Get my new Super Mario World - Introduction & Map Medley arrangement recorded with Arachno SoundFont!
Dell Venue 8 Pro full review - Software ergonomics: Windows Classical Desktop - IT tutorials, reviews and articles


A full 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with active stylus for less than 14 ounces

By Maxime Abbey - First published on 04-13-2014 on Arachnosoft

Introduction and buyer's background
Technical specifications
Build quality, design, dimensions
Software ergonomics: Introduction
Software ergonomics: Windows Modern UI (codenamed "Metro")
Software ergonomics: Windows Classical Desktop

Previous page - Page 6 of 19 - Next page

Your usual PC desktop on tablets

The 1280x800 pixel resolution on a 8-inch screen gives a "dot-per-inch" ratio of 188. All the elements displayed on the Windows Desktop thus appear rather small: it's an equivalent of a 1920x1200 pixel resolution on a 12" screen, or 3840x2400 pixel resolution on a 24"!

Dell Venue 8 Pro full review - Software ergonomics: Windows Classical Desktop

Granted, if you compare this pixel density with those provided by recent smartphones, such as the HTC One (468 DPI, 1920x1080 pixel 4,7" screen) or Google/LG Nexus 5 (445 DPI, 1920x1080 pixel 4,95" screen), a 188 DPI density would appear rather weak.

But you have to think that, unlike smartphone operating systems (Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone), the Windows Classical Desktop isn't made (yet) to automatically scale the fonts of its applications according to the pixel density offered by the screen.

As a result, on the Venue 8 Pro, and any other Windows 8.1 device displaying the classical Windows desktop, there's no automatic upscaling, and each element is being rendered in its native, original size.

Which leads to some difficulties when you have to use the desktop on such a small screen, such as selecting very small elements with the finger, like the ">" icon of the Windows Explorer to expand a folder, or the arrow icon located near the taskbar's icon notification area (system tray) to unveil all hidden icons.

Dell Venue 8 Pro full review - Software ergonomics: Windows Classical Desktop

That said, I have to moderate these facts with the following points:

  • the Venue 8 Pro screen is rather precise, and often successes in "guessing" which element you intended to tap on;
  • using the Dell active stylus helps reducing this drawback, its tip being (I hope!) more precise than your finger to select small elements;
  • and if all these options don't help with using small characters or elements, you'll still have the choice to set font scaling at 125%, 150% or 200% from their normal size, or even more, just like you could do with the previous versions of Windows; but this may lead to display issues on applications which weren't made to support font scaling (exhibiting pixelated icons, or texts going outside window's frame)
  • if you're mainly using applications from the Windows Store, made for the new Windows Modern UI interface (previously known as "Metro"), you'll not have to worry about this fact, as, just like on Windows Phone, these applications have been designed to scale their display (font size, images) according to the screen's pixel density: the elements will still appear at the same size, only using more pixels to sharpen the display and make it look "smoother".

Previous page - Page 6 of 19 - Next page

Hardware design: physical buttons
Hardware design: the connectors
The hardware: display/screen, ambient light sensor, gyroscope...
The hardware: performance/CPU/RAM, responsiveness
The hardware: internal and external storage
The hardware: graphics and gaming
The hardware: Photo, video and audio
The hardware: wireless networking
The hardware: battery life and cooling
Extended features - Wireless video display on external monitor (Miracast)
Extended features - The active digitizer/stylus: description and design
Extended features - The active digitizer/stylus: technical review
Conclusion, pros and cons

Arachnosoft - Version 11.0 - Copyright © 2000-2023 Maxime Abbey. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is forbidden without authorization.