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  • Hrel - Sunday, March 01, 2009 - link

    I've always wanted to see a quick switch button, like in the task bar or something; that would allow me to switch between different resolutions instantly. Cause on a 15 or 16" screen, 1280x800/1366x768 is great for reading, like articles on anadtech, but when it comes to watching movies and stuff I'd rather have 1920x1080/1680x1050, really though 1920x1080. As for gaming, it's a laptop which means limited GPU power, but 1440x900 looks just as good to me as 1680x1050; so that would be good enough, then when ur card gets a little dated you can just turn the res down to 1280x800/1366x768. However text is too small at full resolutions, (I sit a couple feet from the screen), I forget how to activate the zoom in firefox, but the ie zoom didn't work that well last time I used it, point is I need the res to be lower so I can read. And I'd only turn it up for movies, or gaming if the laptop could handle it. I'd also like to see a resolution somewhere around 1571x883. That's a 16:9 resolution, just in between 720p and 1080p. Just to make it so an older/weaker GPU could run a new/more demanding game with decent settings; without turning the resolution all the way down.
    Also, as far as I'm concerned LED backlighting is a must, for battery life. I don't really care if it's RGB LED or regular LED, I just want better battery life; like 12hours+. It's WAY up there on my list of priorities.
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Monday, March 02, 2009 - link

    Toshiba's X305 (and probably others) has a "zoom" keyboard shortcut that does exactly that. It's not that great IMO, but if you like it I'm sure other utilities can do something similar. Reply
  • weh - Saturday, February 28, 2009 - link

    I'd be willing to pay $500 extra for a laptop with a 15+ to 16-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, 1680x1050 resolution, whatever-IPS LCD panel that could match or exceed the image quality and color integrity of my HP LP2475W desktop monitors. (And color LED-back-light would be nice, too.)

    I will NOT buy a "serious" laptop with a TN panel. Ever! I have bought an Eee netbook to serve for general connectivity purposes when I'm away from desk machines.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Saturday, February 28, 2009 - link

    Currently on a Latitude D800 with a 1920x1200 15.4" screen and that's exactly what I voted for, it's glorious Reply
  • Alien959 - Saturday, February 28, 2009 - link

    I nice to see a wider gamut, but what about saturation?
    I have a Philips 170B monitor and against my laptop there is considerable difference in richness-saturation-life like colors.
    And my notebook LCD has calibrated contrast of 540;1 and the desktop 400:1 and still the desktop LCD is far better especially in color.
    Reply
  • mechafreq - Saturday, February 28, 2009 - link

    The color saturation is no issue if you set the brightness higher; however that means less contrast since the black level starts turning unacceptably grey. I usually set my Studio XPS 16 to just one notch over 50%, but in brighter conditions where pure black is difficult to discern, I re-calibrate it to about 75% brightness.

    In general, this particular laptop display easily competes with and blows away most every TN panel I've seen. It's actually quite disappointing that this is a TN and not one of the other technologies. My only real gripe besides the black levels and necessity of external calibration, is the vertical viewing angle. Viewing angle on a notebook is heavily stressed due to a lack of height adjustability.

    My normal display is a Dell 24" Ultrasharp 2407WFPb, which has an extended color gamut with I believe, an S-IPS panel. The flexibility of the viewing angle makes work much easier, and can even be used in portrait mode in a pinch. The laptop however, gets some colors much more vibrant and deep, which is very disconcerting.

    The http://www.cccp-project.net/">http://www.cccp-project.net/ website is no contest in favor of the RGB LED lit panel. It's so shockingly superior in its color reproduction of FF0000, it's difficult to remove the disparity from my mind.

    It is seriously, something you have to see in person to remove your doubts.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 28, 2009 - link

    Unfortunately, I still haven't seen any laptops that have displays that truly compete with desktop LCDs - even though this one has a wider color gamut. Set this next to an S-IPS, S-PVA, or even a good TN desktop display and I'll pick the desktop every time. Reply
  • mechafreq - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I'm using the Studio XPS 16 with the RBG LED screen as I view this website.

    I work as a photographer and post-processor that requires some travel, so I picked up this laptop with the screen on some anecdotal testimonials on how good the screen was. It turned out to be true, but has some issues.

    First off, the screen comes in horribly calibrated, with very heavy emphasis on blue and green. Not something you can tweak by hand looking at gamma charts and bars, but it's something that needs re-working of the gamma curves. I used a Spyder 3 Pro to get everything back into line for a white point of 6500 and gamma of 2.2. Might seem overkill for normal users, but even less critical things like gaming and watching videos, you notice flesh tones off, with nuclear greens being very distracting.

    Second issue is the black level on the display is very poor as well, decreasing usable contrast. You have to pick and choose what you want as your optimal trade off. In a bright room you can crank up the brightness more, but in a dark room it's very noticeable that the blacks are greyish. LCDs in general have this problem however, so this is not unique--almost normal unfortunately.

    Good things about this display is the uniformity of lighting, extreme brightness, full working color gamut, and wide viewing angle (for a TN). Difficult colors that many displays have trouble getting like true reds, really pop out with intensity instead of trailing off as a bit desaturated and a little orange. It's very impressive in person; possibly equal or better than the 'wide gamut' Dell Ultrasharp 24" I use at the desk. 1900x1080 is a little squinty on a 16" screen, but it allows for much more working space in Photoshop.

    I suppose until OLED makes its debut as a cost effective alternative, this is probably the best we can get on a laptop.
    Reply
  • Kibbles - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I think after reading the article I moved my vote slightly towards the "better, pricier" votes. However, today after really thinking about it, if I were to really purchase a laptop right now, I would probably opt for a bare minimum for the display.
    For people who want a desktop replacement, a higher quality monitor might be needed, but for me the laptop is just a secondary.
    Reply
  • ET - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I like the Sony P series, but I could make do with a 1280x600 (or so) 8" screen at that form factor, if it made the price significantly cheaper. As for screen quality, the important thing for me is decent sunlight visibility. Technology, I don't care at all. If it has the features I want, why should I care? Why would anyone care? Reply
  • cvt - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Considering myself, and everyone I work with only select dell latitude notebooks for the high density screens, has almost left me wondering why so many people are happy with screens that are so.... sub-par.
    I am quite surprised by the numbers here, and now really have to question why so many manufacturers don't even offer a decent resolution on their notebooks.

    Personally. 15.4" was the biggest I ever wanted, I am considering breaking that to reach out to this 16" screen, only due to colour gamut, and the amount I work with photo's. 17"+ notebooks, and terribly low resolution notebooks have never made any sense to me, and its a relief I am not alone in these thoughts..

    Fact of the matter is I would pay in excess of US$300 extra if it meant a high density (1920x1200 or more) screen with a large colour gamut, non glossy surface, and of moderate size (15.4")
    On that, I don't know anyone that actually likes glossy surfaces, its nothing more than a shiny thing for shop floors that cause eye strain.
    If only the manufacturers would listen to the customers hey.
    Reply
  • visibilityunlimited - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    My Dell Inspiron 6000 has 1920x1200 with 15.4" screen. I dual boot with WindowsXP and XWindows. I agree with many comments that WindowsXP is difficult to use because the individual dots are hard to see. Using XWindows on this display is exceptional and does not have any problems working at very high resolution. The display and programs scale about everything and things are never too tiny under XWindows. If you really want to see dots like WindowsXP then they can easily be built by adding many microscopic dots.
    So I want the very highest resolution possible. I would be very happy with a 14" diagonal screen with 4000x3000 pixels or even 12,800x8,000 pixels. Why stop there? The best screen is a screen where you cannot see the individual pixels.
    If you must use a display showing dots then why not simply make the dots (squares) out of 4 or 9 or 16 or even 25 pixels?
    I also have a 4.3" display with 800x480 resolution. The same size pixels would sure look good on a notebook with a 15" screen using XWindows. The factories can make those pixels now.
    I have never seen anything except TN so wouldn't know any better.

    Reply
  • ilkhan - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    resolution really depends on the size. I voted 1280x800 (enough for 720p), but thats for a 12-13" screen size. If you are talking about a 15", Id say 1920x1200.

    But I will probably never buy a 15-16", I'll either get a T&L and run 12-13"/1280x800, or a real desktop replacement 17"/1920x1200.

    Panel tech for either one shouldn't be the top priority of the machine, but it does make a difference. TN is crap (especially for tablets), but for a budget machine its appropriate. Laptops are replaced more often than desktop LCDs, and the price of the panel needs to reflect that (given that the screens are also smaller and cheaper for that reason).
    Reply
  • mschira - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    It sounds to that the technique they used to get the high gamut is using 3 colored LEDs as a light source, and I don't think that can do the trick of expanding the color space without cheating.
    What do I mean?
    I think what they are probably doing is changing the brightness of the LEDs to increase the distance between their brightest and darkest red it can produce.
    However this would affect an area of the screen rather than a single pixel.

    Also I think as other people have mentioned before - it's not only about the maximal distance between brightest and darkest, but also how many steps there are, and if it would be still only 8bit the steps would get bigger, which is not only good...

    Finally, I absolutely agree there should be a market for people who care about color accuracy and gamut in a notebook. (me for one...)
    However, i don't think the industry is listening to that...
    M.
    Reply
  • AmdInside - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I am not sure how much the chart with the color gamut is representative of image quality. The Dell 2408WFP has the highest color gamut in the chart but if you talk to wedding photographers, that is one of the hardest LCD monitors to calibrate. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I'm not sure why that would be the case. I tested it and calibration was extremely simple... no different from any other LCD I've tested. I used the "Normal" color setting I think. Then I set 50 Brightness, 50 Contrast, and 80-80-80 RGB. It achieved excellent color accuracy before and after calibration with those settings - the lowest dE score ever prior to hardware calibration in fact. Reply
  • michaelklachko - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    What LCD panel technology would you most like to see in a laptop?

    I would like to see a laptop with an electrophoretic display, something like an advanced version of Kindle panel - with color, touch-sensitive, and 100 times faster. I'm willing to pay extra 3-4 hundred bucks for such a laptop.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I like it. Reply
  • motopen1s - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I find 1280x800 for 15,4" (98 DPI) and 1440x900 for 17" (99.9 DPI)laptops to be the best. I am 22 and have perfect sight, but working on lets say 16" laptop with full hd resolution within second makes me feel as if I look at an old CRT screen - my eyes begin to hurt. I find even 1680x1050 already too small for 17" (116,5 DPI).

    I deal a lot with pc's and I am yet to meet anybody with age 35+ who would tolerate high resolution (for some even 1280x800 on 15.4" is not comfortable to work on). I can only see young people buying ~100+ DPI screens, which I dont think is very wise anycase. I believe that Acer for example has such large market share to a great extend because they cover a much higher segment using optimal resolution screens on most of their laptops.

    I do like quality, but I would choose a standart 1280x800 panel in 15.4" laptop over super high quality 1680x1050 LCD with LED backlighting any day.

    Those of you who claim that one just need to zoom while working are probably using iphone for too long for internet. I use my laptop for work while traveling (as well as media center connecting it to audio reciever using hdmi output) and I want it to be absolutely relieble and easy on the eyes.

    p.s. and hey, setting custom DPI in Windows just sucks - a lot of things do not scale properly especially when browsing the net
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    800 just isn't enough vertical pixels.

    It's interesting that webpages are setup to be 1024 wide and very long, yet widescreen goes in the opposite ratio, and laptops' primary use is for webpages!
    Reply
  • norlas - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Being a professional photographer I've used a Dell XPS 1730 since it became available a year and a half ago. Before that I used a Fujitsu/Siemens 17" laptop for a few years in parallell with a desktop setup with an expensive Eizo pro LCD (have forgotten the name)

    I'm working with color profiles in all my work and my experience is that the end result is more dependent on factors other than the display's color gamut. When using a properly calibrated (using Eye-One) LCD-display in a daylight environment the printed end result end up to be very like what you see on the screen.

    However, when doing serious work on an LCD display (desktop or laptop) in any non-daylight ambience, the quality of the output is always questionable.

    My criteria for a good LCD display thus becomes;

    - high enough resolution to create the impression of a continous picture when sitting in a normal working position. For a 17" 16:10 monitor this seems to correspond to 1920x1200 for me.
    - ability to adjust contrast and light within a wide range.
    - ability for the whole setup to retain the settings resulting from a display calibration. Auto-contrast and -light is banned...
    - it should be pleasant to work with, ie. factors like the displays reflexivity and ability to display believable black comes into play.
    Reply
  • tygrus - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I think TN LCDs can be reduced for laptop. Slower tha desktop, less power to drive than others (*VA, S-IPS).
    Laptop screens actually use the off-angle low contrast of TN as a security feature and is less pronounced on a smaller screen.
    In the past, laptops (notebooks) were used for business work on the go ie. mostly typing in WP, SS, DB, programmming.
    Now, more home user want a large screen notebook to replace bulky desktop. Used for multimedia and sharing. Notebooks become very price sensative and so there are still compromises. How many today would spend $3000 for desktop & $6000 for laptop as the top models were in early 90's.
    Reply
  • sooverexposed - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I just cannot and probably will never understand why anyone wants to spend his or her money on a laptop that big and heavy as 15inch - ones currently are.
    laptops are supposed to be carried along on. for anything else you are better of with a pc and a decent monitor.

    look over to the asian ppl. sony, ibm and the likes offer special 13" sized versions of their machines, which are just not available in europe. that just makes sense.

    bigger is not always better.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I have no need to always carry a laptop with me, instead I use it to take on trips and such, and otherwise as a low-power always-on system at home. So the extra couple pounds are well worth the more usable screen. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Dude, get a $150 22" screen. Even a monster 17" laptop screen sucks compared to a monitor. Reply
  • mechafreq - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Some of use require a mobile workstation to be used at set-up location that moves from time to time. Bringing along an extra monitor along with all the other equipment makes it a job that a single person can no longer handle.

    A larger laptop works just fine for streamlining that process with acceptable compromises, even if we have to pay a premium for a higher quality screen.

    It's not like most photographic post-processing can be handled on-the-go; say on an airline fold down tray, or like situations anyhow (especially without a power outlet). So people like me don't really care about getting a slightly smaller and lighter notebook that has the extra mobility use we never take advantage of.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    A lot of people don't want a desktop anymore, but they don't necessarily move their laptops around much. Plus there's the whole issue of keyboard size, LCD size and resolution, etc. A reasonable DPI would have a maximum resolution of 1280x800 at 14", 1440x900 at 15.4", or 1680x1050 at 17" - assuming you don't have great eyesight. Since there are plenty of people that would like a higher resolution display, that means 17" and larger laptops become viable. Plus, if you do need to take your computer somewhere you can always grab your laptop.

    As an example, I have two brothers and a father that all run - and are very happy with - 17" laptops. My dad tried a 17" and a 15.4" (and had a 14") and very much prefers the large 17" model. The number keypad clinched the deal.
    Reply
  • mrSHEiK124 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I'm not entirely sure but I could've sworn my Inspiron 9300 had either a Samsung PVA panel or an LG IPS panel. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    It's really easy to test: tilt the display back and see if the contrast goes dark when you look at it from below. TN panels always do that at around a 30-40 degree angle (or less), but PVA and IPS can usually go to around 70 degrees without huge problems. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Quite frankly 1920x1200 resolution is best suited for a 17" laptop or higher. On anything lower you better have darn good eye sight. I happen to have darn good eye sight with no glasses but it still tires my eyes out quicker than a honking big screen at the same resolution. I have a 43" Westinghouse at 1920x1080 for my main workstation. Almost identical resolutions but much easier on the eyes.

    I would have rather had an LED screen based LCD like the one on the new studio and actually looked at them and was about to buy one but the crappy video card options on those models were a deal breaker for me.

    The studio line will make a nice photoshop editing machine but graphics wise don't expect much else out of it.
    Reply
  • minimal - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I agree. For my desktop I use a 37" Westinghouse at 1920x1080. It's a joy to work on at 2.5ft to 3ft away. Those at work with 30" screens running at 2560x1600 would much rather have my set up then using that microscopic resolution once they experience it. Regardless of how good your eye sight it's still much easier on the eyes. For me anything lower than a 0.29 dot pitch is too small. The only LCD's that can accommodate this is the old 19" 4:3 screens and the current 27" monitors, that's it. While I found that anything over 37" is too big for desktop use, I would still much rather have a 42" 1080p then a 30" 2650x1600. The desktop space is nice but they are terrible to work on comfortably. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I agree to a certain extent, as someone that has used a 30" LCD for the past couple of years. However, I can't give up the resolution. I'd really like a 42" 2560x1600 display now. LOL! Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I want those 9 megapixel displays to go up in size and down in price. $8000 is too much for a monitor. Reply
  • mechafreq - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Readability is not the problem of the monitor's high physical DPI, but the UI not scaling properly to make it usable.

    Case in point, my SLR's small display has a very high DPI, but things are very readable since the UI was designed around it. Even more, the preview displays are whole different level in terms of smoothness, accuracy, and concentration in the display of information as needed. I would never want to trade it in for a lower DPI screen to make it more readable for some archaic UI limitations (if it existed).
    Reply
  • sbuckler - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    In contrast to everyone else who seems to be getting netbooks I got an acer 8920G (Full HD, 18.4 inch screen).

    Awesome is the only word for it. Looks amazing for blue ray, and really nice for day to day work - high res means lots of space for your windows, and colours/contrast make it very pleasant to look at.
    Reply
  • heulenwolf - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I voted in the poll but I didn't see the options I was looking for. Size and resolution interact to determine comfortable viewing distance. I've spent significant time using 3 different laptop screen size and resolution combinations:
    1) 15.4" (1920x1200) work
    2) 14.1" (1280x800) work
    3) 15.4" (1280x800) entertainment laptop at home
    Unless you want to look like the highly evolved guy at the end of this pic - http://www.cyberiapc.com/gallery/pic_details.php?p...">http://www.cyberiapc.com/gallery/pic_details.php?p... - having a super high resolution relative to screen size (dot pitch of 0.0068”) as in laptop #1 is frustrating. Windows' settings allow you to turn up font size but not all software pays attention to those settings (Mozilla and Apple, please pay attention). So, I ended up constantly futzing with font size settings (Firefox) or crouching over the screen trying to read text in programs with limited or no font size options (sorry iTunes, your “Large” setting just isn’t enough). I had to keep my eyes no more than 19” from the screen to comfortably read text.
    On the other end of the spectrum is laptop #3 where the resolution is low relative to screen size (dot pitch of 0.0102”). Small text that would otherwise be legible looks blocky. There isn't enough vertical resolution to read a document. Its fine for playing DVDs and web video content but isn't great for web surfing or document editing (too much scrolling). Comfortable reading distance extends out to 29”, farther than I want to be from the keyboard.
    Laptop #2 strikes the right balance for a comfortable reading distance that aligns well with how far I want to be from the keyboard of about 68cm (dot pitch of 0.237 mm). Sure, the vertical scrolling is still necessary for document editing and web surfing. Since I drag the thing home and back every day, though, the lighter weight makes up for some amount of scrolling.
    I really don’t know much about the different panel technologies and, having never seen them in action on a laptop, I don’t know whether they make a tangible difference to my eyes. More important to me is dot pitch and its linear realationship with comfortable viewing distance. Vertical resolutions below 800 pixles become so frustrating as to be useless to me and, to be honest, I’d really prefer more. To keep dot pitch in a comfortable range for me, that means the minimum screen size is 14.1” (sorry Macbooks and Netbooks) for 16:10 aspect ratio screens. My ideal would be a 15.4”, 16:10, 1440x900. I ended up setting Laptop #1 to that resolution and just living with the minor issues caused by non-native panel resolution. An alternative would be 16”, 16x9, 1536x864, with the full keyboard number pad. Since we’re talking ideals, I’d also like weight around 4.5 lbs. Those large sizes with that low weight are magic by today’s standards, I know, but ideals aren’t necessarily meant to be acheivable. Hopefully, battery technology will improve to that point where those specs are possible along with all day away from a plug.

    Reply
  • BikeDude - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    So you disqualify a higher resolution display because you insist on running obsolete browser software that doesn't work properly with a high resolution display? IE7 works just fine. Why do you want to stop progress? Reply
  • heulenwolf - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    At the time, I was using IE6 on XP, which didn't have the shortcuts for fine-grained control that Firefox did. I felt I was forwarding progress by using Firefox.

    I agree with the other replier that IE7, though a significant improvement of IE6, remains a security hole. As a result, I use it only when a site doesn't render properly in an alternative browser.

    Thanks to those whom responded about the shortcuts for adjusting font size in Firefox. I knew about them and used them until my ctrl-key wore out on laptop #1. When I opened up 15 tabs to review the news for the day, however, and had to adjust the font size for every tab when I got to it, it was still a pain. I'm glad to see they've begun addressing this issue in Firefox 3.x.

    Firefox was only example of an app that didn't adapt to my font size needs. Frankly, dot pitch was an issue nearly all the time with laptop #1. The only time it came in useful was in viewing local photos. Since I'm not a photographer, futzing with each individual app's method for controlling font size got in the way of using the computer. Its that simple.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    IE7 inherits windows font scaling but does not scale pictures or divs, throwing off web page formatting.

    Firefox scales the whole page, images and all, but it doesn't inherit windows' font scaling.

    I much prefer Firefox's implementation.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    On a related note, Safari scales everything quite nicely in a quick test (although rendering of certain elements seems off, i.e. in this article the "0%" on a few graphs overlaps the bar below it - regardless of zoom). Safari also doesn't support the CTRL+0 shortcut to reset zoom to 100%.

    Chrome has terrible scaling, handling only text and leaving everything else alone, which messes up page layouts on the vast majority of sites. (It would have worked great back when HTML 1.0 was the standard, though!)

    Internet Explorer 7 appears to scale everything now, but on the several sites I tested (AnandTech, Facebook, even Google) you *always* get a horizontal scroll bar if you aren't at 100% magnification. That's seriously annoying, as anything that's supposed to be centered ends up being pushed to the right.

    Conclusion: Firefox wins again. Throw in Adblock Plus with the Easylist subscription, and it also loads most web sites 2-4 times as fast as the competition! (I posted a comment about that at DailyTech in their http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=14397">Safari 4 article.)
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I guess I hadn't used IE7 in a while :) Scaling's better than it used to be, but iffy.

    cnn.com scales decently, but the google homepage does that horizontal scroll thing you mentioned.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I logged in just to respond to the IE comment, but Jarred beat me to it.

    You could also suggest not using Windows, stuff seems to scale nicely in Linux the few times I have tried.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Because IE is the single biggest source of security breaches out there? Not to mention the MUCH better list of extensions/add-ons in Firefox.

    Anyway, for the original poster, you might consider using the CTRL+Mousewheel shortcut to scale the magnification within Firefox, IE, etc. if you haven't tried that. Firefox in particular does very well, usually scaling images, flash, etc. along with the text. Images do look a little blurry, but I'm quite happy with the result. And in case you didn't know: CTRL+0 resets the magnification to 100%
    Reply
  • timmiser - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    "you might consider using the CTRL+Mousewheel shortcut to scale the magnification within Firefox, IE, etc."

    It is funny that you would suggest that technique on this forum website where it does not work.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    It works perfectly for me. I'm running Firefox version 3.0.6 on Windows Vista 32-bit. IE 7 works as well, and so does Safari 4. Chrome scales the text but not images/flash. Reply
  • Mclendo06 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    My opinion on a laptop is that it should be a portable alternative to my desktop. I've lived with a laptop as my only computer and it was certainly not optimal. My priorities in a laptop are as follows -

    1 - Portability - This includes battery life, size, weight, and build quality
    2 - Usability - I'm looking to strike a happy balance between having something I can fit in my pocket and something I can type on and have multiple windows opened on
    3 - Performance - I'm doing word processing, web browsing, code writing, email, and remoting into my workstation to run FEA codes. If I'm gaming, I'll be sitting at my desktop at home.

    With the above said, I've been really excited about the Atom. it would give about the same performance as my ~4 year old dying Pentium M which, until it started refusing to turn on, was plenty fast for what I wanted. My issue with nettops, however, has been the display resolutions. I just want more workspace. The fact that the LCDs on most nettops are surrounded by a thick bezel just bugs me. I was interested in the Sony P series, but it's too expensive and doesn't have a trackpad. Some of the dell products are interesting. I'd just like to see more companies offer a nettop that has a 10" to 12" screen with higher resolution than 1024x600. 1440x900 would be about the sweetspot for me. Granted that Dell seems to be pushing this direction with their minis, when I look on Newegg all I see is 1024x600. I'm not buying a laptop, even a nettop, with that low a resolution.
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    But I would love to see an E-IPS panel that LG is making and dell is using on some of their monitors. Supposedly it is similar in picture quality to the other IPS types of panels but it is much much cheaper, about the same league as a TN panel. Reply
  • Spinne - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I don't need a powerful laptop necessarily since I already have a very powerful desktop. What I'd like is a laptop with excellent color reproduction that I can use in the field to check images with when I'm not going to be able to access my desktop for an extended period of time. Reply
  • drfelip - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    You have to take into account professional laptops in the comparison: Sony AW RGBLED screens already got 137% color gamut months ago:
    http://www.markzware.com/blogs/top-5-laptops-for-d...">http://www.markzware.com/blogs/top-5-la...for-disp...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    They're comparing to the NTSC color space, which is I believe around 82% of Adobe RGB 1998. So, the 112% of this LCD divided by 82% yields the same 137% of the Sony - and I'm sure it uses the exact same panel as this Dell. Reply
  • tpurves - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Wouldn't apple displays be the obvious ones to be comparing with here?

    Just about anyone significantly/professionally concerned about color accuracy is going to using an apple display or considering one right?

    Reply
  • CK804 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Anyone concerned about color accuracy would be looking at professional displays with IPS panels from companies such as NEC, Lacie, and Eizo. Additionally, anyone concerned about color accuracy wouldn't be using laptop screens if they had a choice.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Plenty of sports and reportage photographers have to process and upload their images almost immediately after they are taken, no time to go back to the office/home to edit. So yes, there is a market for high quality laptop screens. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    You would think so... but then wouldn't there be a market for professional laptop LCDs as well? I think there is; I for one would appreciate an IPS laptop display with accurate colors! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Haven't managed to get a MacBook for testing from Anand, but I've seen them and they seem to rate around the level of the Acer 6920G - better than average but not perfect. Older MacBooks used S-IPS I hear (several years ago), which would have been awesome. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Well by MacBook, if you mean 13.3" MacBook, then they aren't that good. I'd be specifically interested in the new 17" Unibody MacBook Pro since Apple claimed during the launch that it has a new screen that offers their widest gamut ever in a Mac laptop. I don't believe the 15" MacBook Pro has this claim, so it's only the 17" model. Reply
  • garydale - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Firstly, I don't like laptops. The keyboards and pointing devices are cramped and clumsy. And having the keyboard and screen connected means you have either the screen too low or the keyboard too high. They're just no good for doing real work.

    Secondly, despite the ongoing hype about them closing the gap with desktops, they are and will likely always be far behind desktops in terms of shear computing power. Moreover, you pay twice what a desktop costs for equivalent performance.

    However, they do have their uses. I especially like the netbook idea of a small, long-lived and light weight computer for when you're not near your regular work environment(s).

    My ideal laptop needs a wide screen to accommodate a decent size keyboard. Otherwise, I prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio for desktops. It needs lots of pixels, which again implies a decent size screen to be able to see what's on it. It needs to be light weight because I'll have to carry it around. But it also needs to able to run on battery power for hours on end even after years of use.

    Do I need great colours on screen? Probably not.

    Still, I can't wait to see this LED technology appear on desktop displays. I still use a CRT because LCDs just can't do what my old 21" Dell P1110 can do (1792 x 1344 - actually, it can do more but then the text gets too small, with more colours than any LCD). Sure it's heavy and uses too much electricity, but I don't move it, and nothings perfect.
    Reply
  • Frallan - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link


    I would love to see good screens in range 17-20" at full HD res. But without the Oomph in the GFX and drive department it quickly becomes worthless.
    Reply
  • Mastakilla - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I'd rather have them make some more Normal Gamut Laptop LCDs then jumping on the stupid (and for 99.99999% of the people also completely useless) Wide Gamut crap Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    So then what would these new Normal Gamut LCDs add over the crap that is currently available? Reply
  • Mastakilla - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    that it is possible to look at a color as it is supposed to look like in the other 99,999% of the applications that dont support colour profiles (wwhich 99% of the people with Wide Gamut monitors don't even have anyway) Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Just look at the deltaE plots Jarred provides in the display reviews. Default settings are so spread out that there is no way to guarantee that even half the people will see an image the way you saw it when it was created. At least with an accurate, calibrated display, others who care enough to do the same will see it properly.

    You said you want to see new normal gamut designs,but didn't answer what actual new features these would bring to the table.
    Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    Ideally, I'd like to see high-gamut displays become standard and 72% gamut displays phased out. It's just a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario where there aren't many mainstream high-gamut displays because there isn't much demand for them. The demand isn't there because a lot of software isn't written with them in mind, so colors can look off in a lot of applications. And the software isn't written with them in mind because there aren't a lot of mainstream high-gamut displays. And so on and so forth.

    Someone's going to have to give in and make the leap first, and the monitor manufacturers are in the best position to do so.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Just because some people won't see the better colors doesn't mean you shouldn't want them. Not everyone wants to spend more money on a better LCD; conversely, not everyone is happy with the crappy colors most laptop LCDs provide. Applications that benefit from better colors will usually support color profiles (i.e. Photoshop and other image editing apps), and Windows does allow you to specify a standard color profile as well. Sure, Firefox, IE, Word, etc. may run in the sRGB color space instead of Adobe RGB 1998, but you can still see a difference.

    If you're happy with inaccurate colors, that's fine, but I've used and tested enough displays to say without doubt that a good colorimeter and calibration will help in more than just 0.001% of applications. It's unfortunate that videos and games bypass the profiles, though.
    Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    If you want to use your color profile in games, get Monitor Calibration Wizard (http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw.asp)">http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw.asp). It lets you load a color profile, and then force that profile not to change even if another application (like games) tries to use its own color profile (check the "Persistent Profile" box). Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    oops, fixed link:

    http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw.asp">http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw.asp
    Reply
  • Mastakilla - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    euh... I forgot the word "hype" in the end of my sentence...
    (Isnt there an edit button somewhere?)
    Reply
  • npp - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    You seem to be getting it right. A wide color gamut sounds nice, as every other big number (clock rate, megapixel count, etc.), but there are a few things that are worth mentioning when talking about wide gamuts.

    First of all, there is color consistency: very few people know what color profiles are and how to handle them, and not many applications support them. So what this means is that a nice, saturated green square I've drawn in Photoshop on my notebook with extended color gamut will show up as something slightly different on most other displays, which is not always preferable. Or think for instance about preparing a presentation on such notebook - there might be quite a few unpleasent surprises when displaying it via a projector. This may create more confusion than happiness in the average user.

    Another point is color count - extending the gamut while retaining the same 8 bits (well, sort of, on TN+ displays) per channel means you won't get the same transitions between neighbour colors, which may be visible sometimes and is not considered a nice effect.

    At least that's what I've heard.

    So aiming at sRGB at first would be a very, very nice idea. Besides, there are much more parameters determining the quality of a LCD display beyond color gamut - white balance, gamma curves, latency, overshoot, etc., etc., which may be much more important for the average user.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    You're right, and I'll hold off the reporting on delta E and other aspects of the laptop until I have the final shipping version. Suffice it to say that initial testing shows the dE to be right there with the other laptops - i.e. okay, but still with some spikes on some colors and an overall quality that can't touch the best desktop LCDs. Too bad, as otherwise this would be my dream laptop display. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Oops... forgot to mention that while wide color gamuts aren't in and of themselves the best thing ever, the colors and images definitely look better on the Studio XPS 16 than other laptops. That's one thing I absolutely LOVED about the old ASUS G2P, which I used as my work laptop for over two years. Photoshopping at 1440x900 wasn't as nice as 1920x1200, but the colors were noticeably better to my eye even if the delta E was about the same. Setting it next to any other LCD (prior to the XPS 16) you could immediately see the difference. Reply
  • valv - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I think that most laptop users are like me. We use the laptop mainly for office work, or browsing the internet and in these uses, it doesnt matter what the colors are. (As long as there are colours)

    An in these uses I prefer 5:4 display, because it gives you more vertical space (better for text and documents than 16:9 or 16:10). For movies, 16:9 is naturally better, but i like to watch my movies from a bigger screen.. Way bigger.
    Reply
  • djc208 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I have to agree, my little 14" laptop has a 16:9 screen and a lot of times you can barely get a youtube video to fit the window properly. You're always scroling up or down. For video content on the go it's fine (assuming the video content is 16:9, but otherwise I prefer my regular 19" CRT for text and web pages. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    I don't think YouTube videos are even 400 pixels tall. Reply
  • murphyslabrat - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Actually, for reading, I prefer the wider screens. I find vertical scrolling much less annoying than having to scroll horizontally. I do do a lot of reading on my laptop, and I find that, most often, I am fitting documents to the width, rather than the height. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    It's good to see I'm not alone in my thinking. So far, the tally is going overwhelmingly in favor of moderately sized laptop LCDs of a high quality, with a higher resolution than we typically see. Every time I get another 15.4" laptop with a 1280x800 LCD, I'm disappointed. I'd love to see more 1920x1200 options that aren't in 17" (or larger) notebooks. That was one of the best parts with the Alienware m15x - the other highlight being the ability to turn off the discrete GPU to conserve battery life.

    Okay, continue on... I'm off to bed!
    Reply
  • minimal - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I was considering the Dell Studio 16 until I realized you can only get the the LED screen in 1080p. My eye sight is perfect yet this is insanely small. It's an unfortunate trend that makes laptops that much more annoying to use.... just more hunched back computing on a small keyboard, even more microscopic text at awkward angles. 1280x800 is perfect on my current 15.4" laptop. I find anything over 1440 is excessive. Now the only other option on the Studio 16" is 1366x768 (not LED). So now they took away all that horizontal space to accommodate movie watching when all I need is to get work done. It's unfortunate that "entertainment" is driving laptop design when a lot of us would prefer 4:3 to get work done. I still remember my old ancient 15" Dell with a 1400x1050 resolution, I really miss that screen. Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, February 28, 2009 - link

    you do realize that 1366x768 provides more horizontal real estate than 1280x800. It's just slightly less vertical room, which is made up for by going from a 15" screen to a 16" screen. It would be nice if the lower res screen was RGB LED but at least it's LED so we get the battery life bennefits. I'm still waiting for a laptop that I can charge up, go out and use all day, and not have to charge up again till I go to bed. 12 hour minumum without batter degredation would be good, cause then I'd just need two batteries to make sure I could get through the whole day, or maybe just switch to an over-sized battery. I can dream, and in 5 years or so it will probably be true... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 01, 2009 - link

    Just FYI, my testing to date has shown virtually no battery life advantages to having a lower resolution with the same screen size. It's tough to say for certain, but overall I think LCD size is the main item and the resolution is a negligible factor. LED backlighting with a higher res would certainly use less power than lower res CCFL. Reply
  • plewis00 - Friday, February 27, 2009 - link

    The 1366 x 768 panel IS a LED-backlit, just not 'RGBLED'.

    Back to the article, but I think the reason we don't see anything other than TN screens is down to the considerably higher power consumption of the other technologies and that's a trade-off few people will want to make.
    Reply
  • BikeDude - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    High resolution is great for pictures.

    MS have already done quite a bit in Vista to help high resolution display users, and there is more to come. Just zoom...
    Reply
  • oymd - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Nice read...
    Is there any possibility of rating the Macbook Pro's screen as well? The 2008- ones, with LED backlights?

    They r 15.4, 1440x900, and quiet a joy to work with. I wonder where would they be on your list of laptop LCDs?
    Thanks
    Reply
  • oymd - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Oh...I meant the aluminum ones, not the new black framed ones...guess they are the 2007- models Reply
  • Jorgisven - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I'd agree, but the only time I even appreciate the extra pixels is in gaming. 1440x900 seems fine to me for normal web browsing and documents, but for gaming, the issue is that the graphic technology for laptops lags behind that of desktops. Trying to crank out 1920 res on an integrated chip usually results in abysmal performance, and gaming performance is more important to me. I realize laptops are not necessarily the best candidates for gaming though...

    Also, when cranking that much power to an LCD and optical drive, watching a Blu-Ray is sometimes out of the question on any battery older than a year or two. This isn't an issue yet, because laptop blu-ray hasn't been out long enough. Hopefully, this issue will get addressed by OEM's in the near future. Apple already has their 8-hour battery rolling out with a high-res screen, but neglects to offer a Blu-Ray player.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Honestly, I'm not sure how people deal with such ridiculously high pixel pitches on laptop monitors. I have perfect vision and anything below .2mm (such as a 1920x1200 panel in a 15" laptop) is an absolute bear to work with unless my nose is up to the panel. Even adjusting DPI doesn't go far enough in Vista (although it's better in OS X).

    I'd just as much rather see reasonable resolutions on high quality LCDs on laptops, rather than this insane push for 1080+ resolutions and the resulting subpar panels on screens little more than a foot big. The XPS 16 does seem to be an outlier in this respect, though.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I think part of it has to do with the intended use. I have a 30" LCD, and I find the default text size too small at 2560x1600. I routinely bump up the "magnification" in Firefox and Word. However, a 1920x1200 15.4" LCD is no worse and probably a bit better in terms of comfort. That's largely because I sit 2-3 feet from my 30" LCD and only half that with a laptop. I totally agree that MS needs to make the DPI setting more useful, but sadly that has a lot to do with all the applications that do things their own way.

    FWIW, I don't think most of the higher DPI panels are subpar; usually it's the opposite, with slightly higher than average results. Really, I don't think *all* laptops need an awesome LCD, but it would be great to have more choice in the matter. Dell offers the RGB LED backlighting as a $50 upsell, and I think it's well worth the money.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Looks like a http://lt.dell.com/lt/lt.aspx?CID=27399&LID=62...">$250 upsell...


    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I was told $50 at CES, but then that was supposed to be going from a standard 1080P to the high color gamut 1080P. Now they've dropped the other 1080P it seems, so the $250 is for resolution as well as color. Oh well. Reply
  • GaryJohnson - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Speaking of MS's DPI settings:

    [Rant]What the heck happened to the totally scalable vector-based GUI that was talked about pre-Vista? I've heard no mention of it in 7 either.[/Rant]
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    It's called WPF. We're starting to see more apps use it, but it won't get widespread adoption until we can get rid of all of those pre-XP machines, as it requires .NET 3.0 or higher. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    LOL... and I thought I was the only one who noticed. ;-)

    I remember seeing a demonstration of a few applications, like Minesweeper and Calculator, and at least Minesweeper uses some method of scaling the app nicely. Unfortunately, none of the major applications work right.

    On a related note, MS Word also seems to have some real issues scrolling properly when you use the internal magnification and a web page layout (which is what I always use when writing articles). It's a bug that has been present since at least Word XP.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Update: I added another question to the poll (panel technology). Sorry if you already voted, but I want to see answers to that question without resetting the other questions. Reply

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