Advice for external monitor (match resolution or match ppi)?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Accessories' started by beq, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. beq

    beq Member

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    For an older family member who just wants to see things bigger, which tactic is better:

    1) External 1920x1080 monitor to match the SP2 display res

    2) External super-high-res monitor that gets closer to the SP2 display's 208 ppi pixel density

    I'm thinking in terms of display mirroring, switching active display back and forth, and extending the desktop to both displays side by side.

    Which would be more practical or convenient, in terms of having to constantly resize windows or adjust fonts or whatnot.
     
  2. macmee

    macmee Active Member

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    Is this person going to be primarily browsing the Internet, and otherwise just going to be using built in Windows features? If so, a big screen where you can increase the DPI even further if needed is going to work out.

    One of my relatives in a similar situation has a 27" monitor such as this one:

    Dell 27 Monitor - S2740L : Parts & Upgrades | Dell Canada

    Which is a decent cheap solution. If it were me, I would likely buy a 1920x1080 30" monitor, and if required, I would increase the text size within Windows further, or switch to a different 16:9 resolution such as 1280x720.


    ----


    If the problem with changing settings frequently is unattractive to you, you could write a short shell script to toggle these settings for you, so that you just have to double click the script's icon from your desktop and it applies the correct text sizes and custom resolution for you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  3. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... I would go with IPS 27inch 1080p monitor, assuming the Surface Pro will be set at 100% DPI.
    If it will be set to 150%, then perhaps a 23/24inch 1080p monitor will do.
     
  4. beq

    beq Member

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    As you said, a 1080p monitor in a size that large may prompt the user to change Windows back down to 100% DPI (so he gets more content real estate, and everything is not blown up TOO big). But that also means he'd have to constantly switch back to 150% DPI when taking the SP2 out of the house (because everything is too small at 100% on the built-in display). And if he extends the desktop across both displays side by side, will Windows even let him set each display to a different DPI scaling?

    But let's say we use a 1440p or 4K monitor (keeping Windows at 150% DPI). Will there be other pain points involved with destop/app positioning when swapping the active display with the built-in 1080p screen back and forth, or extending the desktop and dragging app windows from one screen to the other?


    P.S. On a side topic, is it best to choose a monitor with the same 16:9 aspect ratio as the SP2 display, or can I still try to find 16:10 (ie. 2560x1600 30", or 1920x1200 24")?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  5. beq

    beq Member

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    Oh wow, I'm not sure my family member would need text blown up that much (30" monitor set to 720p with extra large font size) :D :D Thanks for the info though.
     
  6. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    Windows 8.1 support different DPI per monitor, however desktop application may appear a bit blurry on the secondary monitor as it emulates the different DPI. I have not tested it. I don't know if high-DPI aware program will show correctly either. Needs testing.
    But yes you are correct. He will have to switch DPI if he goes to 27inch 1080, if he finds things too big on the 27inch screen.

    That I can't answer. I don't have either monitor. But the Surface Pro 2 is not 4K 60Hz ready. Only 30Hz. Thanks to Intel IGP miss-leading claims as usual. I guess they were hopping that no one finds out due to the high cost of 4K displays.

    16:10 monitors usually features 1:1 pixel mapping, as they usually focused at professionals. Meaning that they'll can display 16:9 content without any stretching or scaling. So, if he does clone the SP2, he will get black bars at the top and bottom. If he extends, then he can enjoy a larger work area due to the aspect ratio.
     
  7. macmee

    macmee Active Member

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    I'm sure it ultimately depends on their situation, my relative is considered legally blind so with her limited vision she likes this setup. Good luck to you though :D
     
  8. guymalloc

    guymalloc Member

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    Aren't most flat screen led tv's 1366x768? I know you can set the surface screen to that. Wouldn't that make the desktop full screen then?
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    LED/LCD TVs from 5-10 years ago were 1280x720 also known as 720p (1366x768 are subset of these) starting 5 years ago unless you were buying on the lower end most were 1080p (1920x1080).
     
  10. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    "LED's TV" are just LCD TV's with LED backlight, instead of using CFL's
    Poke at your computer power LED, now go to a store and poke at an 'LED TV'. Notice how when you poke at your computer light it was hard, and on the LCD TV at teh store you saw some nice waves around your finger showing that it is a liquid (LCD - Liquid Crystal Display), despite being an 'LED TV'.

    TV's resolution are in most cases:
    -> 32inch and above -> 1080p
    -> 32inch and bellow -> 720p
    32inch being in both categories.
    Now they are exceptions, but that is the general rule.
    That is of today.

    Here is a nice video on how LCD works:
    [video=youtube;jiejNAUwcQ8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiejNAUwcQ8[/video]
     

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