I got an email today asking if I knew where to find a 4:3 laptop. I thought it would be easy enough to find, but I quickly remembered seeing that Lenovo cancelled its last 4:3 about a year and a half ago. The only other option after 2007 was a Dell Latitude, and now that’s gone too.
For a lot of professionals, a widescreen just doesn’t make sense. When you spend most of your time working with spreadsheets, text documents, and web browsers, you want a higher resolution with a longer page. Widescreen laptops are actually lower resolution and cheaper to manufacture, so it kind of makes sense for someone like Lenovo or Dell to go this route.
Unfortunately, a lot of business people would still prefer a 4:3 screen. In a few quick searches I found hundreds of pages of results dedicated to finding 4:3 laptops, rebuilding exisiting 4:3 laptops, and discussing the lack of 4:3 laptops. From digging through a few of the posts, it seems a big part of the disappearance is consumer ignorance. Manufacturers have actually convinced the world that widescreen is better. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the malinformed: “widescreen is better for reading text because your eyes are side by side not up and down so its easier to read left to right.” Yes, someone actually wrote that.