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Dual Monitors- Fad or Must Have?

Posted by Steve Riat on Apr 30, 2015 4:25:00 PM

dual_set_upImage Courtesy of

A couple of years ago I started seeing the two monitor setup showing up in our Nex-Tech offices and thought why would someone need that?  And, to be honest, for a while I was thinking it was really just a status symbol and it might have been.  However, like most tech things, I had to give it a try.  At first it was annoying.  Having to drag items between screens.  Generally, I used one monitor for email and the other for everything else.

Ok, I was wrong.  Now, I almost cannot function without dual displays.  From working on that complex spreadsheet that links to others and being able to show them on the multiple displays, to having chat and email going while doing a video chat.  Instead of moving things from front to back and closing them to reopen later, I can have all my work up at once and be able to see it all.  It is wonderful.  I have now started seeing several people running three displays.  Typically they run two monitors and then a laptop screen.  (Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of unit).  Pretty sure that will be next on my list of upgrades.

Now that I am a dual monitor expert (If having them and using them makes you an expert) I have seen many people make some mistakes.  Below are some helpful tips.

  1. Use the same screens.  It is best to use the same size and model of screens, if possible.  This makes it easier to switch between the two and if you get ones with different resolutions, you may not like that experience.
  2. When purchasing, double check the bezel (The size of the edge around the monitor).  Various manufacturers are making this much thinner and can improve your experience with minimal cost.
  3. Look at getting an adjustable stand.  At my desk, I have an Ergotron stand that supports both monitors.  It has adjustable height, angles and more.  It makes it so much easier to adjust where I want the displays.
  4. Larger monitors are not always better.  Depending on your work space, if you get two, 26 inch screens, that is a lot of real estate on your desk.
  5. Make sure your computer supports the monitors and they have the correct connections.
  6. If you’re not familiar with monitor setups in Windows/Mac operating systems, have someone help you out.  This can be an important skipped step.

I was surprised recently when our Media department upgraded to a really nice monitor and it required Dual DVI-D connections.   Essentially it can use one monitor to act like two!

As displays get lower cost and computing technology grows, I am sure you will see more and more people using multiple displays.  Some of my tech friends have already exceeded four displays.  Now that is just showing off!  However, I am a believer that two screens can increase worker productivity for the relatively low cost of just a new screen.

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Topics: Business Technology Watch

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