12" powerbook design fault

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi Guys,

I'm the proud owner of a 15" 667 DVI powerbook and I'm definitely willing to switch to one of the new powerbook but I found the new 12" to have one major drawback?namely the screen!!!

WHY not a 16/9 ratio screen???

It would have made the unit look better and for us old powerbook users a more natural upgrade.

I willing to have a smaller screen but I like to keep the nice modern 16/9 ratio and I know is possible since a lot of Japanese ultra portable have a 16/9 screen.




  • Reply 1 of 8
    rodukroduk Posts: 706member
    Most of Apple's smaller displays, like the 17" studio display, are in the 4:3 format. I wonder whether it's to do with screen 'real estate', and whether a 12" 16:9 would offer less than a 12" 4:3. I'd imagine on smaller displays, you want the largest surface area possible.

    [ 02-26-2003: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 8
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    2 questions? what resolution and what ppi would this wide screen have?

    There are Fujitsu Loox/lifebook with 16:9.6 (1280x768) but their screens are even smaller than the PB12's; about the same width as the PB but shorter. OK, these have more resolution but they ARE very high PPI since the screen is actuallt smaller. Sony, had 1024x600 Xwide and now they have 1280x600 -- practically 2:1 !!! and they've STILL got the vretical res chopped.

    Widescreens are great as you get larger. Excellent for the 15 and 17" PB's because they keep the screen from getting too tall and they fit the human field of view better. BUT as screens get smaller, widescreens will either cut down your vertical res -- having the effect of making even small windows look letterboxy -- or jack up the PPI to eye straining levels. 1024x768 on a 12" screen is the limit of reasonable readability, and for some it's even too small. Also, there's little need to fit a smaller screen to a human field of view, everything on it falls naturally into it. Only exclusive DVD watching benefits from a widescreen when were dealing with a small display. But then again, at 12" wide a letterbox DVD will appear as large as it does on a widescreen notebook of 9-10" and you still have the valuable vertical space left over for working on documents or reading web pages.

    You only have a legit argument if you want to go extremely sub with your 'book. The Uwide screen makes it possible to build a machine around the footprint of the keyboard so that at least you don't sacrifice the keyboard to make a small machine, though you still lose on the screen legibility. And often on internal drives/general spec.

    As an example, a woman in a seminar I'm taking uses a Fujitsu widescreen subnote. It's footprint is a little smaller than the PB's and it has a built in optical, but to get any kind of decent batter life she uses a long life battery that slots into the front of the machine and protrudes from the footprint right where the wrist rests are. Basically it extends the front of the machine and the footprint to again a squarer profile. This battery is always connected, always. So now she has a notebook with the rough footprint of my PB but the screen is only two thirds as high.

    I'm sure it looked great in the store, but in practice she'd be better off with a 4:3 screen -- since she MUST use the larger external battery to return useable battery life, she's stuck with the bigger footprint anyway.

    No no, Apple made excellent choices on the PB and iBook12. And they generally make excellent ergonomic choices about screen resolutions. We are still a ways off from resolution independance, in terms of the OS, web pages, even the GPU power/heat at our disposal.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    stoostoo Posts: 1,490member
    Can you output 16:9 through the S-Video port (for watching DVDs)?

    Edit: I'd expect that you can.

    [ 02-26-2003: Message edited by: Stoo ]</p>
  • Reply 4 of 8
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    No, you can only play DVD on an external screen in mirror mode (but you can watch DVD on the LCD and work on the TV in span mode).

    Also, in experiments I've done, DVD through the adaptor (in S-Video, natch) is chock-full of artefacts in dark areas. Perfectly watchable, but not actually as good as my PlayStation 2...
  • Reply 5 of 8
    Maybe because the screen defines the size of the Powerbook.

    Let's say you keep the width of the 12", but make the screen 16:9. To compensate, lop off about an inch from the edge. Where are you going to put the hard drive then? Have you taken apart an iBook? There ain't much space in there.

    Of course, they could keep exactly the same width and depth, and just now use all of the space for the screen. That would look doofy.

    Or they could make it wider, while keeping the depth. They could call it a 14.999999" Powerbook.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    From a purely ergonomic point of view, the 12" Powerbook is just the right size to pop in the crook of your arm, and for the market sector, that's got to be a large deciding factor.

    Once you've decided that, much of the rest of the packaging more or less works itself out: CD drives physically can't get much smaller in terms of width and depth, and the battery needs to be as big as possible, so from there the rest of the form factor is down to just how small you can make the electronics.

    I have to say, surely going from a 15" TiBook to a 12" Powerbook isn't an upgrade?
  • Reply 7 of 8
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    There could be a 13.3" screen with the resolution of the original PowerBook G4, 1152x768. That's 3:2, same as the current PowerBook G4, which strikes a good balance between a wide screen and a more squarish screen. 4:3 aspect ratio cuts off a lot from the top and bottom when watching a movie, while 16:9 sacrifices a bit too much vertical space to be practical for a computer screen.

    1152x768 on a 13.3" screen would provide 3:2 aspect ratio, same as the PowerBook G4 15". It would also have 104 pixels per inch, which is in line with other laptops Apple sells (12" iBook/PowerBook is 106, 15" is 101, 17" is 100). Finally, the dimensions of the screen only would be 11.1x7.4 inches, instead of 9.7x7.3 inches like the 12". Basically, the depth is kept the same while the width is just increased. The same thing was done when Apple moved from the Pismo to the TiBook - the 15.2" widescreen is the same height as the Pismo's 14" screen, but wider. And they have the same amount of vertical pixels.

    Another option is a 1024x640 12.1" wide screen. That would make the 'book absolutely tiny... just 10.3x6.4 inches. And it would have exactly a 16:10 ratio, same as on the 17" iMac and PowerBook and both Cinema displays. But 640 vertical pixels is pretty tiny... it might fit the size well, but I don't know how many people would like it since it would be so restrictive.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Depends on which 667. The 867 12" is faster than the DVI667 but doesn't have the I/O of the DVI667, so that makes it a bit of a side-grade unless you NEED the smaller size.
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