[Thoughts] Why I Use a Vertical Monitor

Around a year or so ago, I discovered that my desktop monitor at home could be rotated into a vertical orientation and it was revolutionary. For most of us, we’ve spent forever working on landscape oriented monitors (usually in a 16:10 aspect ratio), for no good reason other than tradition. But I’m here to tell you, vertical monitors are a life changer. My productivity has increased many times over just from simply rotating the monitor. Here’s the nitty gritty (yes, I know that years behind the trend):

Pros:

  • Nearly every single website is more efficient in portrait. Instead of having to constantly scroll down (exacerbated by ridiculous banner images), many websites will suddenly just fit on a screen, or be able to display the entire article in one go. Your scroll wheel finger will be eternally thankful.
  • Google searches become much quicker (though you should really be using Startpage/Duckduckgo).
  • Documents, articles, PDFs, flow more naturally and can be read more easily. Long documents especially. Productivity maximizer.
  • Far more text can be fit on a vertical screen. For comparison, I displayed the same document in Pocket both in landscape and portrait. The result was 261 words on landscape, as most people would see it, and a whopping 604 words on portrait, at the exact same font size. That’s an increase of 2.3x the amount of words on one screen, just from changing the rotation.
  • For those curious, reading on a smartphone (for example a 5.1″ Galaxy) the number of words varies from 120-170 on average, depending on the font size. That’s about half the words of a landscape 23″ desktop monitor (which has about 18x the screen surface area of the smartphone), which should highlight the inefficiency of landscape.
  • If you browser supports vertical tabs down the side of the browser, you could fit close to 100 tabs, WITH text titles, excellent for the tab hoarders. More productivity to be found.
  • It’s free, you can be vertical right now if your monitor supports it. If not, then you’ll have to pick up a monitor arm to rotate the screen.
  • Window snapping still works top/bottom, as it does left/right.
  • Human eyes read more efficiently over a narrower column than a wider one (ie. newspapers and novels).
  • Annoying vertical videos on the web suddenly fit perfectly.

Cons:

  • Watching most videos is bad. If you watch many videos (most of which are in 16:10 or 16:9 aspect), set up a secondary monitor in landscape to the side and send videos there. I have a cheap 23″ Viewsonic monitor next to my main 27″ vertical Asus monitor, just for Youtube and other videos in the background. Works great.
  • With some low-quality LCD panels, the vertical viewing angles will be worse than traditional horizontal angles. Look for high-quality IPS LCD panels for your main screen.
  • Playing games is mostly out of the question, unless you play them on your secondary landscape monitor. Just about all games are designed for landscape aspects. Fortunately, I don’t play many games.
  • Some spreadsheets or technical documents work better in landscape, just fling them over to the secondary monitor.
  • If you’re concerned about browser fingerprinting by tracking networks, a 1440×2560 resolution is much more unique than 2560×1440. You may want to consider a fingerprint spoofer.

In short, if you use your desktop computer for productivity-based activities, you should be using the monitor in vertical orientation. Landscape is the domain of the TV.

ddwide

ddtall

 

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