Large Screens: “The Best Computer Upgrade Ever”

Leave it to Apple to help us make priorities on our peripheral purchases: as noted on Slate yesterday, Apple has posted a study by Pfeiffer Consulting promoting ultra-large monitors (or monitors >24″) as a boon to productivity. Say’s Slate:

“When working on a computer, we lose much more time than we realize through user-interface manipulations,” Pfeiffer’s researchers wrote—even if we’re handling only e-mail and Web pages and not Photoshop.

“I dismissed the report as marketing collateral, but after a few weeks at my own widescreen I’ve reached the same conclusion—it’s surprising how much more work I crank out lately. Co-workers praise my newfound motivation. The truth is, I can finally see what I’m doing.”

No kidding. I noticed the difference at home upgrading from a 17″ to a larger wide-screen LCDs: it made a major difference, allowing me a greater work surface and improved visibility over all of the things I keep open on the desktop. (A coworker questioned my sanity when they noticed I had 30-40 mails open along with 15-20 browser windows – that’s an every-day occurrence.) Better, look to the crop of 20 to 24″ wide-screen monitors (as reviewed at CNET and PCWorld, with reviews of the top 5 20-inch and 23-inch): many good choices in the 20″ range for under $500. For improved performance, pair the monitor with a new video card with increased capabilities (like DVR, extra memory) and it’s a new computer experience.

[Note, added 011609: a great 20″ screen today is under $200, and highly-rated, name-brand 24″ models for around $300.]

If you want to know more about the display market, I recommend the Display Search web site.

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4 replies on “Large Screens: “The Best Computer Upgrade Ever””

While I’m not going to argue if "much bigger is much better" — my clients agree with me that adding a second monitor IS the easiest and best way to increase "monitor" productivity.

Using the second monitor dedicated for Outlook, RSS, Dashboards & Scorecards is worth the small expense.

I use four 20-inch monitors at home, each running at 1600 x 1200. That’s 6400 x 1200. Lots of space to spread out one’s work in and get things done quickly.

To Blake, I agree: sometimes adding a second monitor is one of the easiest upgrades, I agree. And I like your approach.

At home, I find that a larger monitor has been more productive as I don’t "lose" things on two monitors as I do at the office (where I have two screens).

I was impressed to see name brand 19" wide-screen monitors on sale for under $200 this weekend. Maybe two of those…

At home, my media set up has one 19" LCD and a separate TV screen for video production. That works well: one screen for the PC and apps, the other for the final production.

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