What the Right Monitor Can Do for You

Jul 09, 2013

If it’s been a while since you shopped for a monitor, you might be surprised by how much today’s models can do to improve your work and play. A versatile, well-connected monitor can help you get more pleasure and productivity out of all your devices.

These days, displaying images from a desktop computer is just the beginning of what a monitor can do. To take just a few examples, the right monitor can serve as a bigger and better display for your laptop, provide a second monitor for your home or work desktop PC, and make your smartphone, tablet, camera, or game system much more useful and fun.

Supersize Your Laptop

Sometimes even a relatively large laptop screen isn’t sufficient, whether you’re working with a big spreadsheet or watching an HD video. Connecting your laptop to a monitor can give you a bigger, better, and more comfortable view. A monitor with a wide-ranging height adjustment lets you bring the image to the perfect level for extended sessions of work or play. You can also view the monitor alongside your laptop’s screen to compare two documents or files without switching back and forth. Or play a game on your big screen while referring to its manual or your laptop.

Broaden Your Horizons

Connecting dual screens to one PC is an increasingly popular way to boost productivity. Work on one screen while referring to a website on another, or get an extreme horizontal view of wide documents. Windows 8 has new dual-monitor capabilities that make it easier to get the most out of two displays; make sure your next monitor can take full advantage.

Achieve and Maintain Professional Accuracy

If your work demands the ultimate in graphic accuracy, choose a professionally calibrated monitor that also has a built-in calibration engine. Factory-tuned by experts, the 27-inch Samsung SB970, for example, lets you use a calibrator and the included Natural Color Expert software to correct non-uniformity and to get gamma and white balance exactly right.

Work (and Play) Better With Others

When everyone in a workgroup needs to see your screen at once, there’s no substitute for a monitor that can be viewed from wide angles. The wider the viewing angle, the broader your audience can be—whether they’re friends laughing at your latest video or colleagues reviewing your most serious work (and hopefully laughing a little less).

Connect More Devices

Make sure the monitor you choose has readily accessible USB, HDMI, DL-DVI, and Display Port connections to accommodate not just your current laptop, smartphone, gaming system, and other devices, but also future additions. A monitor with MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) connectivity enables you to connect your mobile device to the monitor’s USB port so you can enjoy all of its content on the big screen. (Most Android smartphones are MHL-compatible.)
With an MHL-equipped monitor like the Samsung SB970, you can get a big-screen view of your photos and videos, as well as richer sound thanks to a built-in stereo speaker with 7 watts of power. You can also play games or browse the Web in style. While you enjoy the view, you’ll also be charging your device through the same cable. That means no lugging your charger to your office or desk.

When choosing a monitor, consider not only your current uses and habits but also all the things you’d like to do in the future. And keep in mind that you’ll likely be doing even more than that.