Monitor resolution vs. size of application windows

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bhenson, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. bhenson macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2003
    I'm trying to decide among several Mac options. The 17" iMac would be my choice in a heartbeat, but I found myself puzzled by how small browser windows and Word files appeared on its screen.

    I took a ruler and found that the application windows are about 10-15% smaller on the 17" iMac display than on the 15" display (assuming identical preferences within each application). This size difference is just enough to be hard on my middle-aged eyes. Bumping up the font size helps, but then the aesthetics of Web pages get distorted.

    Has anybody else noticed this problem? I'm guessing it has to do with the dot pitch. Lowering the resolution on the LCD screen seems to smear everything out. Does anybody know of a simple fix?

    I've also considered getting one of the brand-new 12" SuperDrive PowerBooks and hooking it up to a 17" Apple LCD monitor. Would this allow me to have "normal"-sized application windows without smudging?

    Thanks for any help you all can provide.
  2. legion macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2003
    Easiest way to find your answer is dpi (or in this case, ppi). Take each LCD's pixel resolution (h by w), mulitply and divide by the area of the screen (remembering, pythagorean's theorem since the size of the screen is given in diagonal) You'll get pixels per inch; just look for the smallest number and you'll be happy.

    (Sorry, I'd do the math, but as I was told all through school, this excercise will be left to the student... ;) )
  3. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Re: Monitor resolution vs. size of application windows

    What's happening is that the 17" has more pixels per inch than the 15". Many people like this, since it gives them more space to put windows in. Fixing this so that both groups can use it is #1 on my feature request list, but the fix takes the phrase "non-trivial" to an extreme. It involves reworking all the interface graphics in OSX so that they can be scaled up and down without losing quality. Hooking a 12" to a 17" monitor would provide quite "normal" resolution (I *think* the 12" can support 1280x960 resolution on external monitors).

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