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I'm in the process of purchasing new monitors since my current ones are getting old. I'd choosing between two 17" monitors or two 24" monitors. They're going to be used for programming, designing and general usage.

The high resolution that comes with the 24" ones are a pretty big benefit since I now can test my projects in both the highest resolutions AND the lower ones, while the 17" really can't provide the same resolution.

I'm sitting approximately 1 meter from the monitors. Will two 24" be "too big"?

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closed as not constructive by Nifle, Oliver Salzburg, Breakthrough, Journeyman Geek, Dave M May 4 '12 at 22:28

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I have a 24" iMac, which takes some getting used to, but worth it. At one stage I had an additional 22" screen as well, so in my opinion, the more screen estate, the better. – user3463 May 4 '12 at 21:10
I think the only real question here is the part at the end - will they be "too big"? That depends on you and your eyesight and I don't think anybody can answer that. As long as they're not so big as to cause a problem (and you can afford them, and your desk is big enough) bigger is always better. – Shinrai May 4 '12 at 21:22
up vote 4 down vote accepted

One of the things you may want to consider is the advantage of a wide screen monitor that you may not have considered, and that is in portrait mode. If you rotate the monitor into portrait mode you can get significantly more space for programming or reading docs, and you don't even have to do this for both monitors. Having it just on one monitor is so helpful some times.

If you have the ability to, get a proper Height Adjustable Stand (HAS) with tilt/rotate/pivot/height adjustment, etc. This way you can change the layout on the fly.

Do note, no monitors have sensors in them on the desktop for how they are positioned. So when ou change the orientation you will need to adjust your Operating System to reflect the changes, however it is really easy now adays.

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Yep - when I can, I like one of my monitors in portrait - best for coding, documentation etc. – Rory Alsop May 4 '12 at 21:16
The last bit is not 100% true - I've seen a few monitors like that. It's a very unpopular feature and generally requires a USB connection or something. So, it's likely to be true for anything you'll end up buying, but it DOES exist. – Shinrai May 4 '12 at 21:21
Thanks for your reply! I'm looking into something like this as a stand ( - never thought of that! I'm definitely going for two monitors, however I cannot decide wether I should choose two 17" or two 24".. – Zar May 4 '12 at 21:25
No current monitors sense orientation maybe, there were some old Mac monitors that knew if they were portrait/landscape and adjusted accordingly. – Rich Homolka May 4 '12 at 21:26
@Zar I would recommend 24", you'll get more desirable features, and it will be easier to work with, without breaking the bank. You could consider slight variants, such as 23.5". – BloodyIron May 4 '12 at 21:30

You probably should also consider one 27" WQHD monitor.

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