Shared publicly  - 
In my +CNET column this week, I look at how the Chromebook Pixel's great screen has a big issue -- you can't scale it, give us some quality for more display space. If you already use a Chromebook all the time and love it, the premium price may absolutely make sense. Otherwise.... On the upside, I wrote the entire article & did screenshots using the Chromebook Pixel, something that when the CR-48 came out felt impossible.
Danny Sullivan's profile photoBenson Leung's profile photo
+Danny Sullivan, I want to point out that the lack of resolution independence is not a hardware limitation. Just because the machine is priced at $1300 doesn't imply that the that software feature is a given. That may be the expectation, but ultimately, it's not a limitation of the hardware.

Put it this way, Apple had been working on resolution independence (which is what you call scaling) in Mac OS X for years before finally making it a reality on their two Retina MacBook Pros. It takes time to get the software right.
+Benson Leung Every computer I've owned going back to when I left DOS has had scaling, including Macs. It's been out there way before Retina displays came along. It's just one of those things I expect. Chromebooks have been out for several years now, and I was just honestly surprised to find this was lacking. Hope they'll gain it.
Here's an article I found in 2006 that talks about Apple's slow progress toward resolution independence.

It wasn't until 2012 until they released something that finally used the underpinnings they put into Mac OS X. 10.4 all the way to 10.8
The difference is pretty subtle, but every display on a laptop you've had has been capable of scaling down to a non native resolution. The native resolution on an LCD is always the highest resolution it can display.

In the case of these high-dpi displays, though, there is now an introduction of resolution independence. The way the Retina Macs do it is no longer twiddling with the screen registers to go to a lower non-native resolution, but keeping the screen in its native mode, but using software to scale the UI so that everything looks smaller. Apple didn't do this until 2012.

Actually, I can think of one or two computers that you do own that don't have the ability to switch screen resolutions or switch to a different UI size. If you own an iPad (and some will consider that a computer), you can't change the display resolution.
+Benson Leung Display resolution has long, long been a big issue to me. I've had laptops where way back, I loved because I could go up to 1024x768. Oh, those were the days. I've had a few that I rejected because they didn't offer a native resolution that was high enough, or they offered one that I considered too high and couldn't scale down. But I always remember having some scaling options, even on a Mac.

I think it is fair to say that if the native resolution wasn't high, you weren't going to be able to scale it higher. I couldn't take a 1024x768 native screen up to 1920x1080, no.

But when I or anyone would buy a laptop with an advertised resolution, we generally could take it down.

That's the big issue that both the Retina and the Pixel introduced. They promise high native resolutions, but those are generally pixel resolutions, not display resolutions, except in some very specific instances. You're not seeing 2560x800ish on either of them. You're seeing half that, by default. But they have the possibility of going up, because you're not using the native resolution.

The Retina fulfills that possibility; the Chromebook does not. If you're looking for an excuse, I suppose this is the first time the Chromebook has had to deal with this. But the Mac dealt with it correctly, in my view, when the first Retina screens came out.
This is clearly an issue with the hardware being out ahead of software support. I can ask around.
Add a comment...