Monday, December 06, 2004

The VGA-Train wont drive over us yet

Palm's time at the zenith of high-resolution displays seems to be over. The PocketPCs now ship with VGA displays that have a resolution of 640x480. These displays have 100% more pixels than the best HiRes+-Palms. Look at the graphic below for a comparison of a few different screen sizes:
Attention-This graph has a little bug-QVGA is 320x240(but the dimensions are right)! I will fix it when I get home!
Tam Hanna

This looks like we are behind the PPC once again. But, as so many times before, the operating system is the part that slows the platform down.
While fonts and buttons look smoother, the better screen does not show significantly more information. The statement above is also true for most other core components of Windows Mobile 2003SE. When Sony shipped the first CLIE, it's OS was optimized to the max-the user immediately had the advantage of beeing capable to display more data. However, it won't be that easy to promote a device where the OS does not work well with the screen-core components can't be updated by third-party engineers that easily. And even if the user installs VGA-capable applications, some components still stay 'Low-Res'.
Concludingly, the VGA PPCs aren't that much of a threat as one may beleive. Their hardware is definitely better, but the OS doesn't support the new features. So, we are back in the old situation-the PPC's hardware rules, but the simplicity of the Palm OS equalizes the equation just like in the old days of the IIIc.
I am-as allways-waiting for comments.

8 Comments:

Blogger Ben Combee said...

VGA support is in Palm OS Cobalt 6.1; PalmSource just extended the high-density support to handle 208dpi bitmap family members, although some tools, like PilRC, need to be updated to handle this. In many ways, Cobalt really is needed to take advantage of the higher resolution, as the whole GL-based drawing model and scalable font engine can much better produce smooth graphics without recoding, and it can also scale better to show more information, since it isn't as constained to being a integer multiple of the original 160x160 screen size.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Dear Mr.Combee,
thank you for the comment(s)! I didn't want to criticise anybody, actually I just wanted to say thet the PPCs with VGA arent that good as one says they are!
Best Regards
Tam Hanna

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