How is programming on a 15.6 inch laptop using this resolution? Unfortunately, I'm finding that all the laptops I'm considering use this low vertical resolution and I'm worried it'll affect my development. Now, it won't be my main dev box, but I'll be using it for any side-projects I'll be working on. Anyone have experience with this relatively low vertical resolution for development (esp on Visual Studio)?
As others have pointed out, using VS 2008 at that resolution (my craptop has 1280x800) is possible, but will be unpleasant.
How often will you be using just the laptop? It's OK if you have an external monitor, but if it's going to be your only display you should decide how much it's worth to get a higher resolution.
Time yourself, and see how often you need to switch contexts - switch windows, scroll a window, minimize or maximize, etc. Figure that it's going to cost 10 to 15 seconds each time you have to grab the mouse and do something. Figure out home many of these you could avoid with a larger display, and multiply the # of occurrences by the "penalty". Use this to calculate the ROI of a larger monitor.
I can't understand how people can work with such small vertical resolutions. Personally I have a 1920x1200 monitor sideways for editing. What's more I use an outlining/folding editor. Both these things help you see lots of code all at once. There is no way I could do any serious programming with 768 lines vertically, it would drive me crazy. All those now letterbox shaped screens on laptops appear to be designed for watching movies - they are rubbish for programming.
If I'm ever forced to use a letterbox shaped screen I always move the taskbar into a vertical position, that will give you a bit more space.
I think it depends very much on what you are used to. You can indeed program on pretty much anything, but once you get used to a big screen it becomes really painful to go back.
The first criterion I look for in a programming laptop is vertical resolution - I would far rather get a second-hand Core 2 Duo Thinkpad with 1650x1080 than a new Core i machine with only 768.
On the plus side, it does help to keep your methods small :)
I use this resolution, and it's not too bothersome. It's a bit annoying and there are times when things scroll off-screen, but you can combat this with things like auto-hiding the task panes, using full screen (I don't, but it's an idea), or in
Tools > Options > Environment > Fonts & Colors, you can change it to a smaller text size.
There's really quite a bit you can do to make the best of your situation. I've been using this resolution for a good year now and have had no problems, just minor annoyances before customizing things.
My laptop has that resolution, and it works fine for writing code. I use Visual Studio, Dreamweaver, Word, Textpad, and they work fine. It helps if you are able to hide toolbars that you don't need so as to regain some vertical space.
Working in graphics software is a different matter. The small screen gets annoying in Photoshop and Fireworks, simply because there's more visible at the same time.
I can't vouch for Visual Studio, but in NetBeans at 1024x768, everything is fine. I don't find myself constrained or having to move a bunch of columns and rows to see the editing area.
You do know that your native resolution is not your maximum possible resolution, right? If I wanted I can go up to 1600x1200 on an ancient CRT monitor and have it still display.
Unfortunately, I'm finding that all the laptops I'm considering use this low vertical resolution and I'm worried it'll affect my development. Anyone have experience with this relatively low vertical resolution for development (esp on Visual Studio)?
That resolution is not low, I programmed on a 17'' 1400x900 just fine, so you should even have a higher resolution/screen size ratio. I wouldn't worry about it too much, the screen size could more likely be a problem than the resolution... A handy trick: You can hold CTRL and scroll your mouse wheel to zoom!