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Bigger Is Better: How Large Monitors Can Change Workflow

A 34-inch Dell monitor changed my workflow—but I must confess I am really enamored of a 43-inch, 4K version.

By Tim Bajarin

For most of my life, I’ve worked on laptops, which are just more convenient on airplanes, in hotels, and at conferences. But after I underwent a triple bypass in 2012, I was forced to slow down a bit, and opted for a laptop connected to a 24-inch monitor in my home office. Work travel can be tedious, so it’s been a nice break, even though I do still rack up 50,000 miles per year.

That 24-inch monitor did its job, but it was difficult to have more than two documents on the screen simultaneously. So earlier this year I obtained what I consider to be a game-changer: a 34-inch curved Dell monitor. I could not believe what a difference it makes in the way I work. I can easily keep three windows open; one for email, one for Word, and one for my Web browser.

In the past, I had three screens to work with, but one was on my left in the form of an iMac and the other on my right in the form of a Windows all-in-one. But I was constantly pivoting my chair in multiple directions. Now I have the three key apps all on a single screen; it has helped speed up my work processes and is easy on my eyes and posture.

But Dell has decided to up the ante, and I must confess I am really enamored of its 43-inch, 4K multi-client monitor, the P4317Q. The target audience for this device is traders who can quickly focus on content from any one of four connected clients and zoom into the full screen. The enhanced Dell Display Manager enables higher productivity through side-by-side or quad-screen viewing of, say, spreadsheets, financial models, and the latest stock performance.

The P4317Q is also ideal for software developers who want to view development, test, and production environments from different systems on one display. Developers demand multiple screens for source code reading, and with the P4317Q they can view multiple pages of source code on one screen to easily compare side by side. For instance, user interface (UI) development requires two monitors in order to debug. I would argue that this setup is ideal for those who have very extensive workflows and need to work with three or four documents at the same time, too.

I recently got a demo of this monitor, and the trading app actually split the screen in six smaller screens for real-time monitoring of stock trades as it was getting content from four different client inputs. As you can imagine, this put my creative mind in gear, and it started my technolust juices flowing. Instead of just three screens to work with, I could add four, five, or even six.

A 43-inch monitor is overkill for the normal business user, but after using a 34-inch Dell monitor for about three months now, I can see how some could really benefit from a large curved screen to enhance their workflow processes. I know it has been a boon to my productivity and suspect it could be for others who have relatively complex work styles as well.

Read more: The Best Computer Monitors of 2016

This story originally appeared on PCMag.com.



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