The USS Quad Damage

Monitor PPI

I read a phrase like "Technology: Trading the best for good enough". I can't find it now, but it's apt.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on a monitor that is at least a little bit better in the PPI stakes than the ones currently available. It doesn’t have to be a retina display, something like 150PPI should be fine, but it appears that there are no such monitors. It seems like a lot of people on the internet are no happy about it. Strangely, given all the work that seems to be happening with 3D, it appears that the world is “ready” for small-ish 2K monitors, at least for work purposes. I’ve written about monitors before (and it is pretty funny how small those numbers I’m talking about now seem), and the thing is, up until about 2009 a 21" full HD display was actually enough.

I think the initial phase of monitor purchases were been fuelled by replacing tiny CRTs with bearable LCDs. These went to businesses and eventually to consumers. From them we went to LCDs which were actually OK at doing a fast frame rate. The next phase was a decent viewing angle from both directions. And then, for some reason, we stayed there. There was a time when a bunch of companies had built high resolution monitors, but amazingly the only way to get them today is to buy refurbished monitors like the infamous IBM T221. It seems everyone just sort of gave up on higher resolutions and went nuts with 3D.

Only, right about now, people are starting to get a bit annoyed. Annoyed that the only way to get a high resolution display is through buying a high end laptop, or an iPad. I’m at the stage where I’m vaguely considering buying a 15" 1900x1440 laptop just for the screen. Why not just sell the screen? Why not give the laptop a DVI input? Why must I be a slave to low performance if I want a decent screen?

I think monitor makers need to get their heads out of the sand, stop working on 3D and dust off those old hi resolution displays and start manufacturing them at half reasonable prices (I’d pay $500 for a 21" 2K 16:10 screen).