Need to maximize your desktop’s actual property? You may have two choices: an ultrawide monitor, or a dual-monitor setup. Both alternative will massively increase the display screen area at your command. However ultrawide and dual-monitor setups aren’t the identical. Every has its strengths and weaknesses.
Right here’s the way to determine whether or not an ultrawide monitor or twin screens is best for you.
How huge is it?
Everybody seeking to purchase an ultrawide monitor or twin screens needs extra usable show area. However how a lot do you acquire with every situation?
A 34-inch ultrawide monitor, the commonest measurement, isn’t as giant you would possibly suppose. This measurement of ultrawide is almost an identical to a 27-inch widescreen monitor in peak and about 8 inches wider.
Buying a second 27-inch monitor will, after all, net you a second monitor just as large as the first. A second 27-inch monitor provides 23.5 inches to the width of your setup. That’s about 15.5 inches wider than a 34-inch ultrawide monitor.
To achieve the equal of two 27-inch screens in a single show, you need to go all-out with a 49-inch super-ultrawide with a 32:9 facet ratio, comparable to Samsung’s SHG90. That’s nearly precisely as tall and huge as two 27-inch screens side-by-side, however significantly dearer.
Going twin has one other benefit, one no ultrawide can ever match: flexibility.
You should use one in every of your two screens in a portrait orientation, including vertical as a substitute of horizontal area. That is excellent if you should show paperwork on a second display screen or need to have a number of social media and chat apps open whereas working in your main monitor. You possibly can even mix-and-match screens of various sizes to completely suit your desk.
The flexibleness of a dual-monitor setup has benefits for multitasking, as you’ll be able to change the form of your setup to suit your wants. This isn’t the one approach twin screens beat ultrawide in productiveness, nevertheless.
Windows Snap, a characteristic constructed into Home windows that may shortly resize and transfer home windows for higher multitasking, works finest on twin screens. Utilizing Snap on an ultrawide leaves you with huge, brief home windows which can be awkward to make use of. A dual-monitor setup additionally supplies extra places to put home windows.
The facet ratio of an ultrawide monitor is an issue even once you’re not utilizing Home windows Snap. Most apps are programmed to be used with a 16:9 widescreen facet ratio and have a consumer interface designed for that facet ratio. Resizing an app to a 21:9 facet ratio typically leaves giant, empty areas or forces parts of the interface to 1 facet.
Ultrawide homeowners find yourself manually resizing home windows to an roughly 16:9 facet ratio. It’s like enjoying a sport of Tetris with items that don’t match. You’ll wrestle to seek out an association of home windows that doesn’t waste area.
Twin screens are on a profitable streak, thanks to a different cause two is healthier than one: decision.
4K screens aren’t onerous to seek out. You possibly can decide up the Dell S2721QS, my go-to advice amongst inexpensive 4K screens, for under $370—or you should buy two for twice the value. That’s an efficient decision of 7680×2160, placing over 16 million pixels at your disposal.
Ultrawide doesn’t come shut. LG’s 34WK95U-W, essentially the most pixel-dense ultrawide monitor, has a decision of 5120×2160. That’s spectacular however works out to barely greater than 11 million pixels, and prices about 30 % greater than a pair of Dell’s 4K screens.
Not everybody wants 16 million pixels, after all, nevertheless it has utility. Twin 4K screens are nice for modifying ultra-HD video. You possibly can view a full-screen preview on a second monitor whereas modifying within the first. Photographers and artistic artists may additionally discover related use for this setup.
Avid gamers, although, ought to keep away. Twin 4K may appear interesting at a look however, like a bug zapper, the attract can solely finish in ache.
Ultrawide screens have taken their thumps up to now, however avid gamers can disregard the lashing I’ve dished out. Ultrawide is the king of PC gaming.
A dual-monitor setup has an apparent problem: the bezel working down the center of the show. Even the thinnest, most miniscule monitor bezels are blatantly apparent when utilizing two screens side-by-side. Enjoying a sport on two screens directly is technically doable, nevertheless it’s a foul concept.
Ultrawide screens provide not simply extra usable area for gaming however a extra immersive facet ratio. A wider facet ratio signifies that, in most video games, you’ll be able to see extra directly. Surroundings and objects that stay exterior your area of view on a 16:9 widescreen change into seen on a 21:9 ultrawide.
A wider facet ratio is very helpful in sure video games. Touchdown a airplane in Microsoft Flight Simulator is less complicated on a 21:9 monitor because of the improved sense of perspective a large field-of-view provides. Avid gamers deep into Civilization IV or Humankind can see extra map for an entire view of their empire. MMO followers can use the area to customise the consumer interface or load add-ons (in video games the place that’s allowed, after all).
Most avid gamers with twin screens play on one monitor and use the second for Discord, a sport walkthrough, or atone for some actuality TV whereas ready in que to play Last Fantasy XIV. That is higher than having a single monitor, to make sure, however can’t beat the seamless really feel of an ultrawide.
This level could appear apparent to veteran avid gamers, nevertheless it’s price repeating for these new to utilizing a sport console with a pc monitor.
Recreation consoles don’t assist ultrawide screens.
You’ll see a picture should you join a sport console to an ultrawide monitor, however it is going to have a 16:9 widescreen facet ratio with letterboxing on both sides. Decision can also be a difficulty. The most typical ultrawide decision is 3440×1440, which interprets to 2560×1440 when related to a 16:9 supply. The PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Swap don’t assist this decision and as a substitute fall again to 1080p.
Don’t purchase an ultrawide monitor should you plan to make use of a monitor with a sport console.
Ultrawide can declare one other necessary benefit over twin screens. It’s only one monitor.
One monitor means one show connection and one energy wire. There’s no want to fret about how screens are organized in Home windows’ show settings. You don’t have to stress over variations in picture high quality between screens or calibrate screens to repair it. A 3rd-party monitor stand or arm received’t be mandatory.
Simplicity has worth. Extra screens imply more room and pixels however also can imply extra complications. A twin monitor setup is hardly unusual and supported by trendy working methods, however you should still encounter edge circumstances the place a selected laptop computer, desktop video card, or utility doesn’t work because it ought to. Unusual issues change into probably as your setup turns into extra advanced.
A single ultrawide monitor is a plug-and-play expertise that requires zero configuration. That is helpful should you don’t need to spend time messing with settings or incessantly change computer systems.
Twin screens for the win
The decision is obvious. Generally, twin screens take the win over ultrawide. Going twin snags you a extra versatile setup that’s higher for multitasking and, should you purchase high-end 4K screens, packs extra pixels than any ultrawide in existence.
This doesn’t imply a dual-monitor setup is healthier for everybody. I, personally, desire an ultrawide monitor. Simulation, technique, and MMO video games are my favourite genres, so an ultrawide’s immersion actually hits the spot. I additionally lack the floor area to make use of a pair of 27-inch screens, whereas a 34-inch ultrawide is the proper match for my desk.
Your alternative ought to suit your wants, after all. Ultrawide is my choice as a result of it really works finest for my area of interest wants. Nonetheless, it’s clear twin screens win in most conditions. Readers on the fence ought to cease worrying and purchase that second monitor.