Windows 10 DPI scaling and window positioning issues on laptops

If you’re using a Windows 10 laptop at anything other than the default scaling factor for your display, you may encounter an issue where closing the lid causes your window positions and sizes to be forgotten. I discovered this on my MacBook Pro Retina, which I run at 100% scaling (the default is 200%). This may also apply on Windows 8.1, but I haven’t tried it on this hardware.

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft introduced a new model of handling DPI scaling, that allowed different monitors to have different scaling factors. This is useful for situations where you’re running multiple displays of vastly different density, as it’ll make applications appear roughly the same size on all monitors.

However, at least in Windows 10, there’s a problem with this. Windows detects displays when they’re attached, and determines a proper default DPI and applies it. Once that is done, it applies your preferred scaling factor to the display. The problem with this is that closing the lid on a laptop effectively detaches the display, and opening it back up causes redetection. There’ll be no problem if you’re happy with the default scaling factor, but if you’re running a non-default scaling factor, this can cause huge problems. Apps can get stuck in the old scaling factor, windows will be rearranged, and windows will be resized. A workaround for this problem (if you don’t need different DPI for each monitor) is to disable Windows 8.1 DPI scaling, which on 8.1 could have been done by checking the “Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays” checkbox. That checkbox, however, is no longer available in Windows 10, but the registry key that it changed is still available, at HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Win8DpiScaling. Change it from 0 to 1, reboot, and now all displays should have the same DPI, and closing your lid won’t change your window layout.

Obviously, there’s an underlying bug in display detection that Microsoft needs to fix (as the feature that I’ve disabled actually is a useful one). However, for my case, where I’m happy with all displays running at the same scaling factor, the old way of multi-monitor scaling (as used in Windows 98 (the first version with official multi-monitor support) through 8.0) works perfectly fine.

This just got real – Droid X appears to have a 720p screen

So, Apple upped the ante in smartphone resolutions with the iPhone 4’s 960×640 screen, at 330 PPI.

That’s a fairly impressive resolution and pixel density – the highest resolution, and close to the highest pixel density (the LG CYON LU1400, a Korean TV phone from 2008, had a slightly higher 333 PPI on its 800×480 screen) ever sold on a phone.

However, if Verizon’s site is to be believed, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Verizon is claiming that the Droid X, one of the latest wave of 4.3″ “let’s make a small tablet and call it a phone” Android devices, has 720p resolution – 1280×720. That’s a mind-blowing 342 PPI.

If this is real, the PPI race is on like Donkey Kong.

Source: Engadget

Resolution, pixel density, viewing distances, and retina displays

For once, I actually post an entry that’s not bashing Apple. In fact, I’m going to defend Apple somewhat.

So, with the iPhone 4, Apple’s announced something they call a “Retina Display.”

That’s marketing speak for a display with higher resolution than the human eye – the human eye cannot discern pixels on a display of that pixel density, at one foot viewing distance.

One critic has claimed that Apple’s claims are false… which is only true if you ignore 20/20 vision, and go straight to 20/12, according to someone who worked on the optics for the Hubble Space Telescope. Continue reading

Technology is going backwards

You might be confused by the title. After all, every few months, computers get faster and faster, and get more features.

So why am I saying that technology is going backwards?

Well, I should be more clear. It’s display technology that’s going backwards.

Let’s start with what you can get right now, brand new.

Right now, the highest resolution computer monitor that money can buy is an impressive 3840×2160. It’s a 56″ display, made by several manufacturers, although they’re all using the same panel, Chimei Innolux’s V562D1. It uses SMVA technology, which is a fine technology, and provides good viewing angles and color accuracy, although not the best (which is IPS.) That said, the cheapest I’ve seen them is in the $40,000 area, and 56″ is, quite frankly, huge. Continue reading