Imagine sitting at your desk facing two large monitors. Think of all the virtual desktop space you can have for your office program, Web browser, email, music player, Twitter app, games and – wait, this is starting to get out of hand. Perhaps one small monitor will do just fine. After all, if you’re working, do you really need all those other apps and Web pages open anyway?

Dual Monitors vs. One Monitor

Two-monitor users praise their desktop setups, proclaiming that two monitors give them more screen real estate and increase their productivity. That statement may ring true for some, but for others, having two monitors is a hassle. On one hand, two monitors doubles your screen workspace and provides enough room for everything you need open at the time. On the other hand, if you have your email or Twitter app open, it’s easy to get distracted when something comes in.

One-monitor users tend to focus on one thing at a time, adjusting their Web browser to full-screen mode and maybe having a music player running in the background. Because Windows and other operating systems offer screen snapping, it’s easy to keep a browser docked to the left side and a word processor docked to the right. Multiple browser pages sit nicely in tabs, and notifications flash near the task bar or the panel and alert you to new emails or tweets.

The Real Cause of the Dual-Monitor Debate

Everyone who uses a computer extensively has an opinion on the subject, but who is to blame for the debate in the first place? Blame Dell and other monitor manufacturers. In 2011, Dell published a white paper claiming that dual monitors boost productivity and user satisfaction. When looking at studies, always check to see who is sponsoring the research. It stands to reason that monitor manufacturers want to sell you on the benefits of having dual monitors so they can increase their profits.

Dual monitors still provide many benefits that a single monitor cannot. For example, if you’re a 3D modeller, you can use one screen for your render space and the other for the actual 3D view. In a compositing program, you can set up the node editor on one screen and the viewport on the other. For writing, use one monitor for your word processor and the other screen for your research pages. In saying that, there are different types of monitors available out there, that serve their unique purpose. For more information on what’s available, head over to Mwave to check out their range monitors.

It All Comes Down to Personal Choice

If you like the idea of having two monitors but lack the desk space, one large monitor may work best. If you’re used to working on a laptop, perhaps a small desktop monitor will make you feel at home. Dual monitors have their place in homes and offices and can add value and productivity to a workspace. You’ll just have to test the dual-monitor setup for yourself to see if it works best for you and your needs.

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