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Torvalds on laptops: Make higher-def resolution standard

The outspoken creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, called for laptop makers to follow the tablet world's lead in using the highest-resolution displays possible on mobile devices, in a post on Google Plus.

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"So with even a $399 tablet [the Samsung/Google Nexus 10] doing 2560x1600 pixel displays, can we please just make that the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11"? Please. Stop with the 'retina' crap, just call it 'reasonable resolution'. The fact that laptops stagnated ten years ago (and even regressed, in many cases) at around half that in both directions is just sad," he wrote.

Torvalds also hit out at "less-than-gifted tech pundits" who assert that high-resolution displays mean smaller, more difficult-to-read font sizes.

"And the next technology journalist that asks you whether you want fonts that small, I'll just hunt down and give an atomic wedgie. I want pixels for high-quality fonts, and yes, I want my fonts small, but 'high resolution' really doesn't equate 'small fonts,'" he added, noting also that high-res fonts help those with poor eyesight read more easily.

Particularly given the references to retina displays, Torvalds' post is easy to interpret, in part, as a dig at Apple. The Nexus 10 to which Torvalds referred actually outstrips the latest retina display iPad in terms of pixels-per-inch, and the new iPad mini has a comparatively low display resolution of 1024x768, in order to preserve app compatibility.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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