have drifted away from the needs of productivity users and baby-boomers/Seniors as they increasingly limit their offerings to Widescreen,
high resolution displays. New notebooks are designed for people
who use their portable computers primarily for the casual
consumption of media and email; not for those in the "working sector" like programmers, engineers,
financial analysts, system administrators, designers, accountants or writers who need some vertical space in their
There is nothing you can do to increase
the height of a Wide Screen, but most
applications such as Microsoft Office and all Web Browsers have
a "ZOOM" feature to provide scaling of content within these
applications. Zoom does not address size of System Interfaces
or Application Menus.
Regarding hyperopic users, the first two systems
in the examples above have a PPI of less than 100 providing
reasonable viewing for a senior, but systems like this have
not been available since 2010. All new notebooks have a PPI
of over 110 and many are a strain or nearly unusable for many
Countermeasures to address visibility problems you may
a high screen resolution screen.
(Ctrl - ScrollWheel)
The Zoom feature is perfect
for scaling application content to the user's preference,
but it does not scale application menus or any Windows Interface features.
There are 3 ways to set the Zoom
level with most Web Browsers or any Microsoft Office
application, but the easiest method is to use the
Scroll Wheel on your mouse while holding down the
Ctrl key. Some applications remember your last
Zoom setting from session to session.
Set Custom Test Size
(DPI) (Control Panel
> Display > Set custom text size (DPI))
In theory, this setting
can address the scale of some application content
plus Menus and the Windows interface
but in fact is a poor compromise because many interfaces and
menus do not display correctly with changes to this setting.
For example, text may not
fit in interface boxes or in drop-down menus, so changing the DPI is
only a last resort if you can't see application and
If you try this, Windows has a preset of +125% which
is a large increment. With a little digging you can
find the place to add any % value you want.
Add an External Monitor
- Extend your Desktop for under $150.00
When using a notebook
at your home or office, an attached monitor can
provide more vertical and horizontal working space and
provide a lower PPI than any new notebook
Specific Recommendation: Dell ST2220L
A 21.5" 1920x1080 monitor (ppi = 102.46) provides
good vertical and horizontal working space and isn't
unreasonably large to work as an extended desktop to
The author tested 3 brands of sub $150.00 monitors with
these specs. I expected the brands to be equal, but
a Dell model had the best display quality between
the units tested. At the time of testing, a Dell ST2220L cost $120.00 on-sale at Micro-Center.