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.