4k screen on Librem 13


#1

Hello,
First of all, I have read the code of conduct, and I am aware my question falls in the “Why don’t you add X or Y?” category, but I did not find anything about it on the forum, so I though it might worth a talk.

So, is there any plan to ship Librem 13 with 4k display? Whatever the answer is, I am interested in the details :slight_smile:

I know that some find that such a resolution on such a small screen is a bit overkill. I loved the Dell XPS 13 4k screens, and I would love even more if I could find such a screen on a Librem 13.

Thank you


#2

Does Linux have quality dpi scaling? If not you’d need a magnifying class to work with it.


#3

Gnome 3.32 and 3.34 have had patches for good Wayland fractional scaling (if you enable it as a experimental feature). Further, plasma 5.17 has introduced proper Wayland fractional scaling and fixes for xorg scaling. More patches are being worked on for the plasma 5.18 lts release too to polish it up in xorg.


#4

My guess for why they don’t offer it is just economics. Sourcing 13" 4k displays is probably harder/more expensive, and the (expected) demand low enough that it would just be prohibitively expensive to offer. Purism can’t order in quantities like Dell can.


#5

hi ! you can check the data collected by ubuntu about it’s users.


#6

If you want an official answer from Purism then you would need to contact support directly.

Everyone who has commented so far is not commenting on behalf of Purism, as far as I know, and so is only sharing experience or opinion.

The Librem 15 is 4K UHD, so I assume that the larger laptop does not suit you??

If you have normal vision then it would be overkill. 2560x1440 would be about right for the scenario of laptop use case and normal vision and 13" diagonal and 16:9 aspect ratio.

If you have better than normal vision then you could justify 4K UHD.

This topic has been discussed in the context of the Librem 5 phone.

Re: librem-5-smartphone-final-specs-announced and surrounding posts.

I’m using a 4K UHD monitor on a non-laptop use case with one of my computers and there are some software issues at the moment i.e. some software just doesn’t expect the pixels to be that small. So in addition to the economics, commented on below, there is a software maturity issue.

Another consideration is that Intel integrated graphics that supports 4K UHD @ 60 Hz is an issue (e.g. the CPUs that are in the current models of Librem laptops don’t). So in concert with upgrading the screen, they would be looking at upgrading the CPU, or compromising on the frequency. (They could go with a dedicated graphics card but for pure open source that is at best a world of pain and at worst a “no go” area.)

That would be my guess too.

Eventually 4K UHD will become commodity and 13" laptops will use that resolution ‘just because’, I would guess.


#7

not sure why you think this, Intel’s integrated mobile GPUs have been capable of 4Kp60 since the Haswell days at least.


#8

If your graphics output is HDMI 1.x then you are limited to 4K UHD @ 30Hz. If you have a DisplayPort output then you can go beyond that. If your mobo has an LSPCON chip then you can go beyond that.

The Librem 15 product page (Technical Specs) specifically notes the restriction.

I dare say that there are some use cases where a customer will not care about that. However there will be some customers who will be unhappy.

Hence my suggestion that if the Librem 13 is upgraded to 4K UHD then the CPU should be upgraded to one that supports HDMI 2.0.

I was putting it up as a consideration. I was not saying that a screen upgrade couldn’t be done with the current CPU (since obviously the Librem 15 is already 4K UHD and with the same CPU).


#9

but as you noted, the two are in no way correlated. Ask Intel why they are years behind everyone else in offering native HDMI 2.0 output. Fortunately, it’s no longer an issue with USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode.


#10

for my purposes anything above 110dpi for productivity/surfing/documentation is entirely a pain in the backside if scaling is not implemented correctly in the desktop environment.

higher dpi is welcome for text sharpness and entertainment purposes if the hardware/software can sustain it from a performance/energy-efficiency standpoint.

sadly as the above data suggests 1366x768 is still a best case scenario for me @ 13/15" displays. 1920x1080/1200 for 21-25’’ and so on keeping the dpi consistent bellow 110dpi. the latest gnome desktop environment only has experimental full-dpi-scaling support and even that is quirky at best …


#11

I use GNOME on a 4k XPS 13 every day for 3 years now. Everything is displayed as nicely and sharply as I would expect it. I did not experience any hidpi issue with GNOME.


#12

What scaling do you use? 200% And X11 or wayland?

I think the problem is that fractional scaling is still not working in a usable manner. And 4k in 200% results in a 1080p sized UI on a 13 inch display which is still to small for many people. But 4k could be scaled at 300% to result in a 1280x 720 sized UI. But it seams unnecessary to me to have such high dpi counts.
I think this a an area where apple does it right. They use 2560 × 1600 for 13 inch which is 1280x800 in 200% and for 15 inch 2880 × 1800 which is 1440x 900 in 200%. Both result in good readable text.

I have a thinkpad 13" inch with 1080p and it’s to small. Yes i can use it and the extra space is nice, but i sit much closer to this laptop than to my last. A 14" 1600x900. And that is probably bad for my eyes and back.
But scaling this with gnome on wayland by 150% to a 1280*720 UI size make most programs blurry.

So i think neither 1080p nor 4k are good options for a 13" notebook.