High-DPI displays seem to be the wave of the future, especially on tablets—just look at the iPad 3 and the upcoming Transformer Infinity Series. Happily, Windows 8 is being designed to take proper advantage of higher pixel densities without scaling user-interface elements. Microsoft has detailed its work in that arena on the Building Windows 8 blog.
Windows 8 will support three scaling modes: 100% for regular displays, 140% for “HD tablets,” and 180% for “quad-XGA tablets.” The size chart below sheds some light on what those labels mean and what effect they’ll have on UI scaling:
“HD tablets” will have 1920×1080 panels, while “quad-XGA” offerings will cram 2560×1440 pixels into similar-sized displays. As Microsoft points out, keeping UI elements the same size on such devices is crucial, since smaller buttons and widgets are harder to touch. The company will help developers optimize their apps for high pixel densities with Visual Studio 11, which includes a Windows Simulator with various resolution and screen size combos.