Letter of complaint

Feel free to edit/cut and adapt this letter according to your needs and views. This letter is designed only to provide guidance for those who want to bring the problem of existing 16:9 screens into the attention of laptop OEMs and ODMs and producers of LCD screens.


To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you not only from the position of a well-informed consumer but also as a person who uses his/hers PC for more than just web-browsing and movie-watching.

Currently I am very concerned with the fact that the market for notebooks tends to offer only models with displays / resolutions that have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Because you are a reputable laptop seller [producer], I believe you are capable of changing the current situation in which even though there are many notebook users who would prefer to buy a notebook with a 16:10 screen the market does not offer them such an option.

Cut this out if you like: [In addition to this, I would like to further show how 16:9 monitors tend to be a loss compared to 16:10 monitors especially in terms of productivity.

Starting with resolution, for the 16:10 aspect ratio, the standard resolution is 1280 x 800 while for the high-end segment this is 1920 x 1200. For the 16:9 aspect ratio these resolutions have become 1366 × 768 and 1920 x 1080 pixels respectively. The difference between 1920 x 1200 and 1920 x 1080 clearly shows how the transition from 16:10 screens to 16:9 has resulted in a net loss of 120 pixels in vertical space for the high-end segment. As most of the users in the high-end segment usually buy their notebooks for productivity or gaming, this has a strong negative impact on user experience. It must be further noted that most software is laid out for displays that have a higher vertical resolution, rather than for those that have wide display resolutions. For example, toolbars are generally placed at the top of a program, and in the taskbar at the bottom – even when programs such as browsers are configured to be reasonably “slim” in the vertical space they occupy, their toolbars still take out a fair bit of height.

In the case of text reading, reading across a wide screen is much more uncomfortable than reading a narrow column – this is why for instance newspapers are laid out in columns, and books are higher than wide per page.

The same is true for software such as Word and Adobe Professional where height is lost and using these programs becomes more inefficient. Even programs that use a larger sidebar – examples are Adobe Photoshop or Dreamweaver do not benefit from 16:9 – in fact, a portrait image on Photoshop is still best edited on a 4:3 or 5:4 monitor, not a 16:10 – while a landscape image is more favourable to 16:10. Dreamweaver offers a regular page view on 16:10 – in a way the user would view the page – again nothing is gained from 16:9.]

While I understand that due to technological procedures, screens cut in the 16:9 ratio are cheaper than those cut in the 16:10 ratio and thus using 16:9 screens reduces the price of notebooks. In the market for high-end notebooks where users tend to use their notebooks for much more than casual tasks, it is much more desirable to have notebooks with 16:10 screens even if this means paying a small price premium. My suggestion as well as that of other people is for you to strongly consider using 16:10 screens for high-end notebook models instead of 16:9.

I would further like to add that the same concerns apply for all other LCD displays, where the trend of phasing out 4:3, 5:4 and 16:10 LCD displays has occurred in the past year. This is a serious problem for many companies which have their software programs designed to work on screens that have a standard resolution of 1280×1024 (5:4), requiring thus a minimum height of 1024 pixels. The costs of adapting the software or buying LCD displays with a resolution of 1920×1080 that would satisfy the need for vertical space far outweigh any benefits that could be gained from the new standard resolution or advances in LCD display technology.

Thank you for reading this,
XXX

  1. Paul423523
    September 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    A good idea would be for you to also get a petition going!

    • Blacky
      September 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

      I don’t think petitions would have any impact. Generally no one cares about them.

  2. Darren
    June 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Dell has listened to other suggestions, lets see if they take up the 16:10 challenge.
    http://www.ideastorm.com/idea2ReadIdea?v=1400742829379&id=0877000000091OKAAY

  3. Stephan
    June 18, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I love the 16:10 aspect ratio, it feels ‘natural’, it is close to the Golden Mean (1.618…) and I agree, the extra vertical space is really worth it! My desktop displays at home and at work are 16:10, my old XPS M1330 has a 16:10 display. I am looking to upgrade to a new laptop and I resist buying a new one because of the 16:9 displays………….

    Thanks for putting up this website!

  4. Alex
    December 11, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Thank you! I hate 16 by 9 displays!

  5. Roger L
    December 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I’m not going to buy a new laptop until 17 inch 1920×1200 or better is available again. Wider (=shorter) screens are not fit for my purpose, displaying music at playing distance, even if they are higher definition. When my 6 year old Dell laptop with this resolution started misbehaving this year, I bought a clone of it second hand rather than put up with an inferior sceen.

    Laptop sales are declining. One way the industry could respond is to meet the full range of customer preferences. Including screens a suitable shape for purposes other than watching movies.

  6. yassi paras
    August 17, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Invaluable article ! I was fascinated by the facts . Does anyone know where I could possibly grab a template NY I-1 document to edit ?

    • Claretta Deng
      August 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Hi yassi , I came accross a sample FannieMae Guide Underwriting DU example here http://goo.gl/eaEEYs

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