Benefits of Dual Monitor Setups
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If you’ve ever wanted to learn about the benefits of dual monitor setups, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we break down the pros and cons of dual monitor setups. Once you’re done reading, you’ll know whether a dual monitor setup is right for you.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a dual monitor setup is the use of two monitors with a single computer in one workspace. Normally, both monitors are connected to a single CPU and the user interface extended to appear on both displays.
The use of two monitors has grown in popularity over the years, especially for gaming, video editing, home offices and work setups. Below are the pros and cons of dual monitor setups.
Easy task switching
Dual monitor setups are an easy and convenient way of adding screen real estate to any work setup. This means a user can have multiple applications running in different windows simultaneously.
This allows for easy and quick switching between tasks as compared to one monitor setups. This is very useful as workers can shorten turn-around times significantly.
Some may argue that dual monitor setups allow for easy multitasking, but we have a different way of looking at it. From our experience, there’s a very thin line between multitasking and being distracted. We’ll discuss this further in the disadvantages section of this article but just keep in mind dual monitor setups work best for easy switching between tasks as opposed to multitasking.
Simplified cutting and pasting
Another advantage of a dual monitor setup is the simplified transfer of data between applications, timelines and worksheets. This is a major benefit for anyone who does data analysis, data processing, and any type of editing.
The two screens in dual monitor setups also allow users to easily view the information being transferred which reduces the chances of making errors and speeds up the work process.
Having two displays in a dual monitor setup increases workspace significantly. More information can be displayed on the two monitors without having to fit many windows in one screen. The user interface can also be stretched to fit both screens and have more room for applications.
If your current screen space feels squeezed or insufficient, an easy fix is getting an additional monitor.
Enhanced user experience
Dual monitor setups enhance the user’s experience by making work more engaging and easier to do. Two monitors allow the user to carry out work assignments faster and with more convenience as compared to single monitor setups.
The enhanced user experience is also evident when switching tasks and transferring data from one application to another in a two-monitor setup. Users also have more pixels in dual monitor setups which makes data easier to view.
Real-time resource management
For administration and control-oriented workflows, the more the displays the better. This is especially true in situations where certain resources need to be controlled or managed constantly such as in emergency dispatch centers, factories, call centers and control rooms.
A good example of how important multiple monitors are in certain work setups is in the TV series Chernobyl. If you haven’t watched it, the series is a dramatized version of the nuclear disaster that occurred in the USSR in 1986. The disaster had numerous causes, one of which was the disregarding of protocol and warnings displayed on numerous control screens.
This is undoubtedly an extreme scenario and most of us don’t work in nuclear power plants or other sensitive control centers. However, if you work with applications and resources that require constant monitoring or control, it would be beneficial to add one monitor and allocate the additional screen space to this specific function.
Essential for content creators and video editors
If you’re a video editor or online content creator, a dual monitor setup is pretty much a necessity. People in these fields use multiple applications at the same time to edit files, transfer data and carry out other work assignments.
The small screen real estate of one monitor setups limits productivity especially when using editing software and transferring files. Dual monitor setups increase the working area which in turn allows for easier task switching and editing.
Positive health benefits
The increased viewing angles and enhanced user experience when using dual monitors help in reducing eye strain and encourage movement which is always good for the body.
The enhanced efficiency also speeds up work, which reduces the amount of time spent in front of the computer. This reduces fatigue and makes you less of a couch potato.
If you add in a monitor stand to the dual monitor setup, you can get more adjustment options that allow for customization of the work setup to fit your specific ergonomic needs.
Remember to always take regular breaks to stretch your muscles whenever you’re working long hours on the computer.
The number one advantage of dual monitor setups is increased productivity. Once users get over the learning curve of using two screens, they can fully customize their workflows to take advantage of the additional workspace. This makes work easier and more efficient.
Scientific evidence also backs up the claims of increased productivity brought about using dual monitor setups. One study commissioned by Dell concluded that dual monitors increase user satisfaction and boost productivity. In another study, Jon Peddie Research found that multiple monitors can increase productivity by as much as 42%.
Disadvantages of Dual Monitor Setups
- Higher cost
You’ll need to spend some money when setting up two monitors. A large chunk of the budget will go towards getting the second display but if you require more space or adjustment options, you may need to invest in a monitor stand or a new desk.
The bright side is you don’t have to buy everything at once. The second monitor is the number one priority and the other parts can follow later.
- Uses more resources
Two monitors connected to one computer take up additional processing power. If too many applications are running at the same time, the computer’s performance will also deteriorate.
This can negatively impact the user experience and slow down your machine. The use of additional monitors also increases electricity consumption which can lead to a higher utility bill at the end of the month.
- Less desk space
Placing an extra monitor on your desk will take up space and reduce your working area. This can be annoying especially if you have a small desk space to begin with.
A great way to organize dual monitor setups and free up more space is to mount the screens on a monitor stand. You’ll need to spend more to get an articulating stand, but the added features are definitely worth the money.
- Potential for more distractions
As mentioned earlier, dual monitors allow for easy task switching and increased screen real estate. Having different windows and applications open at the same time has the potential of distracting the user.
Imagine trying to concentrate on an excel worksheet in one screen and a new email pops up on the second screen. As you switch your focus from the task at hand to the email, your focus will undoubtedly be disrupted.
This is one of the major disadvantages of using dual monitors but as you get used to the setup, you can learn how to prioritize tasks and reduce distractions.
Dual monitor setups are worth the investment especially if you use multiple applications at the same time or need more screen real estate.
Two monitors will definitely increase your productivity but just be careful not to get too distracted by the additional workspace and added functionality.
If you already have the monitors, we recommend picking up a dual monitor stand.