Widescreen notebook PCs the standard by 2008

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It didn’t seem long ago that widescreen notebook computers were a bit of a novelty, but they’re becoming more mainstream as widescreen displays in general become more popular.

Notebooks with a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio are expected to be the norm by 2008, according to a forecast from market researchers at IDC.

Apparently widescreen panels are now more efficient to produce and thus cost less. No doubt as the switch continues the costs will decrease to such a point where it’s actually less cost efficient to fit 4:3 screens – just as with TVs and standalone monitors. "I’m hearing that for 14-inch and 15-inch panel sizes, the wide screens are cheaper than standard screens." said IDC Senior Research Analyst Richard Shim.

With PCs being used increasingly for more intense entertainment tasks,
a widescreen makes perfect sense. Notebooks become portable media
centres, and it’s great to be able to watch a movie in widescreen
format without the picture shrinking to fit a 4:3 display.

Research shows that demand is coming from both sides. Manufacturers are pushing for widescreens – consumers are asking for them.

One disadvantage that a larger widescreen model has is when travelling:
there’s extra width to accommodate with the commuter next to you if
you’re lucky enough to get a seat on the train. Still, that’s a small
price to pay for the advantage of greater display possibilities.

Do you like the move to widescreen notebooks?

Andy Merrett