16:10 ratio monitors

2 minute read

In the last week, I noticed heated discussions about the price of the new Apple monitor and its stand. I was looking forward to the announcement of a display too. But instead of a professional monitor, I was expecting a quality pro-office display.

However, Apple announced Pro Display XDR that delivers an outstanding picture quality. To cut the story short, there is nothing on planet earth than even comes close to that. But, the monitor with a multimedia 16:9 ratio classifies itself to the growing pool of media consuming or video editing hardware. Even game developers optimize for 16:9 so that players can play the games on consoles plugged to TVs.

The 16:10 comes close to Golden Ratio. If offers comfortable viewing for writing text or browsing documents. The 10% extra vertical pixels give better context and are more comfortable for business and programming. It makes a difference.

Rarely someone who worked on a 16:10 ratio computer would like to get back to 16:9. Yet, I see companies and software houses ordering hundreds of monitors with the multimedia-focused 16:9 ratio. And those businesses hire dozens of office workers and software developers.

If more companies were buying the 16:10 displays, may that would pressure manufacturers to deliver more suited displays for work.

If you intend to buy a monitor consider 16:10 model. Here is what to think of when using the display with OSX:

First, there are models that do not have anti-flicker technology. After prolonged use, they cause a headache.

Second, the 4k resolution is suitable for colossal 40-inch monitors. Running 32-inch display in the native resolution of 4k renders the display unusable for coding. Texts and UIs are illegible. When scaled down your hardware consumes more computing power. As a consequence it will get a performance hit. And the text might look blurry if the PPI (Pixel Per Inch) won’t fall into the best range.

Third, consider they way the OSX handles monitors. Calculate PPI to see if a display is optimal. Going for non-retina the 100-120 PPI is good, while for retina 200-240 PPI is good. A lower value renders text and UIs larger. A higher value renders text and UIs smaller.

Fourth, to get more working area and maintain legibility increase both screen resolution and physical size.

As for the Xcode optimal screen real estate, I imagine a 16:10 monitor of 30-inch in size. It would run in native 2560x1600 resolution and have recent display port and USB-C port.

Next time your company plans to buy new monitors, think of giving a hint to decision-makers that the 16:10 ratio is the way to go.