Upcoming XPS notebooks could have niche 3:2-aspect ratio monitors

Dell XPS 13 9370 review | Hero shot from the side of young woman using the laptop
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Dell reportedly may conduct trials on new ideas for the aspect ratios of its laptop monitors, specifically for the XPS range. Looking at alternatives like the 3:2 aspect ratio leveraged by Microsoft and Google with their Surface and Pixelbook lines, Dell believes it can offer a better tablet experience for its 2-in-1 customers by opting for non-traditional aspect ratios.

With 1080P the baseline resolution for most laptops, 16:9 has become the most typical aspect ratio found on most consumer notebooks. However, it’s not the only one and thanks to the success of certain ranges in recent years, Dell’s vice president and general manager of the company’s Alienware and XPS ranges, Frank Azor, believes experimentation could be good for the company.

Citing the Surface range of Microsoft convertible laptops, which use a 3:2 aspect ratio, Azor said during a recent conference call that Dell was interested in supporting some less common resolutions on the XPS range. Alternative ratios that allow for more vertical screen space can improve website viewing, especially in tablet mode.

As NotebookCheck highlights, another one that could be of potential interest to Dell is the 256:135 aspect ratio for support of the DCI 4K standard (4,096 × 2,160) which would make laptops perfectly suited to viewing cinema media without the need for any black bars. And this could make the laptops great not only for watching movies, but also for creating them, giving filmmakers the ability to watch their content full-screen without any borders.

Such aspect ratios might seem a little strange to those used to the widescreens so common on desktops and laptops now, but adding more vertical space arguably makes a laptop more aligned with the smartphones which have become a far more common device to most people. Indeed as websites improve their mobile support, it could be that laptops with larger vertical displays than wider ones ultimately offer a more uniform experience.

At least that’s what Dell will be banking on should it debut its own laptops with such niche aspect ratios. Although there has been no indication of when such a move would happen, it does appear to be a field that Dell is interested in exploring. Perhaps such a change could make us love the XPS 13 even more when its next iteration arrives.


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