(This post was discussed on Hacker News)
I shouldn’t care much about the just announced Chromebook Pixel as it isn’t being sold where I live, and I don’t expect it would be.
But I do hope very much it’d become a success, as it has a most outstanding feature. While most hype and press is about the browser OS and the build quality, I myself am utterly excited by the screen’s 3:2 aspect ratio. I’ll explain:
Owning to historical reasons, PC screens mimic the proportions of TV screens, which, in the recent decade, shifted to a wide aspect ratio. While it might fit movies, using it for computers is a boneheaded decision, as it is a poor fit for reading text (long lines are harder to read than short,) a popular use for computer monitors.
When I use my large desktop monitor, I can work around the aspect ratio by opening two side-by-side windows, or rotating the screen 90 degrees, making it taller than it is wide. But modern laptops are also fit with wide screens, and those screens can’t be rotated, and are too small too show two side-by-side windows comfortably.
A 3:2 aspect ratio is a much better fit for laptop computers, and I do hope it’ll get widely adopted (if not, I’ll have to see about importing a Chromebook Pixel and replacing the userspace with my favourite Linux distro.