Win 8 with high density display?

canderson's picture

Please, please kill this if there's already a thread that answers my questions....

When can Windows users quit caring about ClearType and anti-aliasing?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_displays_by_pixel_density
A 13" MacBook Pro has a resolution of 89 ppcm or 227 ppi. My iPhone 4s, which is starting to seem old, has a ppi of 128 ppcm/326ppi. This is no longer 'bleeding edge' technology...millions of people have these devices.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/03/21/scaling-to-different-scree...

This answers some of my questions. However, I'm wondering if there are any typophiles who are using, say, a Windows 8 desktop with a high-pixel-density display. I'm having trouble Googling what options are actually available.

What I think I want is an external display that I can connect to a reasonably current PC and get 200+ ppi with Windows 8. Is this possible?

I don't care if its of physically smaller, I just don't want to be able to see text pixel edges on my PC anymore. Its 2013.

hrant's picture

Not that I share your anti-pixel wishful thinking, but: Surface Pro.

Also, you can get a 12.5" laptop with a 1920×1080 display. What ppi is that?

And I wonder if this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Vaio_P_series
can run Win8.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

You can run Windows on Mac hardware, of course. I'm aware of folks running Win8 on the 13" MacBook Pro with retina screen.

hrant's picture

And then there's this: http://www.hackintosh.com/
:-)

hhp

aluminum's picture

I'm not aware of 'retina' external monitors but I'm guessing they are out there. You're basically looking for a high PPI screen. But the challenge is if the OS/Software will support the pixel doubling of retina.

Even using an actual Retina MacBook to run Windows is tricky for Retina. It looks like it's dependent on the display drivers:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6008/windows-8-on-the-retina-display-macbo...

On top of that, the software will have to support it. I'm not even sure Adobe fully supports Retina on OSX yet: http://thenextweb.com/apps/2012/12/11/adobe-brings-retina-support-to-pho...

canderson's picture

Not that I share your anti-pixel wishful thinking
Are you mad? I want Baskerville to look as it appears on the printed page, and the way it appears on my mobile phone when I'm reading books on the subway, not some fuzzy garbage.

I want an external PC monitor that can do this...is it not currently possible?

I also find it difficult to believe that Apple is so far ahead, that there is no Windows equivalent, regardless of cost. Windows 8 seems to address this to some extent, but where is the hardware.

Note: I do not want a touch-screen monitor.

hrant's picture

Relative to what it could be it does look like fuzzy garbage on your mobile phone.

I want Baskerville to look as it appears on the printed page

And I want chocolate cake to have the nutritional value of a broccoli & apple smoothie.

hhp

canderson's picture

My eyeballs are not perfect, so 326ppi is close to what I will ever be able to physically discern. That's essentially all I'm asking for. Ancient ClearType/anti-aliasing disputes are probably irrelevant at about 4ooppi, at least for this human.

canderson's picture

And I want chocolate cake to have the nutritional value of a broccoli & apple smoothie.
It would be fine, if at some beyond point, UI designers replaced the artifacts of letterpress printing, but they would surely be subtle--and probably against John Baskerville's intention.

hrant's picture

Some ancient things make sense. Like the 90s mantra "Don't believe the hype"...

http://www.cultofmac.com/173702/why-retina-isnt-enough-feature/

hhp

canderson's picture

Surface Pro is 208ppi, but my original question was: are there any external displays for PC that have this resolution?

JamesM's picture

My iPhone and iPad have retina displays and it's really nice; I can't discern pixels no matter how close I get to the screen. But only one of Apple's laptops or desktops have a retina screen at the moment, and that's the MacBook Pro if you pay extra for the retina-screen version.

I've read that one reason for the slow adoption in larger screens is that they are harder to manufacture and a relatively high percentage of screens are rejected at the assemble plant (due to bad pixels, etc), therefore slowing production and raising costs.

canderson's picture

The simple fact is that text rendered at 326ppi is going to look pretty darn crisp next to any schenanigans used to improve things at 150ppi. It seems like some display maker should step in and provide this for people who want it... Win 8 seems to have the capability.

John Hudson's picture

I've read that one reason for the slow adoption in larger screens is that they are harder to manufacture and a relatively high percentage of screens are rejected at the assemble plant (due to bad pixels, etc), therefore slowing production and raising costs.

Yes, to the extent that I wonder if the 13" MacBook Pro retina screens are a loss leader.

canderson's picture

The bottom-end 13" MacBook Pro is still $1700 USD....so the hi-density display adds about $500. I would hope that in 24-36 months all displays will be like this.

JamesM's picture

> so the hi-density display adds about $500

The retina display models are about $500 more, but they come with a solid-state flash drive (which on other MacBooks is around a $200 option). So of that $500 difference, about $300 is for the retina display itself and $200 is for the solid-state drive.

But $300 (or so) is still a substantial amount when you consider that the average PC laptop sells for around $500.

aluminum's picture

Keep in mind it's more than the hardware, though. While high PPI screens could be made, the operating systems and software on them needs to support the concept of 'retina'.

One idea I had forgot to mention, though, is to maybe look at getting an iPad 3 and use the AirDisplay app. It turns your iPad into an external monitor. I believe it can preserve the retina display on OSX, though not sure if it can do that with Windows 8 yet.

Si_Daniels's picture

We have Windows 8 running on a couple of retina Mac Books and it seems to be working without major issues.

Some details on the Windows 8 approach to scaling and high-DPI is posted here... http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/03/21/scaling-to-different-scree...

With respect to ClearType, the new Windows 8 UI and apps use sub-pixel positioned grayscale (basically sub-pixel positioned ClearType with the color removed). The old UI, and desktop apps use ClearType as before, and new apps can opt in to ClearType if they want to.

Cheers, Si

aluminum's picture

How does sub-pixel grayscale work? Isn't the definition of a sub-pixel imply that it'll be color (RG or B?)

aluminum's picture

It looks like AirDisplay does support Retina with OSX. Still not sure about Windows, though:

http://blog.avatron.com/post/19668140022/air-display-on-the-third-genera...

(For anyone that has an iPad, though, I do recommend this app. I use it a lot on my MacBook to add a second portable screen).

JamesM's picture

I'd recommend AirDisplay too; I've tried it with my MacBook/iPad 3 and it works well.

Si_Daniels's picture

>How does sub-pixel grayscale work? Isn't the definition of a sub-pixel imply that it'll be color (RG or B?)

Not subpixel rendering (ClearType), but sub-pixel positioning, which means that unlike GDI (where glyphs are drawn on whole pixel boundaries) a glyph can start on fractions of a pixel.

aluminum's picture

Ah, the position clarification makes sense. But how does that work with 'grayscale'? My understanding of sub pixels is that they are one of the three colors that make up a full pixel.

Si_Daniels's picture

I can see the confusion, as a glyph can start on any fraction of a pixel, then "fractional pixel positioning" may be a less confusing way to describe it.

canderson's picture

Last update: At last year's CES show, Panasonic demo'd a 20" 216 ppi display, but as far as I can tell, it never made it to market.

This year, they announced a 20" 3840 x 2560 pixel tablet, which runs at 230 ppi. The display is not available without a computer and batteries attached however.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/08/panasonic-reveals-20-inch-4k-resoluti...

So, hi-density displays are arriving for the PC, its just that no one cares about traditionally configured PCs any more--to the extent that there's actually nothing for sale.

John Hudson's picture

Get a really big monitor and sit further back. Nothing increases resolution like distance.

canderson's picture

Get a really big monitor and sit further back. Nothing increases resolution like distance.
Would you say that to someone who reads books? "Newsprint is no problem, just get the large print edition and lean back a bit."

Meanwhile at CES, Sony introduced the 5" Xperia Z phone with a 1920 x 1080/440 ppi display. (Possibly the same hardware as HTC Droid DNA)
http://gizmodo.com/5973920/sony-xperia-z-and-zl-hands-on-two-phones-wort...

To my original question; this seems like a business situation and not one of technological limitations.

hrant's picture

Well, unlike a hand-held device a monitor has no arm-length issues, so what John suggests isn't ludicrous (you just need a deeper desk/room).

hhp

John Hudson's picture

To my original question; this seems like a business situation and not one of technological limitations.

As has been discussed here and elsewhere many times before, there are good reasons why we're seeing increases in screen resolution in smaller devices and not in larger monitors. The more device pixels in a screen, the higher the likelihood that one of them will fail; the attrition rate for high resolution monitors has been too high to entice manufacturers. IBM was making 200 ppi screens for a while, but the pricing was high, and they were mostly marketed for medical imaging uses. Apple is just now pushing the size of high resolution screens with their 13" MacBook Pro retina laptops and, just announced, 15" refurbished models. These are the largest screens of anything like that resolution that I am aware of, and I'll be surprised if even Apple can push it much further. There comes a point when the cost of all the failed screens that have to be trashed makes it economically unviable. Unless someone develops manufacturing processes that very significantly reduce the attrition rate, high resolution screens are going to mostly exist in the smaller devices.

By the way, I was quite serious about getting a larger monitor and sitting further back. I have a 30" Dell screen.

JamesM's picture

CEO Tim Cook has said that Apple will update the Mac Pro (their tower model aimed at pros) in 2013. My guess is that they'll offer a standalone retina display as an option (the display is sold separately).

The Mac Pro is their most expensive model and they don't sell huge numbers of them, so the low yield and higher cost of the retina display wouldn't be such a problem.

But for their consumer desktop, the iMac, I don't think they're in any hurry to give it a retina display. Like you said, it would be expensive and the rejection rate is too high at this point.

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