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My mom needs a new display for her PC. She asks me for advice but I haven't used Windows for quite a long time. She's after a 23" or 24" display and seems like most of them are 1080p but there are others that are 2560x1440. She's having some problems with her sight, so I'm wondering if those high-resolution displays can be utilized for better readability by adjusting the DPI as on a Mac? I remember my last Windows 10 laptop from 6 years ago was with a 14" display at 1080p resolution which was way too tiny for reading when on native resolution and there was some DPI percentage that kind of worked but not for all applications and there were still applications that looked awful and didn't respect the DPI. I mean, typical Windows stuff, you know smile But is that fixed already? So, the questions:

- Is the DPI setting on Windows now implemented properly to support system wide behavior of utilizing high-DPI display without requiring each app to support that?
- Is the 2560x1440 resolution too high for a 24" display to be used natively?
- Which option would you recommend for an elderly person?

Last edited by CyberGene; 08/10/20 10:15 AM.

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Yes, you can (sort of). You have multiple instances for adjusting the display. The first step is to adjust the overall OS size (keeps native dpi, but increases font, icons, but tons, etc.). Then depending on the GPU you may also adjust dpi. And some software also admit adjustments (browsers have Zoom).

Try in her current display. Right button on the desktop to access display properties.

Is 24" enough?

Last edited by vagfilm; 08/10/20 10:59 AM.
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FWIW (slightly off-topic) --

My wife was having serious problems with eyestrain on her Windows computer.

The eyestrain disappeared, when we changed from standard Windows colors to a grayscale (monochrome) display. That's an option, deeply buried, in "f.lux", a piece of freeware that adjusts screen colors under Windows.

It may not help your mom at all, but it's a cheap and easy thing to try.


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FWIW (slightly off-topic) --

My wife was having serious problems with eyestrain on her Windows computer.

The eyestrain disappeared, when we changed from standard Windows colors to a grayscale (monochrome) display. That's an option, deeply buried, in "f.lux", a piece of freeware that adjusts screen colors under Windows.

It may not help your mom at all, but it's a cheap and easy thing to try.


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Windows will scale up applications that don't signal support for high DPI. Which means that they will often end up looking blurry, at least parts of them. For some apps I prefer to disable scaling. But it's common for Windows laptops to use high DPI now, so I would think most newer apps support it. One app that doesn't is Audacity.

I would not go higher than 1080p on a 24'' display. I have a 27'' with that resolution, which I would think is great for people with reduced eyesight. It's a bit much otherwise, you can more or less see the pixels. I got it for gaming use, the low resolution is an advantage then.

But high DPI support on Windows is really pretty good, at least for the apps that most people use, like web browsers and Office.


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Another thing: try 144hz if your eyes feel weird


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I accidentally discovered that monochrome mode ...

I fat fingered some keyboard sequence on my wife's laptop, and the color vanished. It went to black-and-white.
OH NO! What did I do?
Dunno. But she gonna be mad when she sees this!

Research!
It turns out that Control-Windows-C was the offending key sequence.

So just press that combination and you have a nice black and white computer ... a la early-20th century.
Press it again to return to the colorful world of the 21st.

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A few other factors to consider:

- a matte screen

- backlight flicker from some PWM LEDs can irritate some people. Very high flicker rates or DC backlights that don't really flicker might be more comfortable

- VA monitors may provide better contrast than TN or IPS

- I'm not sure refresh rate or ultimate color accuracy are so important here

- Panels are binned so the best panels are generally found in more expensive monitors

- Game developers still use some expensive CRTs. They are used principally by some on the colour & QC teams

- eInk may be most comfortable to read for some. I recall just a few and they are small, expensive, non-colour, mediocre with video. Here is a 13.3" model

https://dasung-tech.myshopify.com/

- Programs like f.lux allow one to easily the color of a screen (the calm night mode might help)

- Computer eyeglasses are popular in Asia

- Check your mother's eyeglasses have anti reflecting coatings

- Check that room lighting from bulbs or windows is not creating glare

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My FIL is 82. He absolutely cannot read a high-DPI screen, and what's more he can't use a large, widescreen monitor either because it's way too large for him to scan and pan around, her would never even notice anything not dead center on the screen. He's been using a 19" 4:3 analog LCD with VGA DIN-15 input forever now, and we're wondering how we'll ever upgrade him when needed.

His current monitor is set to such a high magnification that many settings screens cut off the apply/ok/cancel buttons at the bottom. Same with his iPhone, come to think of it. I'm just glad he kinda knows how to use these devices!


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Windows, due to its architecture, has had an abysmal time implementing high DPI. With Mac, it "just works."

Windows app designers have at least 3 main avenues to implement their graphics, one of which is "manual" using Windows APIs.

In 2015, I got a 4k Dell XPS laptop. Shiny and sparkling. Except Skype for Business was comically large (took 1/2 the screen, literally) while Office applications (Word, Excel, etc) were unreadably tiny. I have regretted the 4k decision since then.

With each iteration of Windows 10 (and as applications have adapted), the situation has improved. I constantly remote into servers, and high DPI causes special issues in those scenarios. But your mom is unlikely to have those use cases.

For my desk work, I use a 1080p Dell 24" (Dell U2415). Actually, 2 of them. They have small bezels, are matte, bright, and no resolution issues. In the past, I had a 27" BenQ 2k monitor (the resolution you mentioned). It was shiny and difficult.

Windows 10 and applications may have improved with high DPI, but I have distrusted it for a while.

Also FWIW, I have also used a 27" 1080p monitor. I got it for a small desk when I am not wearing contacts or glasses. It's huge, yes, and may be a bit grainy, but I also had no trouble reading from 2-3 feet back.


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Thanks for all the answers, it seems like a high DPI display may turn out problematic for her. She decided on a 24MK600M LG display with 1080p resolution. I hope a 1080P on a 24" display is good enough for reading. She's not having some serious eye issues but she noticed her current 19" display is a bit small and she's staring from too close and has some eye strain afterwards.


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That should be fine IMO. If she is using web-browser just increase the size by Control plus mouse wheel to increase magnification or reduce magnification as needed. At lease in Firefox smile


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Does she have eyeglasses, for the computer, that are corrected for her normal eye-to-screen distance?

If not, and she wears bifocal or "progressive" glasses,

... get her non-prescription "reading glasses"

..... to wear in front of her regular glasses, when she's at the computer.

1.5 or 2.0 diopter readers should help.


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She has moderate myopia and wears glasses but she also started having some eye-pressure problems recently (which my grannie also had, so it's hereditary, a glaucoma) and I guess that worsens her problems with the display. Are these reading glasses any good really?


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Glasses corrected for the distance to the computer screen can be wonderful, but the distance correction has to be right. When I wear glasses at home it's annoying having to keep switching between reading and distance. I end up not wearing glasses enough.

Last edited by johnstaf; 08/10/20 06:19 PM.
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I have glasses for using the computer which I also use for playing the piano, they are weaker than my reading prescription.

These glasses live in my office room which is the same room where my piano is.

I sometimes forget to replace them with my varifocals before heading downstairs, mostly that isn’t an issue, I usually notice most obviously if I need to drive or watch TV and so I have to swap them over.

But having computer glasses is wonderful, much less eye strain and varifocals really don’t work well for computer or piano use.

I would recommend getting tested for computer use.


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