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dual-monitors
The Best Dual Monitor Setup

The Best Dual Monitor Setup

Denis Leskovets
Denis Leskovets

Productivity Optimization Geek

A dual monitor computer setup might be one of the biggest productivity hacks in modern business. If you are not currently using this setup, it can be an inexpensive way to get more done with less time. The upfront costs associated with hardware are minimal, and the set up is simple.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a second monitor, which include but are not limited to:

While almost any monitor will work as a second monitor, you’ll want to ensure that the one you choose pairs well with your original and has all of the features you’re seeking. Additionally, as with most purchases, you’ll want to get the best value possible.

Table of Contents

Best 27-Inch Dual Monitor Setups

If you are a ‘bigger is better’ type of person, you will enjoy the visual real estate that 27-inch monitors provide. With this size of the monitor, 1080p Resolution is can be too low. We recommend 2K, or even better, 4K.

A good monitor will come equipped with both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, preferably multiple connections for each to give you built-in versatility as your needs change down the road.

16.6 million pixels with these side by side. Your graphics card better be ready.

Pros

Cons

The HP Business Z27 monitor offers a 4K Ultra HD display. It has one convenient USB-C type display port and 3 USB 3.0 ports. While only the USB-C port is capable of video, the additional USB ports provide plenty of room for additional utilities.

What We Love

Things to Consider

Pros

Cons

This Sceptre monitor delivers impressive IPS technology for stunning visuals at a bargain price point. It delivers a stunning 4K resolution with four times more pixels than standard 1080p. This display is also equipped with a buffet of custom settings and a 70 Hz display port connection, making it suitable for gaming.

Anyone who needs their work computer to pull double duty as a gaming computer would be pleased with this setup.

What We Love

Things to Consider

The U2719D delivers a high resolution 2K display in a tight, business class package. 

Pros

Cons

Get more than full-HD with this impressive QHD display. Dell uses IPS panel technology to deliver a stunning visual image with vibrant colors and wide angles. This Dell monitor has an ultra-thin bezel design to provide a more seamless dual-screen viewing experience. 

What’s more, the panel is thinner than its predecessors, which takes up less room in your workspace while still offering a large, 27″ screen.

What We Love

Things to Consider

The VA27EHE is the best value for a 27″ work monitor. Bang for your buck juggernaut.

Pros

Cons

Asus delivers on a full-HD screen using IPS panel technology for a great visual experience, paired with a 75 Hz refresh rate for crisp, clear imagery. ASUS eye care technology provides a flicker-free viewing experience with adjustable low-blue light filters to maximize comfort without sacrificing quality. 

Asus offers different levels depending on the activity like general web browsing, reading, or editing images. Plus, it comes equipped with Asus GamePlus technology to provide a seamless dual-monitor setup, hotkey crosshairs, and an FPS counter to improve the gameplay experience, making it another solid choice for those who work during the day and play at night.

What We Love

Things to Consider

EVEO designed a great pair of desk arms designed for 27-inch dual monitors.

If you are already working within a modest space, adding a second monitor may not be feasible. A two-screen setup using 27-inch monitors will require a minimum of a 5′ tabletop, even with the slimmest of screens. If you do not have a room or a large desk, using a mounting arm might be a good way to get around the physical space constraint.

What We Love

Things to Consider

Best 24-Inch Dual Monitor Setups

While you will probably need a 27″ display to get true 4K Resolution, some might feel this size is excessive for daily computing. There are many high-quality, 24-inch displays available in 2K and 1080p resolutions that can boost your productivity without causing physical strain from using monitors that are too large.

The VG2455-2K delivers high resolution with a slim package. You can forget about bezels with this one.

Pros

Cons

ViewSonic has designed this monitor for modern-day use. It offers USB-C connectivity to be able to use one cable for video, audio, and charging. This makes it a great choice to use as a docking station with tablets and MacBooks. 

With leading-edge IPS panel technology and 2K Resolution, it delivers impressive picture quality. ViewSonic has also done a good job in future-proofing this monitor by equipping it with HDMI and DisplayPort connections, in addition to the USB-C port.

What We Love

Things to Consider

The P2419HC offers high adjustability, reliable 1080p resolution, and immersive connectivity including USB-C at a good value.

Pros

Cons

Dell uses USB-C technology to make this monitor the hub of an all-in-one workstation. Another good choice for those who use the same device in the office and on the go. Special features have been utilized to make transitions easy with this monitor. Whether you are transitioning from your mobile device to your office set up or sharing workspaces, Dell has made transitions seamless.

Dell Display Manager and an ultra-thin bezel allow users maximum display real estate to work as efficiently as possible. Dell also included a cable-management design that helps keep your desktop clutter-free while you work. 

What We Love

Things to Consider

The VH240a offers best features for the price including a matte IPS display and built-in speakers.

Pros

Cons

This 1080p monitor from HP checks most of the necessary boxes for resolution, speed, and graphics. But, it falls short in offering versatility with different technology. Competitors have embraced DisplayPort and USB-C, which are not available on this model. That being said, pricing is very attractive.

What We Love

Things to Consider

EleTab made a good pair of desk arms designed for 24-inch dual monitors, with competitive pricing.

Although a 24″ dual monitor display will fit better in a smaller workspace, two monitors still take up considerably more room. A dual monitor display arm can hold both displays off of the desktop to free up more space. 

The Eletab dual monitor display arm is an excellent choice for smaller monitors between 17″ – 27″. It offers flexible adjustments tensioned with a gas spring device to keep both monitors stable. This is a universal fit model compatible with VESA 75×75 mm and 100×100 mm.

What We Love

Things to Consider

Why Use a Dual-Monitor Setup?

If you have been getting along fine without a second monitor, you might be skeptical that adding a second screen can transform your workflow. As a two-screen veteran, let me tell you that it can and it will.

The biggest advantage of using a second screen is that you can display your primary application like CRM (customer management software), Photoshop, or CAD on one screen and keep your emails open on the other.

With two screens, you are no longer spending valuable time flipping back and forth between applications. There is room for everything that you need on your extended desktop. The research is in, and it supports that a dual-monitor setup can save up to 2.5 hours per workday in improved productivity. 

That is a 20 – 30% improvement for a piece of hardware that costs a couple of hundred dollars.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Dual Screen Monitor

Not all computer monitors are the same. Some features will be more or less important, depending on what tasks you will use the computer for. Other features, like inputs, might be dictated by what is compatible with your computer.

Choosing the Right Inputs

There are four different types of connections used for computers. The age of your system will likely determine what your PC offers. Adapters are available to make different inputs work together, but the best quality connections will not need to use them.

VGA Port

The most common and oldest input type is a VGA Port. These trapezoid-shaped ports have been a standard feature on computer monitors since 1987. While they seem to work perfectly, you can imagine that it is no match for today’s resolutions and refresh rates.

DVI Port

In the 2000’s a newer technology replaced VGA ports. DVI ports are capable of transmitting both analog and digital video.

HDMI Port

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port has easily become the most universal and preferred connection type, not only for PCs, but televisions, DVD players, and other forms of media. HDMI transmits high-quality digital signals allowing for ultra-high resolutions. HDMI is the gold standard of inputs, both for its quality and wide availability.

DisplayPort

While not as widely used as HDMI, the display port connection offers the same high-quality, high-resolution. The downside to using a display port is that they are not widely available on all machines. The upside is that they are capable of transmitting extremely high-resolution signals with stereo sound. 

Choosing a Screen Size

Computer monitors come in a variety of sizes measured diagonally. Larger screens, 23″ and above, have a higher pixel density and, therefore, a higher resolution. These screens are capable of full high definition video and come with features like multiple HDMI ports. 

As a general rule of thumb, buy the largest screen size that will fit your space and your budget. How much real estate do you want to give up on your desktop to have two screens? Larger screens naturally take up more space.

Choosing a Panel Type

There are three types of panels used for computer monitors. Panel type affects things like refresh rates and color depictions. Depending on how you use your computer, the panel type may be more or less important.

Twisted Nematic Panels (TN)

The most common type of LCD panel is the twisted nematic panel. These panels have high refresh rates and faster response times, so they are a great choice for gaming. However, they are not as accurate as other panel types for colors, so they are not ideal for photographers or graphic designers.

Vertical Alignment Panels (VR)

Vertical alignment panels are better for color accuracy and tend to be more economical than other types of LCD panels, but they are not as common. VR panels are a good option for general computer work like data entry or document processing. 

In-plane Switching Panels (IPS)

The best choice for color accuracy and the least distortion from different viewing angles is either an in-plane switching panel or plane switching panel. Both options are on the higher end of the price range but provide a visually stunning picture.

The drawback is that they are a little slower. Neither type is as capable of producing higher refresh rates and neither are as responsive as other panel types.

Every monitor that made our list uses IPS technology which is bar-none the best technology for all non-gaming applications. IPS technology provides unparalleled graphics with vibrant, true colors and virtually no distortion from any viewing angle.

What You Should Know About Refresh Rates

One of the most common monitor specs that are touted by marketers is the refresh rate. This is a measure of how many frames per second are shown on the monitor. Refresh rates are measured in hertz with higher numbers equally a faster refresh rate and smoother, better quality image. 

Standard monitors come with a 60 Hz refresh rate, which is entirely capable of most common computing applications. However, gaming and 3D graphics will require much faster refresh rates. The latest and greatest have refresh rates as high as 240 Hz, but again much more than 60 Hz may not be necessary for most applications.

Choosing the Right Monitor for a Dual Screen Display

At the end of the day, a lot of the decisions are based on personal preference or individual use. Someone who uses the computer for data entry or emails will have very different needs than someone who manipulates photography or designs web pages.

Technology changes rapidly, and it is impossible to predict what will be the latest and greatest in one, two, or even five years. But a good piece of advice for anyone is to buy the largest, most advanced technology that your budget will allow. 

A 27″ monitor allows for better graphics and true 4K displays, which will be more in demand as technology advances. By the same token, older technology like 1080p will become obsolete sooner. You can prolong the life of your purchase by buying a monitor with the most versatility in the number and types of ports available as well. 

We may still use the old 1987 VGA technology, but I would be hard-pressed to buy a brand new monitor that uses this type of connection. Similarly, I would not prefer to rely solely on the USB-C type connection that is widely promoted for its charging capabilities as a docking station for tablets and laptops. 

The more options that the monitor provides for inputs, the more flexibility that you will have now and in the future for hardware compatibility.