Last year, I purchased a Macbook Pro and have been loving the experience (despite being a bit pricey!). The seamless integration between my iPhone, iPad, and MBP makes tasks such as recording a video, airdropping it, and then editing it within minutes is something that I’ve come to appreciate when I make recordings of my music jam sessions. However, I had been using the same 27” IPS HP monitor for the past eight years as my daily driver, now connected to the MBP via Apple’s HDMI dongle. The monitor still works great, but I found the 1080p resolution to be rather limiting, especially since I’m now working full time from home.

After setting aside some funds, I decided to do some research and found this excellent guide from Nick Janetakis on choosing a good monitor for software development. Reading the article, I was surprised to discover how little I knew about monitors and resolutions. It turns out that despite being 27”, my old monitor was 1080p and so the picture was stretched across the screen. Nick’s recommendation was to purchase a 25” Dell UltraSharp monitor at 1440p, which he claims is the sweet spot for programmers.

Ready to make my purchase, I found that Dell was having a sale on their 25” Ultrasharp USB-C monitor and so I quickly placed an order. With the USB-C connector providing up to 90W of charging power, I could charge my MBP and get rid of the Apple HDMI adapter cable. I placed the delivery last week, and much to my surprise the delivery arrived yesterday despite an estimated arrival of two weeks from now.

The Experience

So far, I’ve experienced a number of great benefits having switched to the new Dell Monitor. Firstly, getting to remove both the HDMI dongle and charger from my MBP, I’ve been able to siginificantly de-clutter my desk. Now I have the monitor/charging cable connected, as well as a powered USB-C hub where I connect all my devices. Here’s how my main desk now looks:

Photo of my computer desk setup

Just to the right of this desk, I have a second desk where my Linnstrument, Maschine, and audio interface sit along with the USB hub and the current setup really lets me transition between creativity and productivity seamlessly.

Moreover, despite being two inches smaller than my previous monitor, the larger resolution makes this monitor feel much bigger. As I no longer need to move my head to see any part of the monitor (only my eyes!), I find I have less neck strain these days. Since I can see more lines of code, I find its easier to understand whats going on in longer files, and I don’t feel cramped for space when running XCode with multiple tabs open.

Closing Thoughts

I’m really glad that I upgraded my monitor, and it has definitely translated to an increase in productivity. I feel like despite being one of the main ways we interact with the computer, its easy to forget the role a good monitor plays in a productive and ergonomic setup.