Apple recently commisioned an interesting study looking into the impact monitor size has on worker productivity. According to their results, productivity gains of up to 65% were seen when upgrading from a 17" LCD to a 30" LCD:
Pfeiffer's testing showed time savings of 13.63 seconds when moving files between folders using the larger screen - 15.7 seconds compared to 29.3 seconds on the 17-in. monitor - for a productivity gain of 46.45 percent. The testing showed a 65.09 percent productivity gain when dragging and dropping between images - a task that took 6.4 seconds on the larger monitor compared to 18.3 seconds using the smaller screen. And cutting and pasting cells from Excel spreadsheets resulted in a 51.31 percent productivity gain - a task that took 20.7 seconds on the larger monitor versus 42.6 seconds on the smaller screen.
But several analysts disagreed with the study's findings, believing that adding a second display could yield similar or even better productivity gains than upgrading to a larger monitor:
"I can surf the Net on one monitor and do something else on the other," said Peggy Duncan, an Atlanta-based personal productivity expert and principal of PSC Press. "It all goes back to seeing more stuff at one time. But, in my opinion, productivity is increased more by using dual monitors."
Which would you rather have? One 30" LCD or two 20" displays? With 30" monitors like the Apple Cinema display still selling for $2,000+, you could definitely pick up two 20" LCDs for considerably less than one 30".