I recently twittered back and forth with Peter Pham (CEO of Billshrink.com) about how he is trying to get multiple monitors to hook up to his laptop for more screen real estate. It got me thinking that it isn’t all about your number of monitors, or how big they are but the number of dots of resolution in each monitor. Confused? Let me explain.
Let’s say you take this Dell 22 inch monitor that has a resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels for $199.99 and compare it to a monitor from Dell that has only 21.5 inches of screen. You’d think it would have working space since you are getting less screen in terms of physical size. Not so fast it has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and only costs $229.99 or $30 more. In total you are getting 18% more working space for you and your work on the computer for 15% more money….not a bad deal. Did I mention the monitor also takes up slightly less space because it is physically smaller
So what are the downsides of getting the maximum amount of pixels in a small space? This is often referred to as pixels per inch, the more pixels per inch the higher the level of detail, but also the smaller each object is on the screen comparatively. Let’s take for example the iPhone with it’s 3.5 inch screen it squeezes a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels giving it 163 pixels per inch. Compare that to a typical 17 inch laptop sporting a resolution of 1920 x 1200 and you will see it’s pixels per inch are around 132. So the next time you find your father squinting at the screen on your iPhone, tell him its ok.