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Conventional 4:3 resolutions typically include: -

XGA (1024x768)
SXGA+ (1400x1050)
UXGA (1600x1200)

Some of the latest notebooks feature a 16:10 ratio wide-aspect display. The associated resolutions include: -

WXGA (1280x800)
WXGA+ (1440x900)
WSXGA+ (1680x1050)
WUXGA (1920x1200)

XGA = Extended Graphics Array
SXGA = Super XGA
UXGA = Ultra XGA
"W" Prefix = Wide
WVA = Wide Viewing Angle

Native Resolutions and Image Scaling
Keep in mind that when purchasing a notebook, selecting the unit with the highest resolution may not always be the best choice. Flat panel monitors, commonly referred to as fixed matrix displays, operate best at their native resolution. An XGA LCD panel for instance, has 1,024 pixels in each horizontal line and 768 pixels in each vertical line. CRTs on the other hand, have a very large number of scalable pixels that allow it to display many different resolutions.

If a user purchases an extremely high resolution panel and decides to lower the resolution, the image quality is negatively impacted. For example, in order for an XGA panel to operate at 800x600 resolution, the image must be scaled up by 1.28x horizontally and vertically to fit the panel. Since 1.28 is not a whole-number increment, interpolated algorithms or "scaling" must be performed on the image. The image is stretched and distortion occurs. This scaling method results in somewhat blurry and fuzzy text.

The best way to select notebook LCD is to view it in person. Choose the highest resolution that you're comfortable with.

For Windows operating systems, a "large fonts" option is available in the Advanced Display Properties. This will enlarge icons and fonts, making it more readable at high resolutions. To scale the entire user interface, a third-party software solution may be better. For instance, Portrait Displays offers a product called Liquid View which scales the user interface including toolbars.

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by BA See Profile edited by Cho Baka See Profile
last modified: 2004-08-19 22:25:36