Advice on Monitor Resolution using Laptop Docking Station

  Rockarch 20:30 PM 20 Jul 11

A question about how to get a sharper image on an external monitor. I have a Dell Latitude D630 laptop with an Nvidia Quadro NVS 135M video card, running XP which I use in a docking station with an external monitor (an old Samsung SyncMaster 940N bought for a previous non-widescreen laptop)

The laptop screen is a wide screen at 1440 x 900 pixels whereas the external monitor has a native resolution of 1280 x 1024 but I am running it at 1024 x 768 so I can see it properly. The image on the external monitor isn't great and I would like it to be sharper for photo editing etc.

I am considering changing the external monitor & my question is whether I need to get an external monitor with the same native resolution as the laptop screen to get the best image? Or what other suggestions do you have?

Thanks in advance for your help

  D@ve 02:07 AM 21 Jul 11

The resolution of your laptop's display is irrelevant unless you want the image cloned on both screens at the same time (which I doubt is the case?).

The reason why your image doesn't look very sharp is because you have not got it set at the native resolution. Do this and you will see a big improvement. If you find things too small then try adjusting the DPI within your display settings, and on websites use your browser's zoom feature (press ctrl & + on most browsers) - the result will be much better than using 1024 x 768 as your resolution. If you use Firefox, it will remember which zoom settings you use for each site, so you will only have to do it once. For example, on this site I like it quite zoomed in as it's very small on my monitor otherwise, so when I come here from say Google, it will go from zero zoom to my custom zoom automatically. Internet Explorer on the other hand will just stay at the current zoom level for your entire session unless you manually change it.

Buying a new monitor isn't going to help - all monitors produce a poor image if not used at their native resolution, and I suspect that a 1280 x 1024 19" monitor will have among the highest pixel sizes available.

  Rockarch 08:45 AM 21 Jul 11

Thanks for your advice Dave, as you can tell I don't really understand this whole area. I'll have a go a changing the settings with the monitor at native resolution to see how it goes.


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