Business portables will increasingly use widescreen displays in the future, as corporate demand and panel supplies increase.
Widescreen notebooks arent just for watching Lord of the Rings on DVD anymore, PC makers say.
Businesses are beginning to request notebooks with widescreens, which are popular with consumers thanks to a greater 16:10 aspect ratio that allows them to display more information than a standard screen, kicking off a new trend that analysts say will help convert the notebook market almost completely to the more-rectangular displays over the next year or two.
Some notebook makers, responding to customers demands and also to falling widescreen panel prices, have already begun offering widescreen business machines.
But they will soon switch over their corporate lines completely, allowing businesses aiming for productivity gains to choose from a broader set of models, some of which are more portable than standard-screen machines. Others simply offer more screen real-estate, analysts and PC makers say.
"We expect the entire market to transition to widescreen [notebooks] over the next year or two," said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC. "This is the sort of feature thats universally appealing, for business workers and consumers."
"Its a trend were continuing to see increased demand for as we talk to customers," said Brett McAnally, product marketing manager for Dell Inc.s Latitude corporate notebooks.
Widescreen notebooks businesses productivity gains come from the ability to display multiple document pages side by side, which requires less scrolling, as well as the ability to run multiple applications and arrange their respective windows to be visible simultaneously.
While most notebook widescreen panels will come in sizes ranging from 10.6 inches to 17 inches, industry watchers appear to agree that 14-inch or 15.4-inch widescreen models will be the most popular, followed by 12-inch and 17-inch widescreens.
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John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET News.com, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.