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ClearType on Tablets

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  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    For whatever reason, I decided to rotate my monitor from landscape to portrait. And I had a heck of a time trying to get the ClearType to look correct. After about five minutes, I just went back to landscape and reran the ClearType tuner.

    So here is my question, how does ClearType work on those BUILD tablets?

    -Josh 

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    My understanding was that tablet builds of Windows won't use subpixel rendering (ClearType) because the DPI on tablets is now so large that it's unnecessary.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    thats the thing ... what is the DPI of the screen ?  when it gets close to 300 dpi then it should start looking good w/o the sub pixel tricks.

    i would love to start seeing desktop displays get the kind of dpi that the new ipad has.

    the new ipad is about 260 ppi / dpi    most desktop displays are anywhere from 78 to 96 ppi

    laptops tend to get 100 to 140

     

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    I have a rotatable 22" IPS panel and cleartype doesn't work rotated 90 degrees. It makes text look blurry and multi-coloured.
    Since tablets get rotated all the time I can see why Win8 doesn't use it the same way as Win7 does.

    Long Zheng wrote about this a while ago.
    http://www.istartedsomething.com/20120303/cleartype-takes-a-back-seat-for-windows-8-metro/

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    For some reason it double-posted.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    I'm confused? Sinofsky said at Build that there was 450 million W7 PC that were W8 ready. Does that mean they're all getting denser LCD displays included with their upgrade to W8? A big LCD panel giveaway? IMO Microsoft is saying "F the old PCs. Just deal with it". Microsoft is counting on the fact that PCs will keep selling and those PC will always ship with the latest version of Windows no matter how badly they cripple it.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    @DeathByVisualStudio:To be clear: Windows8 will still have subpixel rendering. It's just that Windows8 on tablets might not.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @evildictaitor: Call it what you may but it appears to me that fonts aren't rendered as clearly on my desktop PC on W8 as they are on W7.

    From http://mobile.osnews.com/story.php/25710/ClearType_dialled_back_in_Windows_8_s_Metro

    As Long Zheng found out, though, ClearType as a whole isn't missing - only its most defining feature is not available: subpixel RGB optimisation. This technique uses the subpixels in LCD displays to improve glyph rendering, but by using only the red, green, and blue subpixels, this causes the edges of characters to display tiny coloured fringes. Some people find these coloured fringes incredibly annoying.

    Without this technique, ClearType is reduced to more basic grayscale rendering, which produces - in my view - sub-optimal rendering. However, unlike what I initially assumed, this is not the same as the kind of shape-accurate rendering Apple employs.

    Where's your bits on the differential display on tablets vs. everything else? Is there going to be a W8 tablet edition?

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , DeathByVisualStudio wrote

    I'm confused? Sinofsky said at Build that there was 450 million W7 PC that were W8 ready. Does that mean they're all getting denser LCD displays included with their upgrade to W8? A big LCD panel giveaway? IMO Microsoft is saying "F the old PCs. Just deal with it". Microsoft is counting on the fact that PCs will keep selling and those PC will always ship with the latest version of Windows no matter how badly they cripple it.

    Just because older W7 PC spec hardware is capable of running W8, doesn't preclude the introduction of newer W8 spec hardware which will be even better. Indeed W8 goes out of it's way to adapt to older hardware in more ways than just cleartype and high dpi support, such as enabling special support for the less sensitive touch displays found in W7 devices.

  • User profile image
    Adam​Speight2008

    Each pixel is in fact three sub pixels RGB, these are align horizontally. When turn vertical the there's no sub-pixels horizontally.  

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , DeathByVisualStudio wrote

    Where's your bits on the differential display on tablets vs. everything else? Is there going to be a W8 tablet edition?

    I was just remembering a discussion I had with one of the Win32k team at MS, but it was a long time ago. Lots of people on the Internet are claiming that cleartype is off in Metro, but it's also clear that it's on in IE10 (which is Win8 only). So I don't know. It's not all there, but it's not all gone either.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    Just because older W7 PC spec hardware is capable of running W8, doesn't preclude the introduction of newer W8 spec hardware which will be even better. Indeed W8 goes out of it's way to adapt to older hardware in more ways than just cleartype and high dpi support, such as enabling special support for the less sensitive touch displays found in W7 devices.

    Introduction of something better? How's that when it displays make my text less readable in W8? So what you're saying is I should forgive Microsoft for reducing text clarity on my desktop's lower dpi displays when running Windows 8 because they were so gracious to accommodate my hardware in other ways? What happened to "No Compromises"? Did Sinofsky lie?

    , evildictaitor wrote

    *snip*

    I was just remembering a discussion I had with one of the Win32k team at MS, but it was a long time ago. Lots of people on the Internet are claiming that cleartype is off in Metro, but it's also clear that it's on in IE10 (which is Win8 only). So I don't know. It's not all there, but it's not all gone either.

    That's a little different than stating it will be only off in tablets. I'm glad we can both agree Microsoft is implementing a less capable version of ClearType in W8 across the board. Smiley

    And for the record all of my displays do not rotate to portrait.

    Sounds like Microsoft is saying "since we can't do ClearType right on tablets let's just not do it right everywhere else". Yeah Microsoft!

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    I wonder what Mr. ClearType has to say about this? There is something fantastic about Bill Hill.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , DeathByVisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    Introduction of something better? How's that when it displays make my text less readable in W8? So what you're saying is I should forgive Microsoft for reducing text clarity on my desktop's lower dpi displays when running Windows 8 because they were so gracious to accommodate my hardware in other ways? What happened to "No Compromises"? Did Sinofsky lie?

    Text won't be any less readable, Cleartype for desktop applications works exactly as it always has, regardless of how high a dpi display you have. It's only in Metro applications that they appear to have removed the sub-pixel rgb optimsations. Presumably that's because Metro tends to use larger fonts and large areas of flat colour, which reduces the need and benefits of doing so.

    It's all academic in portrait mode anyway, since the orientation of the display pixels isn't suitable for Cleartype's RGB tricks anyway, so there is nothing to gain there.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    Text won't be any less readable, Cleartype for desktop applications works exactly as it always has, regardless of how high a dpi display you have. It's only in Metro applications that they appear to have removed the sub-pixel rgb optimsations. Presumably that's because Metro tends to use larger fonts and large areas of flat colour, which reduces the need and benefits of doing so.

    It's all academic in portrait mode anyway, since the orientation of the display pixels isn't suitable for Cleartype's RGB tricks anyway, so there is nothing to gain there.

    Portrait is understandably a moot point.

    Still text in article I read in the metro news reader, or the browser, etc. will be more jaggy than when read in the desktop counterpart (if there is a desktop counterpart -- if Microsoft is successful with metro there won't necessarily be a desktop app).

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    It seems to me that if the sub pixels are positioned left-to-right RBG then ClearType can triple the horizontal resolution. When they are positioned vertically, it could triple the vertical resolution. This being true for black text on white or white text on black.

    The font renderer should have enough know-how to determine that A) I have black text on a white background and B) that my subpixels are orientated either vertically or horizontally, and finally produce the best possible output. Anything less seems lazy.

    The new iPad with it's 260 dpi screen will have been out months, possibly longer, before Windows8 tablets come to market. Since all these tablet apps have to be rewritten to begin with, why not get the software working well now, before we have to deal with a poor reading experience on shoddy 130dpi tablets. And we all know they screens will be low-rez.

    Big text might work on a far field device like a TV. But on a near feel device, like a tablet, it's not going to stack-up well against the competition.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    MS's problem is that they rely on OEMs to "complete the vision". Except the vision of OEM is to cut as many corners as possible and get it out the door ASAP for as low price as possible.

    The solution is for MS to start creating their own line of phones/tablets/PCs. I don't mind paying more for quality products.

    Especially in the tablet and phone category, I doubt there should be any anti-competitive issues since MS is essentially the underdog there.

    Buying Nokia might not be a bad start.

  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    I've just checked Windows 8 CP running on my Samsung Series 7 Slate and the Magnifier over IE10 Desktop shows no colour fringing on text but full pixel font smoothing whether in landscape or portrait orientation.

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