The ideal computer size for productivity will highly depend on each individual’s use case. While we generally recommend large wide screen high-resolution monitors to enable viewers to see more content on a screen without scrolling, they’re not always the best choice for everyone.
We’ll highlight our favorite computer models, our recommended steps for choosing the right computer monitor and explain the different features and specifications you should be aware of to make an informed decision.
Best 34inch Curved Monitor for Productivity
Dell is a leader in making high quality computer monitors for productivity. They’re one of the top retailers for enterprise and large businesses for a reason. This 34 inch model has a slight curve to the screen which makes it easier to see both ends of the display with minimal head tilt.
It comes with a height and tilt adjustable stand making it easy to find the right position for comfort. The high resolution and wide screen lets you see more at a time compared to other models which is an excellent productivity booster.
Curved monitors are great for productivity, but it does take a few hours or so for your eyes to adjust to the curved grid. After some use it’s a very minor adjustment and you will barely notice it.
Why we like it:
- UWQHD Resolution means more space to fit items on the screen.
- 34” monitor size and curved means lots of space without lots of head tilting
- Adjustable height, tilt, and viewing angles for comfortable ergonomics
Best 34inch Flat Screen Monitor for Productivity
This 34 in LG monitor has many of the same great features as other models such as an ultra-wide form factor with high resolution, the ability to adjust height tilt for comfort, but comes with a flat screen. When you’re choosing between curved or flat screens it comes down to personal preference. If you’re worried about the curvature distorting the content on a page, this is a great choice.
Why we like it:
- LG produces excellent displays, and some of the best TVs and Monitors on the market.
- High resolution allows you to fit more content on the screen vs smaller lower resolution models.
- Height and tilt adjustment for maximum comfort.
- Wide range of ports for more flexibility and easier multi-tasking across devices.
Best 27inch Monitor for Productivity
The 27in ASUS ProArt display is a great choice for people that work from home or don’t have the space on their desk for a larger monitor. The higher resolution of this model makes it almost equivalent to dual 24in monitors while taking up less desk space.
This specific model focuses on color reproduction, height, and tilt adjustment along with the ability to swivel the screen for people that work in computer programming or graphic design. It’s highly flexible to meet your productivity needs.
Why we like it:
- A great choice for people working from home and have limited desk space
- Space efficient, high resolution means you can fit a lot of content on a single screen.
- Ability to swivel the monitor for long form Excel spreadsheets and financial reporting.
- Mac Compatible
Best Portable Laptop Monitor to Boost Productivity
A portable second monitor is a must have for increasing productivity on the go. While there are larger and smaller models availabe we find that 15.6 is a sweet spot and will match the size of many business laptops. Portable laptop monitors usually use a usb-c connector for both power and showing a display which makes it very convenient to plug in and start using right away.
If you often find yourself working from the road or even going to coffee shops to switch up the work from home scene, portable monitors like this will keep you from sacrificing productivity when a larger monitor setup isn’t avialable.
Why we like it:
- 15.6in screen matches the size of many business laptops
- Plug and play design that works with USB-C available on most modern laptops
- Portable carrying case included to prevent screen scratches and dings in your bag
- Comes with a stand that can be used in portrait or horizontal mode to fit your use case.
If you’re unsure about a wide screen monitor, scroll below and check out our screenshot comparisons!
Now let’s explain in detail which specifications you should look out for and additional considerations when selecting a new monitor to boost your productivity and answer some frequently asked questions.
Table of Contents
Steps to Choosing the Best Monitor Size for Productivity
- Identify your most common use cases
- Measure your Desk
- Understand and Prioritize the Most Important Features
Selecting the Right Monitor for You
When determining the size of monitor to purchase, we recommend doing some self-reflection prior to investing in a new monitor. The computer monitor market has expanded over recent years, and provides a wider range of resolutions, features, and sizes than ever before.
Prior to making a purchase, think through the following:
- Identify your most common use cases – You should choose the right tool for the right job, and choosing the right monitor is no different. Select one that best suits your individual needs.
- Measure your Desk – We really like ultra-wide monitors, but there is no point in purchasing one if it won’t fit in your home office or on your desk.
- Determine must have features – Tilting screens and telescoping stands improve ergonomics but come at added costs. Advanced color reproduction and rotating screens are useful but not for everyone.
Choosing the best computer monitor is no longer a one size fits all solution, and the best monitor is going to be one that fits your specific use case and needs. These are some examples of features that are more industry specific to give you some ideas of things to think about.
- Wide Screen Monitors – Excellent choices for multi-taskers and people working across multiple windows or in applications such as Excel or Power BI where seeing more screen at once is a time saver.
- Monitors that Rotate – Some computer programmers and people writing long form content prefer a monitor that fits their working style. A monitor that is taller than it is wide can help people in these industries be more productive.
- Accurate Color Reproduction – Image analysts, graphics designers, and video editors require monitors with more accurate color reproduction than the average business user who spends a lot of time in an ERP or Excel.
Because of the different needs and use cases across job roles and industries it’s important to take a step back and honestly assess how you prefer to use a computer monitor and what your most common use cases are.
Bigger Monitors Mean More Productivity
When it comes to productivity, bigger is often better.
A 27-inch high-definition monitor is the minimum size you should consider if you’re serious about improving your workflow.
Larger monitors, specifically 32 and 34-inch models, are preferred for multitasking and professional use. The expansive screen real estate allows you to comfortably view multiple applications or documents side by side, reducing the need for constant tab-switching and window minimizing.
To highlight our point, the following screenshot was from a 34 UWQHD monitor that presents a Power BI Dashboard. The extra screen size and resolution lets you see an entire screen of reporting dashboard on the left, with an entire screen worth of settings on the right. This prevents you from having to scroll, collapse and expand different tabs while developing a report.
Another way to highlight the benefits is with Microsoft Excel. The screenshot below shows two halves of an ultra wide UWQHD monitor 1330 x 1440
A larger monitor provides a broader visual workspace, allowing you to accomplish tasks more efficiently, but only if the monitor has the resolution to match.
Resolution is More Important than Screen Size
While a larger screen offers more space, it’s crucial to pair it with higher resolution for maximum productivity benefits. Higher resolution provides better image quality and allows you to fit more content and more data on a screen at one time.
The table below highlights the difference in screen sizes and resolution. Keep in mind that resolution is the specification that allows you to seem more data at one time.
|Screen Size (inches)||1920×1080 (Full HD)||2560×1440 (Quad HD)||3440×1440(UWQHD)|
|27-inch||2,073,600 pixels||3,686,400 pixels||N/A|
|32-inch||2,073,600 pixels||3,686,400 pixels||4,953,600 pixels|
|34-inch||N/A||3,686,400 pixels||4,953,600 pixels|
Monitors can have the same similar size but have different resolutions. Many cheaper models will pair a big screen with low resolution making the picture look large and mitigate the benefits of having more space.
- 24-inch monitors are usually limited to Full HD resolution, They offer the least screen real estate and lowest resolution.
- 27-inch monitors come in high-resolution models that allow you to almost re-create the same amount of content on a screen as 2 x 24in Full HD Monitors.
- 32 and 34-inch monitors offer the most screen real estate, have high resolutions, are ideal for multitasking, and for seeing large amounts of content at a single time without scrolling,
Measuring Your Desk
Before you invest in a larger monitor, it’s essential to measure your desk space to ensure that the monitor will fit comfortably. The last thing you want is a cluttered workspace that hampers productivity. Remember, a bigger monitor is beneficial only when it fits well within your work environment.
If you work from home, setup your desk with a laptop and other accessories where you would like to have them laid out. Measure the amount of remaining space to determine the largest monitor that will fit. Keep in mind that screen sizes are measured diagonally. You want to check both the depth and width of a monitor when determining if it will fit.
Tip: If you have limited space, you may be able to set a large computer monitor on the corner of your desk and rotate it to face you. It’s a less traditional method, but a monitor can often overhang a desk when it has a stand in the center.
Flat vs. Curved Monitors for Productivity
When it comes to productivity, both flat and curved monitors have their merits, and your choice between the two is based on personal preference and ergonomics.
Both styles work well, and people who are concerned that curved monitors will distort their view have little to worry about. The curvature is relatively minor and your eyes will adjust to it after several hours of use. The adjustment is similar to using a dual screen setup for the first time.
Flat monitors are generally more versatile and better suited for tasks that require color accuracy, like graphic design or video editing. They are also easier to set up in multi-monitor configurations, making them a preferred choice for professionals who need more than one screen.
Curved monitors provide an immersive experience and are excellent for tasks that require a broader field of view, such as data analysis and large spreadsheet manipulation. The curvature of the monitor can reduce eye strain by keeping all points of the screen at the same distance from your eyes.
If you’re purchasing a high-resolution wide screen monitor, both make excellent choices.
Ergonomics and Blue Light Filtering
Being productive is not just about the tasks you complete. It’s also about maintaining a healthy work environment. The more comfortable your eyes and body are the less fatigue you will feel when you find yourself working long hours.
A monitor that can be adjusted for tilt, height, and swivel will allow you to find the most comfortable viewing angle, reducing the risk of neck and back strain. Curved monitors also reduce the need to tilt your head when looking at a large ultra-wide screen.
Blue light can cause eye strain and disrupt sleep patterns, affecting your productivity in the long run. For people working long hours and spend a majority of time staring at a computer screen, Gunnar Blue Light Filtering Glasses can reduce eye strain caused by blue light further reducing physical strain.
Avoid Gaming Monitors for Work
Though tempting, gaming monitors are not the best choice for a productivity-focused setup. These monitors often prioritize refresh rates and response times. Features that are not crucial for most professional tasks and can even be detrimental. When a monitor is designed for fast moving action instead of presenting text and data it can look like the images are fuzzy and hard to focus on causing eye strain.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following section is to shed some light on commonly frequently asked questions, and present our opinions on 27 inch monitors that are a big improvement over 24 inch models, but fall short of the amount of productivity that can be gained by larger high definition wide screen monitors.
Is There a Big Difference Between 24 and 27-inch Monitors?
The difference between a 24-inch and a 27-inch monitor may seem minimal, but in terms of productivity, those extra inches can make a significant impact. A 27-inch monitor offers about 25% more screen real estate compared to a 24-inch monitor.
This extra space can make it easier to multitask, allowing for a more organized workflow with multiple windows open simultaneously. Moreover, a 27-inch screen often comes with higher resolutions like 1440p (Quad HD), which provides a crisper and more detailed display to fit more content on at a time.
Is 27-inch monitor too big for productivity?
No, a 27-inch monitor in most cases is too small for productivity! While it offers almost as much screen real estate as dual 24in monitors, most users will be disappointed when looking at two windows placed next to each other on a 27inch screen.
The higher resolution 3440 x 1440 resolution of ultra-wide models let you comfortably place two windows next to each other without sacrificing total viewable area. However, we would consider a high-resolution 27-inch model if we had limited desk space and infrequently multi-task.
Is 27-inch monitor too big for office work?
No, a 27-inch monitor should be considered a minimum in today’s office environment. Smaller monitors usually come with significantly lower resolution limiting the amount of information that can be displayed at one time. Once your eyes adjust to having more screen space, you will find that it’s a big productivity booster. We would even go a step further and recommend people that use a dual monitor setup currently or find themselves multi-tasking should consider 32” or 34” high-definition ultra-wide screen monitors.
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