Are you in favor of a 16x9 display on MacBooks?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Retina MacBook, Jul 20, 2012.


Which display aspect ratio would you like to have?

  1. I want a 16:9 display.

  2. Keep the 16:10 display.

  3. I want the 4:3 display.

  1. Retina MacBook macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    The only 16x9 MacBook Apple made is the 11" MacBook Air. Are you in favor of turning every MacBook Pro and Air to a 16x9 display? It will really remove the annoying black bars when watching movies and YouTube videos.
  2. auhlixer macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    16x9 is better to me as well

    much better proportion of screen real-estate

    I was bummed when the retina wasn't 16x9 :/
  3. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
  4. Retina MacBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    How is that?
  5. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    If they swap to 16:9 they can just rename it the MovieBook Pro and be done with it.
  6. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Going from a 16:10 ratio resolution to a 16:9 is a productivity downgrade. On the MBPR, this would mean losing 180 pixels vertically, just for the benefit of no black bars when watching videos... not worth it.
  7. Retina MacBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Then why not go with 4:3? Isn't that a "Productivity Upgrade"?
  8. PM Harold Saxon macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    Perth, West Australia
    16:9 is nice for movies and streaming videos.

    16:10 is better for programs like Photoshop, where the vertical screen real estate makes a lot of difference when editing photos.
  9. Retina MacBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    It's not that much.
  10. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    Generally 16:9 should be seen as a horizontal EXPANSION rather than a vertical contraction.

    For example the 27 inch Cinema display is NO TALLER than the 24 inch 1920x1200 panel.

    I think people often see that both ratios have the number 16 for it and think that therefore the horizontal is held constant. However if you notice 1920x1080 has not been the successor to 1920x1200. 1920x1200 displays were never mainstream and were always expensive, the best analog would be 2560x1440 displays. 1080p was a replacement for 1680x1050 displays in the same way that 768p displays are a replacement for 1280x800 displays in the 13" space. Furthermore 1600x900 has replaced 1440x900 in the 15" space.

    TL:DR: displays have gotten wider not shorter.
  11. PM Harold Saxon macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    Perth, West Australia
    I agree. The extra pixels are good.

    4:3 is considered old and it would mean MacBooks that are practically square shaped. Square shaped laptops aren't as attractive aesthetically.
  12. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Then that little bit of extra black bar above and below your movie is "not that much". So why the poll?
  13. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Read that.

    The 8740w has a 1200v screen. The 8760w drops that to 1080p. It's a workstation laptop, so the loss of 120 vertical pixels - especially when you consider what it can be specced and used for - is a very big deal.
  14. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    4:3 is just lol.

    Oh and the 16:9 aspect ratio is horrible for anything under 1920x1080, which is generally overkill for laptops under 15"-17" anyway as everything will be tiny.

    They would also have to drop the "pro" tag from the MacBook line, which I cant see happening anytime soon.
  15. Retina MacBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Instead of looking at it as a loss of height, look at it as a gain of width! See? Problem solved! You have the space you need and I have the movie enjoyment I wanted.
  16. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012

    A 16:9 screen is great when you are consuming content.

    A 16:10 screen is worth every penny when you are creating content.

    edit: it's a loss of screen real estate, not a gain of width. If all you do is watch YouTube, you won't understand just how incredibly useful the extra vertical real estate is when it's time to edit multimedia.
  17. Retina MacBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    I use FCPX, Motion, AE, PS, InDesign and iLife. And I want a 16:9 display so whenever I preview my projects, I'll see it full screen.

    Besides, I was talking about making it wider, not smaller. So you even have more space for your stuff.
  18. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    That's one isolated instance. For the most part 1920x1200 panels were not common on anything under 17 inches. You can blame the decline in high quality panels for 17" machines more on the lack of demand and the move away from mobile workstations of that size than on any effort to reduce vertical pixels.

    For the most part 1080p is becoming common on the same screen size where 1680x1050 was the high end option.

    I am more upset at the fact that Apple went with a nonstandard resolution. It is kind of in no-man's land between HD and 4K. You don't get pixel perfect HD now and you won't get pixel perfect 4K when that becomes standard.
  19. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012

    In a field full of 16:9 displays, being able to use a rarefied, ultra high-resolution 16:10 display - on a laptop, no less - needs to be seen as a blessing, not a curse.

    A curse is to lose a total of 518,400 pixels (2880 x 180) off the default MBPR screen just to preview a.k.a. consume 16:9 content without black bars. That's a lot of screen real estate for editing buttons and controls / displaying more of the content being edited, hence the loss of productivity.

    Going from 16:10 to 16:9 is a productivity loss, let's leave it at that.
  20. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    No the logical expansion would be a 1600x900 display times four, in other words a 3200x1800 display instead of a 2880x1800 display. It would be no taller and only marginally wider.
  21. Retina MacBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    I see where you're going, you're trying to tell me that going to 16:9 is like 1280:800 to 1280x720 with the loss of 80 pixels.

    But that isn't what I was talking about. Instead of losing 80 pixels, you gain more pixels by making the resolution 1440x810. This is achieved through making the screen larger and increasing pixel density (to avoid making it too small).

    In short, it will not be any taller or shorter. Just wider.
  22. voronoi macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2012
    This won't work for video editing interfaces where you need vertical space for the scrub bars. You can't just squish these over to the side with more horizontal space. Same goes for photo editing. An extra wide screen doesn't help if the image you're editing doesn't have as wide an aspect ratio as the screen and the tool panels are snapped to the left and right edges.

    Web browsing also suffers with the loss of vertical space. Most web pages still look their best on a 4:3 screen. More horizontal space won't help. 16:10 is a nice compromise between consumption and production.
  23. terraphantm, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

    terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    While ratios are dimensionless, in general a 16:10 display has the same (or larger) vertical resolution as its 4:3 counterpart while increasing the horizontal res. And generally 16:9 displays have had the same horizontal resolution as their 16:10 counterparts while reducing vertical.

    4:3 - 16-10 - 16:9
    1600x1200 - 1920x1200 - 1920x1080

    In that above example, the 16:10 is the best of both worlds. It can display native 1600x1200 and 1080p content without scaling. Neither the 4:3 or 16:9 display can natively display 19x12 content though. Even for production work, 1920x1200 should not be an issue. There I'll be black bars, but you're not losing details compared to a 16:9 display.

    Similarly, 1280x1024 displays are commonly replaced with 1680x1050 and 1600x900 displays. And 2048x1536 usually is replaced by 2560x1600 and 2560x1440. I realize the horizontal resolutions in those cases aren't exact, but generally those are the resolutions in the same "tier" - as in, a computer that originally had a 1600x1200 display would likely be updated with a 1920x1200 in the move to 16:10

    For productivity, 16:10 is generally a better ratio due to the larger resolution. Though it also let's you tile two windows side by side at a more "useful" width IMO.
  24. blipmusic, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

    blipmusic macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Whether screens have become "wider" or not becomes semantics if we just start adding pixels (in both directions) ad infinitum. There's always a bigger number.

    Using the same horisontal resolution, 16:10 means more vertical screen estate than the 16:9 dito. As simple as that.

    To which you could reply that "using the same *vertical* resolution, 16:9 is equal to the 16:10 vertical estate with more horisontal estate!". Etc.

    E.g. 1920*1080 vs 1920*1200. Which would you choose for you daily chores?

    Most GUIs today aren't built around width but rather a bit of both height and width. That could of course change. As for content, doesn't "cinema wide" give you black bars even on a 16:9 screen? Also, text flows downwards and a column of text should ideally not be wider than 60-70 (give or take) characters since you might loose track of the lines with more than that, e.g. books, web pages.

    As long as I have a mix of content that caters to both width and height, depending on the medium, I'd much rather have a 16:10 screen. For larger monitors (say 24" and up) 16:9 might be ok but the smaller the screen gets the worse a wide(r) ratio becomes. There's probably a theorem for that somewhere. That's where the iPad got it right.
  25. sireShonBohn macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    Nope. I'd be more intrigued by a high res 4x3 than 16x9 though. 4x3 makes more sense for a lot of things, like portraits, text documents, 99.9% of the internet, & email. More situations seem to benefit from an increase in vertical pixels. Most movies are shot anamorphic so it's cut off on any screen or letter-boxed. Does it really matter if a significant portion of the monitor is unused when you watch a movie? Not in my view. For most people a laptop is not the primary movie screen anyway.

    I think for 90% of work tasks 4x3 is better.

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