Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Computer Screen Size, Revisited

Late last year, I wrote that laptop screen size is not itself a requirement, but that the real requirements are on usability and productivity when using the computer. A large screen size is one of the most effective ways of enhancing such usability and productivity. I have always favored laptops with large screen sizes for this reason.

Now, Apple has the results of a study comparing productivity when using its 30-inch external monitor versus using a smaller 17-inch monitor. Among the major conclusions:
  • Computer displays are a widely overlooked productivity factor of the personal computer, and they can contribute significantly to productivity, efficiency, and overall throughput.
  • Productivity and efficiency gains documented in these productivity measures are present in not only digital imaging and design applications, but also in office applications as well as in personal productivity of the computing environment.
  • A larger display area often results in new productivity strategies that make best use of the display in ways that one cannot easily imagine when working on a smaller display.
What is significant about these findings? The main significance is in its exposing how the emphasis on faster processors is misplaced. Instead of just worrying about feature specs, your product manager should be focusing on what really impacts users.

1 comment:

bob said...

What can we learn? That Apple wisely realized that you can't show faster CPU as easily as you can show Bigger Screen. By quoting "research" that purports to prove the productivity advantages of a large screen, they try to associate business benefit to something that will help them drive the ASP of the iMac line up and up.