Author Topic: Work Laptop & Screen Resolution Woes  (Read 1770 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Work Laptop & Screen Resolution Woes
« on: October 02, 2017, 07:40:21 PM »
I'm probably one of the least technologically advanced members on here, so bear with me and my probably obvious questions, please!  I have two laptops, both cheap/low end $400 versions, an ACER (which is currently wired in a desk drawer, and hooked up to a 32" Seiki television) and an HP.

I work remotely from home, and we recently moved from a DOS based internal system, to an in-house web-based internal system.  The web based system has much more information presented on-screen (without going into sub screens), but really requires  high resolution to properly see it all, without scrolling back and forth.

Both laptops max out at 1360x768 screen resolution.  The higher resolution monitor I purchased is an HP 32q 32" LED monitor, offering a resolution of 2560x1440 QHD. 

Needless to say, after plugging the monitor in, I realized the constraints of the two laptop resolutions, and got a splitting headache in about 1 minute (everything is obviously fuzz).

What's the most cost effective resolution to getting this higher resolution monitor up and running?  It's probably not worth (or possible?) putting a more capable graphics card in the laptop.

Are there any cost effective (small) towers/desktops that would come with a graphics card capable of this?  Would a Surface be a viable option (it appears they accommodate this resolution)?

Any other ideas???

Thanks in advance!


  • Stubble
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Re: Work Laptop & Screen Resolution Woes
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 11:30:20 AM »
Correct, you can't change the GPU in the laptop, but you can make sure you're using the latest driver (not likely to help but you never know) and have checked that you are using the highest resolution it is capable of. For the built-in screen it will obviously not go above the 768, but will often offer higher resolutions for external monitors, but it depends on what GPU chip it has (most likely built in to the CPU chip on a cheap laptop).

On Windows 7 at least, if you right-click on a blank area of the desktop, you can select Screen Resolution from the pop-up context menu to verify 1.) it has recognized your external monitor and doesn't think it is some generic lower-res model and 2.) what resolutions it will offer for that monitor.


  • Stubble
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Re: Work Laptop & Screen Resolution Woes
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 12:09:51 PM »
How old are your laptops?

Pretty much any low end computer these days should be able to give you the resolution you'll need for your work needs. If you only need something for accessing your web-based stuff, why not a cheap Chromebook? Then, all you need is the proper cable type for hooking up the laptop to the monitor (HDMI is most common, also DVI).


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Work Laptop & Screen Resolution Woes
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 12:42:05 PM »
if you have not already, go here and play around with the settings. i have an older $400 laptop and it can drive a much higher resolution than it's own screen, no problem. it may be just trying to replicate the laptop screen on your external monitor, which would look terrible

good luck!


  • Stubble
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Re: Work Laptop & Screen Resolution Woes
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 08:26:04 PM »
The interface used for the monitor will set the maximum resolution. For older laptops with HDMI outputs will be limited to 1920x1080. (There is a newer version of HDMI that can support higher resolutions, but it is not common on computers at present.)

If the laptops have either a DisplayPort or mini DisplayPost, they may be able to support higher resolutions. You may have to set the frame rate to 30Hz to reach the maximum resolution. That should be OK if you aren't working on moving video.

Also, you can set the "projector" mode (single external display only) with the "Windows + P" key sequence. This should set the external monitor to the highest resolution that can be supported.


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