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Q: Why is there no LCDs greater than 1280x1024 ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Why is there no LCDs greater than 1280x1024
Category: Computers > Graphics
Asked by: mrgriff-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 07 Nov 2003 14:34 PST
Expires: 07 Dec 2003 14:34 PST
Question ID: 273672
I would like to know the reason almost all LCD screens are fixed at
1280x1024.  I have a Dell Inspiron notebook PC that runs 1600x1200. 
Isn't an LCD monitor just a standalone notebook screen?  I know there
are several LCDs 20" and higher that run 1600x1200 but I don't need
that large of a screen (nor do I want to pay a fortune for one).  I
think a 18" or 19" LCD running at 1600x1200 would be perfect.  I am
not looking for a list of LCD that run 1600x1200, but more the reason
why most are fixed at 1280x1024 and the difference between a notebook
screen and LCD monitor.

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 07 Nov 2003 22:59 PST
Hello Mrgriff,
I don't think this qualifies as an answer, but I believe maximum
resolution ties in with the screen size. I've observed that the limits
for both CRTs (Cathode Ray Tube) and LCD are the same. You get 1280 x
1024 for 17" monitors, and 1600 x 1200 starts for 19" and above. I've
even checked most CRT monitor brands, almost all have no more than
1280 x 1024 for 17"ers, which is quite like LCDs. 17" with 1600 x 1200
would certainly be a rarity, or expensive, for both CRT and LCD.

Clarification of Question by mrgriff-ga on 08 Nov 2003 00:44 PST
I have also noticed that resolution does correspond to size for most
LCD.  For example most 15" LCDs run at 1024x768 and 17" run at
1280x1024.  Going with that login you would think that a 19" would run
a higher resolution than 1280x1024, but I have yet to find one that
does.  When you get up to 20" they usually do run at 1600x1200.  So
for the most part (with the exception of 19" LCDs) I agree that
resolution has to do with the physical size of the pixels.

Now lets look at notebook screens for a minute.  The screen on my Dell
inspiron is about the physical size of a 15" LCD and it runs at
1600x1200.  I have also seen a few smaller notebook screens run at
1600x1200 as well.  So it would appear that the physical pixel size
used in a notebook screen must be smaller than those used in LCD
monitors.  Buy why?

My initial thoughts are that an LCD screen is typically further away
from the user than a notebook screen and needs to be more viewable
from the side.
Subject: Re: Why is there no LCDs greater than 1280x1024
Answered By: techtor-ga on 10 Nov 2003 09:02 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Mrgriff, 
I had been looking around for specs of the Dell Inspiron to get a clue
and I noticed a video acronym in the specs: UXGA. Being familiar with
video acronyms like VGA (Video Graphics Array), SVGA (Super Video
Graphics Array), and others, UXGA (Ultra Extended Graphics Special)
sounded new to me. I researched and found that these different video
protocols have limits to their resolution. It is explained in the
Howstuffworks link below:

Howstuffworks "How Computer Monitors Work" - Diplay Technology
- This is page 2 of an article about computer monitors, you can go
throught the other pages using the links below the "How Computer
Monitors Work" title.

- Definition of UXGA.

Another reference to Video resolutions:
The PC Technology Guide - Multimedia Graphics Cards

The Dell Inspiron you have has UXGA display. Inspiron series notebooks
were among the first to carry the technology, mentioned in one article

UXGA LCD Panels - History of articles by PC Mag,3048,a=12088,00.asp

Dell Inspiron 5150 (MPN-5150RH) PC Notebook Specs - DealTime

I think this is what separates desktop LCD monitors from laptop LCDs;
laptops that can support the 1600 x 1200 resolution have UXGA video
support. Those that have up to 1280 x 1024 do not have UXGA, they have
only XGA (Extended Graphics Array). I've seen some 17" desktop CRTs
that have UXGA, like the Viewsonic PF775B (which costs an arm and a
leg I'm sure), but it doesn't seem to have been applied to desktop
LCDs 19" and below. I could find only 20"-above that have UXGA.

I'm sure you want to know the reason for not applying UXGA to 19" and lower.

I think these are the reasons UXGA is not applied to small monitors
(some reasons are my opinion):
- The demand is not that great for 1600 x 1200 small monitors. 
- If you set the small monitor at 1600 x 1200, objects will become too
small to see clearly. Fonts will become too small to read comfortably.
- Graphic artists tend to say CRT is still superior to LCDs in
sharpness, so it seems better to apply high-resolutions to CRT
monitors, as they are more used and prefered. UXGA tends to be used in
19"-above (though I've seen a 17" Samsung with 1600x1200) on CRT and
- LCDs and UXGA are expensive. Customers tend to go for less expensive
XGA/SXGA CRT monitors, since many are satisfied with 1280 x 1024 after
- For the Dell Inspiron, I believe it's designed to be used by
graphics users who need a laptop. 1600 x 1200 certainly gives a lot of
graphice detail on a small screen. But then, there wouldn't be many
people who need that feature. It might also be a product meant to make
Dell proud with its advanced features.

Some articles mentioning monitor choice/usage:
Electronic Business Online
"Building More Competitive Displays: Better Chips + Better Chip
Production = Better Displays" By Mitch Irsfeld

Boston Globe Online
PLUGGED IN: Paying the price for LCD quality 
By Simson L. Garfinkel, 10/23/97
- dated article, but I think the basic idea remains the same.

LCD vs. CRT for image work
- Note Blagoy Tsenkulov's post. - Home Computer Displays

I hope this had brought a little perspective to your question. 

Google Search terms used:
uxga lcd
uxga usage
dell inspiron specs
uxga 17"
uxga 17" lcd
reason uxga lcd 19 inch
reason uxga desktop lcd monitor
1600 1200 resolution 15" use

I hope this has been a most helpful answer. If you need anything else,
or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request for
Clarification and I shall respond as soon as I can. Thank you.
mrgriff-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Thanks for the in-depth answer.

Subject: Re: Why is there no LCDs greater than 1280x1024
From: techtor-ga on 10 Nov 2003 20:19 PST
Thank you for the five-star rating and the tip!

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