As the computer world becomes more advanced and digitized, the debate between dual monitors versus ultra-wide monitors has intensified. It comes down to a fine divide of people who prefer multiple display screens and people who prefer one. For years, tech geeks across the world were infatuated with the idea of the dual monitor set up, but the introduction of the ultra-wide monitor has shaken things up. So what’s better? Let’s take a deep dive.
Dual monitors: They say that two is better than one, and the classic dual-monitor setup has built a loyal following based on that theory. One 16:9 aspect ratio screen delivers plenty of space for more than one window, but with double action, the ability to dedicate one screen to one activity and one screen to stationary display becomes a feasible reality.
Ultra-wide monitors: Characterized by their traditional 21:9 aspect ratio, ultra-wide monitors offer incredibly impressive screen resolutions ranging around 2560-3440 pixels wide by 1080-1440 pixels high. Ultra-wide displays are larger than the average monitor by several inches; the average monitor measures about 22-inches diagonal whereas the average ultra-wide ranges between 29-inches and 34-inches. Ultra-wide screens are all about optimizing digital real-estate—the more you can see and do on one screen, the better.
Increased productivity: When you’ve got multiple screens to work with, you’ve got more screen space to open up new windows. For example, if you’re working on a research paper, you can dedicate one screen to the research and digital text references you’re sourcing, and dedicate the other to word processing. Those who like split-screening can view four open screens at a time.
There are even scientific studies to back the fact that dual monitors promote heightened productivity. A study completed by Jon Peddie Research found that dual-monitor users reported a 42% increase in productivity having switched from a single monitor to a dual setup.
Time-saving: Minimize the time you spend clicking back and forth from tab to tab. With a dual-monitor setup, you’re able to keep everything a single click away.
Multi-program usability: PC users who work or play with a number of programs will find that being able to use one screen for one program and the other screen for another program changes the scape of their digital world. For example, a graphic designer flipping through Photoshop, Illustrator, and their preferred internet browser can do so without missing a beat.
Cinematic aspect ratio: As the most noticeable feature upgrade from a dual-monitor setup, the cinematic aspect ratio of an ultra-wide monitor is a standout selling point. Cinematic aspect ratio means that movies can be played in their native ratio, no unsightly letterboxing to accommodate the dimensions of the images. The best 4K monitors could dupe you into thinking you’re front row at a theater.
Consistency: One of the biggest benefits of an ultra-wide singular setup is the uninterrupted consistency one screen offers. Issues may arise with dual monitors because no two displays are created equal. This can cause quality issues or lag when moving windows and images from screen to screen. Ultra-wide displays boast supreme smoothness and seamlessness in digital rendering.
Laser-focus: A single monitor allows you to keep a laser focus on one screen rather than scanning two at a time. Two monitors can quickly lead to confusing window management. With a single, ultra-wide monitor, what you see is what you get. Anything superfluous doesn’t simply get tossed to a different display.
What They’re Best For
Dual monitors are the working-class hero’s best friend. Perfect for optimizing productivity and calculated multitasking, dual monitor setups are excellent for research, word processing, video editing, product comparison, and split-screen gaming experiences. Seeing things side by side without having to minimize the size of the open window provides a number of comprehensive perks that ultimately increase visibility.
Ultra-wide monitors are a visually stunning option for those most invested in high-quality graphics and seamless functionality. Gamers will appreciate the sprawling displays a near-TV-sized screen promises. Graphic designers will appreciate the larger-than-life vibrancy and high-powered efficiency of a panoramic screen.
The debate between ultra-wide monitors versus dual monitors is one that comes down to preference. Depending on your needs, your expectations, and your digital goals, one will likely satisfy better than the other. Be sure to do your research before deciding how you’ll modify your rig!