I got a Macbook Air and the native resolution is 1440 x 900 which is very clear and crisp. The problem is the text and ui elements are tiny at that resolution. So I changed the resolution to 1280 x 800, the problem is at the smaller resolution the display is less clear and less crisp. So my question is, how can reducing the resolution make the display less clear? Surely the text would be more clear since the is 1440 x 900 pixels displaying an image that is 1280 x 800?

Thanks in advance, Francis

  • Leave the native resolution and go into the system and increase the font sizes. Scaling will ALWAYS suck! – cybernard Dec 26 '13 at 2:08
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    I would but on Mac there's no way to increase the font system wide. :( – Francis Dec 26 '13 at 11:09

The resolution of your monitor is a hardware characteristic, and can not be changed, despite what some misleading software might suggest. The resolution of your video output should never be anything other than your actual physical monitor resolution, except in some very exceptional testing situations. Typically (and this is unfortunately a widespread bug), setting a resolution less than your monitor's native resolution will result in the smaller resolution being "scaled up" and filling your entire screen. Of logical necessity, this will involve approximation and "guessing" what the extra pixels should be. This translates into distortion and fuzziness. In your particular case, a 1280x800 image scaled up to 1440x900 is by no means the same as a genuine 1440x900 image.

Instead of messing with monitor resolutions, you should set your system fonts to be larger, or try to find a generalized system "zoom" function, such as exists with the Windows "DPI" setting.

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