A Tech Writer in Searches for a Monitor

Jan 23, 2020 at 10:00 am by Warlord720

It all started off innocently enough. It was time for this old digital grouch to get a new monitor setup. A setup that might eliminate the need for multiple monitors. If you wonder why anyone would need multiple monitors then I can't help you because I've never turned down another monitor that didn't drain system resources.

There is always something else to display... plus it just looks cool.

I currently use the wide format of 2560x1080 with two 28" AOC monitors but not side by side. In fact, one monitor resides in the house attached to the HP Omen running the living room holodeck (VR) by its lonesome self while the other, located in the backyard studio, is paired with a standard 1080p 24" monitor.

Most digital artists and grunts that I know use multiple monitors arranged in any number of ways from broadcast studio style to movie villain-nesque backroom hacker with upper, lower and side monitors or wherever they can cram in another one or two or three.

This leads me to another important part of this search. I keep one monitor in front of me with the other off to the left side. This means I am always working and viewing the center area of the main monitor... not the center of two monitors since that would be side by side bezels breaking up the Windows desktop. I don't share the wallpaper across monitors either. Each has its own nice, neat little centered wallpaper.

With my desired range of 32- to 35-inch that would place one application on each side meaning I would be working from one side or the other instead of the middle of my workspace.  Which I have done for... oh... say... since 1978 or so.

I rarely split-screen multiple applications, so I have been sitting in the center of my workspace looking at the center of a monitor while I work... for decades. That deserves consideration. 

Wide-format 21:9 works best with two windows. In order to get a center window without putting a huge monitor physically off-center, I need to bump up to 32:9. If 21:9 is like have two 27-inch monitors then 32:9 adds that third monitor or in this case, window.

So, I started researching as monitors are a tech item I know little about...  just like the cards that drive them. I know enough to be dangerous... to the pocketbook.

What I found was encouraging. Wide-format monitors starting off at less than $200 US for the smaller ones and pleasantly surprised to see 40" plus going for $700 to $800! This was very encouraging.

Then, as I educated myself, everything changed. What was so great about those monitors was now old hat... starting with a near-obsolete 1080p format. 2560 didn't matter as it was anchored by 1080. It is 21:9 ration but older tech.

The further I looked the more I learned. There was an important aspect in newer monitors to lower or eliminate the blue light emissions that apparently runs roughshod over our eyeballs. And there was refresh rate for all that digital real estate, HDR and syncing for rival cards makers. The more I looked the more I found out until informational overload starting creeping in.

Oh... did I mention curved monitors??? Well, throw that in too. By now with me considering Super Wide Format a curved monitor only seemed natural. No… I am not looking for a curved monitor due to coolness… I have valid reasons… like… OK… I'm doing it for coolness as much as the crap I mentioned previously.

By now my head was hurting from the informational overload... 30-inch or 40-inch range? Wide Format or Super Wide Format, HDR, refresh rates, response times and on and on.

I did the only thing I could think to do in this situation.

Buy my way back to sanity.

I bit the bullet and settled on a 49-inch, 32:9 behemoth of a monitor that would run at 5120x1440p resolution! So much for the small footprint. At this point, I'm just hoping I have enough room for the keyboard and mouse on my real-world desktop.

Looks like I'm going to find that out the hard way which seems to be my preferred method of getting through life.

M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years.  Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website

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