State of laptops



  • Recently went freelance and so instead of the corporate laptop I have been chained with I am free to go and buy what I like.  Except for the fact I do not like many of them.

    So far on my contracts i have been 1 or 2 days a week on a client site, the rest of the time working from home with my desktop rig.

    I just can’t get used to the idea of having to code on a widescreen laptop, 99% of the screens out there are just plain garbage quality, and when they look good they only offer 1366x768!! WTF is that.  I was playing Duke Nukem 3D in resolutions similar to that almost 14 years ago!!!

    Sadly about 8 months ago I threw out an Inspiron 8100 with 15” 1600x1200 lcd – that was perfect size/rez.

    A side WTF I have always worked at a place that has given me a corporate HP, and have not had to buy a laptop since 2001-ish.  After a boring shopping trip with the wife I got an extended time to kick around a PC shop check out the high street consumer laptops.  It is pretty frightening how bad quality they are.  

    Apart from crappy screens with ZERO information on screen specs other than  “15.4 inch plenty of room for browsing and demanding applications” ARRRGGGGHHHHH, there was the Acer keyboard where it was impossible to press one key at a time, off-centre track pads (interesting design feature? What if you are left handed?), screens not straight in bezel,  glossy plastic that will look grubby in two seconds  etc etc Oh but wait... they all come with McAffe and a metric ton of other shite, thank christ for that.



  • @Helix said:

    the high street consumer laptops

    For a non-British person, what does "high street" mean? I used to think it meant "downtown shopping area", but your post is confusing me...

    Here in the US, we have Fry's, which is pretty much the only place left where you can try out a ton of laptops before you buy them. I dunno; some regions might have regional stores that are good at that, but the national chains suck on toast. What I usually do is keep my eye open at coffeeshops, on trains, etc for laptops and then just ask people about them.

    If you buy HP, (and I highly recommend you DO NOT), you will have to wipe it and install your own OS. So keep that in mind. (Probably ditto if you buy Sony.)



  • Helix, why should I thank Christ for McAffe [sic] and that other stuff. What did he have to do with it?

    Up until the blasphemy I was starting to shed some tears for your predicament. Poor guy. Can't find a laptop. Drip drip.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Helix said:

    I just can’t get used to the idea of having to code on a widescreen laptop, 99% of the screens out there are just plain garbage quality, and when they look good they only offer 1366x768!! WTF is that.
    Dual/second screen with a decent sized monitor for the 2nd display? It's what I use for work, and don't have any problems with it.



  •  Really depends upon where you go to buy them.  Some place like Newegg.com will get you a really nice laptop with full specs.  1920x1080 for a laptop screen is not uncommon nowadays.  A good laptop, with a good size screen and a decent amount of power will cost you around $600-$800.  More expensive as you add more power and features.  If you're lucky enough to have a computer super-store in your area (I live near a Microcenter), definitely make sure to check them out, they'll let you play with stuff and see if you like it first.  Never try to buy a "consumer" laptop.  Go for a low end gamer laptop, they're better quality and sometimes they're not chock full of crap-ware.



  • If only there was a program like Flash but for art and animation instead of creating rich web apps.

    Oh, wait, wrong one of my axioms, hang on a sec...

    We need open standards on laptops so one can build their own.

    That's better. I know I shouldn't be cheering for monopolists, but I'm glad IBM cornered the early 80's which led to every other PC switching to IBM clones, and then the IBM-PC became standard to the point where it's very much possible to build one with off-the-shelf components.



  • Laptops do suck now. Glossy screens are terrible. Most come with ridiculous amounts of RAM and a stupidly powerful CPU but a pathetic GPU, tiny slow HDD and a horrid screen. I don't know how the viewing angles have gotten worse, but most modern laptops I've used HAVE NO SWEET SPOT. I don't mind the viewing angles being a bit limited, but I expect there to at least be somewhere I can position my head where black is consistent and not bloody blue for half the panel. I have an original Eee 701 and that screen is perfect, if small. There is no angle from which the entire thing inverts and the balance is right no matter where you look at it from. Why have we moved away from these screens. WE FEEL YOUR PAIN.



  • @Helix said:

    Recently went freelance and so instead of the corporate laptop I have been chained with I am free to go and buy what I like.  Except for the fact I do not like many of them.

    So far on my contracts i have been 1 or 2 days a week on a client site, the rest of the time working from home with my desktop rig.

    I just can’t get used to the idea of having to code on a widescreen laptop, 99% of the screens out there are just plain garbage quality, and when they look good they only offer 1366x768!! WTF is that.  I was playing Duke Nukem 3D in resolutions similar to that almost 14 years ago!!!

    Sadly about 8 months ago I threw out an Inspiron 8100 with 15” 1600x1200 lcd – that was perfect size/rez.

    A side WTF I have always worked at a place that has given me a corporate HP, and have not had to buy a laptop since 2001-ish.  After a boring shopping trip with the wife I got an extended time to kick around a PC shop check out the high street consumer laptops.  It is pretty frightening how bad quality they are.  

    Apart from crappy screens with ZERO information on screen specs other than  “15.4 inch plenty of room for browsing and demanding applications” ARRRGGGGHHHHH, there was the Acer keyboard where it was impossible to press one key at a time, off-centre track pads (interesting design feature? What if you are left handed?), screens not straight in bezel,  glossy plastic that will look grubby in two seconds  etc etc Oh but wait... they all come with McAffe and a metric ton of other shite, thank christ for that.

    Thinkpad. Next question?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If you buy HP, (and I highly recommend you DO NOT), you will have to wipe it and install your own OS.
    Is that just an objection to all the crapware it comes with? Because I've been very impressed with the build quality of HP laptops for the last few years. Not sure if they're all like this, but their business machines are very nice bits of kit. Solid as anything. Mind you, I think mine came with some completely non-standard OS install.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If you buy HP, (and I highly recommend you DO NOT), you will have to wipe it and install your own OS. So keep that in mind. (Probably ditto if you buy Sony.)

    This is second or third hand info as I haven't shopped for a laptop in years, but I've heard that HP cut back on the crapware because they kept getting support calls like "why is my lightscribe drive not working?" (Answer: Because you don't have a lightscribe drive, you just have the lightscribe burning software that came with the laptop. (If they still do this, then the WTF level is through the roof.))



  • Similar situation to you. Sucks, dunnit.

    What I suggest is: invest in a docking station. If you're at a customer site for an extended period (more than a couple of days), negotiate for a more-or-less permanent place to set it up in their office and make the best of it.



  • @intertravel said:

    Thinkpad. Next question?
    Pardon me, but I beg to differ.

    I'm typing this on a (nearly 3 year old) ThinkPad. It has one of the worst screens ever. I'm serious, I have compared to several other laptops. The colors are bad even for the 16.3mln "standard". The viewing angle is non-existent. The GPU barely runs Portal on the lowest settings.ThinkPads are not exactly the greatest in graphics.

    Otherwise it's a sturdy beast with a decent keyboard and I'm happy with it. But I would never recommend it to someone who wants a decent image.



  • @Kiss me I'm Polish said:

    The GPU barely runs Portal on the
    lowest settings.ThinkPads are not exactly the greatest in
    graphics.

    Unless you're planning on freelancing as a game
    developer, why would you need an awesome GPU? In my experience, people
    who enjoy computer games will have a dedicated desktop that has all the
    computing power for it and use their laptop for business.

    To the
    OP: I actually have a Gateway laptop because I wanted something cheap,
    and I really only use it for the rare times I'm actually travelling and
    need to get work done. I was actually quite shocked to find it is not
    that bad for its price. I did reformat and reinstall Windows to get rid
    of the crapware that all computers have (yes, even Thinkpads), but after
    that, besides the occasional overheating issue if I'm in a particularly
    hot room and I'm doing heavy computational work, it has worked nicely
    as a budget system. It can multitask with some pretty intensive programs like Eclipse and Photoshop.

    I am not a big fan of its glossy screen, but it does look nice from reasonable angles and I'm really not sure what you have against a widescreen, I've found it to work very nicely for coding.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Helix said:
    the high street consumer laptops

    For a non-British person, what does "high street" mean? I used to think it meant "downtown shopping area", but your post is confusing me...

    Here in the US, we have Fry's, which is pretty much the only place left where you can try out a ton of laptops before you buy them. I dunno; some regions might have regional stores that are good at that, but the national chains suck on toast. What I usually do is keep my eye open at coffeeshops, on trains, etc for laptops and then just ask people about them.

    If you buy HP, (and I highly recommend you DO NOT), you will have to wipe it and install your own OS. So keep that in mind. (Probably ditto if you buy Sony.)

     

     

    Yep downtown, or at least an area with a significant number of shops.  This usually happens to be  the centre of a town/city. 

    Looking back on it it was quite a rant.  However I continue to do some looking around for 15” uxga/wuxga, I wanted to keep the form factor down to 15”.  In 15” wuxga there is a dell desktop replacement that doesn’t sound very ‘laptop’.

    Usual suspects T61 etc. Ho hum.  More searching reveals just lots of other people looking for the same.

    If i read one more post on an online forum that says “ 15" at 1920x1200? That is gonna hurt your eyes” – i am happy to mail them a torx screwdriver to stick in their eyes.
     

     



  • @RHuckster said:

    .....

    I am not a big fan of its glossy screen, but it does look nice from reasonable angles and I'm really not sure what you have against a widescreen, I've found it to work very nicely for coding.

     

    Don't mind widescreen if it has good screen area, looked at gateway website "advanced 1366 x 768 resolution"

     



  • @Helix said:

    If i read one more post on an online forum that says “ 15" at 1920x1200? That is gonna hurt your eyes” – i am happy to mail them a torx screwdriver to stick in their eyes.

    Yeah, that'll totally give you eye strain. Which hurts your eyes.

    I'm cheap, so I tend to get reconditioned laptops from Dell ("Dell Outlet"). Generally a generation behind, but usually priced pretty decently.



  • @Helix said:

    Yep downtown, or at least an area with a significant number of shops.  This usually happens to be  the centre of a town/city. 

    ... but why would the laptops be "high street?" Are different laptops for sale downtown than, say, in the suburbs?

    @Helix said:

    wuxga

    Please God. Just tell us the fucking resolution. If I ever find the guy who made up all those fucking abbreviations for the 50,000 different resolutions you can get in a monitor, I will, will, strangle his ass.

    What. The. Holy. Fuck. Is. wuxga? In actual terms actual human beings might be able to process with their actual human being brains?



  • @Helix said:

    Yep downtown, or at least an area with a significant number of shops.  This usually happens to be  the centre of a town/city


    Yes, and I believe the American equivalent is (or was?) 'Main Street.' However, I strongly suspect this is yet another Blakey "stupid Brit-speak" trolling exercise (obviously, on principle, he wouldn't have wasted the one second or so it would have taken him to Google the phrase), and that he had already worked out (or already knew) the meaning of the phrase before posting his enquiry.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cad Delworth said:

    However, I strongly suspect this is yet another Blakey "stupid Brit-speak" trolling exercise, and that he had already worked out (or already knew) the meaning of the phrase before posting his enquiry.
    I don't believe you.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What. The. Holy. Fuck. Is. wuxga? In actual terms actual human beings might be able to process with their actual human being brains?


    Oh please, Mr. Blakeytroll, do give it a rest! "WUXGA stands for Widescreen Ultra eXtended Graphics Array and is a display resolution of 1920×1200 pixels (2304000 pixels)." I'm sure I've seen you mention both Google and Wikipedia in your past posts here, and that you've stated in so many words that your "actual human being brain" has used both of those services. I'm also sure I've seen some Blakeyrants where you say things like "how ?%&!$ing hard can it be to Google [insert subject of rant here] for *!$% sake?" Why not take your own advice?



  • Cad Delworth you are my favorite person.

    @Cad Delworth said:

    Yes, and I believe the American equivalent is (or was?) 'Main Street.'

    Except no American would say, "I'm going to the store to see the main street laptops". Because "main street" is a property of the store, not the products in the store.

    Ironically, you're right: I did know what it meant from (previous to this thread) context, but his weird usage of the term made me doubt whether I was correct, thus my asking.

    @Cad Delworth said:

    Oh please, Mr. Blakeytroll, do give it a rest! "WUXGA stands for Widescreen Ultra eXtended Graphics Array and is a display resolution of 1920×1200 pixels (2304000 pixels)." I'm sure I've seen you mention both Google and Wikipedia in your past posts here, and that you've stated in so many words that your "actual human being brain" has used both of those services. I'm also sure I've seen some Blakeyrants where you say things like "how ?%&!$ing hard can it be to Google [insert subject of rant here] for *!$% sake?" Why not take your own advice?

    Those little "names" of resolutions represent everything that's wrong in the computer industry.

    Let's take something that's already pretty complicated, computer monitor resolution. Now let's make it even more impenetrable by instead of just telling people what the resolution is, making up crazy acronyms standing for something no actual human being has actually said instead. Even worse, some computer sites only use those retarded acronyms and never just tell you the actual fucking resolution.

    CAR ANALOGY INCOMING. CAR ANALOGY LANDING IN 3... 2...

    That's roughly like going to the gas station, but instead of asking how many gallons you need, they have a completely different system based on the capacities of various different selected vehicles through history. So, my car has a capacity of 1 Mitsubishi Cordia + 1 Yamaha Raptor 90 + 2 Briggs and Straton 5 HP mowers. But this is still too easy, so what you do instead is assign each vehicle type a letter, then repeat the letter so you end up with something like MAPP, then you add XA at the end for no reason. So I go to the gas station, and I ask for MAPPXA instead of just fucking saying the tank holds 15 gallons.

    Except nobody would do that because it's obviously insane and stupid! Except in the computer industry, where that's considered a perfectly normal and acceptable system.



  • @Helix said:

    If i read one more post on an online forum that says “ 15" at 1920x1200? That is gonna hurt your eyes” – i am happy to mail them a torx screwdriver to stick in their eyes.
     

     


    Why would that hurt the eyes? Nice smooth fonts should make things easy to read.
    Oh, are you using an OS that doesn't adjust for dpi? Well, as they say, there's your problem.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Cad Delworth said:
    Yes, and I believe the American equivalent is (or was?) 'Main Street.'

    Except no American would say, "I'm going to the store to see the main street laptops". Because "main street" is a property of the store, not the products in the store.

    it means bog-standard consumer stuff. The kind of thing you find in your local Walmart/electronics chain. The kind of thing that people who just go to the shop and buy what's there will buy. Mainstream might be a better translation, except it's not.



  • @Kiss me I'm Polish said:

    @intertravel said:

    Thinkpad. Next question?
    Pardon me, but I beg to differ.

    I'm typing this on a (nearly 3 year old) ThinkPad. It has one of the worst screens ever. I'm serious, I have compared to several other laptops. The colors are bad even for the 16.3mln "standard". The viewing angle is non-existent. The GPU barely runs Portal on the lowest settings.ThinkPads are not exactly the greatest in graphics.

    Otherwise it's a sturdy beast with a decent keyboard and I'm happy with it. But I would never recommend it to someone who wants a decent image.

    Oh, right. The Thinkpads I've seen have had perfectly good screens - is it just that model? The GPU is usually not the greatest on business laptops, so I didn't factor that in - they're all ample for non-gaming purposes.



  • @Cad Delworth said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    What. The. Holy. Fuck. Is. wuxga? In actual terms actual human beings might be able to process with their actual human being brains?


    Oh please, Mr. Blakeytroll, do give it a rest! "WUXGA stands for Widescreen Ultra eXtended Graphics Array and is a display resolution of 1920×1200 pixels (2304000 pixels)." I'm sure I've seen you mention both Google and Wikipedia in your past posts here, and that you've stated in so many words that your "actual human being brain" has used both of those services. I'm also sure I've seen some Blakeyrants where you say things like "how ?%&!$ing hard can it be to Google [insert subject of rant here] for *!$% sake?" Why not take your own advice?
     

    I have to agree with Blakey on this one.   Referring to something as "WUXGA" might be technically correct but in reality is just stupid and unnecessary.  If you are referring to 1900x1200 then just say it.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Helix said:
    the high street consumer laptops

    For a non-British person, what does "high street" mean?

    Same as ever; it means you'd rather deliberately fail to understand something on purpose so that you can be all miserable about it, than spend five seconds googling it.




  • @DaveK said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @Helix said:
    the high street consumer laptops

    For a non-British person, what does "high street" mean?

    Same as ever; it means you'd rather deliberately fail to understand something on purpose so that you can be all miserable about it, than spend five seconds googling it.

     

    Seems like it is more of an opportunity to discuss local terms for various places and things.



  • @DaveK said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @Helix said:
    the high street consumer laptops

    For a non-British person, what does "high street" mean?

    Same as ever; it means you'd rather deliberately fail to understand something on purpose so that you can be all miserable about it, than spend five seconds googling it.


    Except that Googling it doesn't actually answer the question. For starters, under the common usage, you could have an out-of-town high street shop, or one in a shopping 'mall'. The location isn't important - it's the type of shop and the product it stocks that's being conveyed.



  • @intertravel said:

    Except that Googling it doesn't actually answer the question. For starters, under the common usage, you could have an out-of-town high street shop, or one in a shopping 'mall'. The location isn't important - it's the type of shop and the product it stocks that's being conveyed.

    The Google answer is terrible, hah.

    @Some Forum said:

    The "high street" is the main street of a town or of an area within a city. A high-street shop is a typical shop you would find on such a high street. It would probably be used to distinguish it from a department store, a shopping centre (mall in AE) or a corner shop (a small shop selling groceries and other things of daily use in traditional residential areas).

    So... the street itself is not involved, but it describes "the kind of shop you would find on such a street." Uh... ok? Well, it clears it up a bit, it's not a department store, nor a shopping center, nor a "corner shop" (which sounds like what I'd call a convenience store?)

    What's the deal with naming stores after their location instead of anything pertinent to the store itself? What do you call a 7-11 that isn't located on a corner? Or is that like illegal or something?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What do you call a 7-11 that isn't located on a corner? Or is that like illegal or something?
     

    Don't your "drug stores" sell things other than drugs?

    What do you call a room with a toilet but no bath? (From one of my own "discuss regional terminology" threads)

    Language evolves and sometimes words taken literally have no/wrong meaning!




  •  That's actually the reason I still keep around my old Inspiron 9300 dinosaur.  It's had it's RAM upgraded and been through two batteries (not bad for a 7 year old laptop), runs Windows XP, and the only thing I've ever had go wrong with it was a bad power brick.  The thing is like a tank, it just will not die.  Not that I'm complaining.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the deal with naming stores after their location instead of anything pertinent to the store itself?
    It's to piss you off, no other reason.

    @blakeyrat said:

    What do you call a 7-11 that isn't located on a corner?
    Budgens, same as the ones which are.



  • @Zemm said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    What do you call a 7-11 that isn't located on a corner? Or is that like illegal or something?
     

    Don't your "drug stores" sell things other than drugs?

    They can. "Drug store" doesn't imply, "this store only sells drugs," but rather, "this store sells at least drugs." So the usage there is fine.

    @Zemm said:

    What do you call a room with a toilet but no bath? (From one of my own "discuss regional terminology" threads)

    A bathroom. That one's admittedly weird.

    @Zemm said:

    Language evolves and sometimes words taken literally have no/wrong meaning!

    I'm starting to think that "high street" means nothing.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm starting to think that "high street" means nothing.
    It means more than one thing, which is what is confusing you, I guess. In the context it was used, it means big chains. (Although if someone had said 'old-fashioned high street shops' it would mean the opposite - independents.) What do you call them in Yankland?



  • @intertravel said:

    It means more than one thing, which is what is confusing you, I guess. In the context it was used, it means big chains. (Although if someone had said 'old-fashioned high street shops' it would mean the opposite - independents.) What do you call them in Yankland?

    Hard to say, since I'm still confused. Maybe you're referring to what we'd call a warehouse store, like Best Buy or Staples? But many warehouse stores aren't in big chains...



  • @intertravel said:

    I guess. In the context it was used, it means big chains. (Although if someone had said 'old-fashioned high street shops' it would mean the opposite - independents.) What do you call them in Yankland?

    "Big chains" are commonly called department stores, discounters, big box stores, chains. I suppose "chains" could refer to any of them, but the others are fairly distinct.

    "Independents" are more likely to be called something like mom 'n pop stores, neighborhood stores, small retailers.



  • @intertravel said:

    It means more than one thing, which is what is confusing you, I guess. In the context it was used, it means big chains. (Although if someone had said 'old-fashioned high street shops' it would mean the opposite - independents.) What do you call them in Yankland?
     

    "big chains" as in Walmart, Target, and the like are just called "big box stores" whereas we call "old-fashioned high street shops" either "mom and pop shops" or I've heard "Main Street" to mean the old-fashioned "downtown" shopping areas where people actually parked on the street and walked on sidewalks to do their errands.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @intertravel said:
    Except that Googling it doesn't actually answer the question. For starters, under the common usage, you could have an out-of-town high street shop, or one in a shopping 'mall'. The location isn't important - it's the type of shop and the product it stocks that's being conveyed.

    The Google answer is terrible, hah.

    Dunno what you guys were googling, but I searched for "high street" and the first result I got was the wikipedia page that includes a lot of much better explanation:

    [quote user="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Street"]High Street, or the High Street, is a metonym for the generic name (and frequently the official name) of the primary business street of towns or cities, especially in the United Kingdom. It is usually a focal point for shops and retailers in city centres, and is most often used in reference to retailing.[/quote][quote user="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Street"]The term "High Street" is often used to describe common stores found on a typical high street, to differentiate them from more specialist or less common outlets. For example, someone might refer to "High Street banks" or "High Street shops".[/quote]



  • @Helix said:

    adly about 8 months ago I threw out an Inspiron 8100 with 15” 1600x1200 lcd – that was perfect size/rez.
     

    Pardon me, but I wish to publicise one of my favorite errors. We all do it, but there's no alternative.

    We use pixel resolution as a substitute for size.

    My previous laptop went up to 1920 resolution, but I ran it at 1300. Why? Because at 1920 all the characters had to be read with a microscope. 

    Consider a screen with  an incredible 1,000,000 pixels vertical resolution. That would have about 50,000 pixels per centimeter. A 20 pixel character would be four micrometers high.

    An ideal would be for code to specify size in angular degrees at a normal eye distance. That way a character could look the same whether it's on a laptop or on a Time Square billboard.

    The concept exists in Apple's claim that the iPhone has "retinal resolution". That's what we need; to be able to specify sizes in retinal pixels. A retinal pixel, unlike our current system, adapts for the distance to the screen and for the screen resolution. It only specifies how big the thing looks to human eyesight. (Yes, it's HUMAN retinal pixels, not eagle retinal pixels.)

    I do it, you do it, we all do it. And we're all wrong.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    @Helix said:

    with 15” 1600x1200
     

    We use pixel resolution as a substitute for size.

    I do it, you do it, we all do it. And we're all wrong.

     

     

    No I don't, read again. Many many retailers and shops selling laptops do.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Let's take something that's already pretty complicated, computer monitor resolution. Now let's make it even more impenetrable by instead of just telling people what the resolution is, making up crazy acronyms standing for something no actual human being has actually said instead. Even worse, some computer sites only use those retarded acronyms and never just tell you the actual fucking resolution.

     

     

    Yeah, becasue instead of looking for a Core 2 Duo or Core i3 I have been searching for a laptop listing which just says what it has.  Ideally I am looking for 624M transistors, L2 2x256k, L3 3MB clocked at 2.1Gs.

     

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Zemm said:

    What do you call a room with a toilet but no bath?
    Outhouse?



  • Dragging this thread back on topic...

    @intertravel said:

    Thinkpad. Next question?
    This. The T520 can have be customized to have a top of the line Core i7, 8GB RAM, 500GB or 750GB hard drive, matte 1920x1080 screen, in built HSPA modem (if that's your thing) and so on. They also have wonderful keyboards, they're built like a tank, virtually no crapware (when I got mine I got a smattering of Lenovo utilities for networking, power management, biometrics and the webcam, Office trial, Norton, Roxio Creator SBE and WinDVD off the top of my head), and if you buy at the right time, such as when they offer one of their mystical 40% off configurations above $3200, which means almost half price laptop.



  • @Douglasac said:

    Dragging this thread back on topic...

    @intertravel said:

    Thinkpad. Next question?
    This. The T520 can have be customized to have a top of the line Core i7, 8GB RAM, 500GB or 750GB hard drive, matte 1920x1080 screen, in built HSPA modem (if that's your thing) and so on. They also have wonderful keyboards, they're built like a tank, virtually no crapware (when I got mine I got a smattering of Lenovo utilities for networking, power management, biometrics and the webcam, Office trial, Norton, Roxio Creator SBE and WinDVD off the top of my head), and if you buy at the right time, such as when they offer one of their mystical 40% off configurations above $3200, which means almost half price laptop.
     

     

     

    I could select 15.6" 1920 x 1080, which isn't too bad.

    I am yet to find anything better then dell E6500 at 15.4" 1920x1200.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    We use pixel resolution as a substitute for size.

    But it is. Just try using a 640x400 netbook -> it's too small to hold a lot of dialogs.. Draging the taskbar to the sides helps a bit but there's still a lot of programs that are made for 800x600 or more.

    1366x768 is just too small for my preference, not because I can't read the text but because there just aren't enough pixels to cram everything in. Take websites for instance, most have a fixed width menu and a variable width for the content. Try reading the content when the menu is taking up half your screen.

    I've had a laptop that by now would be 9 years old, and it already had 1400x1050. In nine years, the average vertical resolution went down, to the point where most laptops double in price as soon as it has more than a 768 vertical resolution...



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    An ideal would be for code to specify size in angular degrees at a normal eye distance.
     

    That would be ideal, but aside from Apple's Retina displays, common screens are not there yet. Wake me up when common off the shelf monitors achieve 3000px on either side.

    And when that happens, we'll stop using px and start using cm and in and mm.



  • @robbak said:

    Why would that hurt the eyes? Nice smooth fonts should make things easy to read.
    Oh, are you using an OS that doesn't adjust for dpi? Well, as they say, there's your problem.
     

    If you scale up the OS, then you lose screen real estate.



  • My bad. I should not have said that we use pixel resolution as a substitute for size, but that we use pixel count as a substitute for size. So many pixels for a box height, so many pixels for a circle diameter.

    Think not? You're on the screen right now. Drop your resolution to 800x600. In theory everything should be the same size, but get fuzzier, because the resolution is lower. But it does not behave that way - everything gets bigger. All the window sizes are in pixels, not centimeters or degrees of vision.

    When I mentioned Apple's "retina pixels", I was not talking about an LCD screen with that much resolution. I was talking about a size measurement. It would be good if we could specify a font height of, say, 35 retina pixels. The font would stay the same visual size whether you were at 60x480 or 1900x1300 or even 100000x75000. It would have three different LCD pixel sizes, but the same visual size, measured in retina pixels on your eyeball, that is, measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds of visual angle.

    When I look at a cartoon on the Internet I have to drop my screen resolution way down in order to read the captions. Why? Shouldn't the size of the graphics image be independent of the screen resolution? But it is dependent on it, because like everything else it is specified in pixels.

    And points does not work either. Cut the screen resolution in half, and a 30 point font will be half as big. 



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    @Helix said:

    adly about 8 months ago I threw out an Inspiron 8100 with 15” 1600x1200 lcd – that was perfect size/rez.
     

    Pardon me, but I wish to publicise one of my favorite errors. We all do it, but there's no alternative.

    We use pixel resolution as a substitute for size.

    My previous laptop went up to 1920 resolution, but I ran it at 1300. Why? Because at 1920 all the characters had to be read with a microscope. 

    That's why operating systems have an option to adjust text size. Running an LCD at the native resolution and increasing font sizes will give you a much crisper image than using upscaling.

    @AndyCanfield said:

    Consider a screen with  an incredible 1,000,000 pixels vertical resolution. That would have about 50,000 pixels per centimeter. A 20 pixel character would be four micrometers high.

    Obviously you wouldn't use 20 pixel characters on that kind of display.

    @AndyCanfield said:

    An ideal would be for code to specify size in angular degrees at a normal eye distance. That way a character could look the same whether it's on a laptop or on a Time Square billboard.

    Why so difficult? Wouldn't physical distance units do? All major operating systems have the ability to specify font sizes in points, of which there are nominally 72 per physical inch. Often the system's dpi is forced to something else than the display's physical dpi though, to adjust for the preferences of the user.

    As a bonus, using points makes it easy to interact with publishing and other areas that deal with physical products that have text on them. I bet any newspaper editor will immediately be able to visualise a 12-point font. Can you do the same for a 0.35-degree font? What would even be "normal eye distance" for a times square billboard? 10 or 100 metres?

    @AndyCanfield said:

    The concept exists in Apple's claim that the iPhone has "retinal resolution". That's what we need; to be able to specify sizes in retinal pixels. A retinal pixel, unlike our current system, adapts for the distance to the screen and for the screen resolution. It only specifies how big the thing looks to human eyesight. (Yes, it's HUMAN retinal pixels, not eagle retinal pixels.)

    So would that be my retinal pixels, or my 80-year old granpa's? There's a difference of at least a factor of five in our eyesights. You'll have to add some way for the user to specify his retinal pixel size, which is effectively what the dpi adjustment already does, and has done for over a decade.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    When I look at a cartoon on the Internet I have to drop my screen resolution way down in order to read the captions. Why? Shouldn't the size of the graphics image be independent of the screen resolution? But it is dependent on it, because like everything else it is specified in pixels.

    That's just because HTML and CSS suck as a publishing platform, big time. There's just no way to create fixed layouts that scale with the browser window dimensions. The best you can do is have the content flow nicely at a variety of sizes and let the user adjust the zoom in their browser to their liking.

    @AndyCanfield said:

    And points does not work either. Cut the screen resolution in half, and a 30 point font will be half as big. 

    Admittedly, this could be handled better in operating systems. There's a separate adjustment for effective dpi, which is independent of the display pixel count. You'll have to adjust both if you want to keep your fonts the same size.

    As an aside, your statement is a bit confusing. In a well-behaved system, the font would have half as many pixels but be physically the same size. Typically though it will have the same amount of pixels but be physically twice the size. So which one did you actually mean?


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