If you’re in the field of graphic design, accounting, tech support . . . or pretty much any skill that requires a lot of computer time, you might have entertained the notion of a bigger monitor, 2 monitors . . . 3 monitors?
The Back Story
That’s the situation I was in a year ago. Over the last several years, I have always used a laptop as my primary computer, due to the sheer portability to allow working if/when I travel. But, let’s face it, a laptop screen does not a convenient long-term work space make.
So, I had moved to a 2 screen setup about 3 years ago where my primary monitor was a 24 inch Asus LED Screen that attached to my secondary screen of the laptop. That Asus is still with me (more on that below) and is a crazy good deal for the quality it has.
Now, I’ll admit, the 24 inch setup happened for one big reason – $150 was far better than throwing down $1200-$1500 for a big ol’ 30″ Mac Thunderbolt Display. That was just crazy money (even if everyone was raving about it).
So, I sat it out for a couple years. Then, this LG monitor sprung onto the scene. It retailed for $1199, so I was out . . . until good ol’ Amazon dropped it to $800. I know, that’s still a big amount, but this is a 34 inch screen we’re talkin’ about here. Plus, it’s 3440×1440 screen – that would be much better than what I was used to.
And, well it did. This is a massive monitor. It has a 21:9 ratio, so it’s super wide. I dare say it’s like taking two of my old 24 inchers and smashing them together. It is a great screen and everything I hoped it would be . . .
. . . then comes the icing on the cake. This monitor has a built in Thunderbolt hub. Now, for all non-Macintosh users, that’s a moot point, but for those with Thunderbolt inputs, this is a wonderful thing. I can connect one Thunderbolt cable to this monitor and connect all my peripherals like USB.
So, one Thunderbolt cable goes from my Mac to this device, which then distributes all the other hard drives, audio devices, mouse, etc via USB. If you’re on the move, this makes it very nice to hook in and out.
Oh, and just so you know, this works as a USB 3 hub just as well as Thunderbolt for all the PC users out there.
As for screen quality, this is leaps and bounds above my older screens (which I still like). The clarity is superb, the colors are great, and the refresh rate is great for a full day of work.
Screen Size Benefit
Having at 21:9 aspect is also great for side by side working. I never really did such a thing before with 1 or two screens, but since this has the extra width, I can use the new split window feature in OSX El Capitan to have nice, clean split screen views between 2 apps (Windows 7 and above will do this too, FYI). What I thought was a gimmick before has turned out to be quite productive.
If you are in design, accounting, engineering or any other work that offers the need for lots of screen space, I highly recommend a monitor like this. Many other companies are starting to test the waters with this size format, but I think the addition of a Thunderbolt / USB hub is a no-brainer for using the monitor as a one cable “dock”.
After about a year of use, I can’t see going back . . . maybe one day I’ll find that super-giant 42-50 inch ultra HD one-screen-for-everything, but this will definitely suffice for now!
OH, and I’ve seen it as low as $600 now . . . LG Ultrawide On Amazon