Multiple Monitors Setup

Do you use multiple monitors?  One? Two? Three? Ten? Many will say that one monitor is more than enough to do everyday computing, but for those geeks out there who always have multiple windows, live feeds, messengers, applications, and whatever else open simultaneously … expanded monitor real estate is an essential part of the computing experience.

Personally, I have two 22″ Dell (E228WFP) Widescreen monitors and plan on purchasing another within the coming months.  To give you an idea of why I need this display setup, here are the programs I typically have running:  Google Desktop, Trillian, 2 or more Firefox windows, live TV, iTunes, GroupWise e-mail, and whatever I’m working on at the time.

Multiple monitors makes multitasking a breeze. How about you … how many monitors do you use?  Do you use only one and wish you had more?  Do you want to purchase another monitor even though you already have a dual/multi monitor setup?

5 things to consider if you are thinking of using or purchasing multiple monitors

  1.  Space Do you have enough desk space to house multiple monitors?  This can be an important factor when expanding your setup.  The types of monitors used is also important.  It could be quite difficult to setup 3 or more CRT monitors on a single desk.  As always I recommend LCD monitors to allow for more space.  Screen size is another factor that must be considered.  Obviously, two 22? widescreen LCD monitors will take up much more room than two 19? standard LCD monitors.
  2. Usage Do you really have a need for more monitors?  Think about all the programs you use at one time.  Do you use them simultaneously?  As I said before, one of the main reasons for having a multiple monitor setup is for multitasking.  If you typically don’t multitask, then you probably don’t need more than one monitor … two monitors at the most.
  3.  Travel Do you typically move your desktop from place to place frequently?  If so, you may not want to haul around more than one monitor.  As a college student, I tend to move my desktop from one location to another about 5 to 10 times a year.  For me it’s worth the hassle…but it may not be for everyone.
  4. Other Options Is there another way you could go to get more monitor real estate?  For the average user, a size upgrade is all that’s needed.  For gamers or movie watchers/creators, an increase in screen size may be a better option than purchasing another monitor.  You still have more room to multitask but the experience of your main mode of usage will be enhanced more than you can imagine.  Side note:  make sure you graphics card is capable of keeping up with that kind of usage.
  5. Cost I leave the issue of cost for last because it is a relative factor when deciding to purchase another monitor.  Of course price may be your top concern, but if you’re already considering this type of purchase then all you’re really looking for is the best deal.  Compare the costs of different sizes and brands and keep an eye out for good discounts.  You will notice that some sizes only cost a little more than the next size down.  Go for the larger size…it’ll be worth the extra in the long run. Some may have different views regarding multi monitor setups, but from my experience … all of these concerns have come into play.

If you have any other tips/views feel free to stop by the Landor Industries Live chat room at http://www.landorindustries.com/lil/.  We’re typically discussing technology related topics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’ll see you there! (For those of you who use an IRC client, the server is irc.wyldryde.org and the room is #landorindustries)

Posted by Gerald Smith on August 18, 2008

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