Recently, my venerable Gateway 2000 (!) 21-inch monitor began to misbehave slightly, and I decided that was a good excuse to upgrade. After researching and dithering for months, I eventually bought one of these, and it is, in a nutshell, sweet. I've even been using the 90-degree pivot feature, which I hadn't expected to actually be useful. The only problem is that such a nice monitor calls for a really pretty desktop background, and most of the free wallpaper sites out on the web don't have anything bigger than 1600 x 1200. I need 1920 x 1200!
Fortunately, because Apple has had a monitor out in that resolution for more than a year, there are a few sites that have wallpapers of the right size. Here are the best sites I found (using the Google and AltaVista image search features):
- Blatte's Backgrounds: Lots of cool fractal backgrounds, including Aperture, the image I'm currently using as my background.
- InterfaceLIFT: Wallpapers in many different styles from several different artists—check out the Color Jive series by Blake J. Nolan.
- Graffiti Wallpaper: Mostly (all?) photographs. I like Water Drops on Blue, which you can see here.
- lynda.com wallpapers: Abstract patterns with consistent colors—that's nice because they don't distract the eye from the icons on the desktop.
- eadesign: Very simple computer-rendered wallpapers, mostly in single colors. I think my favorite is Heavy Rotation. Click on White Void Set to see more.
- WagMedia: Some of these are a little too busy for my taste, but I really like Gray Stripes and Orange Stripes—simple and easy on the eyes.
- GLIFOS: There's only three wallpapers here, but two of them, Júpiter and Atardecer, are really beautiful. (Although I think I would have called Júpiter "Yavin" instead.)
[UPDATES: As I find additional sites, I'm going to add them here. Please do leave a comment if you know of repositories of 1920 x 1200 wallpapers that aren't listed here—I've been getting a lot of search engine hits, but very few comments.
- Astronomy Picture of the Day: A new space-related picture every day, often in very high resolution, and all of the past images are available if you follow the Archive link. They're not sized correctly to be wallpapers, but they should be easy to stretch or trim. I particularly like this photo of the Martian horizon, this time-lapse photo of the Perseid meteor shower, and this picture of the surface of the sun. (Via the one and only Lileks).
- deviantART: A large collection of art, including lots of skins and wallpapers. You can browse their wallpapers by size—try here for 1920 x 1200. (via a post over at [H]ard|Forum).
12/15/2004: Here are some more sites, suggested by seppe in the comments below (thanks!):
- mandolux: A desktop wallpapers blog (it had to happen) containing the photographs of Mando Gomez, who has done some really beautiful work. I like Menacing Clouds and Strings of Fire. Gomez has gone the extra mile and included both single images and paired images for you lucky people with dual monitors.
- Wallpapers & Co.: In addition to a large collection of smaller wallpapers, they've got a smallish collection of widescreen ones. They're aimed pretty squarely at the arrested adolescent male (girls, cars, video games, and girls from video games driving cars), which I would sneer at if I weren't one.
- smhill: A bunch of wallpapers and icon sets. You can see the whole list of wallpapers here. They're not all available in 1920 x 1200—click on an image, then scroll down, past the blank space, to see the buttons for the size options. I like Purple Hoops. (The name of this site makes me want to start saying, "What in the smhill are you doin' back there?", but I'll restrain myself.)
- Pixelgirl Presents: This site has a large list of desktops submitted by a bunch of different people here. However, it looks like only a few of them are 1920 x 1200—a quick search through all seven pages of the featured section turned up only one, and it's from mandolux, above. (Plea to all wallpaper site adminstrators: let us sort by size!)
I also found this one:
- Veer: They have a large collection of wallpapers here, and most of the more recent ones at the top of the screen are available in widescreen. They tend to be pretty graphic-designy (which is good news if you're looking for an unobtrusive background), including a few that look like honest-to-God wallpaper, but they also have some photographs.
11/5/2006: Reader Bradley S. suggested the following site via email:
- Carwalls: This site has a ton of automobile wallpapers in various sizes, including many in in 1920 x 1200. I was a little disappointed to discover that all of the Bugatti Veyron wallpapers were all smaller than that, but I guess you can't have everything.]
If you know of any other sites with wallpaper images in 1920 x 1200, I'd love to hear about them. I wish there was a high-resolution version of this image available—I'll have to see if there's a book in the library that has that painting, so I can scan it in. A widescreen Maxfield Parrish wallpaper would be nice, too.
[Now playing: "Heaven or Las Vegas" by Cocteau Twins]