The Point of Wide Screen Displays?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Phillyzero, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Phillyzero macrumors regular


    May 1, 2008
    This isn't a distinct Apple related question, rather I'd just like to know what is great about wide screen displays?

    I'm not talking about something such as the macbook at 13.3 inches, this mostly applies to 20 inch plus; A lot of websites still aren't adapted for fluid width adjustments and/or don't bother centering themselves on wide screen monitors. This makes a lot of pages distorted or thrust to the left side of the screen leaving tons of empty space on the monitor. Also, a lot of games don't do well on wide screen either, sure you can set the settings to full screen, but the game play at that view is distinctly distorted and flattened. So why are wide screens constantly being handed to us if they don't really 'enhance' any computer experience, I mean it's obviously the panel and the build of the screen, not whether it's wide or not that determines its quality.
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    The human eye finds it easier to accept information when it is wider than it is tall.
  3. CharlieKirk macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2008
    Good question.

    I've wondered this, yesterday I saw CompUSA, selling widescreen monitors that are 23 inches, cheaper than non-widescreen monitors at 22 inches.

    I'm assuming they are somehow cheaper to make, probably something to do with the pixel size, I'm not sure though.
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    A wider screen means more space.

    Hardly anyone runs applications such as browsers full-screen. On widescreen monitors it's often easy to fit in two browser windows side-by-side, and still have space left over. You can change your browser window to be whatever size is convenient - so the size of the screen makes no difference to how websites display.

    Practically all games on the market now cater for widescreen resolutions. On WoW, you can see more on a widescreen monitor, which is nice :)

    I'm on a 'standard' monitor right now. Only I'm not, I'm on two standard monitors, side by side. I'd much rather have a single widescreen.

    So the question, really, is... the point of standard displays, now we have widescreen?
  5. Moks macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
    The point of widescreen displays is to make people who have 'standard' displays want to go out and buy a new screen.

    When everyone has widescreen they'll introduce something else.

    And so on.

    It's called progress. :D
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Like miniConvert said, not many people have their browser opened to full-screen on a 22+" monitor.

    Also, most video content nowadays is wide-screen (not that its aspect matches the widescreen aspect, but it still usually looks better than on a square screen).
  7. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    Behold, as I use my new 40" panoramic monitor to webpage, maximized

    That's why people invented windowing interfaces. Multiple windows, multiple documents, multiple programs.

    Which leads to my sig:
  8. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My main issue with the widescreen thing (mostly with notebooks and the smaller monitors) is that 1280x1024 has been, in many cases, replaced with 1440x900 (or even 1280x800). I want my vertical lines back.
  9. Applepwns macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    i think widescreen looks nicer and i could never go back to a square screen.
  10. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    The point? Widescreen gives you more space.

    WXGA (1280x800) vs. XGA (1024x768) = 23.2% gain

    WXGA+ (1440x900) vs. XGA+ (1152x864) = 23.2% gain

    WSXGA+ (1680x1050) vs. SXGA+ (1440x1050) = 14.3% gain

    WUSXGA (1920x1200) vs. UGA (1600x1200) = 16.7% gain
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This subject has been debated ad nauseam in many threads such as this one. You'll get opinions on both sides. It all boils down to what you like. I prefer widescreen, but there are those who don't.
  12. tompon1923 macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2008
    15°35'30.45S 54°31'22.17E
    most of the time the resolution is higher, they are a lot cheaper too. (at least if you buy from dell)
  13. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Mar 13, 2008
    Excellent answer! ;)
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  15. nayxn2nayxn macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
  16. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2006
    Soon to be phased out by cubical 3D monitors. Then someone will start making them longer instead of taller and wider and we'll all argue about it on the Internet.
  17. bootedbear macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2004
    Austin, TX
    Browsing isn't the only thing that computers are used for.

    When it comes to using tools like Final Cut, the wider the better.
  18. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    I like them for productivity. Multiple terminals/emacs windows/webpages up side by side.....add in spaces on the Mac or multiple desktops on Linux boxes and my productivity grows significantly.
  19. tsice19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2008
    No point. It's just the way technology is going.

    Most TVs are widescreen, most computers are widescreen, etc; etc;
  20. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    What games have trouble with widescreen? Every new game that comes out must support widescreen if it wants the "gaming for windows" certification. Old games had shady widescreen support but thats in the past. Any good widescreen monitor will also have a "scale to fit" option which will keep the proportions of a 4:3 resolution when playing a game that doesnt have a widescreen mode (so it letterboxes the screen on the sides). I cant imagine anyone preferring 4:3 gaming over widescreen, using 4:3 is like looking through a tube, using widescreen gives your peripheral vision back.

    Youre not "supposed" to maximize things like browser windows on a widescreen monitor. Theres no point. Widescreen allows you to adjust the size of the window so its at a normal 4:3 size while having plenty of room to access your desktop or other windows on the side. Everything is much more organized.

    Its vastly supperior to 4:3 for computer work. Windows dont have to be tall, vertical scrolling is just a scroll wheel away, but having more horizontal space allows for a better workflow because its so much easier to layer windows.
  21. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    That's not a good comparison since your comparing, typically bigger screens with smaller screens.

    WXGA is like 15" and XGA is only 13"
    WXGA+ is like 19" and XGA+ is only 15"
    WSXGA+ is like 20" and SXGA+ is only 19"
    WUXGA is like 24" and UXGA is only 20"

    And these are typical sizes, not laptop screen sizes.
  22. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    When you are writing, it is nice to have a taller monitor rather than a wider monitor so you can see the full length of the page.

    This is a weird situation in that it seemed like older Titanium powerbooks with less screen resolution gave me a fuller on page screen for scrolling.

    It also is why I bumped from a 20 inch Apple Display to a 23" inch... I can see the whole page on the 23" but not the 20"...

    Also the reason I like my 12" powerbook over a macbook screen 13.3" screen... actually gives me a taller screensize again.
  23. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Interestingly enough... and despite many people saying otherwise, I'm pretty sure most people run their web browsers maximized on all larger screens out of habit.

    I for one always have the web in full view as it gives me a larger area to view over, ad when it comes to switching to another program hidden behind I simply Expose the bad boy up or, as I'm doing a lot more these days, switching Spaces (how can people say it's a pointless feature!! Setup keyboard shortcuts and it can shave wasted hours off of your life!!).

    All in all, widescreen is essentially a larger desk... Few people have perfectly square desks as it's impractical. Screens are similar!

    Also, with the eye thing, unless the user has a sight problem conservatively speaking the human eye has a 60 degree vertical viewing angle and a 120 degree horizontal viewing angle (hence two eyes) so therefore it is more than logical for wide screens.
  24. nufanec macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thats a load of crap. There is no correlation other than that larger screens tend to have a higher resolution. Hence, my 15" 4:3 Apple Studio Display XGA, the 17" version was SXGA.
  25. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Actually I went that route too, for height and the 17" was better for length of the page than the 15" and also, better than the aluminum 20". I just worked my way up the line to the 23". Also,zooming in or out on a higher res screen in the old Tibook days did NOT fiix the problem... I just had to keep on buying.

    but this may not be what the OP was referring to. I need to see the whole written page on the screen.

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