Are there DPI issues on 1920 x 1080 HD screens?

This weekend I upgraded computers from an extremely battered HP Stream 11 to a 2015 model Dell XPS 13 Touch I bought from Costco. I was totally happy with the computer right up until I downloaded Scrivener and discovered it won’t play nice with a 4k screen. After searching around the forum I’ve found that the current version of Scrivener just doesn’t support HDPI scaling, but that a future version-- 3.x-- is in the works and it will. This leaves me with two questions.

  1. Is there any kind of official timeline for when this new version of Scrivener for Windows will be released? Under six months? Under a year?

  2. Would the the Dell XPS 13 Non-Touch with the 1920 x 1080 HD screen have the same problem?

The beautiful but annoyingly reflective high res touch screen was actually not my preference. However when I saw a Dell XPS 13 with twice as much ram, twice as much storage space, and a faster processor for 200 dollars less than the latest model with the configuration I’d been considering the glossy screen seemed like a reasonable trade-off.

Over the weekend however I’ve discovered a few quirks that make me worry the computer has been damaged because of improper storage. This, combined with a disappointing battery life and the fact that it isn’t entirely compatible with Scrivener, is making me consider taking the computer back and buying the model I was originally looking at. Scrivener is one of the only programs I use on a regular basis and if it’s going to be more than a year before it’s works properly on a 4k screen that is going to be a serious issue and it might be worth getting a computer that will simply avoid the scaling problems.

If you use 25% of your ram, and 25% of your storage, having twice as much is no benefit as all. I don’t think a faster processor helps for Scrivener and similar work either. There is no advantage to paying for what you don’t use.

There is no official timeline for Scrivener 3 for Windows, but most expect it After Scrivener 3 for the Mac which also doesn’t exist yet. Personally, and without any information, I’d suggest “under a year” is more likely than under 6 months.

Finally, Windows 10 doesn’t handle 4k screens very well either so Scrivener isn’t the only program that has problems with it. 1920x1080 is the standard and Scrivener and everything else works well with it.

The biggest performance and reliability benefit you can get is normally SSD instead of HDD storage.


I went through the exact same situation last week. Saw the wonderful XPS 13 at Costco with the 4K screen. But I’ve been using Scrivener on a 1920x1080 screen for a year and I knew that 4K screen was trouble. Plus, the shiny screen reflects everything! After much thought, I finally went with a custom ordered XPS 15 instead. (ordered directly from Dell) Here’s why:

First of all, the 4K screens don’t really gain you anything except bigger battery drain, resolution problems, and shiny screens. The extra resolution is nice and makes movies crisper, but for everyday use, you can barely notice the difference in resolution from a FHD screen. (1920x1080) I LOVED the small form factor of the XPS 13, but I use this computer to write on, so a bigger screen is better. The XPS 15 is still the smallest and lightest 15 inch on the market and still the screen just barely renders Scrivener at a readable size at the default settings. The 4K screens are just marketing. Unfortunately it’s hard to find units at stores with the FHD screens, so it’s best to custom build one direct from Dell.

My 1920x1080 screen gives me MUCH BETTER battery life, has a matte finish so no pesky reflections, and runs all programs sufficiently well that I don’t have to wait for new versions. (I have a lot of old Adobe software that has the same issues as Scrivener) It’s the “goldilocks zone.” :slight_smile:

That said, I’d love to see Scrivener 3.0 any day now, hint, hint . . .

Oh yeah, the FHD screen costs $300 less so I spent that money on 16gigs of RAM and a 512gig SSD. This is BY FAR the fastest laptop I’ve ever owned!

I have a 1920x1080 HD screen (Spectre x360, if that’s relevant), and Scrivener looks great so long as I check ‘disable display scaling on high DPI settings’ in Properties. It makes the icons etc. a bit small, but not impossible to use as with some higher resolutions. Easily comfortable enough for my eye.