Dual screen benefits

on Wednesday, 28 September 2011. Posted in Sound and Vision

The prices of computer flat screens has dropped continuously since the shortage a few years ago. A gaming screen 22" can now be purchased for under £150, with ultra sharp IPS technology screens under £300.

With this in mind, I thought I would write a few suggested ways of adding increased productivity through using multiple screens on a single computer or laptop. Dual screen user simply moves the mouse cursor from one screen off the edge of the screen and it appears on the other. Windows or iOS pretend the screens are linked to one another yet both allow full screening over just one screen. This allows for the holy grail in multitasking, side by side, full screen documents.

Method 1 - Laptop screen & large monitor

Cost: No special laptop required, they all have monitor output. 22" Screen at between £80-£140


Large monitor plugged in to the side of a laptop, or docking station, the laptop can chose to display picture identically on both, on only one, or ideally, in dual screen display. If the laptop is positioned side by side to the monitor, you can have two documents open in full screen mode, enabling you to quickly and easily multitask between multiple documents or websites. The real cost is not the monitor, but the additional requirement on your desk, space wise. Wall mounted monitors can be a boon here, however it is advisable to keep both laptop and PC monitor as close as possible to avoid unnecessary neck ache looking far apart.

Method 2 - PC / Mac with two monitors

Cost: One additional monitor, or salvage spare(free) or purchase large 22-24" for £80-£200. A graphics card with two monitor outputs (£30)


Depending on physical desk space, this is optimal setup for any heavy computer user. Adding twice as much desktop space for working on. This can literally double productivity, as a great deal of time on a computer is wasted micromanaging open windows and multitasking many full screen applications on a single screen. When using a new high quality screen, and a older or salvaged one, it is common to have the larger screen more prominent on the desk, with the smaller/inferior screen to the right or left, used to store colour pallets, email, chat windows and things that are not the primary focus of the user.




The main concern with modern monitors, is that they are a 16:9 or 16:10 wide screen, and will take up a tremendous amount of desk space side by side. Also most documents are still created in portrait unlike the monitor. A little less orthodox is to have one screen portrait and other landscape, or two portrait screens side by side. Which effectively makes the screen very tall and modest width to suit most desks. Browsing websites is a real joy in a high resolution portrait mode, often fitting far more content than same screen in landscape can fit. 

Closing comments

I would highly recommend dual screen configuration to any heavy computer user, it simply is the very best way to multi task.  For a product demo, please contact us and we arrange a dual screen demonstration.

Laptops without keyboards

on Wednesday, 30 March 2011. Posted in Sound and Vision

Laptops without keyboards

It is very difficult to imagine using a laptop without use of a keyboard, but then it is also an alien thought to heavily multi-task without more than one screen. Is this the answer?

Acer Iconia features two 14" screens with the one sitting in place of a keyboard, providing a smilar experience to tablet users on-demand keyboard. Acer has also included a additional menu system that appears when five fingers are pressed down at once. So not for anyone wishing to wear gloves or down a digit.

Part of me is delighted, the ability to multi-task will be tremendous, but the tactile experience of a keyboard coupled with the F and J keys point of reference would be sorely missed. I guess the key benefit is the ability to choose. If out and about, you may find the experience very rewarding, consuming media on 2 screens, and when back in the office, hook up a real keyboard and possibly mouse. Only a matter of time before the laptop can be places like a open book in front of us, on a stand, with both halfs of the laptop providing duel display alternative. 

Only problem I envisage is the simple fact that our spines won't accomidate looking down that much. To get a good look at the 14" keyboard screen, you will need to look down at a unhealthy angle, with the head leaning forward outside of a natural posture. Same as when we put a TFT screen too high, we get neck and shoulder pains, and if we have our seat too high and looking down, we get lower back pains.

Time will tell.



Flexible screens

on Monday, 10 January 2011. Posted in Sound and Vision

Flexible screens

Extract from Engadget, at the Samsung booth at CES 2011: "Although the company still has some manufacturing challenges to overcome, commercial interest seems to be strong and they'll eventually be on the market (though not in 2011, sadly). The picture for the transparent displays is a little murkier -- both physically and from a business perspective. Though they're not as clear as regular glass or as crisp and bright as a traditional AMOLED display, you've got to marvel at what they're doing here: full see-through color at effectively small television sizes"

Check out the link for more information.