The business benefits of a big monitor

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Earlier this year I extolled the business benefits of a second monitor. I still think there's no better way to amp up your computing productivity.

That said, a second monitor requires a sizable chunk of desk space, which isn't always practical. Maybe you'd be better off with a single, larger monitor?

With that in mind, I've been road-testing (make that desk-testing) an AOC I2757Fh, a desktop LCD with a whopping 27-inch diagonal size.

That's one big honkin' monitor.

But isn't bigger always better? To answer the question, I spent a couple weeks using the AOC alongside my laptop, a desktop replacement with an 18.4-inch LCD.

Verdict: the AOC wins in almost every way. It has a brighter overall picture, better contrast, and, to my eyes, better color accuracy. Plus, it's crazy-big, which I'll expand on in a minute.

The monitor features two HDMI inputs, built-in speakers, and an ultra-slim design (just 10.6mm thick). It doesn't pivot, which would have been icing on the cake, but at this price point I wouldn't expect it to.

The only real downside is that it has a maximum display resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. A monitor of this size could easily handle a higher pixel count, though other monitors that do cost considerably more. The reason that's a downside is that you can't fit as much stuff (windows, data, etc.) on the screen as the physical size would suggest.

On the other hand, I keep Microsoft Word open on one half and my Web browser on the other, and although I had to fiddle with the zoom on both, they're both so big that the arrangement just works. On smaller monitors, I don't like this side-by-side windowing because text gets too small for comfortable reading.

I will admit that the AOC sort of overwhelms my desk, making me think I'd be a little happier with a 24-inch screen. But, boy, once you get accustomed to the side-by-side windows and the productivity boost that affords you, it's hard to go back.

The I2757Fh has a list price of $349, but you can score one at Best Buy for $299.99 shipped (plus sales tax in most states).

What are your thoughts on big monitors? What size have you found works best on your desk? And are you satisfied with one, or do you prefer at least two?

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