Saturday, December 09, 2006

Seeking: LCD with 60-80 ppi/dpi at optimal resolution

Who would ever want a 17" LCD display with a 1024x768 native resolution?! It's so wrong. It's likely to only have VGA input, probably barely works with a modern OS, and most people would want at least a 1200 or 1400 pixel horizontal resolution at this display size.

Ahh, but what about persons with diminished vision? OS X 10.4 does not scale the UI very well. XP seems to do a bit better with changing font dpi settings, but it doesn't hold up in real world use (too many apps expect a fixed dpi). LCDs don't run well at anything less than maximal resolution, and that resolution expects 80-120 dpi. I want about 60-80 dpi for the person I'm buying for (macular degeneration, post-lens replacement, etc).

I think a 17" LCD with a 4x3 aspect ratio and 1024 horizontal might do, but they're dreadfully hard to find. I might do better with a cheapo 19-20" squashed" (16:9 or 3:2 - DVD friendly) form factor with 1200 horizontal ...

Update 12/9/06: Turns out NexTag is great at this sort of thing. I really need to pay more attention to them. Alas, I can't find a 17" with 1024, 15" is the largest display.
The 19" 1280s look more promising, though there really very few options ...
Suggestions welcome!

Update 12/11/06: See the comment describing the value of the 20" iMac display with the Ctrl-mouse wheel zoom feature. A usenet comment from rtn corrected my assertion about LCDs and sharp display -- with a DVI interface the display is also sharp at integer fractions of the maximal resolution (edited slightly):
LCDs produce sharp results at their native res, and also typically at integer fractions thereof, if you use a digital connection, like DVI or HDMI.

Get a 1600x1200 and run it 800x600, or 1920x1200 wide* and run it at 960x600.

Using a 30in 2560x1600 at 1280x800 is also a possibility, and you wouldn't even need a dual-link DVI card.

* First make sure the graphics card/chip can be configured to emit custom resolutions, as 960 horizontal isn't exactly std.

Regards, Bob Niland
http://www.access-one.com/rjn
In practice 17" CRTs are still on the market that will cost less than a 1600x1200 LCD panel, and they're sharp at a wide range of resolutions, so this probably won't affect my buying decision this time around. In future, however, as 1920 resolutions become commonplace, the 960 horizontal option for persons with vision limitations will become relevant.

3 comments:

Johnnie Dontos said...

I only have one eye, and severe AMD in the other. My vision is 20/400 now with my new lens. Two years ago
I purchased a 20 inch Imac computer from Apple. It has great zoom and speech features. It’s my best friend, and I couldn’t live without it. Not cheap.
Johnnie Dontos
jdont@aol.com

Johnnie Dontos said...

I only have one eye, and severe AMD in the other. My vision is 20/400 now with my new lens. Two years ago
I purchased a 20 inch Imac computer from Apple. It has great zoom and speech features. It’s my best friend, and I couldn’t live without it. Not cheap.
Johnnie Dontos
jdont@aol.com

John said...

I have a 20" iMac at home too. It is a very good display, though the dot pitch is probably 80-100 ppi. I'd thought that was too high a resolution, but I will reconsider based on your experience. I've bought my mother (for it is she) a Mac Mini, so the LCD will be separate.

I was experimenting with the zoom feature (hold down control key and scroll middle mouse wheel) and it is pretty neat, I think she'll like it.

thanks for the comment!