How Many Monitors Do You Need for Your Business?

Is your business computer or internet-oriented? Are you having trouble shifting from window-to-window just to get a single spreadsheet done - even by using a widescreen monitor? Chances are you're in need for a second or third monitor, which is perfectly justifiable when you're your own boss, data entry specialist, and marketing specialist. Believe me, the probability of sales will skyrocket when using multiple monitors to manage simultaneous running applications.

First off, count how many applications need to be opened simultaneously. If you're using Windows 7, there's a split screen function that lets you split the screen real estate in two - enough to handle (you guessed it) two applications at the same time. If you're poring over whether you should get Windows 7 as a replacement for your current operating system (most likely) Windows XP, you better make the shift. On a Mac, however, there's always Boot Camp, which lets you install most Windows versions on your Apple computer/laptop.

Going back, if you're still cramped out with your screen real estate, even when using the split window function of Windows 7, you still have to take note of these issues:

1.) Is your graphics card or embedded graphics on the motherboard (if you're not using a graphics card) powerful enough to support two or three monitors?

2.) How many are your display connectors? Older CPU's sometimes support only single VGA output, while newer ones have multiple display connectors (VGA, DVI, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort). If you have two or more video ports, one monitor can use the VGA connector, while the second monitor can use DVI connector.

Note: If you're not knowledgeable about the tech specs of your PC, try taking it to a qualified computer technician and ask if it can handle multiple displays.

3.) If you fortunately have an extra video port for a second display, make sure that the monitor you're buying is be compatible with that port. Check the technical specifications of the monitor on the manufacturer website and don't shy away from asking the salesperson at the computer hardware depot.

4.) If you're totally unsure if the CPU will actually support a second display, try to haul over your CPU to the depot and let the technician see for himself the compatibility of the two.

If you're worrying about the added power consumption of running a second or third monitor, you can again check the specifications of the second monitor. Newer LCD displays only consume a third of what CRT displays consume. LED displays, which will be ultimately the successor of LCD displays, have a rated power consumption of only 25 watts.

Productivity-wise, there's no opportunity cost to using a second display. The money will certainly go to a good cause and you can now type and read at the same time, without the hassle of shifting from window to window. Again, try out Windows 7's split window function before you purchase a new monitor - it might just be the solution to your problems.

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