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Ultra-wide notebooks at Dell, Apple, more?

updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu May 22, 2008

16-9 Wide Notebooks Common

Notebooks with a 16:9 movie aspect ratio will be introduced by several major PC makers this year and should become increasingly common by the end of the year in smaller systems, says a report detailing their reported expansion. Although Acer is currently the only PC maker selling notebooks in the ultra-wide format with its large Gemstone Blue 16- and 18.4-inch notebooks, both Acer and several other PC makers are all said to be introducing extra-wide notebooks based on newer and generally smaller screen sizes than for Acer's desktop replacement models.

Acer, ASUS, Dell, and Toshiba are all said to be likely or certain to be introducing notebooks with a 17.3-inch LCD that would effectively keep the same price as regular, 16:10 ratio 17-inch notebooks while offering a wider ratio suited to videos. These systems are reportedly unlikely to ship until early 2009, when the LCD panels are predicted to be in manufacturing.

More significant, however, may be smaller 14-inch and 15.6-inch versions of the 16:9 screens claimed to be enroute. In addition to Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Sony are all slated to launch notebooks at the two sizes in the second half of 2008; crucially, "all" top ten notebook makers are said to be introducing 15.6-inch notebooks sometime between July and September, implicating Apple, HP, and other computer builders.

Apple is rumored to be launching a major redesign of the MacBook Pro for its next revision of the high-end portable and has often been regarded as a pioneer of widescreen notebooks, having popularized the format with the original PowerBook G4 in 2001. Every current notebook from the company, as well as at most PC makers, still uses a 16:10 ratio that provides greater vertical space for documents but shrinks the size of widescreen videos.

By Electronista Staff


  1. robert_myers

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Please use the space

    If you make them wider, please, Apple, please use the extra space.

    I still prefer the 15" over the 17",since the size is only a screen difference, not worth the extra size and weight and cost to me. I've seen other 17" notebooks with a full size keyboard, but Apple has yet to do that. I'd love a full size keyboard with a real numeric keypad.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Wider yet?

    I am not sure this would be better than Apple's existing format (a compromise between the old, almost square screen, and 16x9, wide screen). As it is, I have to put my dock on the side of the screen, in order to minimise scrolling in page-format types of applications (web browser, PDF viewer, word processor, DTP, etc). In general, we need much more vertical screen space than horisontal, for text-oriented work, and the other way round for visual apps. Any wider and it would be way too much scrolling through text.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    .... if the screens are made wider it will not necessarily result in more scrolling vertically. If the height remains the same (which is probable), it won't matter how wide it is.

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    use the space!

    I'm in agreement with the other poster, if the laptop is wider, then do something with the damn keyboard!

    It sucks to have wide laptops with a standard laptop keyboard just sitting there with all this space available on each side.

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