Is a Dual Monitor Setup Worth It? Here are the Facts

Whether you are working from home or in the office, you might have considered upgrading to a dual monitor setup, though you might be wondering if it is worth it once you consider the costs associated with the upgrade. 

A dual monitor setup can increase your productivity and help you streamline your working process. While this setup can get expensive, there are ways to reduce your costs to have maximum productivity in the most affordable way.

The benefits of a dual monitor setup far outweigh the costs associated with it. By investing in a dual monitor setup, you will maximize your efficiency and productivity.

Benefits of a Dual Monitor Setup 

In today’s work environment, nearly everyone uses a laptop, especially those that work from home full or part-time. Laptops offer a lot of convenience with their portability and compact sizes. You can travel with them across the world or to your local coffee shop and be productive from anywhere. 

Laptops can, however, also be frustrating and inconvenient due to their small screen size, small keyboard, and trackpad. One solution to this problem is a dual monitor setup. 

The idea behind a dual monitor setup is that wherever you do the most work, either at work, at home, or both, you set up a workspace with two monitors that you connect to your laptop. This is different from having a separate desktop computer. This solution gives you:

  • More space for your work
  • A semi-permanent workspace
  • The ability to connect a full-size keyboard and mouse

All of these components can help you be more productive at work while still giving you the flexibility to work from elsewhere if necessary.

More Space for Your Work

The biggest benefit to having this kind of setup is that you have more space for your work. Whether you are a data analyst that needs several spreadsheets and programs running at once or a writer who needs tons of research material, nearly every person will benefit from having two monitors for their work. 

You want to be able to see everything you are working on, but you have limited screen real estate when you’re using a laptop. Even if you just need two internet windows set up side by side, those windows will be small and harder to read on a laptop. With a dual monitor setup, you can maximize both windows so that each site or program can operate with maximum optimization and efficiency. 

This setup not only makes viewing all of your work materials easier but keeps you from constantly clicking between windows, making you more efficient. 

Semi-Permanent Workspace

With this setup, you can have the feeling of permanence that comes from a traditional desktop computer, along with the flexibility of a laptop. Many people feel more productive if they can work in a space that is designated for work. By having a dual monitor setup, you have equipment that can’t be moved as easily as a laptop, giving you a sense of permanence.

Since the dual monitors are connected to a laptop, you still have the flexibility to work from anywhere on the same machine. If you are feeling stuck in a rut creatively and need a change of scenery, you can easily disconnect from your dual monitors and work from somewhere else in your home or office, or from somewhere else entirely. 

This flexibility gives you the option to work at a traditional desk with your monitors or somewhere else with just a laptop. You can change your working location based on your mood and where you think you will be most productive.

Connect a Full-Size Keyboard and Mouse

One other benefit of the dual monitor setup is that you can easily connect a full-size keyboard and mouse. Many laptops, especially those with smaller screens, have cramped keyboards that are optimized for size rather than ease of use. Many of these keyboards are hard to type on and don’t have a number pad. 

With a dual monitor setup, you can easily connect a full-sized or ergonomic keyboard that will help you not get hand cramps and maximize efficiency based on your typing preferences. You can also connect a mouse with this setup, which is much easier to use than the laptop’s trackpad. 

These pieces of equipment will make your setup feel more personalized and will also help to maximize your efficiency.

Ways to Set Up Dual Monitors (w/Product Recommendations)

You can set up your workstation in a few different ways based on your needs, space, and budget. 

Connect Your Laptop to Two Monitors

This is the most common dual monitor setup and is great if you have the space for it. This option involves setting up two monitors that are exactly the same or at least the same size. These monitors can be connected to a universal dock or hub where you can also connect a keyboard and mouse. This hub, which will be something like this, can then be connected to the laptop.

This option allows you to easily plug and unplug your laptop into the hub so that you can quickly go from working at your workstation to working from somewhere else. While working at your workstation, you can tuck your laptop away, giving you the feeling of permanence that comes with working on a desktop computer. 

With two monitors that are the same size, you also have no issues that come from a difference in screen size. This option is the most expensive, as you need to purchase two monitors and a laptop dock or hub, but it also looks the best and provides the most potential for efficiency. 

For more information on laptop docks and hubs, check out my ultimate docking station and laptop compatibility guide.

You can also read my article on why it’s better if dual monitors are the same size.

Connect Your Laptop to One Monitor

This option is the most budget-friendly and is best if you have a small desk or workspace. This option works best if your laptop has a large screen but is compatible with laptops of any size.

This dual monitor setup uses the laptop screen as one of the monitors. It will be harder to find a monitor that is the same size as the laptop screen, but it will work fine if the screens are different sizes. 

With this setup, you can use the same hub to connect the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the laptop. However, you will keep the laptop open instead of moving it out of the way, and you will use the screen as one of the monitors. This option is less expensive since you will only need to purchase the hub and one monitor. 

Some laptops have an external display connection built in. If your laptop has this, you don’t need a hub or dock to be able to connect to a monitor. This can save you some money as well.

With this setup, you might want to purchase a laptop stand so that your two screens are around the same height. This will make the two screens seem part of the same display and give you more room on the desk for your mouse and keyboard. 

Just as with the other setup, you can easily plug into and out of this setup for maximum flexibility and productivity. 

Tips for Setting up Dual Monitors

Now that you have decided how you want to set up your dual monitors, here are a few tips for maximizing comfort and efficiency in your new workstation

Elevate Your Monitors

Be sure to elevate your monitors by a few inches with a stand or shelf. This will bring your screens to your eye level, which will prevent you from slouching in your chair to look down at your screens. This can cause back and neck problems and can make you feel uncomfortable at your desk. 

Make The Displays Match

If you are working with monitors that are two different sizes or are elevated differently, you can play around with the display settings to make them match. With uneven screens, your mouse can get stuck at the edge between the two screens, and the display can seem off. Change the settings to fix this issue. 

Wrapping Things Up

At the end of the day, dual monitors can improve your productivity and comfort while working. While there are some costs associated with setting up dual monitors, they are worth the investment.

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