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Six reasons to upgrade your monitor

Tayla Ansell suggests six reasons why your customers should consider upgrading their office monitors.

Upgrade your monitor
Upgrade your monitor

1. Productivity
A larger screen makes it easier to view and work on multiple sources at once, improving productivity.

Launched earlier this year, NEC’s EX341R 34-inch curved desktop monitor is ideal for financial trading floors and other industries where staff must efficiently handle and analyse large amounts of information. Alistair Round, Product Manager for Commercial Display Solutions at NEC Display Solutions Europe, points out that a wider monitor like this can replace multiple monitor set-ups. “A single EX341R display serves as the perfect replacement for two 24-inch or even three 19-inch displays, eliminating bezel gaps and cabling,” he said.

Modern monitors often come with built-in content arrangement functions, such as Picture-in-Picture (PiP) and Picture-by-Picture (PbP), which makes working with multiple sources even easier. As William Garner of ASUS points out, these functions enable users to view content from two different sources simultaneously. “PiP mode places the second input source window in one corner of the display, while PbP mode splits the screen down the middle. ASUS also provides free downloadable MultiFrame software that keeps on-screen desktop neat and organised when managing multiple application windows at once,” he said.

Viewsonic’s free ViewSplit software, designed specifically for ViewSonic monitors, lets the user customise the screen by moving up to six distinct windows into their preferred arrangement, increasing efficiency and productivity.

NEC EX341R
NEC EX341R

MultiView technology on the Philips BDM4037UW 40-inch display with 4k resolution can show four 1080p displays on one screen. Paul Butler, UK and Ireland regional sales director of AOC International (Europe) B.V & MMD Monitors and Displays Nederland B.V., says this feature is ideal for use in security, surveillance or broadcasting applications, where multiple displays must be shown simultaneously on a single screen. This monitor is also curved, for a more immersive experience and wider field of vision.

2. Ergonomics
It’s important for businesses to consider ergonomic features that will support the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff, especially those who spend a lot of time looking at a monitor.

Low Blue Light and flicker-free technology are common features of new monitors. For example, they are included on all new NEC desktop displays. Alistair Round claims that this helps protect workers’ eyes against conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration without affecting image quality. He said: “Whilst supporting better eye health and overall comfort and wellbeing, there is no compromise to true-to-life display colour performance, meaning employees are motivated and productive in their working practices.”

Acer ComfyView technology, as the name suggests, provides users with more comfortable viewing, minimising eyestrain by reducing reflections from ambient light sources on the non-glare display panel.

A good monitor should also be adjustable so that each user can set it at the optimum height and angle for their needs. The Philips SmartErgoBase, used in models such as the 241B7QUPEB, has 150mm height adjustment; -175°/175° swivel and -5°/30° tilt adjustment. Paul Butler of MMD, brand license partner for Philips Displays, says the 90° pivot feature is especially useful in office settings for reading/editing paper-sized texts.

3. Multifunctionality
Some monitors are more than just a display, offering additional features for a better user experience and a clearer workspace. Carly Cheshire, LCD Product Manager for BenQ UK, says this is a growing trend, which Benq has responded to by developing monitors with built-in speakers so customers don’t have to invest in a separate audio system. “In general, customers are looking to invest in one total solution as this can often save them time when researching or evaluating products and in some cases, it can also save them money,” she said.

Samsung CF791 Quantum Dot
Samsung CF791 Quantum Dot

William Garner points out that built-in speakers, such as the Harman Kardon speakers found in the ASUS MX34VQ, remove the need for external speakers, allowing for a more minimalistic setup. This monitor also features a built-in Qi charger for wireless charging of compatible devices and a USB hub. “This is ideal for users who use laptop devices that don’t have enough USB ports, meaning there is less clutter of USB hubs and adapters on your workstation,” Garner explained.

Similarly, the HP EliteDisplay S240uj features an integrated wireless charging display on its base and integrated premium Audio by Bang & Olufsen.

In addition, monitors designed especially for collaboration typically come with better than average built-in features. In the case of the Dell 24 Monitor for Video Conferencing, this includes a built-in two megapixel Full HD IR camera, noise-cancelling microphone and dual 5W speakers.

4. Energy efficiency/sustainability Considering a product’s green credentials before buying is increasingly important for organisations with sustainable procurement policies. Over the next three years, to help meet ‘Greening Government Commitments,’ a set of targets to reduce the government’s environmental impact, HMRC is replacing 50,000 monitors with Philips 221B6LPCB displays. Explaining the appeal of the 221B6LPCB, Butler said: “This 21-inch’ 1080p monitor is built with 85% post-consumer recycled plastics. Its built-in IR sensor, called the PowerSensor, detects when a user is not present and reduces the screen’s brightness, therefore reducing energy costs by up to 80%.”

Posen Wang, Managing Director of ViewSonic Europe and UKI Country Head, says that energy-conscious manufacturers such as ViewSonic are making an effort to reduce the use of mercury in their products to enable and encourage recycling. The VG2233MH monitor, for example, uses a mercury-free LED backlight to power its display.

It’s common to find ‘eco-modes’ and but one way to quickly identify sustainable IT products, including monitors, is to look for TCO certification. The criteria for TCO Certified includes socially responsible manufacturing, usage emissions, the reduction of hazardous chemicals and more. For energy efficiency, look for the ENERGY STAR label.

Dell P2418HZ
Dell P2418HZ

In addition, vendors use their own labels to highlight monitors with added environmentally friendly features. For example, Acer ‘EcoDisplay’ monitors can be recycled, have a power-saving design, a slimline design and minimal packaging.

5. Security
Philips has responded to rising concern about the security of webcams by incorporating a pop-up camera into a line of 22, 24 and 27in monitors. This feature, available on Philips 272B7QPTKEB/241B7QPJKEB/221B7Q PJKEB displays, effectively blocks off a potential spyhole for hackers: the webcam can be popped up when needed and pushed down into the display frame when not.

An alternative solution used on the Dell 24 Monitor for Video Conferencing is to have a privacy shutter that can be moved across the camera. The Full HD infrared sensor camera also provides facial recognition for secure biometric authentication via Windows Hello, eliminating the threat of unauthorised access.

To keep the screen safe from visual hacking, users might also like to consider attaching a privacy screen. 3M Privacy Filters protect the information on your screen from those around you by blocking side views.

To secure a device against theft, end-users should consider a monitor with a Kensington lock slot. A Kensington lock is a super strong steel cable that holds the device down on the desk to prevent it from being stolen. Most monitors from ASUS, for example, feature this slot.

6. Design
Style as well as function is becoming much more of a focus for both manufacturers and consumers. Posen Wang of ViewSonic says this is partly down to developments in technology. “The design of a monitor has always been important but in recent years the development of new technologies has allowed the boundaries of monitor designs to be pushed even further,” he said.

“The latest trends suggest that users prefer ultra-slim panels with thin bezels: ViewSonic’s recently launched VX2776 provides just that. With a slim 6.6mm display and an ultra-thin 2.2mm bezel, the VX2776 has been engineered to provide an unrivalled visual experience. The idea behind the design is to enable users to break free from bulky bezels to a more frameless experience. The monitor also features a unique triangular-based stand that complements the modern aesthetic of the product.”

Thin bezel displays, such as NEC’s new Multisync EX241UN with a 0.8mm bezel, are also ideal for multiple monitor configurations as they minimise any visual intrusion.

Philips 241B7QPJKEB
Philips 241B7QPJKEB

AOC recently collaborated with design house Studio F. A. Porsche on two stylish, ‘3-sides frameless’ monitors, the 24-inch PDS241 and the 27-inch PDS271. The power and display cables run through the asymmetrical stand, offering a sleek and clean look. The cable is then divided into individual cables in an external modular box. The display has an extremely slim 5.2mm profile, thinner than many smartphones.

There is also a trend for curved monitors, with companies like Samsung leading the way in the curved monitor display market. For example, the Samsung CH711 and CF791 Quantum Dot curved monitors have a curvature of 1,800R and 1,500R respectively, and an ultrawide 178-degree viewing angle. These monitors are designed with gamers in mind, offering greater immersion during gameplay, but are just as useful for professionals (see CF791 review in issue 4 of Technology Reseller).

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2020