You might think that having more than one computer monitor is excessive, but did you know that having multiple monitors can improve productivity? In a study conducted by the University of Utah, researchers found that a dual monitor setup is “significantly more usable than single screens on measures of effectiveness, comfort, learning ease, time to productivity, mistake recovery” and other factors. Further studies also confirm that dual monitor setups can improve productivity by 40%.
This is because the more monitors you have, the more space is available to see multiple windows, documents, or notes, depending on what you need to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if you’re gaming, working, studying, or browsing, having more than one monitor can make your life easier. In fact, when office workers were set up with dual monitors at work, 98% said that they can’t work without a second screen!
What should I look for when selecting a second monitor?
- Size. Chances are that you already have a monitor and you need a second one. Try to find one that’s the same size as yours.
- Aspect Ratio. Most are the standard rectangular sized monitors that you might see with your desktop computer or laptop, but you can also look into ultrawide monitors to maximize your screen space.
- Resolution. It’s recommended for your second monitor to match your first monitor as closely as you can, or else the jump in quality between screens can be jarring. You can also run into placement issues, where the mouse jumps in a different location when switching between monitors.
- Color. Each monitor has their own color profile, and some may have unique palettes for gaming, video viewing, and other activities.
- Input. This is important to consider if you’re hooking up your laptop to your monitor or connecting it to your desktop. Monitors can be connected by HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, and other connectors. If your device doesn’t have the right connectors, you may have to purchase an adaptor.
How should I set up my dual monitors?
- Side by side. The most common setup is to put the monitors beside each other in a row. If you’re hooking up your laptop to a monitor, you can put it beside the monitor or use a laptop stand to get them at the same level.
- Behind your smaller screen. If you’re using your laptop as your primary monitor, you can position your monitor at a higher level. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t stretch your neck too much or you’ll strain your muscles.
- However you need it to be comfortable. If you’re going to be in front of a computer for an extended period of time, you will need to adjust your monitors to be at the right eye level, so as not to strain your neck, wrists, or eyes. Be sure to adjust your workstation so that the monitors are at the proper height, and you can easily access your keyboard and mouse.
What can I do with dual monitors?
- Have more apps open at once. When you’re researching, taking notes, writing essays, or even playing video games, having more than one monitor can allow you to move quickly between apps. For example, if you’re writing an essay, you can have your notes on one monitor and your word processor on the other. If you’re researching, you can have your article opened on one side and a document to take notes on the other.
- Display more content. With one screen, you may have had to minimize windows or resize them to have two apps open simultaneously. Now, you can keep both apps open full-screen, which reduces eye strain and provides comfort since you can minimize or maximize as you need.
- It’s easier to move from one item to another. You won’t have to hover over the tab previews if you can keep them open on separate screens. And if you’re the type of person who likes having multiple windows open at once, you can keep one window open at all times on one screen and then work on the other.
- They’re flexible to work with. Sometimes, you won’t need to use the other screen, so you can move to a singular monitor any time through the settings. However, you’ll find that once you’re used to it, a single monitor won’t be sufficient anymore!
A dual monitor setup isn’t just limited to office workers, receptionists, or programmers. Even if you browse the Internet on a daily basis, it can help make your browsing experience smoother and more efficient.
If you aren’t sure what kinds of monitors are best for you, be sure to check out your local electronics store. Do your research, and consult an expert to get the best help possible.