Anyone using custom (120) DPI scaling?

By on February 17, 2007, 4:54 AM
I recently bought a new laptop, specifically a Vaio TXN17P/B, which goes beyond the 'thin and light' category weighting in at only 2.8 pounds with a 11.1" LCD screen. Although it's too early to tell whether I will get used to the little screen after using a 15.4" ThinkPad for more than two years, I definitely love the portability and extended battery life (~4-7 hours).

Nevermind those details... while the small screen in the Vaio is excellent in terms of brightness, resolution and viewing angle, it's still too small. So, besides cranking up some font settings in XP, I decided to use the DPI scaling option which gets you from the default 96 to a larger 120 DPI setting. I believe I had played with that option once before but quickly went back as it made things large, ugly and disarranged. Turns out that's my best option with the Vaio now, and in less than a day I have somewhat got used to it... after all, I can finally read things better in the OS, while in Firefox 'Ctrl +' is my best friend.

That said, when I came to visit my favorite website (I suppose you can figure that out yourself), all fonts were horribly rendered, making for a very unpleasant reading experience. Turns out I was completely unaware of the impracticality of using fixed font sizes (points or pt) versus relative font sizes (pixels or px). Long story short, until just now TechSpot had had a life only in 96 DPI font scaling (which luckily is the default for all Windows machines). Those few of you that still remained loyal to this website despite of the horrible looks, well, you are probably having a much pleasant surprise before your eyes.

I also believe this small but significant change of how fonts are rendered site-wide will have more of an impact in the coming year or two, as operating systems like Vista and Mac OS X have started pushing the envelope in this regard with higher resolution scalable icons, and an optimized interface to be used with custom DPI settings.

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