Question Monitor setup advice for home-office

freddyq

Active Member
Hi all,

Hopefully I'm posting this in the right sub-forum but please do let me know if there is a better home for this post.

I'm setting up a dedicated room at home as an office and working from home space and would like to canvass opinion and ideas for the monitor setup to make sure I've considered everything before making a decision.

In terms of usage, I will be using them for typical documentation/reading work (emails, spreadsheets, word docs, slide decks etc.) + video conferences. No serious gaming or video editing although casual gaming could happen!

I will be using two laptops and a PC with BlueIris software dedicated to storing/monitoring IP camera footage. I'd like to come up with a setup where I can ideally have all three connected to the monitors and be able to switch between them easily. I don't necessarily need to be able to view all three at the same time or dedicate a monitor to either one. If not all three, then at least one laptop and the PC I should be able to switch between.

So with that said, I had three options in mind:
  1. A main ultra-wide monitor plus a secondary standard/small sized monitor - I've never used ultra-wide but from reviews I've seen this would give me plenty of screen real estate for whatever I'm actively working on and give me a main monitor to setup my desk and chair around. The secondary monitor would be off-centre and used for passive stuff like keeping emails or other applications open on or to switch to the other laptop or BlueIris PC
  2. Just a main ultra-wide monitor - alternative is to just go for an ultra-wide as the main monitor and use one or both of the laptop screens as additional monitors. This would obviously be cheaper and give me the option to add a secondary monitor later if I feel the laptops don't work although all three screens would be of differing sizes and I'll probably need to raise the laptops up on stands to make them properly useful.
  3. Two large (but not ultra-wide) monitors side by side - I've used this kind of setup at work for years but have been guilty of positioning them so that where they meet is in the centre of my eyeline so I'm never looking straight on at either monitor which is really rubbish for posture. Obviously easily resolved by positioning one in the centre and one off-centre but then I think why not go with option 1 where my main working monitor gives me the most real estate.
I'd love to hear from people who have these setups who use them for my type of usage and have pros and cons to share. Or indeed a different setup I haven't mentioned above.

Many thanks!
 

freddyq

Active Member
Just an update on this - having done some more reading and research I am leaning towards a dual-monitor setup which would seem to fit best with my requirements. Any opinions still valued though!
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
This is my setup:
IMG_20200715_211150.jpg


I have 2 Dell 25" 1440p monitors (one to my left, one centred in front of me) which I felt was a good compromise in terms of screen resolution, size, and flexibility. I have a desktop PC (connected to both screens) plus a Surface Pro and a surface dock (which is also connected to the two monitors). A single cable from the dock powers my Surface Pro, connects my monitors, and any USBs connected etc.

Depending on what I am doing, I normally have my two monitors switched to my desktop and use my Surface Pro separately. However, I have the option of switching the input on either one or both monitors and extending my Surface Pro screen. I decided against a KVM switch due to cost, as if I want to move my keyboard and mouse to work with my Surface, I can just move the dongle.
 

freddyq

Active Member
This is my setup:
View attachment 1338971

I have 2 Dell 25" 1440p monitors (one to my left, one centred in front of me) which I felt was a good compromise in terms of screen resolution, size, and flexibility. I have a desktop PC (connected to both screens) plus a Surface Pro and a surface dock (which is also connected to the two monitors). A single cable from the dock powers my Surface Pro, connects my monitors, and any USBs connected etc.

Depending on what I am doing, I normally have my two monitors switched to my desktop and use my Surface Pro separately. However, I have the option of switching the input on either one or both monitors and extending my Surface Pro screen. I decided against a KVM switch due to cost, as if I want to move my keyboard and mouse to work with my Surface, I can just move the dongle.
Thanks for this! Useful to see and hear your experience. I plan to position the two monitors exactly the same way. And a bit like you, I will have two laptops and a desktop I'll need to use with the monitors and through some helpful advice elsewhere have figured out a cabling setup which would allow that without the expense of a KVM switch. And exactly like you, all I will need to do is move the receiver for my keyboard and mouse and a webcam cable between machines which is a small sacrifice to make.

Interestingly, I've been mulling over two options in terms of screen size and resolution. Either two 27" screens at QHD or two 24" screens at FHD. I've seen 24" and 27" in person and felt 24" would be big enough but this is all for a new desk setup in a dedicated room where I'll have a large and deep corner shaped desk so then I think maybe the 27s will be fine! Looking at yours, I guess there is a middle option of two 25" screens at QHD...?
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
Thanks for this! Useful to see and hear your experience. I plan to position the two monitors exactly the same way. And a bit like you, I will have two laptops and a desktop I'll need to use with the monitors and through some helpful advice elsewhere have figured out a cabling setup which would allow that without the expense of a KVM switch. And exactly like you, all I will need to do is move the receiver for my keyboard and mouse and a webcam cable between machines which is a small sacrifice to make.

Interestingly, I've been mulling over two options in terms of screen size and resolution. Either two 27" screens at QHD or two 24" screens at FHD. I've seen 24" and 27" in person and felt 24" would be big enough but this is all for a new desk setup in a dedicated room where I'll have a large and deep corner shaped desk so then I think maybe the 27s will be fine! Looking at yours, I guess there is a middle option of two 25" screens at QHD...?
I went with 25" because I originally had a slightly smaller desk and 2x 25" was the largest I could get and fit, but personally I think I would find 2x 27" too big - bit it really does depend on your setup, size of desk, distance and positioning etc! I do think the slightly bigger screen of a 25" compared to a 24" is worth it (I had 24" before).
 

Atomic77

Active Member
I don't have the space or desire to do anything like you all are talking about but you know you could always connect to a tv with the right connections .
 

johndon

Well-known Member
Here's a shot of my home office setup:

IMG_2216.jpeg


I've only recently gone ultra wide and thought that would be the only monitor I'd need but I've repurposed my old monitor on the left in vertical mode. The setup is temporary, hence the stick of wood supporting the vertical monitor (I'll also be moving the vertical monitor to the right so it buts right up to the ultra wide) but I've found the vertical monitor is ideal for keeping Outlook open whilst I work on the other screen.

I've also got a Mac Book Pro connected to the second HDMI input on the ultra wide and can easily switch to that if need be.
 

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