Widescreen multiple monitor desktops (or The End of 2:3@1600×1200 LCDs)

I just realized that most manufacturers have discontinued 2:3 (non-widescreen) 20″ (or any size, for that matter) LCD-monitors. Everything is widescreen. But how about many existing applications that call for 2:3 format display panels?

The following was revised/rewritten on 14 October 2008, after I got some feedback from Ergotron that substantially changed the facts on what I wrote yesterday:

I’ve been using Ergotron’s LX display stand for some time now, and have really become accustomed to the large, wrap-around desktop space the LX stand equipped with three 20″ 1600×1200 pixel displays have offered. That’s 4800×1200 (or 5,760,000) pixels. The most common replacement for 1600×1200 displays seems to be the 1680×1050 widescreen format even though the actual upgrade for the 1600×1200 displays is the 1920×1200 resolution. Display for display the 1680×1200 pixel monitors offer 156,000 pixels less desktop space than 1600×1200 models.

The Ergotron LX stand I’m currently using would fit just two of either the 1680×1050 or 1920×1200 displays as they’re “widescreen”. Dual-widescreen setup using the previous displays offers 3360×1050 (3,528,000) pixels, or 3840×1200 (4,608,000) pixels respectively. Either configuration provides still less desktop space than triple 1600×1200 display.

There are couple of alternatives for triple-monitor setup using the widescreen displays. Firstly, Ergotron LX stand supports one 1600×1200 2:3 monitor in the middle, and two 1920×1200 widescreen monitors on the sides. That will produce a large combined 5440×1200 (6,528,000) pixel display!  Yet a better option is  Ergotron DS100 which supports three1920x1200 displays resulting in an even larger 5760×1200 desktop. That’s probably the best economical option at this time, yet it’s a far cry from Al Gore’s triple-HD-setup, which offers a gigantic desktop of 7680×1600 (or over 12 million) pixels — almost twice as much desktop space as our econo choice.

To recap, for a multi-monitor setup I would at this point recommend Ergotron DS100 stand with three Samsung 2443BWX widescreen 1920×1200 pixel displays. Or, if money is not an object, triple “HD” displays (Apple or Samsung), or perhaps 9XMedia‘s insane fifteen monitor stand! 😀