How-To Geek


Resolution is a designation of the number of discrete elements an electronic or printed image is comprised of. In the case of displays (both large displays like HDTVs and small displays like those found on smartphones), the resolution is generally described in terms of the horizontal and vertical resolution. An HD monitor or TV, for example, has 1920 pixels running from side to side and 1080 pixels running from top to bottom. Although when discussing computer monitors and displays it is common to refer to the horizontal x vertical pixel count (as in the previously described 1920×1080 monitor), it is more common to talk about smartphone and other small displays in terms of Pixels Per Inch (PPI), which is another way to describe the resolution with an emphasis on how many pixels are in a given area (and thus how sharp and realistic the image is).

When talking about print media, the designation used is Dots Per Inch (DPI), which describes the density of discrete marks made by the printing in a square inch. The higher the DPI the more realistic the image. DPI can range from as low as 50 Dots Per Inch when working with dot-matrix printers to as high as 1800 Dots Per Inch when working with modern laser and photo printers.

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