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shirley
22nd November 2008, 11:16 AM
Hi everybody,
I am still on my quest for a new laptop and I think I am nearly there, however I have one more question.
If I have a choice between 1280x800 and 1400x900 screen is one better than the other for viewing photographs?

Thanks again
Shirley

skyman1
22nd November 2008, 12:00 PM
i could stand corrected, lcd screens have a optimal/native resolution ie 1 to 1 pixel if both lcds are the same size ie 15" 1400 x 900 will have more pixels per inch/cm so photos should look better
good article about resolution and what to expect on new high resolution lcd screens on http://news.digitaltrends.com/feature/6/lcd-resolution-when-bigger-is-actually-smaller
:)

Makonde
22nd November 2008, 12:00 PM
Hi Shirley

It's a trade-off between size and portability. Given monitors of the same quality, if portability is not really a factor I'd go for the larger one with higher resolution. You can always adjust the max resolution of a screen down, or resize a viewing window smaller, but not up....

shirley
22nd November 2008, 12:13 PM
Thank you. I think you are confirming what I thought. The screen size is the same but I have a choice between the two resolutions. I think from what you are both saying that higher = better re photographs. The higher resolution is about 30 extra so probably worthwhile.

Shirley

Makonde
22nd November 2008, 01:18 PM
Thank you. I think you are confirming what I thought. The screen size is the same but I have a choice between the two resolutions. I think from what you are both saying that higher = better re photographs. The higher resolution is about 30 extra so probably worthwhile.

Shirley
yes - definitely worth 30.

iMac
22nd November 2008, 02:14 PM
This is true and good information, however one thing to remember here is a 1400 x 900 display is know as a wide screen, and if you are the type of person that uses your photos for your wallpaper or screen saver on your computer monitor, then in order to fill the screen they will be stretched for landscape photos and will have space on each side of your screen for portrait photos. May not be a deal breaker for some people but may for others. Also all LCD displays give you the best display at or above their native resolution, IE: the 1280 x 800 will look pixelated or jagged edges if run at 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768.

i could stand corrected, lcd screens have a optimal/native resolution ie 1 to 1 pixel if both lcds are the same size ie 15" 1400 x 900 will have more pixels per inch/cm so photos should look better
good article about resolution and what to expect on new high resolution lcd screens on http://news.digitaltrends.com/feature/6/lcd-resolution-when-bigger-is-actually-smaller
:)

Ian
22nd November 2008, 02:18 PM
Is the screen size the same? More pixels is better, though images (and text) will appear slightly smaller on the screen with the larger res option.

Ian

JohnGG
22nd November 2008, 07:29 PM
I agree with the others that higher resolution is better as long as the screen is good quality (most are nowadays, flat screen technology has come on in leaps and bounds). If you are buying from somewhere like PC World ask them if you can look at the contenders side by side so you can see which screen you are most comfortable with. People vary in their tolerance for screen settings; I can look at any old flickering, distorted screen with no problem, my wife gets a splitting headache unless the display is "just right."

The majority of laptop displays seem to be in the 8:5 aspect ratio these days; the larger option you mention is probably actually 1440 x 900, not 1400 x 900. Something to consider is that even 1440 x 900 doesn't give you a lot of acreage for photo editing in some packages that have to juggle the image pane, picture selection pane, tools pane etc., etc. all in one window. My laptop is 1440 x 900 and the RawTherapee package suffers a bit from this. I am not suggesting you look for a laptop with an even bigger screen; they can get very expensive. On the other hand, good-sized external displays have come right down in price (22" 1680 x 1050 screens can be had for less than 120) so it might be a good idea to ask whether the laptop can support an external screen and, if so, at what resolution and colour depth (you need at least 24-bit for 16+ million colours), and with which sort of connection (VGA analogue, or DVI or HDMI digital). Having the option to add a second, larger screen at a later date might be to your advantage.

I hope you get a good bargain and enjoy the benefits of newer, faster computer technology :)

Cheers,

JohnGG

shenstone
22nd November 2008, 07:46 PM
Hi Shirley

All that has been said above about naitive resolutions and more pixels is correct, but this is only part of the story and just like megapixels on cameras it can be misleading

There are also some other things you need to consider re picture editing on an LCD screen (whether that's laptop or desktop) namely Contrast ratio, Viewing Angle and Response time.

This is a link to a useful Article I have bookmarked as I think it is clear and non technical description that I have shared with a few friends.

http://compreviews.about.com/od/multimedia/a/LCDSpecs.htm

Response time isn't that much of an issue in static pictures, but the other 2 can be. So please try and get the full specs for the screens you are considering, because if to get a higher number of pixels is a big drop in contrast ratio or viewing angle then I may disagree with some of the advice above and suggest smaller may be better in this case. If these figures are the same or close then the advice above is correct

Regards
Andy

Ellie
23rd November 2008, 02:48 PM
The majority of laptop displays seem to be in the 8:5 aspect ratio these days
Which can make it less easy to work on a portrait format without having to move the picture up and down.

Laptops screens seem more designed for dealing with text and perhaps widescreen videos than for imaging software