Why can laptops not resize the display properly?

Every laptop monitor setup I’ve ever seen seems have to have one really stupid fault: it doesn’t resize properly. I the screen is set to 1280 x 800, it can’t increase or decrease that. Instead, the display becomes very small, just a cutout with the program running at the normal high resolution in miniature. The result is that some older programs can’t run in new, high resolutions.

Basically: What casues this? Why did they make it this way and continue to make it this way? Presumably, it’s a function of the video drivers, since even cruddy onboard cards should be capable of using this properly.

LCD monitors aren’t like CRT monitors: they have a fixed native resolution, and it can’t really change. You can sort of, kind of, barely acceptably stretch the display to fill a laptop screen, but it’ll look terrible.

Given that I’m typing this on a 17" Dell laptop with 1920x1200 resolution, I’m not sure your question is correct.

Are you visiting from 2004, perhaps? A lot has changed in the world since then, you should probably sit down :wink:

I agree that you can’t really change that. You usually have to buy a new laptop if you want a bigger screen or a different resolution.

Most LCDs, laptop or otherwise, have the option to scale a non-native resolution to the full size of the display, with varying levels of quality mostly depending on the displayed resolution.

There may be an option in the BIOS to change the scaling option. Very old laptops may not be able to do so, as the hardware cannot do it. It’s not a driver issue, since scaling is handled by the LCD hardware directly.


Obviously, I meant that the screen itself was the limiting fatcor. If you went and spent extra on yours, fine, but that level of resultion is not common even tday.

I haven’t had this problem on my laptops. I find that the screen resolution limits the max resolution but I can choose lower resolutions with no problems other than it not looking as sharp. I can change my 1280/800 laptop to 800/600 for example and it fills the screen.

Newer notebooks can easily scale up and down and even basic notebooks being sold have fairly high default resolution options these days. This is really only a problem in fairly old notebooks with limited screen resolution and older graphics chip sets.

I have a 2-year old Vaio myself. It won’t resize the display properly, which is why I got curious.

Actually I lied. they can easily scale down but scaling up beyond their limit of resolution can be problematic. This is a non-issue for most people with higher res modern notebooks unless you’re gaming or doing anything that requires forced resolutions which are pretty rare scenarios these days.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but isn’t this asking for trouble?

I think one of us isn’t understanding the concept of a “limit” properly.

You are trying to go beyond the limit, and then you wonder why it’s not working? :confused:

He means scale up beyond their natural resolution. On some machines that’s a limit, on others it’s not.