Screen going BIG

So I recently updated my home office with one big component, and a couple of smaller ones. Has this made an impact on work?

Different roles have different expectations and demands on monitors. Me, as an internal IT support, system administrator and system developer have to admit that screen size does effect productivity. My journey thru screen evolution is:
1* 24″ inch followed by 2*24″ inch, followed by a 29″ inch flat wide screen, and then going to 2*27″ inch screens. Now due to the pandemic, I was very fortunate to have the possibility to take my setup of two 27″ inch screens home.

Although having 2 monitors has been great, there’s always been the small irritation of having the two screens with their own frames, and the seam smack down in the middle, infront of me. Yes, I have tried to keep one screen straight infront of me, and the other a little bit on the side. I’ve all so tried with triple screens setup, where one big is straight in front, another on the side, and the laptop on the other side for support. But it never really still felt, well optimal. And as 27″ screens are rather big already, it makes placing the displays challenging.

So when the truly big screens, 37″ and even 49″ screens started hitting the market I got curious. Could this be the solutions for this problem for me too?

But I didn’t jump on them, why, well the price. They’ve been very high, and though they could have solved my monitor irritation, I couldn’t get myself to pay that much for one single screen.

Now as the pandemic is becoming manageable, and more and more companies have their people return to the office full time, or in the hybrid type, I’ve been lucky enough to agree with my manager, to having the possibility to continue working from home mainly. Of course if they want me to come to the office, or some task requires me to go in for a day, I will do that, but mainly I’m going to work from home. Combined with the prices coming down on the big big screens finally got me to take the leap.

The screen I set my sight on was a Samsung 49″ inch curved screen called Odyssey. After following on the price evolution for some time, and functionality and specs in general of these big screens, one deciding thing was having the screen resolution of 5120 x 1440. Why this, well that translates to the equivalent of two 27″ inch screens. Another factoring thing was the refresh rate of 120Hz.

Combined of the agreement with my manager and the fact that to my fortieth birthday this year, my near and dear loved one’s and relatives, who were coordinated by my wife, chipped in and thus helped on the purchasing price.

Image source: neomounts.com

So a approximately a month ago I purchased the screen. When the box came home, I was wondering if I went a bit overboard with this. Unboxed it, and still was a bit hesitant if this was the right decision. mounted it and once it was in place and turned on my reaction can be summed up to a…
WOW, this is so so cool!

I went for off brand separate mounting, due to the fact that the standard feet for the monitor were so wide. Of course they have to be, the monitor is 120cm wide and weighs in on 11,6kg without the stand. But I didn’t want to clutter my desk with the wide stand, so I went for the Newstar FPMA-D960 monitor stand.

One thing thou that I did was flip the arm upside down. The hight of the screen can be adjusted, by lowering the arm, but as my preference is to have the screen low, and tilted in an angle upwards, the display arm by default didn’t get low enough. But with flipping the arm upside down, I did not need to compromise the swivel action, but did get the screen closes to the table as I prefer. The stand itself is heavy duty built, and gives a strong and solid first impression. Not at any point have I got the feeling it wouldn’t be up for the task of holding my display secure. The clamp action beneath the table is sturdy and good.

What I did remember, and what my wife commented on the old 29″ wide monitor that she has been working on, which is flat, is that although the screen is not in anyway too wide, the flatness off the screen, makes the sides somewhat set on the side. Here on my new screen, that does not seemed to be an issue, as the curviness brings the screen closer and they feel more within reach. Someone might say the curviness “bends” the picture and therefore it’s not true to the eye, but I haven’t found this as a problem. Partly because I divide the screen into different portions. I keep the the main window in the middle, and use the sides more as support. And the curviness on my screen is in the end pretty small.

Example, I keep Slack open at all times on the left side, taking a little less of 1/3 off the screen, and then have two browser windows open on the rest, and therefore the main window in straight in front of me. And boy did this pay out BIG for me. I LOVE it! ❤

Not having to shift my head or body to either side has truly been a saviour. Also having a logical place for the webcam straight in front of me has been great. And with the mount I chose, the monitor close enough to show it’s true effect, but far away so that it doesn’t strain the eyes or neck. And thou the screen is sized to compensate two 27″ monitors, on these I constantly find myself splitting into three “screens” with windows, and having all the space I need.

Thou the screen is advertised and sold as a gaming monitor, I haven’t really played that much on it. It’s been used mainly by my work MacBook Pro for work related stuff. A couple of times my desktop’s been on, and some playing has happened, but not that much in the end. Games that has been played is GTA5, Need fo Speed – Heat and Battlefield. In GTA5 the screen has not really been any noticeable advantage, but in the two other games it’s been really nice.

Picture source: verkkokauppa.com

The screen itself is not connected straight to my work computer, I have a Belkin dock in between, and the main reason is the need for several USB-ports to connect to. But the display itself can work as a USB hub. This of course needs then to have the USB3 cable connected to the desired machine. The display itself does not have a USB-C Thunderbolt connection, but that was not an issue for me as I have the dock in between. What has to be noted is that all the USB ports, are located on the backside, and covered. That meaning, you can’t plug/un-plug devices very smoothly. And as the display comes with a backplate to hide the cable ports, the hub thinking feels a bit useless. They only work when you have some accessories you always have connected and in use.
You are not able to use it “on the go” to plug something in and out, for instance a cable to charge your phone, or SD-card reader etc. Many screens have one or two of the ports on the side of the screen, easily reachable and quick to use.

The Samsung I have contains a “picture-in-picture” mode, where you get two separate computers video feed at the same time shown, with the monitor split in two parts, and this is a good feature. As I have a Logitech mouse, where I on a push of the button jump between machines, the use of two machines becomes smooth and easy. What is not so good is the need to go into the display settings thru the buttons on the screen, to activate or de-activate this function. There should be an easier on/off toggle for this function.

The only thing I’ve had to change from what I’m used to is the choice of what to share when in meetings. Earlier I’ve always chose share screen, and it hasn’t been an issue. But now I have to choose either share tab, or share window. This due to the dimensions of my screen. As my screen is 5120×1440, it is shown to everybody in the meeting as very tiny and impossible to read. But luckily all modern and mostly used online meeting programs have solutions for this with the before mentioned share window/tab function.

For more information about the display itself, please visit the product site at Samsung’s pages HERE>>>.

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