Last week I started searching for a new LCD monitor. As strange as it may seem I am used to seeing web sites on laptops’ LCD screens. so I was looking for 4:3 ratio monitor with 1600×1200 pixels resolution. I was already aware that not a single laptop manufacturer sells laptops with 4:3 screen ratio less the ultra portables, like my X61s. Problem there is that they are limited to 1024×768 pixels resolution and that’s not nearly enough to see most of the stuff on the web as it is already reformatted to accommodate large wide-screen displays.
So the research showed that similar poor state exists in the LCD monitors market – I was able to find only two or three manufacturers that sell affordable monitors. LaCie and NEC are way over the top with their $800 20″ 1600×1200 screens. Samsung and Planar seem to be the only two players that offer several models that are close to what I was looking for. Unfortunately, almost every single model is severely crippled by some feature that render the use of the monitor pointless. Thanks to user’s feedback on NewEgg and Amazon, these things show up here and there.
Ultimately I was left with no choice except to consider purchasing a wide-screen monitor. The issue with wide-screens, however, is that personally I only see sense in buying 24″ monitor with 1920×1200 pixels resolution, so that I can put two web pages side by side. There are forum discussions here and there that go over the same question: “Why did they stop manufacturing 4:3 LCD panels?”. The answer is that it’s cheaper to produce 16:9 and 16:10 panels, than it is 4:3 (although I don’t quite understand why).
My only hope is that by the time I will be upgrading my trusty T60p it will no longer be the case. From my point of view, having a 1200×800 screen is very inconvenient.