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Old Jan 15, 2003, 12:42 PM   #1
Yukon
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PowerBook 17 — WOW!!!

The "Wow Factor" is off the charts with the intro of the new 17" PowerBook introduced last week. It is 96% of everything I have been slobbering about for the last year on this site.

BUT, dear Steve Jobs and team, how can you spec the world's greatest laptop computer, in both components and design, and give it a mediocre screen? Please don't bash/flame me for pointing out the obvious (go to your local Comp USA and compare the UXGA WinTel laptop screens with that of the 17" iMac). When I was watching Steve's keynote address (live, thanks to MacRumors!), I was jumping out of my chair with all of the amazing things Apple did with the 17"er. It was over the top and I was ready to order that day (I've been holding out for the last year on the Ti for the same reason I'll be waiting on the 17" PowerBook), until I heard him say that the resolution would be a paltry 1440 x 900. There are 15" laptops with 1600 x 1200 resolution that look stunning (too bad they're WinTel machines). Why stretch the screen out to a really cool 17" and than drop the resolution from what is right, expected, capable and gorgeous (and really useful)? I mean, for people like myself that want the real estate of 17" and are willing and happy to carry it around, we don't want overly stretched, washed out resolution. I would have expected that 1600 x 1200 (or whatever the correct ratio would be to fit the screen dimensions) would have been the minimum. If you consider the same pixel density as that used on the 15" and 16" UXGA (1600 x 1200) WinTel machines, then Apple's 17" beauty should have been nothing less than 1600 x 1200 (have I used the "1600 x 1200 figure enough yet?).

Again, don't take it personally Steve, but like the stunningly beautiful girl that is also an amazing athlete and a brainiac to boot (much like your 'out-of-this-world' 17" PowerBook — it appear to have it all), but when she smiles and shows her yellow teeth we all go "eeuuuwww." Now granted, for those who don't care about the res issue or don't understand the minions who do, go ahead and purchase the 12"er or wait for the redo of the 15"er. Since there are now multiple PowerBook options, do not begrudge those of us who want and need top-of-the-line resolution (especially since it's been technically available for nearly two years now).

So, dear Steve, as a faithful, rabid, shareholding Apple user, please don't hold back the scepter of authorization; Give the greatest laptop in the world an equally impressive screen (i.e., on the technologically cutting edge as the rest of the components — I'm not asking for an OLED screen here) and we, and 100's of 1000's of us particular types, will be standing in line waving our cash.

Sincerely,

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Old Jan 15, 2003, 01:06 PM   #2
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I dunno, I think the screen rez sounds just about right - a few arguments:

While there are 15" laptops out there that can crank the rez up to 1600 X 1200, I can't imagine anyone would actually want to use that res on a 15" screen as text would be terribly small and painfully hard to read. There's also this sense of "resolution vertigo" that occurs with huge screen rez on a disproportionally small space. Heck, I only use my 19" monitor at home with a rez of 1280 X 1024, if not smaller.

I think Apple's move to widescreen formats is a great solution to the aforementioned "vertigo" problem and rather creates more horizontal room for the eye to travel, a direction we're more comfortable with scanning anyway.

1440 x 900 is no slouch. It builds off of a 1024 x 768 rez, tacks on enough height without forcing more of a vertical scanning burden on the viewier, and pushes out the horizontal 200 pixels in either direction, allowing for plenty of whitespace on the web, as well as a home for all those Photoshop palettes.
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 01:21 PM   #3
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I keep hearing this from Windows people all the time, and I have to explain to them, that higher resolution is not always better.

It is insanely hard to see small type (10-12 pt) on a 17" monitor/screen @ 1600x1200. Someone please give more arguments that denser pixel count is not inherently better.


And while I hate this argument, Most mac users will work in a creative field (print/digital media/video/etc.), and having such a high resolution will make it hard to preview how a piece will look like when printed/finished.
This is an example from my field of work :When I look at a 17" monitor with 1600x1200, and preview an image at 100%, the pixels are so small, that the image will appear much smaller, more condensed, more saturated than it will ever print. OK, so I zoom to see "Print Size", but it's still about 35% more condensed, and my menus are soooooo tiny, I can only navigate by intuition.

It has to do with the fact that Macs have been 72 dpi on screen, and PCs are 96 dpi - the interface, the font sizes are all geared to accomodate this. Someone can give a better argument, but from experience in the real world, 23" cinema display is about ideal in pixel count/physical dimesnions.

The 17" PB is widescreen, not a 4:3 aspect ratio. 1600x1200 is 4:3. If you wanted to go up to 1600 (h), it would become 1600x1000, to keep it widescreen without stretching. As is, the screen is 100 dpi (1440 pixels/14.4" wide), that comes out to a 0.25 mm dot pixel. At 1600x1000, the dpi is 111.11 and the dot pixel is .23 mm.

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Old Jan 15, 2003, 01:43 PM   #4
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Hey Tom, do you work for Apple or what? Your post sounded more like an excuse for the 1440 x 900 res on the 17" laptops. It's exactly the 'Apple correct answer' people at Apple stores use to give me when I mentioned my issue with the Ti screens when they first came out. Apparently it WAS an issue with customers and Apple, if you remember, and Apple increased the res on their Ti's 20 months ago. As I said in the above post, for those who don't want the higher resolutions, buy the 12" and 15" PowerBooks. But, you can't deny (well, maybe YOU could)... I can't deny what my eyes see when comparing the laptop screens at my local Comp USA store. The 1600 x 1200 screens are amazingly sharp with crisp, detailed edges on the letters, icons, photos, etc. while the Apple screens have always looked a bit washed out. And maybe that's the issue. Maybe it's not the resolution directly but the lack of 'punch' in the colors, or the brightness, or contrast... something! Besides, the argument that print, etc. is just too small is weak and boring. If that were true for everyone, there wouldn't be, at last count, six manufacturers making, AND SELLING, UXGA (1600 x 1200) res screen laptops by the millions (collectively speaking). I say all this with intrepidation, since I am a pure Mac loyalist and would never change. But that doesn't mean that we blindly march without giving feedback. I have to believe that Apple, like others, scour the forums to see what customers are saying, and if so, UP THE RESOLUTION ON THE 17" POWERBOOKS!
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 02:16 PM   #5
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You expect the 17" pBook to have 1600x1200 when the 22" Cinema Display doesn't? MM, nope, don't think so.

Even at 22", I can't imagine things being much smaller and being able to work effectively.
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 02:16 PM   #6
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You can give your screen more "punch" by adjusting the gamma in ColorSync. BTW, DO NOT unnecessarily increase the resolution! My arguments might seem boring, but your arguments are just whining. Have you actually used the 17" PB?
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 02:38 PM   #7
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Hey Zues,

Before you start calling legitimate concerns 'whining,' remember, they're using the exact same display as the 17" iMac, which I use, that has all the same washed out/weak contrast issues as I 'suspect' the 17" laptops will have. Besides, you never addressed the comparison points I made with the UXGA screens that have been available for nearly two years now. Bark and snap all you want. What I'm saying is real and the evidence is clearly visible at any computer store that sells both Apple and WinTel macines where you can see and compare. Finally, I make my point with a level of regret, being that no one couldn't take my Macs from me without first 'peeling back my cold, dead fingers from their kung-fu grip.'
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yukon
Hey Zues
Who the Hell is Zues??? . I guess the problem is that a "legitimate concern" for one user, is something that an other one is trying to avoid. I can only give you my perspective as legitimate, and you can only give yours. I think we can agree to disagree. The 17" PB is too expensive for me anyway, but wanted to defend my position.

PS:

I can barely see this text on a 1600x1200 resolution on a 19" Monitor.
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by zarathustra


PS:

I can barely see this text on a 1600x1200 resolution on a 19" Monitor.
Hell, it's not great on my 20.1 viewable 1600x1200. 1600x1200 should start with 20" screens not 15's or 17's.
People always find something to pick on, and this "not enough pixels" thing is just like the Mhz thing...
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 08:55 PM   #10
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Don't even get me started on Mhz...
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Old Jan 17, 2003, 11:56 PM   #11
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It really isn't that big a deal to up the resolution and then raise your font size... OS X is unlike Windoze in the fact that this is extremely easy to do. Myself, I love happy high resolution and even on my Windoze machine I can read things easily with 1600x1200 resolution and a bit of font jiggling.

Anything that's basically a stretched 1024x768 gets on my nerves - it simply looks awful.
(The Dell laptop that i'm writing this on has a 15 inch screen @ 1024x768.)
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 01:23 AM   #12
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It has to do with the fact that Macs have been 72 dpi on screen, and PCs are 96 dpi - the interface, the font sizes are all geared to accomodate this.
This really is the key. Everythign is relative to this, please, keep this in mind when comparing with a PC.
I'm typing this form my windows box, for which is use a SONy E220 screen - a very, very nice 17" (or at least it was when i bought it, still whips the ass of most i've seen). Anything above 1280x1024 (which is what i run) i find is far, far too small, 1600x1200? Ya gotta be kidding me!
I don't see the point in running that rez, then jacking up the size of everything so you can read it, i mean really, it's pointless, even for a lot of graphics work.

I'm hopefuly buying a 17" powerbook in feb in Singapore (fingers crossed), from what i've seen, the screen looks fine. Hopefuly i'll get to see one before i bring it home.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by orangefoodie
It really isn't that big a deal to up the resolution and then raise your font size... OS X is unlike Windoze in the fact that this is extremely easy to do. Myself, I love happy high resolution and even on my Windoze machine I can read things easily with 1600x1200 resolution and a bit of font jiggling.
Once you've raised your font size and increased the size of application windows to handle the larger font, what is the purpose of a higher resolution screen?

And of course once you increase the resolution of the screen, you wind up devoting more resources to handling the higher resolution. How is this a benefit?
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 11:43 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Bear
And of course once you increase the resolution of the screen, you wind up devoting more resources to handling the higher resolution. How is this a benefit?
Sharpness. Clarity.

If you've taken a look at say, a hi-rez photograph on a 15" UXGA (1600x1200) LCD, it's remarkably sharp. It's true that it takes more resources, but down the line, whats to say they can't handle them?

Samsung is releasing a 15.4" W(U)XGA (1900 x 1200). While many will scoff at the high resolution, things will look very crisp on this moniter, even HDTV and such. In a couple of years when an OS can fully scale to higher resolutions, I believe that hi density LCDs will be more common.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 12:01 PM   #15
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Screen Crispness

Well, all I know is that my 15-in flat-screen on my iMac has amazing color and clarity, and quite a few of my PC friends are blown-away at how good pictures look on it, and I've only got a 1024x768 resolution. So many other folks can't be wrong, you know? I've seen other screens at CompUSA et al, on both laptop and desktop monitors, and I honestly think that images are crisper on the Apple screens.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 12:06 PM   #16
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The biggest argument for not increasing screen resolution: The thing's already $3299. LCDs are expensive. You gonna buy a $4000 Powerbook?

Oh, and with regard to "contrast problems" and "washed-out" images, see, the problem there is that you're on crack. Apple's screens are among the best out there. Possibly what you're seeing is the difference between Mac and PC native gamma. If you look at the same web page on both a Mac and a PC, it will appear brighter on the Mac. You can compensate for this by making adjustments in the ColorSync control panel. It has nothing to do with screen quality.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 12:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by neonart
Hell, it's not great on my 20.1 viewable 1600x1200. 1600x1200 should start with 20" screens not 15's or 17's.
People always find something to pick on, and this "not enough pixels" thing is just like the Mhz thing...
The man has a point... Try running 16x12 on a 19" monitor.. it looks pretty f'ng small. Now 17" widescreen would just be ridiculous... not to mention the native quality would limit users who thought it was TOO small.

Our fearless leader I'm sure had the chance to see 1600x1200 on this screen and probably decided not too.. I have to trust his instincts.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 12:40 PM   #18
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I've gotten used to the 12" screen on my iBook at 1024x768, and now, when I see a screen that's bigger, (say 15") but with the same resolution, it doesn't look as sharp as my iBook's screen. I don't think it would hurt to put a higher resolution screen into the 17" Powerbook, but that's just me... I can read most small text on my iBook, and I'm fine with it. I've gotten used to higher resolutions...
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 02:43 PM   #19
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Thank you Over Achiever and G4Scott for having the 'kahoonas' to be honest about the resolution issue while still being dyed-in-the-wool Mac fanatics like myself. The rest of these folks either didn't read my original post very carefully or they are from within Apple's marketing department, using the classic, "trash the poster who dares to critique the judgement of the man in the black mock-T" technique. You see, if you would have read my post which started this thread, you would know that I am talking about those of us who want, and are willing to pay for, higher resolution in a laptop. If that's not what turns your crank, than purchase the 12" or 15" or dial down the res. from 1600x1200 to a res you prefer. Isn't that one of the main visions of Apple anyway - to be able to customize your machine to fit your needs? It's not like Steve Jobs looked at a protype of the 17" Powebook with 1600x1200 resolution and said, "hey guys, this looks too nice, too sharp, too clear." No, it was either a supplier issue (their supplier may not make screens with that res) or it was a price issue. So piss off if you don't want the higher res. You have options. But there are legions of users that DO want the higher resolution and who are you to tell them that it's unnecessary? Heck, with that line of faulty thinking, who really NEEDS half the amazing and cool things Apple innovates? If your eyes don't like or can't handle the small print that's fine. Just quit your whining about too high a resolution on a laptop screen when you have other choices. As fellow Twin Citian, 'Over Achiever' said, pictures are MUCH more sharp and clear on the 1600 x 1200 laptops on the dark side. So, again, for those of you who want lower resolutions on your screen, quit being a 'Jobs lemming' on this issue and find something more productive to complain about instead of promoting mediocrity. Please remember, I believe Apple laptops are absolutely the most beautiful, amazing machines on the market (sans said screens), and while the competition still hasn't caught up with the Ti after 2+ years in overall performance and design, they have been producing better screens over the same amount of time.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 03:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yukon
Thank you Over Achiever and G4Scott for having the 'kahoonas' to be honest about the resolution issue while still being dyed-in-the-wool Mac fanatics like myself.
This may shock you, but I love my PC notebook. However, I will definately enjoying my 17" powerbook when it is in stock at the Southdale Apple Store. Until then, I am not a mac fanatic ...just keeping an open mind.

Quote:
As fellow Twin Citian, 'Over Achiever' said, pictures are MUCH more sharp and clear on the 1600 x 1200 laptops on the dark side.
Look, it'd be nice to have the 17" powerbook have a resolution of 1600x1024, or even 1920x1200, but that's simply not possible yet. The computers would be way too slow...think Quartz Extreme. It'd have up to four times heavier of a load...it'd be bad. Only when the OS is truly scalable, and every program can adjust as well, we can avoid the small text. I have used UXGA laptops, when the e-mail I have to read is too small, it can bug the heck out of me after ten minutes or so.

And the 17" powerbook screen is 1440x900 for a simple reason. That's the iMac screen. Until the iMac gets a higher resolution screen (which i highly doubt), the 17" powerbook will stay the same.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 04:07 PM   #21
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Don΄t you see!!!!!!!!! Only you want a higher resolution...
Nobody will produce an expensive laptop to sell only a few because they are willing to pay! understood?
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 05:55 PM   #22
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Dude... relax.

There are a few things you are not considering...

Quote:
Originally posted by Yukon
(1) ...I am talking about those of us who want, and are willing to pay for, higher resolution in a laptop. If that's not what turns your crank, than purchase the 12" or 15" or dial down the res. from (2) 1600x1200 to a res you prefer...
(3) No, it was either a supplier issue (their supplier may not make screens with that res) or it was a price issue. So piss off if you don't want the higher res. You have options. But there are legions of users that DO want the higher resolution and who are you to tell them that it's unnecessary? Heck, with that line of faulty thinking, who really NEEDS half the amazing and cool things Apple innovates? If your eyes don't like or can't handle the small print that's fine. >>>>(4) Just quit your whining about too high a resolution on a laptop screen when you have other choices<<<< (5) pictures are MUCH more sharp and clear on the 1600 x 1200 laptops on the dark side
>>>> (4 again) So, again, for those of you who want lower resolutions on your screen, quit being a 'Jobs lemming' on this issue and find something more productive to complain about instead of promoting mediocrity<<<<
(6) Please remember, I believe Apple laptops are absolutely the most beautiful, amazing machines on the market (sans said screens), and while the competition still hasn't caught up with the Ti after 2+ years in overall performance and design, they have been producing better screens over the same amount of time.
1) You can't turn the resolution down on an LCD without losing a clear image.
2) 1600x1200 is not widescreen, 1600x1024 is.
3) More than likely it was marketing. Truthfully, most people would complain about a res that's hard to read and only two or three testosterone jazzed guys would complain about the 1440x900 res.
4) Who's complaining? Most of us are satisfied with the new Powerbooks specs. The only one complaining is you. We simply disagree with your complains.
5) Most people don't just look at pictures only. They read email, surf the net, and work with little buttons and icons in their apps and menus.
6)Apple hardware is better because it combines alot of great, useful technology into one package. NOT BECAUSE IT FOLLOWS PC TRENDS in how much this or that they can say it has on a piece of paper.

It just seems that no matter how good something is, people will always have some kind of problem with it.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 06:40 PM   #23
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Cool To each his own, but I agree with desire for higher resolution.

Everything is about tradeoffs. I do not know what the tradeoffs are for the new Apple 17" PowerBook, but I would prefer talking in terms of concrete tradeoffs than being told higher resolution is useless. It's far from useless, it's essential.

The 17" PB has a high form factor cost. IOW, it's huge. For my purposes, I want something to "pay" for that size. The appropriate way to pay for that size would be in terms of screen resolution.

If you look at the Samsung (?) screens available to Apple, they have chosen the lowest resolution screen available to them in 17". To me, the current resolution is not sufficient to justify the extra size. Something closer to 1600x1200 (but 16x9) would. That would make it worth the extra effort for me. As it is, it's only incrementally better than a 15".

When Apple puts a fat resolution screen in their 17", that will be the true 17". It will emulate lower resolution with bigger fonts (for those with sensitive eyes), but for power users, the extra resolution will be well worth the size, weight, and wait.

I hope the battery life and price of the higher resolution screen align with Apple's requirements sooner than later.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 07:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yukon
Hey Zues,

Before you start calling legitimate concerns 'whining,' remember, they're using the exact same display as the 17" iMac, which I use, that has all the same washed out/weak contrast issues as I 'suspect' the 17" laptops will have.
I have noticed repeatedly that the 17 inch iMac has a lower quality than the 15 inch. I chalk this up to keep costs down, but I wouldn't want one of these in my portable, either.

My two cents.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 08:11 PM   #25
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They should be offering both resolutions in the 17' Powerbook... I have an external 14' monitor at 1600x1200 and if I could put a higher resolution on it I would.
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