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The pros and cons of using multiple monitors

The pros and cons of using multiple monitors

November 2013

As personal computers become faster and more powerful, the number of programs you can run simultaneously has increased. What this means is that multitasking has become the norm.

Many of us have spent time toggling back and forth between open programs to get work done, but there are more efficient ways to work. Setting up multiple monitors is an easy—and surprisingly affordable—way to view different applications at the same time.

The pros and cons of using multiple monitors
You’d be surprised by the amount of time you spend switching between applications. Multiple monitors can help make work more efficient, but this solution is not for everyone.


  • Increase productivity—viewing multiple applications on one screen can break visual continuity and decrease your productivity. For example, setting up two monitors allows you to keep your email open on one screen while working on a presentation or spreadsheet on the other screen, avoiding the need to toggle away from the presentation just to read a new email.
  • Not just for desktops—setting up an additional monitor to your notebook allows you to utilize a greater viewing area, while still having the flexibility to be able to pack up your notebook when you need to work elsewhere.
  • More ergonomic—limiting the number of clicks and scrolls you have to make between applications creates a more comfortable work environment.
  • Use less paper—if you can see more documents on your screen, you’ll be less likely to print and throw away paper.
  • Easy to add-on—many of the latest HP commercial monitors have multiple input ports—including VGA, DVI-D, USB, and DisplayPort—for connecting to a desktop or notebook PC. Optional HP accessories open up even more connectivity avenues.


  • More distractions—having one computer screen is distracting enough, so there are potential downfalls to having more than one monitor. This can be controlled by adapting your work habits, but it’s something to be aware of.
  • Limited workspace—the most obvious issue with multiple monitors is the amount of space they take up on your desk.
  • Consumes more power—many monitors are now energy efficient, but that won’t reduce the added cost of using more than one monitor at the same time.

You’ve weighed the pros and cons—now what?
If limited workspace is a concern, there are a number of space-saving solutions to consider. HP also offers an array of adjustable display stands, swivel arms, wall mounts, and docking stations designed for multi-monitor usage.

Having more than one monitor allows you to view documents like never before. For example, many monitors can be tilted to either a horizontal or vertical orientation—the latter being especially useful when viewing 8.5” x 11” documents on one screen.

Regardless of how you choose to position your monitors, or how many you choose to buy, there’s little doubt that you’ll appreciate the benefits of the change right away.

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