Why are laptops with high-definition screens so difficult to find?


Linus Torvalds, the outspoken creator of Linux, has called for laptop makers to reassess their strategy of making laptops with low-resolution displays, such as 1366x768.

In a strongly-worded post on his Google+ account, Torvalds ridiculed such low resolution displays as "so last century." Referring to the Nexus 10 tablet launched by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) earlier this week, he lamented that "even a $399 tablet [is] doing 2560x1600 pixel displays, can we please just make that the new standard laptop resolution?"

He went on a bit more about the relative merits of a higher resolution display. "I want pixels for high-quality fonts, and yes, I want my fonts small," he said.

I can completely empathize with what Torvalds is saying. You see, I've always been attracted to high-resolution screens, which allow me to align two application windows side-by-side on the screen with credible resolution for each window. This is a key reason I forked out money for two different models of Sony Z laptops--which have served as my primary work machines over the last four years.

Aside from their performance and portability, the main attraction of the VAIO laptops were their relatively high-resolution--1600x900--screens when they first launched. This option simply isn't available with most laptop manufacturers. In fact, I believe Sony was one of the first PC makers to step it up to 1920x1080 too, a move that is now being mirrored in machines such as the Dell (NASDAQ: DELL)  XPS 12 Ultrabook and Sony's own Duo 11 Ultrabook.

For the moment though, 1920x1080 displays are still relatively difficult to find. Don't even get me started on the difficulty of finding one with a matte display. I'm working on a Lenovo X1 Carbon with a matte 1600x900 display at the moment, and keeping my hopes up that laptops with a resolution of 1920x1080 (or better) will start appearing soon.

Do you use a laptop with a high-resolution display? What are your thoughts on this? As usual, feel free to email, tweet or leave a comment. - Paul Mah  (Twitter @paulmah)