Multiple Display Use Continues to Rise

Users believe that productivity can go up by 42% if multiple displays are used, according to a survey conducted by Jon Peddie Research. However, this view of the increase in productivity has remained the same since 2012. JPR says that the use of multiple monitors has steadily increased over time since the company’s first survey in 2002. Two monitors also often cost less than a very large one, yet provide more resolution. In addition, using one monitor in portrait mode and the other in landscape mode can reduce the need for scrolling.

In all of JPR’s surveys, respondents were asked to give us an estimate of actual, or expected improvement in productivity. In 2002, the average expectation of productivity improvement due to the use of multiple monitors was 46%. Productivity expectation in 2012 dropped a little to 42%, and in the 2017 survey it stayed the same at a 42% average expected productivity boost.

Unlike the previous surveys, the respondents today know their computers are capable of supporting multiple displays.

The more you can see, the more you can do. Jon Peddie, 1998

JPR’s chart suggests 90% adoption of multiple displays, but we suspect that this reflects that the survey may have been partly self-selecting. Of course, it also reflects that anybody with a notebook and an external monitor has multiple displays. Image:JPR

Analyst Comment

I must say that I prefer a single big display. I find that I don’t get on with monitors in portrait mode as I find that I often spend too much time looking at the top of the screen, causing some fatigue in the back of my neck. However, I have a large enough monitor that the display of documents in portrait mode makes them legible. I do have a secondary display, on my notebook. However, most of the time I don’t use it, just occasionally having a source document when working on a big spreadsheet, for example, or when I’m programming, with two windows on my main display (one for the app, one for the program code and with the notebook used for reference documents or keeping an eye on email). (BR)