Posted by: Ed Tittel
improved visibility also improves productivity; second monitor now matches primary; benefits of bigger screens
When I got back from a recent trip to the DFW area to meet with Jeff Carrell, my esteemed co-author for the upcoming revision to Guide to TCP/IP for Cengage Learning/Course Technology, I found a ginormous box waiting for me in the doorway to my office. Apparently, that’s as far as the UPS guy was willing to carry it when he dropped it off at the house while I was away.
“What the heck is that?” I thought upon seeing the 24x31x17″ container. “Oh yeah,” I remembered, “it’s the refurbished Dell 2707 WFP monitor I ordered on Monday.” I already have a 2707 that I purchased in 2007 or 2008, and had been using a Dell 2309 1080p monitor as my secondary screen for the past couple of years. With a much smaller screen and the same 1920×1080 resolution, my aging eyes had been struggling to make out the details on the smaller screen to my left for some time, with increasingly worse results over the past six months or so.
In the wake of some recent consulting work (and ensuing earnings) I decided to spring just over $550 (including shipping, handling, and sales tax) for an identical if refurbished mate to my primary 2707. I could have bought a newer 27″ monitor for about $1,000, but I decided against upping the resolution to 2560×1440, figuring that the higher resolution would cause the same squinting and muttering on the bigger screen that I was already suffering from on the smaller one I wanted to replace.
I’m very happy to report that the refurb monitor is apparently defect free, despite the black magic marker on the outside of the box that says “6 or more dead pixels.” And I’m happy to observe that I can see everything on screen number 2 as well as I can see everything on screen number 1. Having now worked with dual monitors since 1999, I’ve observed that more screen real estate translates directly into increased productivity. I can now also attest that improved visibility/legibility appears to do likewise, since the number of pixels on the smaller previous screen matches the number of pixels on its much larger replacement. Take heed, baby boomers!
As an added bonus, now that both screens use the same driver, I’m not observing the occasional and unwarranted (if only momentary) lapses that have occurred with the original 2707 as it went to sleep even though I was using the monitor and it shouldn’t have timed itself out into a lower power state. Windows 7 seems happier and less inclined to time out the driver than it was before, when I was using different drivers with each of the two monitors.