Most netbooks have 1024 x 600 pixel display. While there are certainly a few exceptions, most Windows apps can run reasonably well at that resolution and most web pages are viewable with a minimal amount of scrolling. But for some reason, Yahoo Mail isn’t one of them. For the past few years, every time I’ve tried to check my Yahoo Mail account using a netbook, I’ve been greeted with a message suggesting I use the “classic” interface instead of the newer, more streamlined version.

Last night Yahoo introduced a new beta version of Yahoo Mail which is designed to be faster to use, while offering new tools including Facebook and Twitter integration, in-line viewing of Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube photos and videos, and a new theme that’s more… umm, purple.

Unfortunately, like the previous version of Yahoo Mail, the new Beta suggests a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 — which means most netbooks are left out. Rather than acknowledge the fact that this is a common resolution and maybe Yahoo’s coders should tweak the site to work within it, Yahoo Mail Beta instead pops up an error message when you try to visit with a netbook browser, suggesting you adjust your screen resolution in your computer’s display settings — even though many netbooks don’t really offer the option.

On the other hand, when you actually push ahead and let Yahoo know you want to try Yahoo Mail Beta anyway, everything really does look just fine, as far as I can tell — except for one thing. The 160 x 600 pixel banner ad on the right side of the display is cut off at the bottom. I wonder if that’s what Yahoo is worried about.

You can check out a video overview of the new Yahoo Mail after the break.

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7 replies on “Yahoo Mail Beta is faster, more feature-rich… not built for netbooks”

    1. Dual Core N550 still uses the same Intel GMA 3150 as the single core Pine Trail ATOMs. Besides the resolution hack though, many netbooks have the default option for 1024×768 panning and 1024×768 compressed mode (if you don’t mind looking at the screen squished a bit).

      There are also higher resolutions supported via the VGA output and HDMI for those equipped with ION.

      You can use a VGA dummy plug to trick the system into thinking it’s connected to an external monitor to unlock some of the higher resolution options as well. Not to mention apps like PowerStrip…

      So there are work arounds but it’s annoying that after all these years Yahoo still won’t support netbook resolutions. But as aftermath pointed out it may not matter in the future.

  1. There are so many technical factors at work here, and unfortunately Yahoo has come down on the wrong side of most of them by specifying a target screen resolution for this website. Fortunately, we’re heading to a future where everything graphical will finally be scalable and the GUI will give way to the ZUI. Browsers like Firefox Mobile on the desktop at least allows one to approximate this experience until its finally properly delivered, and this website re-redesign is one more reason to use that browser on devices like ntebooks.

  2. Yep…just the mail. I tried the new product, it has been out for several months, and found it way too busy. Using it on my netbook was absurd so I just use classic on the web and Outlook on my main computer.

  3. Yeah, feature rich means SLOW unless you buy more processing power.

    I just want the mail.

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