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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Dual Monitors?

An SVGA cable connects the second monitor.
Most operating systems allow the user to extend the computer desktop onto multiple monitors.
Dual monitor setups can increase productivity.
Article Details
  • Written By: David Sandoval
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Many computers are capable of using dual monitors. A dual monitor setup allows the computer to project the operating system's desktop across two computer monitors, or this setup can be used to send the same desktop screen to two monitors simultaneously. Dual monitors allow the user to perform more tasks simultaneously on a computer. It might take some time for a user to get used to a dual-monitor setup. Not all computers support dual monitors, and if the video settings on the computer are improperly configured, the dual monitor setup might not work as expected.

Dual monitors can be configured to extend a single operating system desktop across two screens. This configuration allows the user to work on a document on one screen while instant messaging or browsing the Internet on the other screen, for example. Dual monitors in this configuration also can be used to view two documents side-by-side or to copy information from one program to another.

A dual monitor setup also might be configured to send the same desktop screen to two monitors simultaneously. One of the most common examples of this configuration is when a laptop is used to display a presentation; the first computer monitor in this case is the laptop display screen, and the second computer monitor can be a projector or a large wall-mounted computer monitor. This configuration would allow a computer user to share information that he or she is viewing on his or her computer screen.

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When a computer user who is accustomed to using only a single computer monitor is first using a dual-monitor setup, it might be difficult to find the location of the computer mouse pointer for a time. If computer program windows have been dragged to the second screen on a computer that has dual monitors, the program window will open in that second screen when the program is run again. This might be an annoyance for someone who is accustomed to program windows opening up on the primary computer screen.

If the computer user expects the dual monitor setup to be configured to send the same desktop screen to both monitors, it might be frustrating if the computer is configured to extend a single operating system desktop across two monitors, and vice versa. This situation might be even more frustrating if the computer user does not have the expertise to change the configuration to conform to his or her preference. Some computer users prefer to use a single computer monitor, and others prefer using dual monitors. A user who has the option of using dual monitors can try the configuration to determine whether it is right for him or her.

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