I have two 19" Dell monitors with a 1280x1024 resolution. Because they are the exact same size, applications can span both monitors seamlessly. I'm considering adding a widescreen HD monitor that has 1920x1080 resolution, but that has the same size pixels as my current 19" monitor. That way, applications will still be able to span both monitors seamlessly.

What specifications would I need to look for in a widescreen monitor to make sure it "matches" my existing monitor?

I thought I would try to calculate the size of the pixels myself and go from there. I tried to solve the following system of equations to find out what size monitor might match, which came out to about 25.5"

(1920a)^2 + (1080a)^2 = b^2, (1280a)^2 + (1024a)^2 = 19^2

However, I've looked around and don't know of any 25.5" monitors and the 19" measurement of my existing monitor is likely an approximation. Because of that, I'm not sure what to look for to make sure I have a matching 1920 x 1080 monitor.


Your formula is correct.

Your display has 86 pixel per inch, which is very low. Your pixels are larger than that of the vast majority of displays.

An equivalent resolution 17" display (which existed back when these displays were new, and probably still exists) would have 96 pixel per inch; you get the same with 15.4" and 1280x800, 20" and 1680x1050 and 23" and 1920x1080.

The current trend is to go slightly above 100 pixels per inch (2560x1440 at 27", 2560x1600 at 30", 1440x900 at 15").

While a display with your pixel size might exist, I'm afraid technical advances have reduced or eliminated your chances to find a matching display. Correction: There are 27" displays with 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 at 82 and 84 pixels per inch respectively. This is probably your best match. There are also a few TV displays in that size and resolution.


Dot Pitch, also called pixel pitch, is a standard technical specification for comparing display devices. The referenced Wikipedia article contains a great table of common dot pitches in monitors.

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