vertical rows remain the same with or without the side bars






Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

nobugz

It is equivalent to a smaller size screen with the normal horizontal resolution (vertical columns). 800, 1024, etc. It is easy to see that the horizontal stretching option is enabled in the BIOS, the Windows boot screen looks distorted too. Yet another visible side-effect is that a video adapter pixel no longer corresponds with an LCD panel pixel, causing the display to get blurry. That tends to be less noticable in DirectX games as compared to windows with text using a font with a small point size.





Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

Solitaire

It is not clear whether the blurriness and distortion you refer to is because of the side bars, or the native wide-screen display. Please clarify.






Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

nobugz

You'll get distortion when the video adapter resolution is set to a resolution with a 3:4 aspect ratio (800 x 600, 1024 x 768, etc) and stretch mode is enabled in the BIOS. With a 1024 x 768 video mode, stretching maps the 1024 horizontal pixels to 1152 LCD panel pixels to match the 1152 x 768 (6:9) panel's resolution. Drawing a square produces a rectangle on the display. You see the same effect on HighDef TVs with a 6:9 aspect ratio that display a normal 3:4 broadcast. Commonly recognizable objects (people especially) look squashed.

With stretching off, the panel displays the screen as-is, producing (1152 - 1024) / 2 = 64 pixel side bars.

LCD panels exhibit bluriness when the size of a pixel produced by the video adapter doesn't match the size of panel pixel. CRTs don't have this problem, the phosphor dots on the screen automatically interpolate a changing electron beam's intensity. An LCD panel pixel however can only display one distinct color. When the video adapter generates 1024 pixels and the LCD panel controller needs to illuminate 1152 pixels, the controller must interpolate the video signal. Occasionally, one video pixel illuminates 2 LCD panel pixels. Actual interpolation algorithms in the LCD panel controller are a bit more refined than that though. The higher the native resolution of the panel, the less noticeable this blurring. While an interpolated resolution can look quite acceptable, switching back and forth between an interpolated resolution and the native resolution can show a remarkable improvement in sharpness and contrast.





Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

nobugz

Don't let this talk you out of a 6:9 aspect LCD panel. The more pixels, the better for normal day-to-day Windows use. The form-factor tends to better too, you don't need to clear as much space depth-wise on an overfilled desk. I like the ones with the battery on the back and all the ports on the side.





Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

Solitaire

What about native resolution I'm told that when you lower the resolution, there is a degradation in the sharpness. I use my current laptop (a 5-year-old IBM Thinkpad with a 1600 resolution on a 15" regular-size screen) lowered to 1024 without a problem, but a friend with a new wide-screen Lenovo/IBM with 1600 resolution says the degradation is very noticeable when he lowers the resolution, and recommends getting one with a lower native resolution. However, there are times when I might want to display several windows at once on the screen. So what should I do

By the way, I would go with Windows XP Professional, not Vista. Does the information you posted on the side bars, etc. apply to Windows XP

(I still need to use QBasic in a full screen and Vista doesn't support it.)






Re: Hot Technology Wide-screen laptop or regular screen recommendations

nobugz

Again, when you lower the resolution below the LCD panel's native resolution, you force the LCD panel controller to interpolate pixels. Yes, that causes blurriness. If 1024x768 looks good to you on a 1600x1200 resolution panel, you are squarely in the high resolution, it's not a problem category. Impressive numbers for a 5 year old laptop. I tend to agree with your friend. Buying a lower resolution panel seems like poor advice however. Maybe he's telling you what you want to hear, I'm getting there too. The number of times I want to display several windows at once tend to outnumber the number of times I want to display just one. I have one after I boot.

Everything I said is relevant to XP, don't know enough about Vista. From what I've seen and tried, it will stay that way for a while.