avatarby Dan BartramNovember 22, 20160 comments

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook review

It seems that 13-inch Chromebooks are getting a new resolution option that should make the text and images on smaller Chromebooks look a lot more defined.

Chrome OS previously hasn’t scaled very well, meaning it hasn’t coped well with resizing the elements on the screen to cope with the smaller screen without losing definition. On the 13-inch screen, the OS would be scaled to make things a little bigger to help with the smaller display, but it left most fonts fuzzy.

This wasn’t a particular problem with the Google Chromebook Pixel since both screen sized variants ran at a native 2560 x 1700. Things would be crazy small at that resolution, so you could scale it to 1280 x 850 to make things a little bigger.

If the OS actually ran at that lower resolution then things would be very pixelated, but Chrome OS scales this to account for the downsize. So for example, if a standard app icon in 1280×850 would be 50×50, when scaled, this icon would take up 100×100 pixels. The number of actual pixels and the number of effective pixels are not the same to the naked eye.

The result is that it looks sharp but is a size that is actually usable on a smaller screen.

Up until now, you can select 1080p on a 13-inch Chromebook to make it look sharp, but it would make everything too small. Now, 13-inch laptops come out of the box set to 1536 x 864, which is a 125% scale. So you’ll get UI elements 25% bigger but retaining the crispy look.

ChromeOS is effectively now treating all Chromebooks as it did with the Pixel so is a lot more enjoyable and 1080p can now be seen as an asset to the 13-inch laptops.

Are you pleased with this news? Drop us a comment below and let us know what you think.

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