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Multiple Monitors: Possibly Cheaper, But Not Easier

The obvious alternative to getting a larger replacement monitor is to add a second (and even third and fourth) display, for greater total display space (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1 Using two monitors.

The two-monitor configuration is called twin-head, also known as dual-head. This approach can be less expensive in cash outlay, although probably more effort-intensive than getting and plugging in that new, larger monitor.

If you use your computer professionally, and like being prepared, you should already have a second monitor kicking around as a spare, in case your main monitor goes kablooey at 11:30 at night. If you don’t already have one kicking around, or your spare is smaller, you may be able to snarf a second monitor for $25 or less from a friend, yard sale, or your town’s recycle bin (which is how I went from no backup CRT to having four or five in my basement).

For purposes of cost comparison, assume that you could get an adequate 19-inch or better flat-panel display for $150–200. And if you have the budget for multiple LCDs, there are some lovely but pricey multi-screen LCD display units, such as those from NEC (see Figure 2) and Digital Tigers’ Zenview frames. Yum!

Figure 2

Figure 2 NEC multi-screen display.

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