Despite the slightly higher resolution (800 vs 768) vertical space is always a bit constrained on widescreens. This is even more noticeable with Gnome which has two panels, at the top and at the bottom, that use at minimum size 50 pixels both. Some other 20 px get wasted in the application titlebar, around 15 px in its statusbar, countless in horizonal scrollbars, menu bars, toolbars and whatsoever.
A clever way to decrease the waste in space due to Gnome is to enable the autohide feature in panel preferences (simply rightclick on an empty area of the bottom panel and choose preferences).
However, after you use this feature a few days you may get annoyed by the excessive delay in showing it up again. As everything on Linux, this can be hacked in Gnome registry! Here is how: