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Notebook display resolution change causes blurrines

Posted on 2007-12-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have deployed a HP6710b notebook to a user who has lees than perfect eyesight. At the maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050 the display is crisp & sharp, but on any other resolution text etc becomes fuzzy to the point of being unusable.
Display output to an external moitor is sharp at all resolutions.
HP support has been contacted and their response indicates that this is normal behavior. The resulting problem is that the (mobile) user finds it difficult to read (Outlook) email as the text is so small.
All pertinent drivers (display/BIOS/chipset/OS HP-specific) have been updated to no avail.
My question is;
1) Is this common/accepted bahavior across all notebooks?
2) Is there a work around?
3) If common, how do we provide notebooks to an aging workforce where the norm is to provide higher & higher display resolution and/or smaller displays?

Thanks in advance,

Alan Brown
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Question by:agradmin
7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 20395461
The behaviour is "normal"; any LCD driven at lower than its native resolution will be blurry. The alternative is to "shrink" the viewable part of the screen to show the correct number of pixels, but that will not be a help here.

The solution may be to work with font and icon sizes as far as these adjustments are available in windows (assumed O/S).
/RID
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 20395761
LCD screens have a fixed resolution, while CRT screens have variable resolution, you will see the same effect in an external LCD monitor.
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Author Comment

by:agradmin
ID: 20395825
The display looks a great deal better on an external LCD monitor at varying resolutions when compared to the notebook display.
I have seen instances on other PC's where the display is not 'perfect' in anything but the native resolution, but this unit cannot be used in anything other than 1680x1050.
As Rid correctly assumed the OS is Windows (XP).
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 20395928
I think there are a few things to try with the display, when it's not in the native resolution:
Look for anyting that deals with "anti-aliasing", try different settings.
Verify that the screen is set to use a good colour depth (millions of colours) and hasn't reverted to some oldfashioned 256 colour setting by accident; also check that the refresh rate is still 60 Hz in the lower res settings.

As you probably know, the issue comes from  one "logical" pixel having to be represented on "1.2 physical pixels" or something like that, which, of course, isn't possible. Drivers and displays handle this situation unequally; some do it well, others not. External screens seem to be a bit more advanced in this situation.
/RID
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Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 125 total points
ID: 20396032
Although all LCD's look best at their native resolution, they can still look quite good at lower settings;  but it's true that laptop LCD's are less tolerant of non-native resolutions than standalone monitors.

... but just to be sure you've got it set for the best display effects ==> do you have ClearType font smoothing enabled?  [Display Properties; Appearance tab; Effects button; "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts"]   This can make a major difference when you're using a non-native resolution.
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Author Closing Comment

by:agradmin
ID: 31412318
Thnaks for the help. The display looks sharper with Clear Type replaced by Standard.
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Author Comment

by:agradmin
ID: 20459513
Thanks for all the answers & help. Moving from Clear Type font smoothing to Standard made the display acceptable at lower resolutions.
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