Category Archives: Operating Systems

Scaling Windows – The DPI Arms Race

For several years now, device manufacturers have been in a race to push the pixel density of devices – primarily mobile devices – higher and higher. The race began with the iPhone 4 “Retina” display, an at the time impressive 330 pixels per inch (PPI) 960×480 3.5” display. Keen to trump the Retina moniker, makers of Android devices soon churned out devices with displays with PPIs of 440 and higher, with the current push to 2560×1440 displays in 5.5” or smaller sizes which yield an amazing 500+ PPI. We’ve seen a similar race in the tablet space, with 1280×800 soon giving way to 2560×1600 displays, but this time in a 7” to 10” form factor. Not wanting to be left out, Windows laptops and desktops are now starting to ship with high DPI displays. Unfortunately, Windows isn’t a simple matter of higher DPI being better; let’s discuss some of the history, problems, current solutions, and the future outlook for DPI scaling with Windows.