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Summary:

According to the Wall Street Journal, workers who have larger monitors complete tasks much faster.  We’ve debated this in the past, and now researchers at the University of Utah tested how quickly computer users completed tasks and found that for users on 24-inch monitors vs. those […]

huge monitorAccording to the Wall Street Journal, workers who have larger monitors complete tasks much faster.  We’ve debated this in the past, and now researchers at the University of Utah tested how quickly computer users completed tasks and found that for users on 24-inch monitors vs. those on 18-inch monitors; those using the larger monitors completed their tasks 52% faster.

The study went on to say that someone using a larger monitor could save in upwards of 2.5 hours a day.  However, it should be pointed out that the sponsor of the study was NEC, a computer monitor company.

(photo credit: flickr user Abron)

  1. >>However, it should be pointed out that the sponsor of the study was NEC, a computer monitor company.<<

    Well, that’s all we really need to know then, isn’t it?

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  2. I could see that kind of benefit when going from a 15″ or maybe 17″ monitor, but not an 18″. 24 inches just seems like it would be TOO big to sit in front of all day.

    Also, 52% faster!?! Something has to be up.

    I agree with Grey. The conflict of interest makes this information totally unreliable.

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  3. If you don’t have one then you don’t realize how much better it is. My desk has a 22″ and 21″ monitor and I would say that it helps me work faster. I can watch several log files while performing tests as well as edit several documents without the Alt-Tab jumping of the old days. I know NEC supported it but I would have to agree with them.

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  4. I think it could have some kind of truth behind it. The larger the screen the less distracted your eyes are from things around you. This is simply due to the fact that you can’t see anything because of the massive screen you have!

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  5. Dual 17′s or 19′s is way better than, say, a 24.

    Over 30% more real estate, and you can keep two whole browsers open at all times.

    Also with GNU/Linux you get practically unlimited space through Virtual Desktops (not free on Windows or Mac) which you can toggle through. Add the keyboard functions of the Opera browser to Linux’s Virtual Desktops to dual monitors and the 500-hour-week resolves into focus.

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  6. I have to agree with Sam – I would much rather have dual 19″ monitors than a larger monitor. I find I’m much more productive with two monitors because I can have two browsers or a browser and an app open at the same time.

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  7. [...] Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:35 AM PT Comments (0) Apparently working on a large screen can make you quite productive. Given that my primary laptop is a Macbook, somehow I buy into this argument. Okay maybe I am [...]

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  8. [...] What about you? Have you noticed any productivity gains from your larger monitor? Would you recommend an upgrade to those still using smaller screens? Hit the Comments and share your thoughts on whether size really matters. [The Wall Street Journal via Web Worker Daily] [...]

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  9. I think this is going to be very task dependent. If you are doing a complex task requiring multiple programs and windows I can see the benefit of large screen area. But if you doing something simple, then surely the less distractions the better?
    I have started using DarkRoom which is turns your PC into simple green on black test editor.

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  10. I agree with Sam as well. One thing to note is that the Mac does support virtual desktops for free. It’s built into Leopard and is called Spaces. I use it all the time on my MacBook Pro.

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