Ideal Monitors for SP3 - scaling and resolution across sizes

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by jgsurface, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. jgsurface

    jgsurface New Member

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    Hi folks - I'm about to jump onto the SP3 and need to have an external monitor setup. The size of the monitor will be around 24-27 inches and I'm doing a lot of resolution and scaling research. I'm pretty flexible on the choice of monitor, but want to make my life as easy as possible, with few scaling issues as possible.

    Do people fancy posting what monitors they use and the resolutions, or what monitors (or monitor resolutions) they would target at different screen sizes? There's a lot of info out there but it seems scattered across scaling and multi-mon articles and threads. DPI ratios or screen shapes ... the key or does it not matter?

    Any help much appreciated for me and wealth of noobs like me who want to jump onto SP3 but find themselves a little intimidated by all the possibilities, and don't want to get it too wrong!

    Thanks folks!
     
  2. Tsurugaya

    Tsurugaya Active Member

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    27" at 2560*1440 at 125% scaling, the external monitor could be at 100% without problem, it is the SP3 screen that is too small for its resolution.
     
  3. jgsurface

    jgsurface New Member

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    Thanks Tsurugaya! If you don't mind me asking do use mirroring or desktop extension?
     
  4. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

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    A good option is a 21.5" monitor with 1920x1080p resolution which has about 1/2 the physical dpi of the SP3 screen. Side by side it'll look fantastic. For more info see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/danchar/arc...on-with-surface-pro-3-dpi-scaling-tweaks.aspx

    A 2560x1440 monitor in 27" size has about 1/2 the physical dpi of the SP3 screen too and ought to be a really good option. I'd stay away from 23"/24" monitors. There are no panels out there that are a good match for the 125%/150% scaling plateaus.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  5. Tsurugaya

    Tsurugaya Active Member

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    Extension, for a total of four monitors including the SP3.
     
  6. Jamie Youngblood

    Jamie Youngblood Member

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    If you want to avoid scaling issues, get a high res screen and keep your scaling the same across all monitors. 4k @ 24-32" will work well, e.g., the Dell UP2414Q. It is 185ppi, which is very close to the SP3's 216ppi.

    I have the UP3214Q (140ppi) and it works fine using the same scaling as the SP3 because you end up sitting a bit farther back from the screen.

    I personally cannot go back to low-res monitors after living with retina displays on all my other devices (including the SP3).
     
  7. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

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    We've got a few of those Dell 4k monitors at work. They are really nice and the price has come down a lot recently so they are a great option.

    The default scaling factor in Windows for the 24" 4K monitors is 200% while the SP3 screen is 150% (the scaling determination is based on the typical viewing distance for the screen not just the physical dpi), so you'll still have to fiddle with settings to get them to show the same scaling factor to avoid re-scaling blurriness in some of the problem apps. But the size of windows on the two screens will be noticeably different no matter what settings you choose. That artifact can irk some people.

    Interesting that you have your SP3 closer to you in docked mode and the big screen further away. I've tried that and didn't like it at all but I appreciate why you would do that. I much prefer having all the screens at the same viewing distance and not using touchscreen at all when docked.

    After using an Asus 4K monitor with TN panel for a few months, I've gone back to Dell IPS 1920x1200 panels. At my age (35) I don't get a lot of value with the extra dpi on the 4k screens when the screen is 30 inches away from my eyes, but I do get huge value from the IPS panels with color clarity and viewing angle. After IPS, I can't go back to TN. For me, color clarity and dynamic range/contrast are far more important than dpi. Too bad most of the good 4K IPS panels are still pretty expensive.
     
  8. Jamie Youngblood

    Jamie Youngblood Member

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    Agree that keeping monitors the same distance is ideal. Too much work for your eyes to change viewing distance all the time.

    I don't actually use my SP3 screen for any real work while docked because it's too small to be useful. I meant that when using the SP3 as a standalone tablet you tend to hold it close. When docked the 32" screen allows you sit a bit further back. So the 210ppi vs. 140ppi actually works out to be about the same perceived size. So it's not like you undock and then everything becomes tiny on the SP3 screen.

    The lower ppi monitors didn't bother me too much until Office 2013. MS turned off ClearType in Word and Outlook 2013, so the fonts look much worse now. The 140ppi without ClearType essentially just gets you back to the same apparent font rendering as ~100ppi with ClearType.

    And, yes IPS all the way. Would love a larger (14-20") wireless IPS touchscreen monitor. Something you could dock in portrait mode but grab and work with touch/pen on your lap, etc.
     
  9. jgsurface

    jgsurface New Member

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    Guys, this is great advice. If there's any other setups that people are happy with / less happy with do put it down. I'll certainly post what I end up with...
     

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