As more and more people are transitioning to working from home, the importance of having a comfortable and efficient work from home setup is becoming increasingly evident. One key element of any home office is the monitor, which can greatly impact productivity and comfort.
With the rise of high-resolution monitors, the debate between a 1080p and 4K monitor has become a hot topic.
In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you determine which is the best work from home setup for your needs. So, if you’re looking to improve your work from home setup, read on to discover which monitor resolution is the right choice for you.
Should you get a 1080p or 4K monitor for your home office? It’s a question you’ll have to answer sooner or later, especially if you’ve been working from home on a single monitor or a cramped laptop display. If you have the means and room to add a second or third monitor, you can choose between 1080p (1920×1080 pixels) or 4K (3840×2160 pixels), a higher resolution that’s prevalent on TVs and certain high-end computers.
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The best work from home setups
The editors have had the same argument with our own home office Setup. We’ve decided on the following strategy: Now is the time to invest in a 1080p monitor (or two!) to create your dual-monitor or insane multi-monitor setup. Then save your money and upgrade to a far more costly 4K monitor for home office setup. Because every scenario is unique, we’ll work with you to determine the best course of action.
Who should buy a 1080p display (or two)?
The best reason to start with 1080p is to get the most bang for your budget. Because 1080p monitors are less expensive than 4K displays, you can buy more monitors for your money, which is preferable to more resolution.
While a 4K (3840×2160) monitor has four times the number of pixels as a 1080p (1920×1080) monitor, it does not have four times the screen space. Although scaling text and graphics can improve the amount of useable screen space by allowing you to squeeze more information into a single screen, working with small text and images isn’t pleasurable.
When it comes to setting up a home workstation, you don’t have to go to this degree, but many monitors can make for a lot more productive workplace.
The Snap feature in Windows 10 and its spiritual successor, FancyZones, may both help you arrange windows to different corners and zones on your multiple monitor’s setups. On the other hand, Snap restricts you to four windows on a screen at a time for obvious reasons: Eventually, the windows will be too tiny to use. Increasing your display area allows you to view more apps and windows simultaneously, allowing you to multitask or create focus points in your workplace.
FancyZones, a Microsoft tool for organizing windows, gives you significantly more versatility than Snap, but you will still get restricted by screen area.
Even a pair of 1080p monitors are cheaper than a single 4K monitor. An excellent 1080p monitor, like this Acer KA220HQ 22-inch panel, costs $100, while the LG 24UD58-B, a 24-inch display that costs $297, is the cheapest standalone 4K display we could find. If you’re serious about setting up a multi-monitor system, 1080p is the way to go.
We haven’t personally tested these 1080p Displays, but here are some recommendations:
- Sceptre E225W-19203R: This frameless 22-inch monitor costs less than $100 and comes with an HDMI cable. It runs at a pleasant 75Hz. There are also speakers.
- Asus VA229HR: For $100, you get another 21.5-inch frameless display that operates at 75Hz. It’s an IPS panel with good color and broad viewing angles.
- Acer HA270: I like a more prominent 27-inch display, such as this one (which takes up 24 inches of horizontal desk space). This IPS panel has a 75Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync technology for gaming. It’s a good buy for around $140.
What if there isn’t enough space for two monitors?
Some of you could argue that I wanted to buy a 4K display because I don’t have room in my work from home setup for another monitor. Consider your viewpoint once again! Think of yourself as a city planner.
Side by side, a portrait, and a landscape monitor.
Consider purchasing a skyscraper-style monitor that swivels into portrait mode if you have a small home office setup. A 1080p monitor spans 22 inches horizontally on my workstation, but I’ve rotated it vertically to decrease its footprint to only 13 inches. Your primary display should be in landscape mode for video playing, while portrait mode is ideal for webpages, Word documents, and even email.
Going vertical is possible if you have a monitor to handle a VESA mount. A VESA mount, which effectively replaces the monitor’s display stand with a custom mount that you can purchase, is another alternative. A VESA mount, such as this $35 option, can raise a monitor over your workstation by suspending it from a wall or placing it on your desk using a C-clamp or grommet, which is considerably more manageable and less expensive. Here are a few recommendations
- HP VH240a: This 23.8-inch 1080p tilting monitor was just $110 on Amazon at the time of publication, which sounds like a reasonable price. Portrait mode and a VESA mount make this a solid pick, even if there aren’t many bells and whistles.
- Philips 226E9QDSB: The Philips 226E9QDSB does not rotate into portrait mode on its stand, but it does come with a VESA mount that you may use to orient it, whichever you choose. While it’s modest at 22 inches, it’s reasonably priced at around $100 and features 75Hz frame rates.
- Samsung S24E450DL: This bigger 23.6-inch TN panel with pivot, tilt, and VESA mounting, as well as some appealing low-power characteristics, will set you back around $160.
Should I invest in a widescreen monitor?
Although ultrawide monitors like this HP S430c curved display look great, they aren’t necessarily the most cost-effective alternative. Regrettably, the market does not agree.
There aren’t many on Amazon, and the lowest choice on Newegg was a reconditioned $659 38401080 Samsung C49HG90DMN. Another option is a 2560×1080 display, which provides 33% more pixels on the screen and maybe broad enough to enable more prominent, more clearly visible windows.
Even still, a display like this LG 29UB67-B costs $307. In most cases, you can’t rotate ultrawide screens into portrait mode. Consider “frameless monitors,” which have almost no bezels and may be suitable candidates for being placed close to one another. You can find a guide on setting up a dual-display arrangement here.
Because 1440p (2560×1440 pixels) offers a sweet spot between 1080p and 4K, we’ve started rounding up the best graphics cards for 1440p gaming. The pixels of a 1440p display are 1.78 times those on a 1080p monitor, enabling more detail.
A 24-inch 1440p monitor, such as the B01K1IO2DG, costs around $230. However, our basic argument remains valid at that price: A 1080p monitor, even though it is more expensive, is just more cost-effective. There are several reasons to select 1440p, particularly if you want to game at higher resolutions. If more space is a priority, stick to a 1080p monitor in general.
Who should invest in a 4K monitor?
I spent about $400 on the LG 27UK650-W, a fantastic 4K 27-inch IPS panel with HDR capabilities. I purchased the monitor for my work from home office setup for two purposes: to replace an existing 1080p panel and to use it as a 60Hz gaming display for an Xbox One X and some PC gaming. I also kept my current 1080p monitor, which I planned to use in the future.
If you currently have a pair of external displays, now is an excellent time to start thinking about upgrading to a higher-resolution model, especially if your current ones are 1080p.
If you have the necessary hardware, three displays are also a possibility. We offer a setup guide for a three-display system, or even more.
At this point, a 1440p or even a 4K display makes more sense, especially if you’re seeking to cram more information on your screen or want to view the video in a higher-resolution format. Of course, for greater visual advantages, you can buy a larger monitor with the exact resolution or choose from HDR or higher-refresh-rate alternatives.
However, to begin with, my recommendation is the basics and work your way up. You’ll get all the benefits of having greater screen real estate without having to spend a fortune.
In conclusion, choosing the best work from home setup depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors such as budget, desk space, and the type of work you do when making your decision.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to also invest in a comfortable chair, proper lighting, and other ergonomic accessories to create a comfortable and productive work environment. With the right setup in place, you can maximize your productivity and enjoy a more enjoyable work from home experience.
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