Let’s Talk Monitors: When is bigger, better?

What to consider when you’re upgrading your desktop setup

Visualize your ideal work space. Perhaps there’s a standing desk or an ergonomic chair. Maybe in the background you’ve got lo-fi music playing, while your ficus plant is thriving by the window. Sounds lovely! 

Accoutrement aside, there’s one really crucial aspect of your ideal workspace: 

The screen you’re looking at. 

We’re willing to bet your ideal workstation doesn’t involve hunching over a tablet or squinting at an eleven inch laptop. What does sound good, though, is a comfortable, posture-assisting setup, with a high quality monitor that helps you see all the most important parts of your spreadsheets, memos, or sales proposal.

Some studies also suggest that having larger monitors, and more monitors, can increase productivity, by making tasks easier and more engaging. 

So, is bigger better? 

When it comes to monitor size, the short answer is yes—but, there’s more to consider. 

As more data is displayed on websites, spreadsheets, or graphics, larger screens make sense. You often need to be able to toggle quickly from detailed spreadsheets to updated graphs and see multiple documents at once. If you’re working with layers of images, it’s also very useful to have space to shift your eyes without too much effort. So in many cases, bigger is better. 

However, the key element isn’t just inches across: it’s resolution. 

Resolution is essentially the number of pixels vertically and horizontally. A higher set of numbers corresponds to better resolution, or image quality. The larger the physical monitor screen, the further pixels can be spread out from one another—which is why just having a large monitor doesn’t solve your problems. 

In the (recent) past, monitors 21 inches and smaller had a standard resolution of 1080p. 

With newer monitors, which are often 24” or larger, you should be looking for something that goes up to 4kp (2560×1440). 

These days, large monitors are more standardized; companies can ensure all their employees have setups that benefit their tasks. Fortunately, the prices for monitors have continued to come down, just like large screen TVs, making new monitors an even more effective upgrade investment. 

There are additional factors to consider as you do your equipment deep dive, and speaking to your employees about their needs could be a useful source of data. 

From a practical perspective, there are more few key features that make a “good monitor”:
  • Refresh Rate: this is the number of times your screen updates per second with new information. If your screen is mostly static (for example, if you’re editing spreadsheets, typing a document, or reading articles), a 60Hz refresh is sufficient. But if you have tasks involving data visualization or editing video, you should consider at least 75Hz or 120Hz.
  • Curve: a curved monitor can be extremely useful if you’re looking at 27” or larger screens, as they provide a better field of view and less eye fatigue. Believe it or not, a curved screen can be the difference between comfort and daily headaches. 
  • Ergonomics: consider the other aspects of a workspace including sitting or standing angles and how they affect the viewpoint and an employee’s ability to look at their screen comfortably. This might mean choosing two smaller monitors and having them side by side, or having one above the other on a monitor stand. 
  • Features: depending on the role you have, or the tasks you’re catering to, consider looking for monitors with additional features like integrated speakers, USB ports, or adjustable height stands. 
  • Warranty: all monitors worth investing in should come with a three-year warranty, or better. Be wary of anything else! 

Once you’ve identified what your needs are, you’re ready to start browsing for a good deal. 

Stratti recommends a few brands over others, to make sure you’re getting the highest quality. Dell, HP, LG, and Samsung are brands we consider great options.

You and your employees deserve desktop solutions that help you avoid migraines and eye fatigue, make your workflow seamless, and increase your productivity. 

Don’t just get a new mouse or a low-maintenance cactus—consider upgrading your monitor setup today. Contact us to get started.