Multiple monitors for work-at-home

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May 042020
 

What with stay-at-home and work-from-home, I found this PC World article interesting. I talked with a friend over the weekend about using an external monitor with his notebook PC. He’d brought a 27″ monitor home from his employer’s office, and wanted to place multiple Office documents on separate screens.

Note that the article considers 2K monitors (2560×1440), which also are inexpensive, as a compromise; but recommends 1920×1080 ones as the best choice for these reasons:

• “bang for your buck”
• “more monitors are better than more resolution.”

Screen space at native resolution for hi-res monitors allows displaying more stuff; but the offset often, as noted, is tiny text and images, thereby requiring increasing text size for legibility anyway.

And actually, both Mark Hachman (the writer) and I prefer adding at least a 27″ monitor. There are several ways to use such a monitor in its native (highest) resolution mode and boost text size. Some tweaks are global – no matter what applications and windows; and in some applications, like Web browsers, you can just increase/decrease text size on the fly.

The article has photos of some different layouts.

PC World > “1080p vs 4K: Which is better for your work-from-home setup?” by Mark Hachman, Senior Editor (May 4, 2020) – You can get more done with more screen space across multiple monitors, rather than a single high-resolution display.

Should you buy a 1080p or 4K monitor for your home office? This is a question you’ll inevitably face, especially if you’ve been trying to work off of a single monitor or a cramped laptop display at home. If you have the budget and space to add a second or third monitor, you then have the choice between buying the ubiquitous 1080p resolution (1920×1080 pixels), [or 2K (2560×1440)] or 4K (3840×2160 pixels), the higher resolution that’s already common on TVs and some high-end laptops.

PCWorld’s editors have been through exactly the same debate with our own home offices. The strategy we’ve landed on is this: Buy a 1080p monitor (or two!) now, to create your own dual-monitor or insane multi-monitor setup. Then save your pennies and upgrade to a far more expensive 4K display later. Because everyone’s situation is different, we’ll help you decide your best path forward.