I just searched through Dell and NewEgg and here’s an blob of info for anyone interested in high DPI LCD monitors:
Winner: 10", 1024x768 with 123 DPI
2nd Place: 21", 1920x1200 with 105 DPI
3rd Place: 23", 2048x1152 with 103 DPI
Note that there are often multiple screens with such configurations. However, please take a look at the date; today is July 12, 2009. In 2007, we more or less had 100 DPI screens. In 1994, we had 80 DPI screens.
If I were truly desperate to cobble together a high resolution setup without begging at LG’s/Samsung’s feet, I would do better ripping apart old ThinkPads for their LCD panels than shopping at Dell. My T400’s 14" screen is 129 DPI. At this moment, it would cost $779*4=$3,116 to build a 28" screen with 129 DPI, or, if you want to get an idea of how it’ll slow down your FPS-hungry games…a screen resolution of 2880 x 1800.
A dual monitor setup would cost approximately $6K, with a combined resolution of 5760 x 3600. Now that has got to make a graphics card or two keel over. It would take 2 ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 cards (or, in monetary terms…$732.26 from NewEgg…and you’d have to have a
Now, let’s try moving beyond bog-standard T-series…the W500 line has a 15", 1920x1200, 150.94 DPI, almost exactly half of print quality, though human vision follows a parabola shape directly proportional to one’s distance from the screen. A W500 with that screen costs $1,329. A 30" LCD monitor built out of W500s would cost $1329*4=$5316 and give us a screen with a resolution of 3840x2400. Double that and you get 2 30" screens, at half print quality. The combined screen resolution would be 7680x4800.
Anyway…the point is…
Even with hackery and the continuing price drops in LCD panels (+ high DPI necessitated by the form factor limitations for laptops), it still costs over $1000 to get a screen that’s half as easy to read as a book (actually, less than half but I don’t want to calculate just how bad it is). This is actually rather disappointing because everything else in computers is progressively cheaper. Consider the parts required to build a system with 2 28" 129 DPI screens:
8 ThinkPad T400’s (OK, so this is a bit of a stretch…one could probably arrange a deal to get the screens from dead T400’s)
2 Sapphire 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2 GB video cards
1 Intel BOXDP45SG LGA 775 Intel Motherboard ($114.99)
1 Antec TPQ-1000 Power Supply ($181.49)
1 Antec Twelve Hundred case ($172.99)
1 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 ($184.99)
3 GB RAM from Crucial ($40.99)
4 Western Digital VelociRaptors (150 GB each, $179.99 each) in a RAID 10 configuration, yielding 300 GB of working space with a speed that hopefully won’t be too much of a bottleneck.
And, to round things out:
1 Microsoft Natural Keyboard
1 Microsoft Mouse
Windows Vista Ultimate
Microsoft Office 2007
And of course, a game to use the screen with.
$2,782.67 excluding the cost of the display
$9,014.67 including 8 brand new T400’s
Let’s say that each screen actually costs only half of the price of a T400. Then each display’s cost is about $1,558 instead of $3,116. Even so, it’s clear that is very expensive. We have a long way to go before our eyeballs stop hurting on the computer.