I Have Changed My Mind on Single Widescreen Monitors — Here’s Why.

I have been talking about and recommending agencies use multiple monitors on virtually everyone’s desktop for many years. Initially, the standard was two monitors, but today many positions can utilize three monitors very efficiently.

LG 38 Curved Widescreen Monitor

Desk space continues to be an issue with adding more than two monitors to a desk. A common question I receive is whether a solution would be one large widescreen monitor instead of multiple smaller monitors. I have always been resistant to using one large monitor. I felt the user would spend too much time managing (moving, resizing, tiling) open windows on a single large monitor.

I may have changed my mind. Technology has improved, and monitor manufacturers have begun including software with larger monitors that allow you to manage open windows with one click.

Top 6 Reasons to Use Widescreen Monitors

Monitors are getting bigger, and more specifically, wider. Do you need all that screen space? You just might. Here are six reasons why a wider monitor might help you be more productive.

  1. A glance is faster than a click. If you have to bring a window forward, it slows you down and over time can eat into how well you are getting things done.
  2. The Windows start screen becomes useful. All those tiles make sense in a nice widescreen where a start menu can be tiny and hard to see.
  3. Games and movies look great. OK, so you are likely not playing many games at work. However, that does not mean you are not creating and watching video presentations. By the way, you just might want to take a break by playing a game or a short video. Consistent breaks are essential to refreshing your creativity and productivity.
  4. It’s more flexible. With one big widescreen, you can emulate two or four separate monitors or even do picture in picture, whatever best fits the project you’re working on at the time. With physically separate monitors, it might be harder to accomplish the same thing.
  5. It cuts down on hardware. Instead of a couple of 21-inch monitors, you might find a 34-inch (or even a 38-inch) monitor gives you all the viewing space you need. Plus, eyestrain may be better because you do not have that gap between two monitors.
  6. It saves on desktop space. The amount of space on a desk can be limited. Having one monitor with only one stand can help maximize the space available.

The next time you upgrade your desktop monitors you might want to experiment with one widescreen monitor to see if the benefits described above are worth changing all of your office desktops.

Does anyone in your office currently use one widescreen monitor? What additional benefits have you discovered? Leave your comments below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “I Have Changed My Mind on Single Widescreen Monitors — Here’s Why.

  1. Jeff, I have not purchased and tested any of the widescreen monitors yet. In my research, it appears LG and Samsung have a lead. I like the Samsung curved widescreen — I think 32″. I like the LG because it includes software to easily manage open windows. Pricing is $200 to over $600 depending on size

  2. Ergonomics is always a concern. A monitor stand will help to make sure the height is correct. Your eyes should be level with the top 1/4 of the monitor. A standing desk also could help.

  3. What about “widescreen whiplash”? Of course this also happens with multi monitors. But it really is an issue. Also up/down issues for necks.

    Often means pushing the screens further back so that you are not moving the head so much as the eyes.

  4. Some monitors (LG for example) come with software to help manage multiple windows. Windows 10 also can help. If you drag a window to the right edge it will “snap” to that side of the monitor. You can also use the cascade and tile commands.

  5. We have recently started using 43″ monitors (TV’s). Our associates love them! It takes some work to get things in the right place on the screen but the additional viewing space is well worth it!

  6. Perhaps this only shows that all the time spent talking about monitor size and quantity was just a lot of ado about nothing? Like which way to hang your toilet paper.