Do big monitors make a difference to your work?

How much better is a big monitor, say >17", to work with?

I am using dual 24" monitors @ 1920x1200 (not really dual monitors - each is
connected to a different computer, but the second one mostly displays
X-forwarded sessions from the first computer)

The productivity gain is unbelievable - I would never have believed anybody
how GOOD this is before I tried it

Could you go back?

No way

Did you notice a change?

At the same time I bought a Herman Miller Aeron chair too, and already had
ergonomic keyboard/mouse - it's probably not just the monitors.

After a long 16 hours working day (rule rather than exception for me :-((( )
it is comparing chalk with cheese - the monitors & chair were the best
investment (after my wife :wink: ) I ever made.

- you don't tire that quick any more
- the eyes don't get sore after 8-10 hours any more
- I can stay focussed on the problem for much (MUCH!) longer
- I tend less to digress (eg when browsing for something, just keeping
browsing instead of going back to working on my problem - because the editor
screen is never hidden)
- the ability to browse full A4 pages with a single glance speeds up code
reviewing / debugging extremely

What is the difference?

see above. You have to experience it to believe it. I am now even buying
laptops with 19" 1920x1200 screens and am prepared to lug two of those heavy
beasts around when travelling - such is the productivity gain. There is no
going back.


I only have a 19" CRT but hopefully one day will upgrade to the new Panasonic 70" plasma. In the meantime my soundcard is playing through a pair of Magnepan’s. Way better then an Ipod.


Let me add my 2 cents worth.

I've used both multiple wide monitors at the office and a single Dell
2000fp (21" 1600 x 1200) here at home.

Go to eBay. Look up Dell 2000fp or 2001fp and bid. You can generally
get one in perfect shape for around $200 to $250. It will be the best
money you've ever spent.

I'm still not sure whether two monitors are the best solution, however,
you can be sure that when I have the funds I'll purchase another.

Good luck!


To the OP:

Consider the tools we use to do work. All of them have features built
in to maximise
the utilisation of limited screen real-estate. They wouldn't have
these features if
screen space was not limited.

We do too many tasks as developers that require several large open windows:
a running appilcation, a console window, code step through (debugging) and
possibly a server console too or some other application/simulator that
drives you application.

Getting larger screen real estate, by either dual monitoring or stupendous
displays do *not* give you a performance boost - they *restore* you to your
natural productivity level.

Suddenly you can keep the console & simulator windows open at the same
time while you debug, as well as ethereal and many other useful tools.
Before you would do without and wouldn't be able to debug as effectively.

And to that, I have to toss my dime.
I have two Dell 2001fp’s and I love them. They are attractive aesthetically as well as functioning amazingly. I also have to second what everyone else here has said… For long sessions of work at home ( I do website development in Rails ) they are invaluable. I keep RadRails plus a copy of script/console going on one at all times, and at least one browser window open in the other. If I had to keep alt-tabbing or trying to find my windows, I’m fairly sure I would be insane at this point.

So if you can, give it a try!
–Tyler Prete

Is anyone using more than one external monitor with their laptop? I've
seen products that are a USB plug on one end, and a vga cable on the
other. Anybody tried these for having 2+ external displays?

- Nic.

If you are a Programmer

Get two or three 17/19 inches

  • more screen real estate
  • good for programing (one monitor for debuging, one for coding, one for any thing else including broswing)


You might be thinking about this:

If you prefer 3 monitors:

I haven't used this personally, but I've always wanted to try. :slight_smile:


Thanks, I found this as well, which is more expensive but does higher