I’ve been having problems with my tablet the last couple days – something is wrong with the power supply (not the cord, but where the cord plugs in). As a result, I setup the spare tablet (the one that was in the Podbot) to use. There’s lots of little things that get setup over time, and you don’t realize they are there until you no longer have them! There was one thing I noticed was missing right away on the new tablet though – ClearType.
If you don’t currently have ClearType enabled in your computer, stop reading this and go enable it! I couldn’t believe the difference when I first logged into a new profile on the new tablet. All of my other computers have had ClearType enabled for a long time, so I have become used to it. Looking at the screen without ClearType made me think that something was wrong. Fortunately it only took me a minute of confusion before I realized that ClearType isn’t enabled by default. Wondering what ClearType is? From the Microsoft site:
ClearType is a software technology developed by Microsoft that improves the readability of text on existing LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays), such as laptop screens, Pocket PC screens and flat panel monitors. With ClearType font technology, the words on your computer screen look almost as sharp and clear as those printed on a piece of paper.
ClearType works by accessing the individual vertical color stripe elements in every pixel of an LCD screen. Before ClearType, the smallest level of detail that a computer could display was a single pixel, but with ClearType running on an LCD monitor, we can now display features of text as small as a fraction of a pixel in width. The extra resolution increases the sharpness of the tiny details in text display, making it much easier to read over long durations.
I find it makes a difference even on CRT monitors, but it definitely is superior on an LCD.
I wonder what the ClearType story is for Windows Vista? With vectorized graphics, I don’t know how necessary it will be. If it makes a difference though, let’s hope it’s enabled by default!