Do Larger Monitors Make You More Productive?

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The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent study that asked whether more screen real estate gave workers the ability to do things faster and better. Workers were given either an 18-inch or 24-inch monitor, and the researchers found that:

People using the 24-inch screen completed the tasks 52% faster than people who used the 18-inch monitor; people who used the two 20-inch monitors were 44% faster than those with the 18-inch ones. There is an upper limit, however: Productivity dropped off again when people used a 26-inch screen.

Interesting findings (albeit funded by a monitor manufacturer), but I have to ask our space-savvy readers: How would you use extra screen space to make your desktop more effective, if you had the chance? What can you get done with a bigger monitor than with, say, a multi-desktop app like OS X Leopard’s Spaces (or its Windows and Linux equivalents)? Tell us what you think, and share your own story of making the most of what you’ve got, whether it’s laptop-sized or home theatre proportions.


  • Its not the size of a monitor that is good.. It’s the resolution!! Granted larger monitors usually have a higher resolution, that doesn’t mean it does, or people use it….

    Look at laptops, you can get a 15″ screen in different resolutions, some of these resolutions are the same or greater than a 17″ screen.

    I use 2×21″ WS LCD’s, 1680×1050. They do the job, however 3 would be way better. Two vertical & one horizontal. When developing websites it is great having the higher resolution in the vertical as I can see a whole webpage content plus have the firebug sitting at the bottom.

    I’d really like the larger 2560 x 1600 resolution as my primary with 2 1920×1200 in the vertical. That would make developing so much simpler! instant access to logging, code, web browser (multiple even), database all visible at the same time, no alt+tab required, awesome!

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