Rugged mobile computer screen resolution explained

So in the last blog we spoke about physical screen size, but in this one I’m going to talk about rugged device screen resolution and what that means to you.

What is screen resolution

Resolution is measured in pixels and is the number of actual pixels a screen has. You can think of them of tiny little squares that can change their colour that all add up to a glorious image when added together. You can work out your resolution quite easily by just multiplying the height and width resolution of your screen.  So for instance if it’s 800 x 480 then you have 384000 little pixels in your screen.

Typical screen resolutions

Certain resolutions have become standard and in the rugged market we have typically seen QVGA (240 x 320) and VGA (480 x 640) screens.  This has largely been due to the nature of Windows mobile and how it handles screen size, or not for that matter! so QVGA and more recently VGA have been the bread and butter for rugged devices for many years.

However with tablets becoming ubiquitous and Android now firmly a player in the rugged market this has all changed and we’re seeing far more “Smartphone” and even bespoke resolutions coming onto the market.

I’ve drawn an in scale image below of how all the resolutions look together on as near to a 4″ screen physical size.

You can see that different resolutions give a different screen estate to play with so can play a major part in how your business applications can be viewed and run on a device.

Pixel density

That’s not quite the whole story as pixel density is also an important aspect of screen resolution.  Basically pixel density is the number of pixels per square inch that your screen has.  So a 7″ screen with a 480 x 800 screen resolution will have a far less density of pixels than the same resolution on a 4.3″ screen as the same number of pixels have to fill a much larger area.

What to watch for and why resolution matters

Although we don’t see too much problem with this, people who want to develop complex applications or ones that require photo inspection style requirements will need high pixel density and you need to watch out for this, especially if buying a tablet.  Higher pixel density will make smaller objects look way better on a screen and conversely a low pixel density screen can make larger objects look pixilation and poor.

Just be careful if buying a tablet to ensure the screen resolution fits the size of the screen.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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