resolution desktop displays
When we covered LG new 440 PPI display, several of you asked why small panels were getting all the high resolution lovin and when we might see high rez desktop and laptop displays. We discussed the concept of a display as it relates to both handheld devices and widescreen televisions, but we not touched on desktop displays all that much.
Desktop monitors, as it happens, are something of the odd man out in the display industry. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) defines optimum viewing distance as between 20 40 inches (50 100cm) depending on display size. That much closer than the 6 8 feet (1.8 2.4m) typically assumed for television viewing, but still considerably farther than the 8 15 inches used for smartphones and tablets. As I type this, I sitting 32 inches away from a 27 inch monitor with a resolution of 1920 or 81.59 PPI. At that distance, my monitor would need to pack at least 107 PPI (pixels per inch) in order to qualify as a Retina display. This one doesn and I can tell, if I make a point of checking.
In order to understand why desktop resolutions are stuck at the low end of the spectrum, we need to first acknowledge that higher PPI displays do exist. Newegg stocks multiple 27 inch displays with a 2560 resolution in the $850 $1600 range. At 108 PPI, that high enough to qualify as a Retina display at a nominal 32 inch (80cm) viewing distance. There are medical displays that offer much higher pixel densities; NEC sells 20/21 inch screens with 2048 resolutions but they set you back five figures.
One of the reasons why we don see high resolution monitors is because the display market is unevenly split between an overwhelming majority of people who want cheap, bright, fast screens, and a minority of converse shoes profe converse shoes ssional users who need features like 10 bit color, multi standard support (HDMI, DVI D, DP), audio jacks, multiple USB ports, and the least amount of backlight bleed through it possible to buy. Mass market monitor prices are highly elastic, meaning that price tends to have a strong impact on purchases.
One reason why it much easier to increase the resolution of a smartphone/tablet display as compared to a desktop monitor is that in a handheld device, the screen is just one component. Have a look at iSuppli estimated iPad 3 build costs and you see what we mean.
The iPad 2 (16GB, no WiFi) has an estimated BOM (Bill of Materials) of $236.95 and a total BOM of $245.10 once manufacturing is included. The iPad 3, with its high resolution display, has a BOM of $306.05, $316.05 with manufacturing. The iPad 3 screen is responsible for much of that increase, but even at $87 (up from the iPad 2 $57) it only 27% of the total BOM.
A desktop monitor is, by definition, all ab converse shoes out the monitor. Panel costs can range from 50 75% of the total display price depending on resolution and size, and that where display manufacturers start running into trouble. In a highly elastic market, any attempt to push higher resolutions drives up costs, which drives down demand. As a result, it been more economical to push higher resolutions, 10 bit color, and a host of other niche features toward the professional market, where buyers who need them will pay top dollar.
Don hold your breathApplied Materials released a PDF on display market trends earlier this year that shows where it expects resolutions to move upwards and where it doesn The degree of shift is proportional to both the size of the screen and the distance from the user, and it suggests that the largest panels will see precious little shift, if any.
There some early work being done around the 7680 resolution, but that years away from mass market and again, due to viewing distances, of very limited use. At an eight foot viewing distance, the PPI required to qualify as a Retina display is just 36.25. A 60 inch TV at 1920 hits that target now. This suggests that the benefit of higher resolutions for the average TV/movie buff will be slim indeed.
Right now, the materially higher costs of production and the panel sizes themselves don favor much movement on this front. M converse shoes ost software doesn scale well to high desktop resolutions, and while Windows 8 introduces better resizing schemes than its predecessors, Metro preferred data density hovers somewhere around puff when compared to Windows 7. As much as we love to sail in proclaiming the imminent rise of large, high resolution displays, it highly unlikely.
The (sadly discontinued) 38402400, 22 inch IBM T221 204 PPI!
What can the eagle eyed do?If you a sharp eyed reader or work with your displays just off the tip of your nose, your options are rather limited. After hunting through Newegg and across multiple manufacturer websites, we found a handful of 22 inch displays that offer 1920 as a maximum resolution, which nudges them over the 100 PPI mark. The only displays that offer a higher PPI than that are the 27 inch options with 2560 as a default resolution. HP has one for $679, and they move into the mid $850s thereafter.
30 inch displays with a maximum resolution of 2560 are fairly common, but also far more expensive. These hit the 100 PPI mark alongside the 22 inch displays we already mentioned.
That about it. There may be older products that offered higher resolutions, but even the top end consumer products in the $2500 $3000 range are limited to 2560 at 30 inches. The only displays with a higher PPI are specialized medical products.
It possible that technologies like IGZO and OLED could spur manufacturers to offer new, ultra premium options that combine higher resolutions with new display tech, but we honestly doubt it. It far more likely that we see these technologies debut at as close to a mainstream price as they can reach in order to ensure maximum price appeal in an uncertain market. For now, 108 PPI is the highest resolution within reasonable reach.
Tagged InWhat really bugs me is how the increase in personal (non industrial) monitor size and resolution just seemed to stop once HDTV started to become common place. At work I have two 20 1600 native LCD displays; before that I think they were 1280 before that 1024 all reasonably priced.
If you need vertical real estate, there are a number of 1920 LCDs that support portrait mode meaning you turn the LCD on edge and have a 1080 display.
This is typically enabled by telling your video drivers to rotate the display by 90 I seen them used this way for code reviews or the like.
Apart from that, you could upgrade from a 1600 20 to a 24 1900 (these still exist). That still an 18.7% increase in total pixels.
Again, multimonitor support makes these options more flexible. You could easily keep a 16 for document viewing but use a 19 for other tasks.
There are jobs for which a 4:3 ration is a far better choice than a 16:9. Take for example home design. For economic reasons, the most cost effective designs are basically square, since the square encloses the most square footage relative to it perimeter. Even if you go to more than 4 sides, the most efficient shapes are still symmetric, with a circle being the limiting condition. I been repairing my 1600 monitors for years rather than switch to for this reason.
You starting to sound a bit like a product shill. I read the Anandtech review before today. I looked at the [H]ardforum information. I not disputing that people have purchased these and been very happy with what they got.
It definitely not a product I recommend sight unseen. It might be worth it with the zero dead pixel guarantee. But no. As someone who has reviewed an awful lot of hardware, that monitor looks like trouble. That doesn mean everyone who buys one has a terrible experience, but it got more shortcuts than I be comfortable recommending.
It only trouble for people who demand near 100% chance of not having any issues. Seeing as these panels are now less than a third the price of a cinema display, that puts higher res panels into far more peoples reach than a 1k monitor does. But for those worried about not being able to do an easy return, just suck it up pay 400 dollars more for one of the matte finish panels that show a speckle filled horror when viewing anything with a white background, or 700 dollars more for a cinema display. To me that insane seeing as you can buy 3 of these monitors for the price of one of those. The failure rates, whatever they are, are not > 33%, and since when have monitors ever been an unreliable component? They are one of the longest lasting components of any computer system, perhaps just behind a keyboard.