For 2011, the trend continues toward larger and multi-monitor displays. LCD and LED display monitors are the most popular with LED expected to take the lead as they provide more vigrant color and speed at compettive pricing. LED and LCD monitors are based on the same basic technology for image display, but differ in the kind of backlighting used. While LCD monitors use cold cathode fluorescent lamps for backlighting, LED monitors use light emitting diodes. This is the main difference between the two display technologies. So LED are a type of LCD monitor. Unlike CRT monitors that generate their own light through cathode ray incidence on fluorescent materials, LCD displays have to rely on external lighting as their display is created through manipulation of light passing through polarized liquid crystals. The backlighting affects picture quality substantially and light shed by LEDs offer superior picture quality compared to LCDs, and we expect them to have a longer shelf life as well.

Again, the trend is toward two displays per workstation for users who spend at least three hours a day on a computer and tend to work in multiple applications. We have noticed in our conference surveys that many of those who consider themselves power users have moved to three monitors with only a few using four or more. The "Paperless" environment, with more people working with Electronically Stored Informaiton (ESI, as the government refers to it) makes it almost a requirement to have two workstations per user to be able to compare documents and work with a number of documents at once. The industry recommendation is 23" to 24" wide screen displays and to use monitors that can display in either Landscape (standard widescreen,) or Portriat. The display image can be changed by simply rotating the monitor and adjusting the graphics software included with the monitor.

We believe there is a direct correlation between dual/multi-monitors and productivity and that belief seems to be supported by a recent study conducted by the University of Utah . If you are trying to justify the cost of monitors, or deciding the right ROI on your investment, this article is a good read for you.

There are several sites you may visit to learn more about setting up and using multiple monitors, one of the best is http://www.multiplemonitors.org/.

Another tool that we have had users recommend to us is the freeware WinSplit Revolution. WinSplit Revolution enables you to quickly position and size active desktop windows with the help of keyboard shortcuts, saving you from having to manually drag and size a window. The default configuration makes use of the number pad and logically arranged shortcuts that are easy to remember (e.g. CTRL+ALT+1 moves to the lower left, CTRL+ALT+3 moves to the lower right, etc.), but you can fully customize the shortcut keys, as well as window positions and sizes. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to arrange multiple windows on your desktop (side by side or tiled), change windows transparency, keep a window on top and move windows between 2 or 3 monitors.

Recommended Display Manufacturers and Sources

Accountants First Choice - Dual Screen Portrait Displays

Dual Screen Portrait Displays

Will Fleenor, PhD CPA, a principal with K2 Enterprises, prefers the HP LP 2465 model displays that can display in landscape mode, or be rotated for portrait. Will believes that the ability to view an entire page without scrolling improves productivity for accountants over the life of the monitors and warrant the extra premium in costs.

Will is correct that eliminating the time required to move your hands back and forth to the mouse to move a page up or down adds up for professionals who bill for their time. The ability to see an entire page, while enlarging each page to easy viewing is also ergonomically beneficial and reduces fatigue and may reduce incidences of carpel tunnel syndrome by limiting hand and arm movement.

Accountants First Choice - Dual Screen Portrait Displays

Dual Screen Portrait Displays

Will Fleenor, PhD CPA, a principal with K2 Enterprises, prefers the HP LP 2465 model displays that can display in landscape mode, or be rotated for portrait. Will believes that the ability to view an entire page without scrolling improves productivity for accountants over the life of the monitors and warrant the extra premium in costs.

Will is correct that eliminating the time required to move your hands back and forth to the mouse to move a page up or down adds up for professionals who bill for their time. The ability to see an entire page, while enlarging each page to easy viewing is also ergonomically beneficial and reduces fatigue and may reduce incidences of carpel tunnel syndrome by limiting hand and arm movement.

Multiple Displays

Multiple Displays

Dr. Bob Spencer has been lecturing on the virtues of multiple monitors for nearly ten years now. While you may not go to the extreme he has in his office setup, there is good justification for the expenditure. Bob does a significant amount of research and writing. The ability to display a number of open applications across multiple monitors improves his productivity significantly. He is running two 22" ViewSonic VG 22230wm monitors with 5ms refresh rate at 1680x1050. In the center is a 24" HP LP2465 at 1920x1200, which he rotates to Portrait mode when doing manuscript development so he view an entire page enlarged without scrolling. And, you may have noticed the 37" LG 1080p to his left at 1600x1200. In the picture Bob is showing the graphical capabilities of this display showing QuickTime, iTunes and other applications open in this Window. Primarily this display is used with his Mac PowerBook for multi-media development and presentation development.

To drive multiple monitors to this level requires tremendous processing power. Bob is using dual NVIDIA 8800's with 768MB of on-board memory and dual DVI adaptors on each graphics board. While this may be overkill, the economic life of the system should be five years or longer and will be able to take what ever is thrown at it for some time to come.

Multi-monitor Laptop Display

Laptop Displays

We have been asked many times about connecting more than one monitor to a laptop and yes, as you can see, it is possible. In the picture Bob is using a PC Card adaptor from www.villagetronic.com to connect to an external ViewSonic VG3340wm at 1680x1050. The second VG3340wm is connected using the DVI port on the Laptop Docking station at the same resolution. The laptop is a 15.4" display.

In this configuration most of the work is done on the two external displays with the laptop display used for monitoring e-mail, calendar, IM and so forth.

Other providers of adaptors include www.matrox.com (dual-head to go) and http://www.displaylink.com/ (USB to Monitor.) Randy has used both of these and has been satisfied. He is currently using the Display Link model which uses a powered USB port.

Beware, the number of ports may not be the whole story. Some laptop docking stations, such as the HP Advanced Dock may have multiple video ports, such as dual DVI or VGA, but that does not mean that the graphics controller in the laptop will support more thant two displays at a time. You may need a combination of the Dock plus a Displayport connection as well to get two external montiros working with the laptops display for a total of three displays.

USB to DVI HD Adapter

ext-usb-2-dvihd-top

Gefen's New USB to DVI HD Allows You to Add Any Hi-Def Display to your Computer using the USB Port

CHATSWORTH, CA - Tapped out of video ports but want to add a new display? Gefen makes it easy with its just released USB to DVI HD. This tiny adapter comes equipped with one USB input and one DVI output. Any USB port on the computer can be used to connect a digital display using the DVI, VGA or HDMI format. See detail specs.

Touch Monitors

mimo_720f_hp

  • Mimo USB displays
  • 10-inch, 1024 x 600 touchscreen display
  • 400:1 contrast ratio and 350cd/m2 brightness
  • 9.7 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • 1.77lbs
  • ead review

 

 

 

Portable Monitors

LD220G

For Accountants who are looking for a portable Monitor to take into the field. The Samsung LD220G 21.5" Secondary Notebook LCD Display seems to be be very popular. Equipped with a bottom line stand and tilt function, Samsung Lapfit monitors sit neatly beside your notebook and can conveniently deliver the same sloped angle.

The ultra-high 50,000:1 Dynamic Contrast ratio automatic backlight adjustment creates deeper, more dramatic dark tones and brighter, more striking light tones.

Pricing ranges from $194 to $236 based on web search.

toshiba_mobilemonitor_tn

Toshiba has introduced a 14-inch portable LCD monitor that runs off a USB port.

The Mobile Monitor has a resolution of 1366 x 768 and weighs 2.8 pounds. The display uses the same LCD panel as a Toshiba laptop, and only works with PCs running Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

Businesspeople can use the new product for giving presentations during sales calls or meetings. The display can also be placed on extended mode for adding screen real estate to a laptop.

The device sells for $200.

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Toshiba USB Monitor

$199.99

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Lenovo Think Vision LT 1421

$241.99

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AOC Monitor

$116.39

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Field Monitor Pro
Field Monitor Pro

Field Monitor Pro is designed to fit your work style. In "keypad mode", a built-in numeric keypad is used for efficient data entry, and the base is ideal as a writing surface or mouse pad. Want more desk space? Simply rotate the screen and release the stand for "stand mode". You can even hang Field Monitor Pro on a wall. In all modes, Kensington lock slots can be used.

Accountants will make the most of having a second, light weight, inexpensive, monitor on the road. This model has been field tested by many of the K2 Enterprises team and all agree that this is a must have for the mobile worker.

Also take a look at the Monitor2Go portable monitor.

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Monitor2Go Monitor2Go Monitor2Go