Microsoft lowers minimal screen resolution in Windows 10 – runs well on low-end devices

Windows 10 will work on screens with a lower resolution than before. Microsoft has introduced a lower minimum requirement for the screen resolution in Windows 10. In contrary to Windows 8, Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9860 will install on a Netbook with a low resolution screen. On the same Netbook installation of Windows 8 failed due a too low resolution.



(Image credit: Winfuture)

Tests performed by the German website Winfuture show Windows 10 can be installed on devices with a low resolution, meaning Windows 10 will run on cheap and/or old devices. The Technical Preview of Windows 10 installed without any issues on a Samsung N150 Netbook with a screen resolution of 1024 x 600.

On Windows 8 this was impossible because the OS required a minimum vertical resolution of 768 pixels. In Windows 10 the lower resolution works fine, nevertheless Microsoft indicates in the settings that the low resolution might cause issues.


Windows 10 doesn’t seem to have any restrictions when running on a low resolution screen, apps can be arranged side by side and the OS presents scroll bars when the vertical resolution isn’t sufficient  to show everything on the screen. Also performance wise Windows 10 doesn’t seem to have any problem running on low end hardware. The used Samsung N150 Netbook is several years old and has slow, low-end Intel Atom N450 CPU accompanied by  1GB DDR2 RAM but according to Winfuture the Windows 10 performed pretty well on the device.

Microsoft might have lowered the minimum resolution to allow device manufacturers to build cheaper tablets and Netbooks. For many devices the display is large cost factor, so cheaper displays could result in cheaper devices running Windows 10.

On Windows 8 manufacturers used workarounds to sell devices in the low end of the market. Toshiba sells a 7″ tablet with a 1024×600 screen but in order to bypass the minimum resolution of Windows 8 the Japanese electronics manufacturer has modified the graphic driver to run Windows on 1280×768, resulting in a decrease in image quality. With the release of Windows 10 these workarounds should belong to the past.


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