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I just purchased a new laptop, which has a much higher DPI than my prior one did; in fact, its resolution (in a 14" form) is roughly the same as that of my 23" second monitor.

I'd like the text on each display to be roughly equivalent. Adjusting the window-manager-wide text scaling factor (via e.g. gnome-tweak-tool) yields either too-small text on the laptop screen, or too large text on the second monitor.

Is there any way to have different text scaling apply to different displays? I suspect not, but I would very much like to avoid replacing my current (perfectly good) external monitor just to compensate for the DPI increase in the laptop.

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There are workarounds: you can, for example, adjust dpi for the most dense screen, and use xrandr to downscale other screens (to keep it crisp). See my answer for a relative question:

Is it possible to have two different DPI configurations for two different screens?

PS: sorry, the topic is a duplicate, but I do not know how mark it as duplicate - so just give a link for existing one.

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