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Is 16:9 the best format for computer screens?
Is 16:9 the best format for computer screens?

Many times something catches on, we all try it, and until a few years after the initial hype wears off, we don't realize the idea wasn't such a good one. Now we are going to ask ourselves if the 16:9 format is the best for computer screens Obviously, on tablets it has already become clear that it is not always suitable, but Now we will go a little deeper into this matter.

The vast majority of computers (desktop or laptop) opt for 16:9. Some, very few, continue with 16:10, a little less panoramic. And now the 21:9 models appear, as wide as a movie screen. The other formats have fallen into oblivion, and are reserved for very specific user niches or are occasional experiments by the most daring brands.

So let's see if 16:9 represents the best aspect ratio for a computer monitor, or if the issue is more complicated than it seems, and manufacturers impose what suits them and not us. Here begins our tour of this topic:

Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?
Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?

Sometimes 16:9 makes sense

It would be untrue not to recognize that sometimes a 16:9 format is best. If we watch many movies, series, and play video games, it is the ideal alternative. Almost all the content is generated in this format, so the bet is clear. In fact, it's become very rare to find a TV that doesn't embrace it.

Some movies opt for a wider aspect ratio, like 21:9, but that's not enough to justify such a monitor. The series would not take advantage of it, and neither would the games. So, for entertainment, 16:9 is best.

Now, isn't it great to be able to put one window next to the other on your monitor or laptop and have two different programs in view at the same time? It might seem so, but in my experience this is not always the case. At 1080p resolution (let alone a lower one), there may not have room for two windows, as we'll see.

Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?
Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?

Other times, 16:9 is not suitable

And, in many cases, I try to dock two windows in Windows, and that's when I realize that 16:9 falls short In many cases, the two programs can't be fully displayed, so the format doesn't work for me too often for demanding multitasking.

So, is it suitable for a single window? Well, clearly not, despite the fact that developers strive to make the best use of the available space. And it is that a web page is going to leave a lot of empty space, and it is one of the most used tasks in a single window. By nature, a web page is vertical.

Another example can be found in a text document. You have to write a lot, you just need to focus on your pageā€¦ but almost the entire screen is wasted at the edges When programming, this also happens many times, code runs vertically and can become very long.

My experience, when I find an old 4:3 monitor, is that I am more productive and concentrate better than with the 16:9 on my personal computer. Yes, it looks very ugly and unmodern, but it works better for me. In the end, everyone must find what best suits their needs, but the truth is that manufacturers make it difficult for us.

Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?
Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?

Alternatives to 16:9?

Excepting tablets (which frequently opt for 4:3), 16:9 dominance is almost complete. Sometimes 16:10 models can be found, but this is rare. Of course, for those who want to watch ultra-panoramic movies or work with two windows at the same time, 21:9 is a minority alternative that is gaining strength, many times with a curved panel. Even amazing 32:9 models are in the works, although their future does not seem clear.

For anyone looking to maximize their productivity, the most logical choice is a multi-monitor setup. Although 16:9 is not perfect for working, with two monitors, even if they are simple, we can work much more comfortably.

You can still find 5:4 ("square") monitors on the market, but they are usually old models, or very professional. Of course, if they work for you, why not give them a try? The price we are going to pay is not high, so it is worth giving it a try. There are even fully square monitors (1:1 ratio), but they are very niche displays.

On the other hand, products like the Microsoft Surface bet on 3:2 For a tablet it is very comfortable, it is not too panoramic So it's a great alternative. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if some other manufacturer tried that aspect ratio on monitors and laptops, because it could be interesting and convenient.

Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?
Is the 16:9 format the best for computer screens?

In the end, the decision is ours

While 16:9 dominates, we have already seen that there are options, and hopefully this will increase in the coming years. Perhaps the biggest problem with choosing a format is that, if we don't try it for a few days, it's not easy to realize to what extent it suits our needs.

So, in the end, everyone should choose the aspect ratio they feel comfortable with It's not easy, there's no as many options as it should, but I am clear that 16:9 does not represent the perfect solution that was thought for a while, because computers are used for many purposes, and they cannot all be the same. The advantage of the PC is in its versatility!

What do you think of 16:9? Does this sound like a format that suits most users, or do you think we should have more to choose from?

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