Notebook computers with a widescreen display are set to outsell traditional models by 2006, analyst firm IDC has predicted.
"Wide screens on portable PCs will be become a more common feature not just on consumer mobile units but on units aimed at the corporate market," said Richard Shim, senior research analyst with IDC's Personal Computing team.
A wide screen has a ratio of 16:10, whereas a traditional screen has a 4:3 ratio similar to a normal television.
Consumers are drawn to the new form factor by their experience with widescreen TV sets, according to IDC. And computer makers are pushing the units because they allow them to stand out in the increasingly competitive laptop market.
Research has shown that wide screens make for more productive workers. A widescreen display allows users to put two windows side by side, placing email next to a text document or a browser window, for example.
Because the screen size of a portable system often determines the unit's size, a widescreen laptop also offers computer makers more space for the keyboard. Some 17in models even feature a numerical keypad.
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