Like it or lump it, 16:9 is rapidly taking over from 16:10 as the mainstream aspect ratio for PC monitors. Most of the big brand monitor makers have announced plans to shift the vast majority of their affordable screens to 16:9 by the end of this year.
Here on bit-tech, we've already cast our beady eyes over a number of 22-inch 16:9 screens and generally come away satisfied by the experience. Granted, we're not convinced the slightly wider aspect brings much to the desktop computing experience.
Video aside, vertical space is remains extremely important for everything from web browsing to document editing. As for gaming, 16:10 is plenty wide enough to give that stereoscopic, landscape vibe.
In that sense, the drive to go wider is more about cutting production costs than it is about improving the end-user experience. A 16:9 22-inch panel occupies slightly less physical area than a 16:10 equivalent. That means more panels can be cut out of a given of LCD substrate, which in turn makes for slightly lower unit costs.
However, along with the wider aspect, this new generation of screens also bring the full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel grid. For 22-inch screens, that represents a healthy boost over the 1,680 x 1,050 standard resolution of 16:10 panels. However you slice it, that makes for more usable screen real estate – including more vertical pixels - along with a tighter, sharper pixel pitch.
Click to enlarge
If full HD in a 22 inch form factor is a winner, what to make of the same resolution in a 24-inch panel? That's exactly we're about to find out courtesy of BenQ's new E2400HD. It's our first taste of a 16:9, 1080p 24-inch panel. Notably, full HD in a 24-inch monitor actually makes for a slight reduction in overall pixel count compared with the 1,920 x 1,200 native resolution of existing 16:10 aspect 24-inch panels. In simple terms, it's a case of balancing the impact of those missing 120 vertical pixels with the cost reduction delivered by the wider aspect.