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 Post subject: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:49 am 
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Posts: 79
I've noticed in a lot of reviews I've come across lately that there are complaints about the LCD screens available for and used in most new laptops. Just wondering if someone could help me understand what exactly we should be having the option to purchase.

My first Thinkpad (2004) was the T42. I had the 15" model with a very high resolution. I believe it was an IPS. I did have problems with the backlight repeatedly burning out, though. My last warranty-replaced backlight died in either 2010 or 2011 so I finally retired the T42 (my backup at that point).

My next laptop was purchased for my grad program in 2009 - the X200 Tablet. I bought it in July just a few months before they started with the "Multi-Touch" capacitive screens. I got what they called "multitouch" at the time, but it was resistive screen. I purchased the convertible tablet because it was recommended for the program I was starting. This school had a special offer for the new Dell XT2 but I ended up going with the Lenovo. (By this point my undergrad - which was the reason I had the T42 - had also moved to Dell over the now-Lenovo Thinkpad). When I bought the X200t I accepted that I wouldn't be getting the greatest screen due to having the touch screen. My usage rarely involves anything that involves me to be a snob. I've gotten used to the widescreen and small size. I also use F.lux.

Now I'm gearing up to start laptop shopping within the next year or so (I don't keep up much with going on when I'm not actively shopping). I probably won't go with the convertible tablet again since it isn't very cost effective. I had always assumed I would buy another Thinkpad. I'm already a bit miffed about the keyboard change. I can handle the new style, but moving the buttons really bugs me. I actually did initially buy the XT2 in 2009 but immediately returned it (despite the wonderful capacitative screen) back because I didn't like its imitation trackpoint as well, compounded by having only 6 rows on the keyboard. The x200t I then ordered had a keyboard that was virtually unchanged from the T42 5 years earlier. They'd changed the color of some of the keys and added the Windows Logo and Menu keys and that was it - even on the tiny X200t. This was also before they changed the Escape and Delete keys. It was awesome.

But if I get a laptop that is today's equivalent of the T42, apparently the screens aren't as good? What would the widescreen equivalent of the SXGA+ be anyways?

Sorry for the extra wordy ramble. In case you can't tell, this is half rant. But I genuinely am curious what the widescreen equivalent of those older screens would be. Also, how does my x200's screen stack up to what is available now? Equal, better, or worse?

Thanks!

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Thinkpad X200 Tablet - 1280 x 800 Multitouch (Resistive) XGA
Thinkpad T42 - 1400×1050 15" SXGA+


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 Post subject: Re: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:48 am 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 13261
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Standard SXGA+ (1400x1050) --> roughly Widescreen WXGA+ (1440x900)
Here's a list of the most common resolutions: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Resolution.

X200 never had a great screen.
The best in that series would be the X201 with AFFS, see also viewtopic.php?f=43&t=95126
That screen can be transplanted into an X200...

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 Post subject: Re: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:48 am
Posts: 79
Thanks. I doubt I'll ever upgrade this machine but nice to know.

So, are no newer computers sold with that resolution or is the general quality of the screens just terrible or what?

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Thinkpad X200 Tablet - 1280 x 800 Multitouch (Resistive) XGA
Thinkpad T42 - 1400×1050 15" SXGA+


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 Post subject: Re: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:27 pm 
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suzannetf wrote:
But if I get a laptop that is today's equivalent of the T42, apparently the screens aren't as good? What would the widescreen equivalent of the SXGA+ be anyways?


Today's 16:9 equivalent of the SXGA+ is 1600x900, which has nearly the same pixel count as the SXGA+. Unfortunately, there aren't any great 1600x900 screens, regardless of laptop brand. I highly recommend you to take a look at a non-Thinkpad: the Sony S Series with 15.5" 1920x1080 IPS screen. Though large, this model weighs only 4.4 lbs, about 1.5 lbs lighter than your 15.0" T42.

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 Post subject: Re: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:48 am
Posts: 79
Okay, I'll keep them in mind but keyboard and trackpoint will probably keep leading me back to Lenovo or Dell. And I don't know about those 15.5" screens now. I sit next to people with some of these massive laptops with the widescreens and find I actually really like the 12" size. Thing is, higher resolution could be nice.

So, HD+ is the 16:9. Apparently there also exists FHD which is 1920x1080?

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Thinkpad X200 Tablet - 1280 x 800 Multitouch (Resistive) XGA
Thinkpad T42 - 1400×1050 15" SXGA+


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 Post subject: Re: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Senior ThinkPadder
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
suzannetf wrote:
Okay, I'll keep them in mind but keyboard and trackpoint will probably keep leading me back to Lenovo or Dell.


The main advantage of Thinkpad keyboards, their superb layout, is now gone. As far as the trackpoint, I was addicted to it as well when I first started using laptops a decade ago. Fortunately, at some point I spent several months to learn how to use the touchpad properly and since then I have actually preferred it over the trackpoint, enabling me to abandon the Thinkpad brand (after owning 45 Thinkpads!) and start exploring other brands.

suzannetf wrote:
And I don't know about those 15.5" screens now. I sit next to people with some of these massive laptops with the widescreens and find I actually really like the 12" size. Thing is, higher resolution could be nice?


I agree that 15.6" (or 15.5") laptops are huge. Even 14.*-inch 16:9 laptops are too big for my liking. 12" is a convenient size but the great majority of 12" 16:9 laptops only have 1366x768 resolution. You may want to consider getting a 13-inch laptop with 1600x900. Several ultrabooks have such screens.

suzannetf wrote:
Apparently there also exists FHD which is 1920x1080?


Correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Question About LCDs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
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pianowizard wrote:
Unfortunately, there aren't any great 1600x900 screens, regardless of laptop brand.

I think the Samsung Series 9 with the PLS LCD, which is Samsungs version of IPS, may prove you wrong.

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