LCD Form Factor Trend Hype

New laptops being shipped today have a native resolution of 1366×768. Previously it was 1280×800. Before that it was 1024×768.

Considering I can get 1280×1024 or 1440×900 on the desktop the trend to increase only the width of the screen while keeping the height roughly the same seems backward. Application and OS design favours horizontal toolbars which increase in size over time, for example the Office 2007 Ribbon etc. This then presumes that screen height will increase over time. However the emphasis of LCD manufacturers of late in base models has been geared towards increasing the width leaving the height essentially unchanged. The screen starts to look very cluttered when considering the height of these screens is essentially unchanged since the days of 17” glass, and that’s probably going back more than 10 years. Recently I was working on a HP 8510 laptop with a native resolution of 1680×1050 approx, a huge difference in resolution and one that makes the screen sizes of mid range business laptops look positively antiquated.