“Providing employees with 30-in. computer monitors can boost worker productivity at companies where 17- or 19-in. monitors are typically used, according to a French consultant hired for a study sponsored by Apple Computer Inc.,” Todd Weiss reports for Computerworld.
Weiss reports, “The study, which evaluated Apple’s 30-in. Apple Cinema Display, concluded that large screens can offer gains of up to 50% to 65% in productivity on a variety of specific office tasks and can earn back their extra costs in time savings over several years. The 30-in. display costs $1,999.”
Weiss reports, “But other experts say those conclusions are wrong, arguing that the productivity improvement estimates are too high and that using two monitors side by side would likely be a better productivity booster than one larger monitor. The 40-page study was conducted by Andreas Pfeiffer, principal of Paris-based Pfeiffer Consulting, for Apple, which paid for the research.”
Full article here.
Pfeiffer Consulting’s 40-page study “The 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display Productivity Benchmark” (PDF) is here.
MacDailyNews Take: Was a study really needed? Experience alone tells us it’s the increased screen area that matters, not whether that area increase is achieved via one monitor or multiple monitors; at least with a Mac. With the more inefficient Windows’ constant need to bring application menus along with each open window and it’s insatiable, vacuous lust for taking over the entire screen wherever possible, we can see where multiple monitors vs. a single large one would matter.
Mac users who are forced to use the doltish WIndows at work understand all too well. If you’ve ever seen the average Windows PC user trying to interact with multiple programs and the Windows OS, you know what we mean; it’s a frustrating experience for us to watch and for them to go through (even if they are blissful in their ignorance of the better Mac way). We prefer not to watch.
So, for a Mac, we believe it’s more about just increasing the screen area by whatever means possible, but for those handicapped with Windows, increasing the screen area with multiple monitors would probably work better than getting a single larger monitor.
And, yes, multiple 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays do trump all other options. However, that setup really does spoil you. You’ll long for them when on the road with just a “tiny” 17-inch MacBook Pro screen.
Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple cuts prices across entire Cinema Display line – August 08, 2006