resolution preferences??

NeilBrown neilb at
Fri Jun 6 12:16:15 CEST 2008

On Fri, June 6, 2008 3:39 pm, Carsten Haitzler wrote:

> we can just drive the vga screen at qvga. no need for scaling - just
> change the
> output at the lcd controller level. but it is a waste to pay for a vga
> screen
> when we won't use it. also it does look "blocky". it isn't about glamo or
> not -
> it's separate to glamo entirely. simply - how important is a vga screen...
> really? how many people out there can really see the difference? be really
> honest. stop thinking "my specs are bigger than your specs". scan u REALLY
> see
> all the pixels on a vga screen of that size. i bet to most people its all
> a
> blur - a qvga screen looks identical to them. only to a minority who have
> very
> good eyesight does it really make a difference, but this is just my "bet".
> i'm
> asking the question - and hoping for real honest answers.

Well, it's hard to know without having an actual device to look at, but
I'll try....

My notebook has a 15 inch 1920x1200 monitor which comes to 147dpi.
The Freerunner is 285dpi, the pixels are very close to half the width/
height of my pixels.

So at first I thought "wow, that's tiny.  I don't think I need them *that*
small" - and I have better than average eye sight.

Then I resized my browser to 640x480 and found I could read it quite
well, though lots of web pages don't quite fit.
I took a screenshot of the window and displayed it at 50% in the GIMP.
So presumably that is how the image could look on the Freerunner.

If I hold this image at the same distance from my eye that I usually
use a notebook (say 55cm) the text looks like it would be too small
to comfortably read, though the reduction of resolution has made it
blurry and I cannot be sure.
If I hold it at the distance that I would typically read a book, which
is closer to 35cm, the text is still a bit small, but I think I would
be quite happy reading it - except that the low resolution has made
it quite blurry. If it were still 640x480, but the same size I think I
could read it quite happily.

So my conclusion is that for reading textual content, the higher resolution
probably is worth it for me.  I doubt it would be of much value for
photo for videos.  I just tried watching a video at 320x240 at 147dpi,
and it was quite acceptable for the physical size.

The question then becomes - how often will I be reading pages of text
on my Freerunner.  I really don't know.

However maps are very similar to textual content - sharp contrast and
the potential for lots of information in a small space.

I tried a similar experiment comparing a google-maps image
320x240*147dpi and simulated 640x480 at 285dpi, and the 320x240 felt
very constrained - not enough information on the display.
The 640x480 felt more comfortable and - I think - would have been
readable if I had the real resolution.

Maybe you could ask again we have all had our Freerunners for
a couple of months.

What was the story with 320x240x25fps video again?  Is it possible
with the available memory bandwidth?


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