Monitor Basics in Plain English

Why Is My Monitor Blurry Even Though It's HiDPI?
Learn Everything You Need to Know About HiDPI.

 

Have you ever considered buying a monitor with high pixel density (HiDPI) in order to enjoy high definition, smooth images? Did you know that despite buying a HiDPI monitor, you may still see a blurry image depending on your notebook PC and the application being used?

Learn how you can ensure high resolution images when combining a notebook PC with a HiDPI monitor (e.g. FlexScan EV2785).
 

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01 Why Are Characters Blurry Despite Using HiDPI?!?

02 What Is HiDPI Compatibility Level (DPI Awareness)?

03 DPI Awareness Compatibility by Application

Useful Links

Recommended Models

01

Why Are Characters Blurry Despite Using HiDPI?!?

If you’re using Windows, one of the reasons why characters become blurry is because the HiDPI compatibility level differs from application to application. Even with HiDPI compatibility, it’s not a simple matter of being compatible vs incompatible. In a multi-monitor environment, for example a notebook PC and an external monitor, displays outside of the main display may become blurry depending on the application. In order to display images clearly in high definition, you need to understand DPI Awareness.

Click here to learn more

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02

What Is HiDPI Compatibility Level (DPI Awareness)?

 

DPI Awareness represents the level of compatibility that an application has for HiDPI displays. There are three levels as shown in the table below.
Take note that care is needed when using two displays with differing pixel densities, such as a notebook PC and an external monitor.

 

HiDPI Display’s Level of Compatibility (DPI Awareness) Table

Level HiDPI Display Explanation
Single Monitor Multi-Monitor
Per-Monitor aware
(Fully Compatible)

Compatible with the DPI scaling of each monitor.

Both the main display and additional monitors are displayed correctly.

System aware
(Partially Compatible)
Uncertain

The main display is displayed correctly, however additional monitors may be blurry.

Unaware
(Incompatible)
× ×

The OS forcibly expands the display, blurring the image.

DPI 100% (no expansion) is the clearest.

 

 

Let’s see what these look like with a real example: a WXGA resolution (1366 x 768) notebook PC with an external HiDPI monitor. With the DPI scaling of the main monitor set to 100%, and the DPI scaling of the external monitor set to 150%.  

 

Real Life Example (WXGA notebook PC with HiDPI external monitor)

Level HiDPI Display Recommended Settings

Main: Notebook PC

DPI Scaling: 100%

Other: External Monitor

DPI Scaling: 150%

Example Application

Per-Monitor aware

(Fully Compatible)

PerMon_100per_main.png PerMon_150per_sub.png Browser

No special settings required.

System aware

(Partially Compatible)

SysAware_en_100per_main.png SysAware_en_150per_sub.png Office

Set the most used display as the main display. Match the DPI scaling of the main display with other displays*.

*We recommend the EV2785.
It is easy to match to as is uses the same DPI scaling (150%) as most mainstream full HD notebook PCs.

Unaware

(Incompatible)

Unaware_en_100per_2.png Unaware_en_150per_2.png

Other trading utilities, etc.

A monitor with high pixel density is not recommended.

 

03

DPI Awareness Compatibility by Application

 

EIZO has compiled the DPI Awareness compatibility of a variety of applications that are required for office work, CAD, image editing, illustration/DTP, and video production.

Choose your monitor and OS display settings according to your needs.

 

 

 

DPI Awareness Compatibility by Application [PDF]

  DPI Awareness Compatibility by Application [PDF]  

 

Useful Links

 

DPI scaling settings on Windows (HiDPI display)

Using the convenient "multi-display" function on Windows 10

Improve Work Efficiency by Combining an External Monitor with your Notebook PC

Confused about HiDPI and Retina display? ― Understanding pixel density in the age of 4K

Changes in the Windows 10 Creators Update

 

 

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