Apple had the foresight to use the right aspect ratio on ipad, why not on the air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bouncer1, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. bouncer1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2010
    The screen on the air looks disappointingly vertically challenged. So disappointing this 16:10 and now 16:9 is. Makes no sense whatsoever to stretch the screen so much, ok movies, and blah blah, but ultimately it's a moronic industry standard that apple has had to adopt to their detriment I think, and it couldn't be more evident than here on a 11.6 screen.

    All that pointless loss of space on the left and right, absolutely pointless in almost everything but the odd tv show or movie one might watch (and if they ever do).

    It's such a thing of beauty this new air yet it's marred by adopting widescreen tv aspects on a 11.6" screen.

    Apple had the foresight and guts to use the proper aspect ratio on the ipad, why not then on the air????????????

    I am almost certainly going ahead and buying the 11.6" anyway but I can't be happy about this choice.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    One reason they choose the 16:9 aspect ratio for the 11" MBA might be having a full size keyboard on that machine while having an 11" screen. If they choose the 4:3 aspect ratio, they couldn't deliver a full size keyboard while retaining the 11" screen size.
  3. ArcAngel66 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2009
    I used to be against 16:9 aspect ratios too. I've come to like them though (don't really have a choice though do I?)

    It's far more natural on the eyes to look left and right than up and down. Thus, by making the screen wider and less tall, it's the more "natural" aspect ratio.

    I found that I really liked it on the 11.6 MBA when playing with it.
  4. Dragynfyre macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Widescreen ratios fit your field of view better than 4:3 resolutions.
  5. bouncer1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2010

    Have a look at another thread with the old pbook 12" compared to the new air and you ll see why they wouldn't have had a problem keeping a full keyboard with 4:3 aspect. You just have the keyboard go edge to edge...that would then possibly posit another problem perhaps in terms of tapering and balance, but I am sure being the great designers they are at apple that they could take care of that easily too.

    Well that's the thing though, cognitive dissonance, you begin to like what you have, not because it's better. Cause, I mean you spend more time looking left and right on a 4:3 screen because you have to scroll less, right? It's not as if text reformats itself and takes up the whole wide aspect ratio width. It's still the same length horizontally as it would be with a 4:3.

    But I probably will get an air too and like it eventually simply because it will be there and I will have to convince myself I made a good purchase. That's cognitive dissonance right there....
  6. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    Just my observance as both an ipad owner and 11.6 MBA. The MBA resolution and screen size is perfect!!!
  7. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    I didn't realize the Air had such a stupid screen. Not paying much attention, as it is so crappy without gigabit ethernet.
  8. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    They got it right

    The reason the 4:3 aspect ratio is needed for the iPad is because of the onscreen keyboard. With a 16:9 screen in landscape, the keyboard would have covered half of the screen a la iphone. This makes no sense on a content viewing device. You would only see like 5 lines of text and would have to constantly scroll. On a notebook with a physical keyboard, this problem doesn't exist, and I believe that all computers will be heading to 16:9 screens. To be fair, I think they made the right choice on both fronts.
  9. idonotliketostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2008
  10. bouncer1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2010
    Well, good points otherwise, but the fact that one problem doesn't exist (the keyboard one) doesn't mean that the other problems I mentioned don't exist. This isn't a super set of problems, that by virtue of attacking one, you 've solved all, it's just another problem.

    That's why someone as lenovo still has some fabulous (well os excepted, and that's a huge exception) 4:3 laptops. Apple has decided to try to cater to both consumer and pro segments in one go, I respect that, but has created a few problems such as this one.
  11. southnc macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    There are plenty of people who were not happy with the 4:3 aspect ratio of the iPad. The main problem being HD videos, where are formatted for 16:9.

    Most movies are also designed for 16:9; except for some of the very old ones, like the The Wizard of Oz (etc), that are formatted in 4:3. Today's movies are 16:9 or even wider.

    You can still watch these videos in native format with bars on the top and bottom, but this is not the best way to optimize the available viewing area.
  12. bouncer1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2010
    There's also the silver ratio:

  13. bouncer1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2010
    It is if you barely watch movies on it!!!

    And if you get a 11.6" macbook air to watch movies primarily then, I mean, what can a I say...

    Like I said optimizing for one use that impacts to negatively on ALL other uses is to me not the way to go. What's wrong with a few bars on top and bottom, you are going to get bars on anyway in most films.
  14. gammaknife macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    thats the reason why i cancelled my order for 11.6 and went with the 13.3. I had to scroll cnn, abc news, engadget... almost all of them I had to do constant scrolling. I like the cute size of the 11.6 but my mind won over my heart finally and ordered the 13.3 which will work out better for me:D.
  15. Mhkobe macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    The 16x9 is useful for productivity because you can have a safari window, and a TextEdit window open beside each other at the same time. Also, the 16x9 ratio permits Apple to put a full size keyboard on such a small device.
  16. bouncer1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2010
    well I 've replied on the full screen keyboard argument, as for the side by side windows I don't think you do that on such a small screen, plus how is it good to have windows side by side when you can't really view any of them without constant scrolling. I mean you can make it 16:5 and have three windows side by side and not be able to view any of them well.

    Let's be honest about this 4:3 was a good ratio, if 16:9 was better they would have come up with that first instead, there was no technological reason delaying it, but they didn't. The only reason wide aspect came about was that damn obsession with movie viewing that started up with the tvs and spread out to computers. This also enabled them to make the old style obsolete so at to force consumers to buy a new device that would fit the times stylistically.

    But let's not rationalize that this is actually better than the way it was because it really isn't. It can be argued that it's better in some aspects on a large screen (and worse in others) but I think it's very hard to argue it's better overall, especially on a small screen it's clearly isn't better, it's worse. That's why pro devices such as the lenovo ones still feature 4:3 aspects in their notebooks. It kind of parallels matte and glossy (and the dreaded glassy), none of the other options being necessarily better, and some of the being actually worse in some respects.
  17. ct2k7 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2008
    London or Florida
    I don't need gigabit ethernet, many others do not need it - it's not a requirement for the majority.

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