9 Benefits of a Dual Monitor Setup – With Disadvantages

The decision to have a dual monitor setup can be a quite difficult one to make. Setting up an additional monitor is a relatively simple and easy task to undergo. However, it will completely change how you use your computer. There are many factors to consider when you are considering the jump to a second display. We have taken the time to undergo hours of research and personal experiences to help. We believe we have found the 9 most important benefits of a dual monitor setup. Along with the benefits, we have outlined some of the disadvantages as well.

Two monitors beside each other with applications open

The 9 Benefits of Dual Monitors

1. Dual Monitors Increase Productivity

Dual monitor setups offer a lot of productivity improvements in a variety of ways. Firstly, you can have more than one application open at a time. This allows you to click between two applications effortlessly, saving you time. While using a computer it is not uncommon to have numerous applications or website tabs open at a time. With dual monitors, this makes clicking between applications effortless.

Working on a project or task is so much more efficient on a dual monitor setup. You will now be able to conduct work on one document while referencing another. This will improve your quality of work as you will be able to quickly compare it to your references. 

dual monitors with applications open

Having a dual monitor setup will also increase the speed at which you conduct tasks. When we think of the time in which it takes us to click between applications, it seems small. But it does add up over the duration of your task. Dell has conducted a study showing significant improvements to dual display setups.

2. Dual Monitors Increase Joy

Working on two monitors is far more enjoyable than just one. It is hard to believe that it will alleviate any stress or confusion, but we promise it will. Your productivity and computer’s ease of use will increase significantly. This alone will decrease your stress while working on a computer.

Not to mention you can stream your favorite shows while conducting tedious work. I am sure you have worked on a project once in your life that was very boring and tedious. Imagine how nice it would have been to watch your favorite show or movie while doing it. With that being said be careful not to get distracted while doing so. 

3. They Will Increase Your Focus

Switching between tasks takes away from your work productivity. Having the capability to keep the project that you are working on will improve your focus. Referencing above, you will now be able to have your work open on one screen while searching or referencing on the other. This allows you to keep your primary focus on your work. 

Whenever you exit out of your main task on hand you have the potential for distractions. What if you had a social media application open in the background. Or even a game application on your desktop. Exiting out of your main task faces you with all these distractions that will hinder your primary focus. 

4. Dual Monitor Setups Look Nice

Laptop hooked up to a second monitor on desk

We would all be lying if we said that dual monitors did not look nice. Trust me when I say that it will make you feel like a total boss. Sitting behind a dual monitor setup instantly makes you feel amazing. I am not sure the science behind this but trust me, it is there. They will also provide you with a sense of pride every time you sit down behind them. 

5. They Offer Better Editing Capabilities

Editing with two monitors is significantly easier than you could ever imagine. You will now be able to have your software open on one screen with your file assets open on another. This will help you improve your efficiency while working on a project. You can essentially just drag and drop your files into the software in a fraction of a second. There is no need to aimlessly search through your file browser for the clips you want. 

Not to mention you can have multiple instances of the software open on two screens. For example, you can have the primary application open along with the layers/color correction/histograms on another. Again, this will just contribute to your overall productivity and focus.

6. Ease of File Transfers

Computer screen transferring files

We mentioned it briefly above but dual monitors assist significantly with file transfers. You will be able to quickly transfer files between applications faster than you could imagine. I know it sounds like a minor improvement, but it is significant. With a single monitor dragging a file between application can oftentimes be annoying and painstaking. Having the capability to have both the file location and destination open and visible at the same time is absolutely amazing. 

7. Dual Monitors Offer You a New Gaming Experience

When we think of gaming, we often think of it as an enjoyable experience. We often do not play games to increase our levels of stress, we do the opposite. While gaming you would now be able to watch videos, movies, or shows at the same time. This will increase your overall enjoyment and experience a substantial amount. Depending on the type of games you play this may be the perfect complement.

gaming setup with dual displays on desk

If you take video games a little bit more seriously two monitors will also improve your experience. For example, you can have a tab open with strategies, or tutorials open while playing the game. Again this will only increase your game satisfaction levels making it far more enjoyable.

8. Increases Communication Capabilities

This is a big one, they will allow you to improve your level of communication with other individuals. There is a variety of examples that this can hold to be true and it may vary from individual to individual. Regardless this will still be something that is bound to affect you. You will now be able to communicate with others while doing something on your computer effortlessly. This will greatly improve your multitasking, productivity, and efficiency. 

9. Ease of Setup

If you are reading this, chances are you already have one monitor hooked up to your computer. Setting up a second one is just as easy as the first but with one additional step. When you hook up the second one your computer may not recognize it which is a fast and easy fix, check out this guide from PC World. Apart from that as long as your computer has sufficient display ports you are good to go. 

With that being said the hardest part will be figuring out how you want to set them up and what size you want to go with. For this, we recommend that you analyze what applications you use on a day to day basis. For the overall look and feel we recommend that you go with the exact same make and model as your current one. However, it may be worth grabbing a larger display if you plan to utilize it primarily for data application. Regardless, you can never go wrong grabbing the same size of display as your current one. 

Disadvantages of Having a Dual Monitor Setup

1. Lack of Desk Space

Computer monitor on desk with mess around it

Depending on your current setup you may not have the required desk space to hold two monitors. This serves as a pretty large disadvantage as it would be quite expensive to purchase another desk. Not to mention the increased space that the new desk would require. Having a bigger setup in turn means a bigger desk which may cause unnecessary stress. Not to mention the required setup it would take to install the new desk. It is quite the task of having to build a new desk, dispose of the old one, and finally transfer your setup. 

However, if your current desk does have the room required for an additional display, you are giving up surface space. Having a second monitor on your desk will definitely take up more space than you are willing to give up. If you often find that you utilize your desk space for physical papers and documents this may be a disadvantage to you. Although, if you conduct most of your activities digitally, you have nothing to worry about. 

2. Potential for Distractions

Just as dual displays can help eliminate distractions, they can also create more distractions. Having multiple applications visible at once can be beneficial but also hinder your focus. It is quite easy to find yourself opening up social networking applications and browsing through them when you are working. Also, if you decide to watch movies or videos while you are working it is quite easy to get absorbed into them. You must remain disciplined while working on such a setup otherwise, your productivity may even decrease. 

3. Total Cost

Technology can be quite expensive at times depending on what you purchase. There are many different types and models of displays that may cost you hundreds of dollars. Cost is a very important considering factor that can make or break the decision. 

Money being pulled out of brown wallet

First, we recommend that you outline all the benefits that will impact you and consider the cost of upgrading your setup. Second, identify whether this decision will improve your quality of life while working on a computer. You should take some time to make this decision as I am sure we have all experienced post-purchase regret once in our lifetime. 

4. Ergonomic Issues

Depending on how you have the displays set up can impact your setups overall ergonomics. Having more screen to look at can cause you to strain your head and neck having to look further away from a central position. This totally depends on the layout in which you have everything set up but it is defiantly a factor to weigh. Another mentioning factor is the amount of blue light your eyes will be exposed to. Essentially you are doubling the quantity of blue light that your eyes are taking in. This can cause an increase of unnecessary eye strain. 

5. Computer Compatibility

Not every computer is built with the same display port availability and options. Your computer may not have the ports required to utilize numerous monitors and displays. If that is the case you may have to upgrade your computer components which again will drive up the cost. This will also create the hassle of having to do so which may not be worth it. We recommend that you take a look at your components beforehand before making a purchase. First, take a look to see if your PC has enough ports. Second, take a look to see whether or not your components have the performance required. Unless your computer is prehistoric, it should be able to tackle another monitor with no issues at all. Generally, your graphics card will be in charge of the displays. I have written an article on choosing a graphics card if you would like to learn more.

Final Thoughts

Overall I highly recommend the addition of another display to your current or future setup. Having one monitor can make you feel cluttered and disorganized, which leads to stress and discomfort. We spend so much time on our computer screens so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? The positive benefits of using two displays significantly outweigh the cons in my opinion. 

If you are considering an ultrawide monitor check out my article talking about their benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need to purchase additional hardware?

Typically when you purchase a monitor all the cables and hardware comes with it. Depending on your situation you may want to pick up a dual monitor mound to free up surface area on your desk.

How long does it take to set up?

Setting up dual monitors is a very simple and easy task that everyone can do. Typically it will not take you more than a couple of minute to do. The longest part will be unpackaging the display.

Can dual monitors be hooked up to a laptop?

Yes of course they can. As long as your laptop has an additional optical port it is more than capable to operate dual displays.