Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 17th Dec 2011 00:17 UTC
Apple Apple makes the best consumer laptops. For me, there's absolutely no denying that this is the case. Apple has had this lead over the competition since the iBook G3 Dual USB 12.1" and 14", and has never lost it. Right now, the rumour mill is abuzz about Apple supposedly prepping to launch a MacBook Pro with a retina display - 2880x1800.
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gsyoungblood
Member since:
2007-01-09

I can't believe the sad state of laptop displays out on the market.

If the laptop is less than $600 you can bet the display will be along the lines of 1368x768 - if that! That includes 15.4 and even some larger ones. It's pathetic!

Over 3 years ago I got a Lenovo T61p with a 1920x1200 display (or was it 1920x1250? I don't remember for sure) in a 15.4 inch screen. It's a great laptop. I still have it and use it for some special projects.

Recently I had the opportunity to upgrade laptops and I wanted another 1920x1200 display in a 15" form factor. After looking the _only_ 1920x1200 laptop I found was the 17" MacBook Pro.

I was looking at primarily Lenovo and Dell, at their business grade machines; I've had good success with them, especially longevity. Others, including HP/Compaq tend to put even more bloatware/crap than Dell or Lenovo, and/or the machines didn't last as long. I wanted something that had a good likelihood of lasting more than 3 years. For example, somewhere I still have a Dell D505 laptop that works (other than intermitent color issues). I don't even know how old that machine is. ;)

In the end, after looking at all the options, I ended up going with a 15" MacBook Pro with the 1680x1050 anti-glare screen. It was just about the best screen I could get on a laptop. The 17" would have just been too big for portability.

Sure I found some 1920x1050 displays in several 15" laptops, at premium prices, but nothing that was as comparable to the overall hardware package in the MacBook Pro. To be fair, the Lenovo options were pretty compelling, but after I specced out a system the way I wanted, it was more than I paid for the MacBook Pro. [I waited for Apple to release the newer CPU speed-bumps and lower the prices on the refurbished laptops; I saved about $600. If it weren't for that, the Lenovo would have been cheaper.]

I find it really sad that my 3 year old Thinkpad seems to have been the zenith in laptop screen displays. And I find it even worse that in the interest of getting "wide screen" monitors on laptops the screen resolution has gone down hill so bad. It used to be fairly easy to get 1280x1024 screens - now it's 1024x600, 1280x768, etc. The vertical resolution has dropped, and the horizontal has just barely been bumped. Unless you spend serious money.

It will be interesting to see what Apple does here. I hope that they release some new higher density laptops. Especially in the 13" form factor. I almost went with a MacBook Air 13" just for the higher resolution screen. In the end I wanted the power and performance I could only get in the MBP line.

Edited 2011-12-17 08:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Your 3 year old ThinkPad wasn't the zenith.

The zenith consisted of 6-10 year old NEC laptops (I forget the models, but most were Japanese market only) and a very rare medical configuration of a 7 year old ThinkPad (based on the R50p).

I've actually got that panel, a 2048x1536 15.0" IPS panel, swapped into a T60p chassis, along with a T61p motherboard (because Lenovo never made a 15.0" 4:3 T61p, but the 14.1" 4:3 T61p motherboard fits in any T60p chassis after filing some metal away, although without the dialup modem card).

Reply Parent Score: 4

one_of_many Member since:
2009-01-01

I agree with gsyb. You can't really bring into the conversation models for specialized medical use, ones only available offshore, or noshed together. No, the true apogee was in 08 - 09, with the Dell Precision, the Thinkpad, or my Clevo M860TU. They all had WUXGA displays at a gorgeous 146 DPI, and 16:10 ratio, with matte surface. And, of course, decent video subsystems.
Honourable mention to the Thinkpads with 1600x1200 displays. I thought their 4:3 ratios were the best for productivity, but their video chips were lacking.
The culprit is the stupid 16:9 ratio the screen manufacturing monopoly forces on us. Even the modern 16:9 1920x1080 look lame at 15.6 size. The use of 1366x768 is almost criminal!
I say bring back 4:3 screens! Boost resolutions to 2400x1800 or better, and give me a reason to upgrade. Now, I live in fearcthat if my trusty Clevis were to die tommorow, my only choice is the MacBook Pro, at a paltry wsxga 1680x1050!

Reply Parent Score: 0

gsyoungblood Member since:
2007-01-09

Nice! Yes, I've been North American centric in my views on screens. I'm not surprised there were much better panels from Japan, though I'm surprised by the 15" size.

If my T61p screen dies I'll be sorely tempted to try and source one of those nice panels to replace it. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Wow, I'd like to see a demo of that laptop! ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

iphitus Member since:
2006-03-27

Sony offer a 1600x900 13.3" display in their SA series - about 140dpi.

While the current SA35 is about $2000AUD, you can get the previous model, SA35 for less than $1300AUD, with negligible difference in specifications, just a slightly slower i7 (0.1GHz) and a smaller HDD (110gb less).

Reply Parent Score: 1

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

There is even 1920x1080 option in 13.3" Z series.

I've spent a lot of time looking for laptops with high resolution screens and I came to a conclusion that the limiting factors are software support for UI scaling and power consumption. Especially the latter became the issue as people started expecting light and thin devices working on a battery for hours - hence the recent set back in laptop screen development.

Luckily (for now, at least) there is a "Full-HD" holy grail so we can expect to have 1920x1080 everywhere at some point. It may take some time to go beyond that point, though.

Reply Parent Score: 2