More adventures with this cheapo Toshiba Encore Windows tablet
Device in question: Toshiba Encore Mini WT7-C
After trying various things and leaving it for countless hours searching for Windows updates, I found the solution today in the form of an update, KB3112336 (Win8.1). The updates are still steadily coming in, but at least they're being installed in fairly short order.
I installed an optional update which was rather cryptically worded: "INTEL - System". As a result, the screen went from its typical super-fuzzy text style to something in perfect focus. It was amazing! Then I discovered that the touch-screen interface was apparently disabled. Luckily I had already bought a USB micro to USB socket adapter, allowing me to plug in a USB hub along with a keyboard and mouse.
I finally realised that it wasn't just a super-crappy quality screen, but its native resolution is 1024x600, which was being forcibly upscaled to 1280x720. No wonder I had to push the DPI up to 150% before text wasn't painfully fuzzy to look at. Why on earth isn't there an easy option to switch between the two? Who on earth wants to look at tiny, fuzzy text when they don't have to?
As the cryptically worded update wasn't available to uninstall like a Windows update normally is, I had to trawl through Device Manager looking for drivers that had been recently installed and uninstall them. After that, the display driver was reinstated as was the touch screen system.
Unfortunately I was then back to 1280x720 with no option in the Screen Resolution UI to set it to the native resolution. This may be due to something I read about Win8.1 not being designed for that resolution (presumably it isn't friendly with Metro apps?).
I also tried updating the display driver, but that was forced into the same resolution as well.
In the end I found an option in the advanced graphics UI, 'List all modes', selected the right one, and voila: Native resolution and non-fuzzy text. The only downside is that it won't auto-rotate any more, so I have to do that manually. Not the end of the world.