Hi, I’m Rory Dooley and I’ve been with Logitech for just over 16 years all told, currently as the head of the control devices business unit (mice, keyboards and other notebook accessories). When I’m not doing the day job, I love to ski, golf and am a huge fan of soccer (Chelsea) and rugby (Munster)
For the past year, I’ve been using our Alto Connect stand in my office. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alto Connect, it’s great for people with laptops because it raises the monitor to eye level (no more hunching!), has four powered USB ports and takes about 30 seconds to set up and put away (that means, if you’re working at your kitchen table, you can quickly clear it when it’s time for dinner).
I knew that this setup would improve my comfort, but I also discovered a hidden benefit – when I’m at the office, I now use two screens (the one on my laptop and a larger, external monitor) and have found that this setup really improves my productivity. In fact, studies have shown that we can be 15-to 30-percent more productive if we use our computer in dual monitor mode, meaning you have two screens instead of one. There are many articles about this on the Web, including a great one by Ivan Berger on NYTimes.
What I’ve done is dedicate one screen as a communications center (IM, e-mail, etc.) so the other can run so-called productivity applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Of course, how you break up the content on each screen is a personal choice – it can also be very useful when copying content from one document to another to have each open on separate screens. Whichever way you look at it, it’s clear that a dual-screen setup allows you to have more screen-space real estate and helps you remain focused on the task at hand.
Windows (XP/Vista) and Mac make dual screen pretty painless and easy to set up. The key thing on a PC is to make sure that your graphic card supports multiple monitors. Microsoft provides information on their Web site about how to install a second monitor on both Windows Vista and Windows XP. Apple has a step-by-step guide for Mac OS X on their site as well.
The great thing about my setup is that my notebook computer stays ultra-portable and is incredibly easy to undock when I need to take it to a conference room or on the road. I only have 3 cables to plug/unplug and because of the built in USB hub, I have all my favorite peripherals ready to go when I hit the office. Productivity and comfort – that’s an awesome combo!