I’m all for personalization. I enjoy having the latest technology and a part of that enjoyment comes having owning something that no one in my immediate circle owns. The same can be said about my car, which I have mildly modified to suit my particular preferences. Well, one thing that I like to change all the time is the desktop wallpaper on my computer.
In the past, I would sometimes go through the trouble of creating custom wallpapers myself, but I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. Thankfully, there are sites like Desktop Nexus, which ordered this paid review for 90% off. And they’ve got some pretty nifty images too.
Over 10,000 Wallpapers
There are two things that will make me want to visit a particular desktop wallpaper website over another. First, there must be a wide selection of different images. Some days, I may be in the mood for a Mario-themed video game wallpaper. Other days, I want something from the world of entertainment.
The second criterion is the quality of the wallpapers themselves. I’m not interested in amateur concoctions that involved little more than the tossing of low-resolution pictures into MS Paint. As you can tell, the images found within Desktop Nexus are plentiful and of good quality. There’s also a variety of categories or “galleries” to browse.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can always take a look at the popular desktop wallpapers, as designated by freshness, number of downloads, star rating, favorites, or resolution. The most popular desktops involve exotic cars, landscapes, and abstract art. Interestingly, the hot girl segment isn’t as well represented as one would typically expect.
Ah, and there’s a reason. The clever thing about Desktop Nexus is that it defaults to work safe mode. If you’re more the type of person who wants, ahem, “mature” content for your computer, there is also a NWS (not work safe) version of the site.
In order to access “adult wallpapers”, you’ll need to agree to a worksafe agreement. The short version of the statement reads:
Disabling work-safe mode might show some wallpapers with adult content (“babes”). To continue, you must be over 18.
At first, it was difficult to even recognize that such an option existed. Then, I saw a drop-down dialog near the top of my browser window, telling me that I was in work-safe mode. It’s perfectly understandable that they wouldn’t want the adult section to be too prominent, especially if Desktop Nexus wants to be mainstream and largely family-friendly.
Showing Love To Monitors of All Sizes
It’s obvious that people have computer monitors of different resolutions. When widescreens first hit the scene, their owners would have a hard time finding wallpapers that filled the screen, because everyone was still doing the 4:3 thing. Nowadays, there are people with both regular aspect and widescreen monitors. Instead of offering two sets of wallpapers, Desktop Nexus can adjust any wallpaper to fit common resolutions.
I was hoping to find a wallpaper of an Acura Integra (my car), but there was nary a desktop in sight. As such, I settled for the next best thing: an Acura RSX.
As you can see in the image above, this wallpaper is available in no fewer than 10 different resolutions. It even recommended which resolution was best for my monitor settings. This is one sweet feature. You’ll also notice the ability to submit the image to MySpace, Facebook, and Reddit, as well as email it to a friend or add to your favorites.
There’s Always Room for Improvement
I’m pleased with the interface on Desktop Nexus and the variety of categories are staggering. Like I mentioned above, the single best feature is the ability to take any wallpaper in just about any resolution without having to navigate to a wholly different section. The resizing can cause some quality loss and distortion, however.
This is largely a matter of personal preference, but I don’t like the auto drop-down menus at the top. They just get in the way. The community section could use a full-fledged forum to encourage more interaction too. Finally, the “work-safe” mode is a good idea, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how to turn it off (or back on, for that matter).
All in all, Desktop Nexus is a seriously solid option for wallpapers. I wonder if it could be monetized better somehow. Premium wallpapers?