Dual screen benefits

Sep 28, 2011

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.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly