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I am planning to buy a new laptop and the model I look for has two different screen resolutions: 1920x1080 and 1600x900. I was looking how can I compare the size of the text / windows on the laptop's screen with external monitors and I found some info on DPI / PPI.

I understand what DPI / PPI is and I have calculated / checked what are the numbers for my monitors and it looks like this:

ext monitor 1920 x 1200 :: 103 PPI  
new laptop  1600 x  900 :: 118 PPI  
new laptop  1920 x 1080 :: 141 PPI  

I would like to clarify two cases:

  • do monitors, with similar PPI draw text / windows of similar size (measurable physical size)? will the difference be just the free space for other windows (small laptop screen vs big external monitor, with similar PPI)?
  • external monitor is placed noticable further from my eyes than the laptop so I 'want' the text / windows be a little bigger to see it as clear as these on the laptop's screen, right? then, should I look for the PPI that is a little bigger or smaller (for that external monitor)?

I think, smaller PPI value for external monitor will give ma a little bigger text / windows size. Am I correct?

share|improve this question
So, why not just adjusting the DPI of the system or scaling the fonts to your needs? – Bobby Jun 11 '12 at 7:08
I would like to choose / buy the hardware that fits my needs and left the option of adjusting DPI as the last solution. I am not sure if all the software will look comfortable to work with and I don't even try to find a guarantee to that. Both questions do not depend on my decision to buy this or that hardware. I think they can be answered anyway. – qlf00n Jun 11 '12 at 16:16
@Bobby: there is another argument to your question, as far as I know there is no way to set different DPI for laptop and external monitor, the DPI setting is per user in the system (Windows system to be precise), so I would like not to find myself in this rather expensive and very irritating situation – qlf00n Jun 11 '12 at 16:20

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