by Carlo Longino

Apple Says To Tell Your Boss Its Big (Expensive) Monitors Will Make You More Productive

from the and-they-have-proof dept

A new study says that giving employees a 30-inch widescreen monitor can increase their productivity in certain tasks by 50% to 65% -- but not just any particularly 30-inch widescreen monitor, just the $2000 Apple Cinema Display. That's an awfully narrow study, when you'd imagine any 30-inch widescreen monitor would offer similar productivity increases, but maybe it's because, oh, Apple paid for the study. And though the monitor carries a steep price tag, managers shouldn't worry, because the "almost imperceptible" productivity gains over time "can result in an ROI of thousands of dollars per year", and eventually pay back the high upfront cost. As the InfoWorld writer says, perhaps Aloha Airlines would like to sponsor a study that says employer-funded trips to Hawaii result in similar productivity gains -- but that report's probably stuck in a file somewhere next to the one detailing the non-pecuniary benefits of giving employees massive raises.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Steven, 13 Oct 2006 @ 7:28am

    More real estate

    I'm not sure about the 30-inch being so wonderful, but there is definitely something to be said about having more desktop real estate available. My personal choice is dual monitors (when I can get them) for work. It really does make a difference, and not in the "I can update an excel spreadsheet 3 seconds faster" way.

    However, I'm a developer, so being able to have the code on one screen, and the docs/web/spec/etc on the other screen is a huge benefit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert Pritchett, 13 Oct 2006 @ 7:54am

    Dual Monitors work too

    It is amazing how quickly our eyes get accustomed to skipping over the bezels in the mddile as if they weren't there - an dhow quickly we adapt as humans to new things such as more screen space (wide-angle view). The hard part is getting apps that play nice screen-to-screen and video-card to video card and obviously is why Apple likes the "one-screen is green" approach to the technological issues dual-screening poses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DittoBox, 13 Oct 2006 @ 8:25am

    Yup, it's true.

    I have a 24" dell 16:10. Money well spent. As a web & graphic designer it makes a lot of sense, I do get more done. Two 4:3 monitors wouldn't be bad either.

    A 30" would be nice too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2006 @ 8:41am

    I can see many aspects working. First, i run dual monitors at the office and at home. it's a bit confusing at first, office monitors have hitck borders between them 1.5 inches or so. at home its more like under half an inch. as #2 said, dual monitors is nice because one screen can have "app 1" and screen 2 can have "app 2" on it. plus the physical seperation of the screens helps differentiate the realestate of the desktop screen. i've seen larger screens and tried to "split" the screen, but it doesn't work. at least not as well. I'm used to having full windows on hte monitor. so that's why 2 monitors is just as nice.

    now what was really cool, was one project i'm working on (actullay my coworker is the "main guy" on it) has different "windows" open, so we got a nice FireMV 2400 from ati, and let me tell you. having 5 screens (one onboard, and 4 from the vid. card) is AWESOME. while for simple tasks like programming or doing clerical work, it's kinda redundant, the specific app is where 5 monitors becomes handy.

    so going to the article...
    yea, it's true that larger monitor space is usefull, i don't think a single 30" is going to be all that different from dual (or more) monitors. and especially since it's an apple product. and the study reports it went against a 17 or 19 inch monitor. I'd like to see several 30's vs. several "smaller" monitors. like apple, samsung, sony, (who makes dell's?) toshiba...NEC and the like. get a good showing of monitors. the study is something like saying "brand name power drill/screwdriver" increased productivity over a generic hand turned "old fashoned" screwdriver. but only testing one brand of electric screwdriver.

    shady, yes. but it's apple. they'll do anything to make themselves look good.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    u no, 13 Oct 2006 @ 9:18am


    I agree with anonymous on this one. Apple producs usually are not that much better than any other. have any of you seen the commercial about the video made on an mac and the one on a pc? Freaking funny. not true, but still funny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anthony Harmon, 13 Oct 2006 @ 10:19am


    "Apple products (sic) usually are not that much better than any other..."

    Welcome to the Land of Idiot Boy...

    I'd love to take this fool out to the proverbial woodshed and show him just how misguided that particular statement truly is. Day after day, I get to explain to people how my Macs DON'T F&*! up my life like my Windows™ PCs used to...

    The need for that lesson never goes away...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sawall, 13 Oct 2006 @ 10:20am

    Very true

    I have had an Apple 30" for a few months now, and I agree that it's been a big productivity boost. When coding, I can have many windows open at once, which makes it much faster to visually inspect. I am also stuck working on documentation at times, including editing, and being able to have different document versions up next to each other at once is awesome.

    It's also become dual-use for me. I don't have a television, so I use it for DVDs and Daily Show from iTMS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2006 @ 10:35am

    Robert Pritchett>>>

    I am curious what issues you are refering to? Admititly I have only ever had dual and triple screens on Macs, but I have never had a single issue, it just works.
    Is this less simple on Windows?
    As for the topic: Bigger screens and more of them have always served me well but this Mac user thinks Apple's screens are insanely over priced and would never even consider one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    whatever, 13 Oct 2006 @ 10:50am

    Could play solitaire like a champ on 30

    I would like to take Anthony Harmon out to the proverbial woodshed to teach him how not to be a tool...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Duhhh, 13 Oct 2006 @ 10:58am

    Woodshed visits

    While all of you are out behind the woodshed teaching each other "lessons" as you call it, I'll be making off with your big, dual monitor systems so *I* can get some work done!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2006 @ 11:10am

    i think Anthony Harmon was stating products like apple keyboards, mice, monitors, mp3 players, and the like.

    i've seen no real difference between apple displays and those buy other brands, such as NEC, Samsung or ViewSonic. I haven't seen any real funcionallity difference between the keyboards and mice. they have some ergonomic/stylistic differences, but functionally they are the same.

    The same goes with the iPod. There are other mp3 Players out there, which are just as good, yet don't have the complete hassle a iP does. my iP is sketchy at best now. It skips songs, has bad transfers, freezes when i press next.

    but when it comes to actual computers, YES, the macs are better than windows. but that could be to the mass production of windows, and the "grudge" and "benifits" against windows users. why write a "virus" that infects a small portion of the population? why try to crack a small company, when (arn't) most government agencies run off of windows? so yeah, macs are better.

    however Mr. Harmon is right from a certain point of view. the "3rd" party products from mac are comparable to other vendors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tom Thurber, 13 Oct 2006 @ 11:31am

    I use a 70" HDTV

    Which obviously makes be the winner. The sounds of your jealousy make me feel good.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bill, 13 Oct 2006 @ 11:42am

      Re: I use a 70" HDTV

      Too bad your 70" HDTV still is limited to probably 1386 x 788. Apple and Dell's 30" monitors run at 2560 x 1600.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Mau, 13 Oct 2006 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re: I use a 70" HDTV

        He does not own a 70" HDTV!!!!!
        He is just dying to get one.

        Back on topic: Yes, the 30'' Apple Cinema is insanely overpriced.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bill, 13 Oct 2006 @ 11:37am


    Would I pay $1770 for a 30" just for freelance design? Probably not. But.....

    I have been using the Dell 30" LCD for about 2 months now and it's absoluetely great. I mainly use it for my web design and some 3D modeling work. The best benefit is the 1660px vertical resolution that allows easy reading of long pages of code. The 2650px horizontally works great when you need to compare multiple docs side by size.

    Two quality good sized LCDs can easily run $1000. I figured why not watch movies too on it instead of spending even more for a large LCD TV too. The price can come close, but ultimately I spend more time on the PC than TV.

    I also use it for movies and games-- which run fantastic on the Geforce 7900GT powering it. When paired with my Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 Ultra's, and it's home studio nirvana.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon Ymous, 13 Oct 2006 @ 1:15pm

    Tom was right

    LOL the jealousy is hip-deep at this point! Bill immediately starts running down Tom's TV and Mau just refuses to believe it, ROFL!!

    Back to the topic, how does the screen area of a 30" widescreen compare with, say, a 20" regular screen? From what I've seen, if you compare a 30" widescreen with a 30" regular screen, the regular screen has more display area. I'm sure the Apple would have more area than any 20" screen, but I am wondering exactly how much, percentage-wise. I know it's not near 50% more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MikeUnwired, 13 Oct 2006 @ 3:19pm

    Limited Pool Of True 30" Monitors

    There isn't exactly a large number of choices out there in the 30" monitor pool. The Apple 30" is one of just a few. And, the Apple allows for higher resolution than the cheaper Dell and 30" TV-style units.

    Units with the same resolution specs as the Apple Cinema Display would produce the same productivity results -- HP, Samsung (which will cost EXACTLY what the Apple unit costs), etc...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Computra, 13 Oct 2006 @ 11:12pm

    This line of BS is actually true!

    This general thought has been around before Apple even invented the 30" screen. Back years ago when I worked at a design company we heard if you get your employees 17" monitors it will increase moral and productivity. Yeap it worked and it worked when we went to 19" and 21" so I'm sure you would get the same effect going up to 30".

    Might I speak for all women when I say this.......If this same reasoning when along with Men's productivity around the house going up with the size of tv screen.....We women would encourage the purchase of that 72" plasma you drool over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GregBob, 14 Oct 2006 @ 8:18pm


    Why are so many 19" screens still only 1280x1024? More pixels mean more info on the screen. More inches at the same resolution just means you can half-see when your eyes are failing. Advertisers make a big deal out of the inches but often don't even mention the resolution. That's one way to NOT sell me a screen.

    Same goes for mobiles and PDAs. If smallish smartphones can have QVGA, howcome those with 4x the screen area are still only QVGA? It really limites the "middle ground" potential of a PDA-phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff, 15 Oct 2006 @ 1:23pm

    rename techdirct

    sometimes I really wonder about techdirt.

    not only is this news several weeks, if not months old.... there is little insight or investigation into what's being reported. If you actually read the report (i.e. check your sources), the results are not exclusive to the Apple Display, and therefore this is not "an awfully narrow report."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rod Paine, 15 Oct 2006 @ 4:38pm

    Increase display size-improve productivity

    The study is correct, but is very old information given that it was known some time ago by other corporations, such as Xerox, with one of their Productivity Engineering Studies, done 12 years ago.These tests were conducted during 1994 in preparation for replacing the Xerox 6085 Star workstations, with major brand PC's using Microsoft Windows v3.11 Operating System, corporate wide. Major savings were identified in terms of improved productivity, when the more expensive 17-inch CRT was compared to the then popular 14/15-inch CRT and looking at simply all the time lost scrolling around on the 14/15-inch display to see document info on those small CRT's. Initial purchase cost for new 14/15-inch displays was considerably less than 17/19-inch units, but not when compared to the labor cost losses to use the smaller displays... which goes on and on with every day of use! About time to see some other folks waking-up about this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.