I have a lenovo W530 (specs) and an external HP ZR22w (specs) connected by a mini-displayport to full displayport cable. Both monitors report 1920 x 1080 resolution.

When I drag a window from the laptop screen to the external display, the window itself and the fonts become noticeably larger, and I can't figure out why.

Is there a way to get these screens to display things the same way?


Assuming that both of those screens are properly set at 1920x1080.

The same sized window on a 15.6in screen like on your laptop and on a 21.5in will be different even if the resolution is the same because the size of the screens differs. The window will be 37.8% larger on the 21.5in screen than on the 15.6in screen.

For the window to be the same size on both screens, either they must be the same size and resolution, or they must have the same pixel density. Neither is true with these two screens.

To fix this, one needs to set the resolution of the 21.5in screen to 2646x1488. Or reduce the resolution of the 15.6in screen to 1393x783. Or move the 21.5in further away from the user.

  • totally makes sense when you put it that way. I LOL'd at "move the larger screen back" -- creative solution! Apr 3 '14 at 17:48
  • And that's exactly what I do. I have a laptop and a TV, and I set the laptop on a desk in front of the TV such that the number of pixels per viewing distance is comparable. Sep 16 '15 at 22:28

The monitor supports custom scaling (page 22 of the manual). Check the setting with your OSD (on screen display) as it is possible this setting is causing the image to appear larger than you expect.

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  • Thanks-- I thought that might be the issue too. I played with the options under the custom scaling menu, and neither "fill to screen" nor "fill to aspect ratio" seem to change the image. Overscan is off, but I tried turning that on too, and no help. Video OverDrive and Dynamic Contrast Ratio are also off, toggled them, no help. Apr 3 '14 at 17:08

I just had a problem like this. If you actually see Windows switch the size after you drag a window more than 50% between screens then go to Settings > System > Display > Scale and layout > Advanced scaling settings and enter custom scaling of 100% even if the previous menu default was set at 100%. I think this is kind of a bug in Windows where after you change it from a different resolution it doesn't actually get changed for both monitors even though it indicates that, so by going into advancd scaling and forcing it to 100% it gets changed for both.

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