High density display on my Toshiba M200

It's always a good day when you get new hardware. I cherish the days where I get new hardware in the office. It's like Christmas.

Today my Toshiba M200 appeared. This is a pimpin machine. I was really getting tired of my Toshiba 3500. That piece of hardware was so problematic. If it wasn't hard freezing, or overheating, or being slow with a jerky mouse cursor, or <pick annoying hardware behavior> I would feel like taking a sledge hammer to it. But man oh man has the tablet pc come a long way.

For one thing this is the first laptop I've owned that sports a higher screen resolution than any desktop I own (1400 x 1050). The machine also screams with a 1.7 P4, 7200 RPM drive and a 32 MB nVidia graphics card. The older Toshiba 3500 had some real sub standard I/O (Trident 16 mb shared memory graphics, non Intel chipset etc).

However, this thing also has a 12 inch screen. 1400 x 1050 on a 12 inch screen. You do the math. I can barely read anything it's so small. I'm not sure if I'll get used to this or not. I tried a few things like changing the XP font size to large etc. Nothing worked. I still had problems seeing things unless I literally brought the laptop uncomfortably close to my face. Plus, tablets have this sort of magnetic field on the screen so the screens actually aren't as crisp as say a normal laptop. However, on a hunch I tried something I've tried before (which looked horrible) but it happened to work!

Windows has a setting that lets you change the default DPI from 96 to 120. It requires a reboot and some special fonts or something, but it works! I mean, I can read everything now. Well there are some things that don't work so well, but generally it's a lot better than 96 dpi.

Tony Schreiner blogged about this a few months back. I didn't have any reason to try this back then... now I definitely do. You can also tweak IE 6 to render according to your dpi setting.

There are some gotchas that he mentions like sites that use px for font sizes (uh like mine) look the same size (if you add the regkey for IE 6 this is fixed). Also some applications like Office have their toolbar icons resampled which looks kind a bad. But at least I won't lose my eyesight ;-).

Comments (4)

  1. Ha! I’ve been complaining about the stretched graphics on my blog at http://idunno.org/displayBlog.aspx/2004042801

    Finally I can do some graphics work on my widescreen laptop, thanks!

  2. Dave Cortright says:

    There are 3rd party utilities that can scale the display as well. I haven’t tried this one (Liquid View) personally, but I use their Pivot software and I’ve been pretty impressed with it.


  3. Andrew Enfield says:

    Thanks – I’ll try it out.

    Also, in case you haven’t tried this already, you can press Fn and the spacebar to cycle dynamically through different resolutions. Yeah, 1024×768 on a 1400×1050 isn’t the best looking, but it’s quick and easy…

    In my case I’m ok w/ the tinyness, unless I’m using the machine on my lap to take notes (I think it’s farther away from my eyes). So I keep it at 1400×1050 and then switch back and forth with a few keystrokes when necessary.

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