While mobility is one of the biggest current trends, many workers still find themselves office-bound, at least for some of their time. Working off the small monitors of laptops and ultrabooks may be suitable whilst on the move, but when users are at their desks having a bigger screen can be immensely helpful, says Michael Watts, business unit manager at DCC.
In addition, many professionals make use of multiple monitors, from creatives to coders. The desktop monitor is thus an essential office companion, both for office bound and mobile workers. Meeting the needs of a changing workforce means that monitor technology has had to adapt and evolve, and the next generation of PC monitors is bigger, bolder and better than ever before.
Gone are the days of the chunky, square Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors with their flickering lines, poor colour rendition and low resolution. The desktop monitor has changed immensely over the years, first with the evolution of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), which enabled less space-consuming and higher resolution monitors, and then the Light Emitting Diode (LED) display which took this to new levels. Monitors have become thinner and sleeker over the years, and have incorporated features such as improved brightness, higher contrast ratios, more pixels per inch and higher definition. In fact, High Definition (HD) LED monitors have become the de facto standard, and standard definition is a thing of the past. However, technology continues to evolve and the monitor space is no different.
HD is now giving way to Ultra HD (UHD) which offers four or even eight times the resolution of standard HD. UHD monitors pack in up to eight million pixels and feature super fast response times of a single millisecond, meaning that when viewing fast-moving graphics there is no blur or judder – just perfectly clear images. In addition, UHD monitors offer up to a billion colours, which is 64 times more colour than a conventional monitor. This translates into more detailed, natural and realistic looking media and a smoother transition between different colour tones for more accurate image rendition. Better resolution and colour means that creatives can do more, faster and more efficiently. It also reduces eye strain by delivering crisper, more natural images, enabling any user to have a more enjoyable experience.
In addition to the evolution of UHD, monitors have also changed shape significantly over the years. The old CRT screens were convex in shape, bulging outward toward the user. LCD and LED monitors flattened this curve, making for a more natural viewing experience as well as enabling better resolution. However, the next evolution of the monitor once again features a curve – this time concave in shape, with the centre of the screen furthest away and the edges curving in toward the user. Curving the screen in this way ensures that all parts of the screen are an equal distance from the viewer’s eyes, creating a more immersive and realistic viewing experience. In addition, this one again reduces eyestrain by naturalising viewing, making for a more comfortable, productive working environment.
Along with these developments, screen sizes continue to increase, and large monitors have become increasingly common. Larger screen sizes enable several ‘screens’ to be viewed on a single monitor, allowing users to work on a number of applications with ease, without needing to constantly ‘switch’ between these applications. Furthermore, larger screens make it easier to share content with other staff in the office including presentations, and provide a larger image to once again reduce strain on the eyes.
Monitors, like any technology, continue to evolve to create better user experiences. With large, curved and UHD screens, users can take advantage of improved picture quality and transitions, steady and stable images in large format for less stressful viewing, and a number of other benefits. This helps to improve office productivity, and for consumers creates immersive, realistic viewing that revolutionises the multimedia experience.