What is the most commonly used screen resolution these days?

A couple of my colleagues sent me email a few minutes ago complaining about my latest post and the screenshot.  They said the picture was overlaying the text.  Huh? So I investigated…

Hmmmm.  It sure looks fine to me.  Of course I’m running a 1920×1200 resolution on a 27″ widescreen monitor.  Hardly pervasive I’m sure.  By the way, the monitor I use is on sale for $674.  See http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-4335 for details.

I then bumped my resolution down to 1280×1024.  The post still looked fine at that resolution.  Keith scratches head…  So I bumped my resolution down to 1024×768.  Gag!!!  Yep, the post is pretty much hosed at that one.

I actually made a semi conscience decision on this long before those complaints.  When I was resizing the screenshot, you lose pixels and clarity as you downsize.  At some point, you might as well not even include a screenshot if it’s so blurry you can’t read the button text.

So, I’ll try an accommodate people running at 1024×768, but in this case, you’ll need to be at 1280×1024 or higher.

Anyone have any stats on what the pervasive resolution is these days?  I’ve asked my audiences that question a few times recently and the answer I received was 1280×1024 and higher.  Majority rules.  🙂

Comments (11)

  1. brantgurga says:

    Actually, there is also the issue of DPI involved and is probably more important. I have a 1600×1200 screen at 133dpi. The page mentioned looks fine if the window is maximized, but if it is the normal size I browser at (which is smaller than the screen), I see the overlay issue.

    Seems like the text should be reflowing around the image, but it isn’t. I didn’t look how you are including the image though. In any case, you could have the actual image be 1280×1024 or so and then have the browser scale it down if necessary for people with smaller screens.

  2. Dave says:

    1024×768 here at work and home. And that’s the highest resolution supported by this card. There’s about  1000 workstations here at work. We have a 3-4 year replacement cycle. The vast marjority are this resolution. The main ones with higher res are CAD and graphic design

  3. Keith Combs says:

    Good points gentlemen.  I modified the offending post at http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2007/01/29/office-2007-pro-bcm-download-mystery-solved.aspx and moved the screenshot.  I’ll try to balance between thumbnails and actual screenshot size.

    Now we just need to get you guys some decent video cards a 20" monitor.  🙂


  4. Dennis Lundtoft Thomsen says:

    I’m using Tracksy (www.tracksy.com) for stats generation and it shows the screensizes of people reading msgoodies.

    39% Unknown

    33% 1280×1024

    27% 1024×768

    1% 800×600

  5. Keith Combs says:

    Thanks for the data point Dennis.  I guess the reality is that 25% is still potentially a big number.  

    Part of me wants to say adios to that legacy lower resolutions but then people would label me a high rez snob.  We can’t have that.

    It’s funny though, some of the guys that complained on my team have laptops with a native resolution of 1600×1200 and 1920×1200.  And they are running 1024×768.  Maybe I should start a geek hall of shame for that one.

  6. Ray Avila says:

    Check out http://www.thecounter.com in Global Stats. The direct link to their resolution page is http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2007/January/res.php

    which shows 53% at 1024×768 for January 2007 so far.

    "It’s funny though, some of the guys that complained on my team have laptops with a native resolution of 1600×1200 and 1920×1200.  And they are running 1024×768.  Maybe I should start a geek hall of shame for that one."

    Just you wait until you get old. 🙂

    I used to do electronics repair to the component level thirty years ago. I could spot circuit board trace problems from three feet away while the "old" guys I worked with (fortyish) had to shove their glasses up on their forehead and bring over the 6" lighted magnifying glass. I used to laugh at them and they told me "Just you wait."

    I have become them. 🙁


  7. Keith Combs says:

    I’m sorry, but 66% of the people in the Global Stats are at 800×600 or 1024×768?  I have a hard time swallowing that.

    Their sampling must be bad or I am going to turn into a high rez snob.  That’s a battle worth fighting.

  8. greg says:

    1280×1024! Another majority is 1024×768, but that’s SMALL compared to others. It’s best to have 1280×1024+.

  9. Rob says:

    I usually run 3480 x 1024 (on 3 LCD’s of course) though at the moment I’m down to _just_ 2560 x 1024 (on 2 🙁 )..  Those 1024×768 lo-rezers don’t get no sympathy from me… 😉

  10. Jason` says:

    Sorry, I’m still living in the "stone age" of CRT land. 1280×1024 is out of my monitor’s range. I’ve been using 1024×768. I just changed it to 1152×864 and I must be ruining my eyes on 1024×768 because the vision has been appearing a little blurry.

  11. Ray Avila says:

    Like I said, just wait until you put on a few more years. 🙂

    I know most of our ThinkPads only go to 1024×768 and that a 17" CRT monitor is still the norm in our 2,000 employee company. We’re in manufacturing, so high-resolution is not a concern at all for most employees. A lot of our age 50+ employees really do use 800×600 all day. We also don’t have 50 billion in the bank. If it’s not needed to improve the bottom line, it doesn’t get bought.

    Maybe TheCounter’s customers are more geared to consumer sites. The numbers they show for sample size are way high, so I’m sure it’s accurate for their customer base.