blog screenshotMy new laptop has an upgrade called a UXGA screen. I’m told this gives you 25% more pixels to the inch (50% more per square inch), which results in a crisper, more legible picture. This has three consequences that I’ve just started to grasp.

The first consequence is that, with 1600 pixels displayed on a 12″ wide screen (note that the advertised 15.4″ screen size is a diagonal measure, which shows the contempt marketers have for their customers — measure your screen if you don’t believe me), what you see is no longer what you get. When I display a North American letter-size page in  ‘page/print view’ at 100% on my screen, it is not 8.5″ x 11″ on the screen, but rather 72% of those dimensions. But because of the higher pixel count it is as legible (even to my poor eyesight) as the ‘full-size’ page, so I don’t have to magnify it to see what it will really look like on the page.

The second consequence is that, under my 3-column Radio blog theme, since the size of the two sidebars is fixed, the width of the centre area is immense (see screenshot above). Even some of my long articles all fit on a single screen with no scrolling whatever. But the consequence is that I have to remember to limit my graphics to about 450 pixels wide, since readers with less screen real estate than I have will get wonky results (graphics pushed off the right end of the page, and right sidebar gone completely) if I exceed that limit. On my screen the 450 pixels are just over 3″ wide, so small they look absolutely miserly. And the 200-pixel-width maximum graphics I wrap text around, newspaper style, take up only an inch and a half of the nine inches of my centre column. So text wrap that looks fine on small screens looks just silly on mine.

The third consequence, which I just discovered last night, is that the 7.5″ tall window on my screen (nine inches less the toolbar spaces top and bottom), because it actually displays 10″ of legible text on UXGA, shows a complete North American letter-size page on the screen with no scrolling. This is a huge advantage for on-screen editing of Word documents. It finally achieves what I complained about last Spring — that screens should be tiltable 90 degrees so you can actually read a page on a ‘page’. In fact, depending on margin sizes, I can even review two pages side-by-side on the screen at the same time — An editor’s dream come true.

This entry was posted in Our Culture / Ourselves. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to THE JOYS OF UXGA

  1. Eeksy-Peeksy says:

    “screen size is a diagonal measure, which shows the contempt marketers have for their customers”I’m sure monitor marketers, like television marketers before them, hold their customers in contempt, but, because screens always (?) have a height:width:diagonal ratio of 3:4:5, it’s is also handy to reduce screen measurements to a single number that is generally (and easily) comparable to other screens. Though, of course, they could as easily have chosen width or height as that single number, but at least given any one of the numbers, you can calculate the other two. Apparently, the real problem (I haven’t exactly made a study of this myself) is that they lie mislead you with nominal vs. usable screen sizes. For lots of grumbling about this, see:

  2. I’m with Eeksy-Peeksky, TVs have always used the diagonal measurement. However, all of an LCD is used, so the nominal size = viewable size. The only problem with dense pixels occurs when you use screen resolution other than native, you’ll get noticeable “aliasing” in the fonts. It still beats the hell out of a CRT.

Comments are closed.