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Buying a big computer screen (more than 30 inch) for CAT applications and ordinary translation work?
Thread poster: Maria S. Loose, LL.M.

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 01:41
German to English
+ ...
Jul 15, 2013

Dear colleagues,

I have been out of the translation business for eight years and now I want to come back. I need to learn how to work with CAT tools. I would therefore like to ask you if you think it is good to buy a very big computer screen, for example 30 inch or larger. At the moment I am doing my translations on a small notebook and it just kills my eyes. Needless to say that my eyes are read and hurt all the time. Also I am growing older and my hair is getting grey. So health is no longer taken for granted. What do you advise me to do? I am grateful for any help.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Get two 22 inch screens Jul 15, 2013

Maria Loose wrote:
I would therefore like to ask you if you think it is good to buy a very big computer screen, for example 30 inch or larger.


I found that the best resolution and size for my eyes is a "full HD" 22 inch monitor. I just wish I had two of them... side by side (or, if you keep them in landscape mode, then one on top of the other).

The highest resolution on a 30" monitor that I could find is 2560x1600, and most of them have less than that. Two "full HD" monitors (1920x1080 pixels each) will give you 3840x2160 of viewing space, for the same price.

This is my monitor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ksXBOWVts
(look for clues in the video that I was in Holland when I shot it)



[Edited at 2013-07-15 21:49 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Deleted Jul 15, 2013

Deleted

[Edited at 2013-07-15 21:31 GMT]


 

Ian Giles  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:41
Member (2012)
Swedish to English
+ ...
I concur Jul 15, 2013

with Samuel. I think that 2x 22" or 2x24" is the ideal if you have space. I work with a 24" monitor which does the job - I find 13" offered by my laptop when working away from desk depressingly constraining.

 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:41
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
That would be four monitos Jul 15, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Two "full HD" monitors (1920x1080 pixels each) will give you 3840x2160 of viewing space, for the same price.



Two 1920x1080 monitors would give you 3840x1080 (or, if you stach them one above the other 1920x2160).

3840x2160 is four monitors.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 06:41
English to Indonesian
+ ...
2560x1440 Jul 16, 2013

High-quality, backlit displays with a high resolution are rather expensive. I use a 2560x1440 27" display (that comes with the computer):

CT%20set%20up%20iMac%2027%20inch%20copy.pngFull size

I'm very happy with it. However, two 22" high-quality displays (as suggested above) may come cheaper, and what's more important, it may very well be a better option. One large screen is obviously easier, and more than one may seem silly, but a colleague once mentioned that two or more displays will force you to re-focus all the time. I admit I never thought of that. Before I switched to the 27" display, I actually used two monitors, and I cannot confirm "two is better than one". It makes sense, though, but on the other hand I'm still happy.

Hans (nearing 60, wishing for grey hair rather than no hair)


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:41
German to English
Two 24-inch monitors Jul 16, 2013

I've been using two 24" monitors for several years now and find the arrangement quite convenient. One monitor contains my work, i.e. my CAT tool and e-mail (in the background so that I can respond immediately to client inquiries). The other monitor shows the source document and terminology searches (Linguee, etc.) as well as other reference material. I've found it beneficial to keep the target and source material on two separate screens. Having two separate monitors on either side of my desk also allows some sunshine to come in through my window.

 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 18:41
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
monitor size Jul 16, 2013

Personally I would prefer 2 monitors side by side- that's what I have at work so I keep shifting the windows as needed. I thought of getting an additional monitor for my home use, but then found my PC does have only 1 port only for the monitor.

 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:41
German to Spanish
I tried a lot of combinations Jul 16, 2013

For me the best, and what I use now is a 27" ( 2560x1440, matt) and the laptop stay closed.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Thanks, Ricardo! Jul 16, 2013

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
Two "full HD" monitors (1920x1080 pixels each) will give you 3840x2160 of viewing space, for the same price.

Two 1920x1080 monitors would give you 3840x1080 (or, if you stach them one above the other 1920x2160). 3840x2160 is four monitors.


Thanks! What a silly mistake to make.

I was interested in how much space these monitors would take up on the desk (and if the ceiling would be high enough for them), so I made this small infographic with my limited Paint skills. The graphic assumes that the monitors are all 16:9 and that the monitors themselves are 10 cm wider and longer than the actual screen size. It also assumes that the 22" and 24" monitors are pivoted to portrait mode (e.g. the iiyama monitors can do that).



The original poster mentioned her age as a factor, so I assume lower dot pitch isn't necessarily good for her. The 27" monitors have a much smaller dot pitch than e.g. my 22" monitor (in other words, the pixels are much tighter, which means that the text is smaller, but also clearer). The 27" monitor is therefore recommended for someone with young eyes who want a display that is closer to the fabulous clarity of a smart phone.

However, it is possible for text to be so small that, even though it is very clear, is difficult to read for old eyes. So, a low dot pitch isn't necessarily a good thing for a translator, and if the original poster wants to have a single monitor, it may be better to go for the 30"... or alternatively she has to set her monitor zoom a bit higher, which means that she'll get less content on the screen, but it'll be bigger and easier to see.

Samuel


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Having to refocus Jul 16, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:
A colleague once mentioned that two or more displays will force you to re-focus all the time.


I suspect that that would be true if the two monitors are not identical. Different monitors have different dot pitch, which means that the letters aren't the same size on both screens, and I suspect that that would be tiresome on the eyes. If both monitors are identical, I suspect your eyes will see them as "one" because the pixels are the same size on both.


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:41
Russian to English
+ ...
I agree with everyone who said that a 22-24" monitor is the best Jul 16, 2013

I think a 38" monitor would drive you insane in about a week, or less. Large monitors are very bad for concentration, and it has been proven that they don't let you relax -- they cause anxiety, this is why you are not even supposed to have them in your badroom, and watch movies on very large screens before going to sleep.

 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:41
Member (2013)
English to Russian
But Kevin! Jul 16, 2013

Kevin Fulton wrote:

One monitor contains my work, i.e. my CAT tool and e-mail (in the background so that I can respond immediately to client inquiries).



Why not use an email checker (Checker Plus for Gmail, for example) instead of wasting your screen space like that? Email checkers notify you of new mails immediately, so that you don't have to check your mailbox 100 times a day and worry about new unread mails.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Max Jul 16, 2013

Max Deryagin wrote:
Kevin Fulton wrote:
One monitor contains my work, i.e. my CAT tool and e-mail (in the background so that I can respond immediately to client inquiries).

Why not use an email checker (Checker Plus for Gmail, for example) instead of wasting your screen space like that?


I also have my mail program and my browsers open permanently, although they are either minimised or they run behind the other windows. I think that in Kevin's case, the mail program doesn't take up screen space because it is behind the other window. If you use a mail notifier program, you still need to start the mail program if you want to read the mail or respond to it.

Even though I have a large screen, most of my windows are cascaded, i.e. only the front window can be seen fully, and other windows are either minimised or they peek out from behind it. They are not tiled (as in Meta Arkadia's screenshot). I think that even if I had two screens, I would still cascade the windows, as I do now.



You know, it's weird -- when I look at that screenshot, it looks terribly confusing, but when I look at my screen (that shows the same view), I'm not confused at all, and I know exactly what is where. I guess it has to do with where your eyes focus.



[Edited at 2013-07-16 11:34 GMT]


 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:41
German to Spanish
Hmmm Jul 16, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:


However, it is possible for text to be so small that, even though it is very clear, is difficult to read for old eyes. So, a low dot pitch isn't necessarily a good thing for a translator

Samuel


??

With my Laptop I have to use reading glasses. But with the 27" (at 1 m distance and, of course, with bigger fonts I can read without glasses. With 2500 pixel you can use nice big fonts at best quality.

I use also Mac, so with "Spaces" I move to different desktops without feeling like in a Tennis matchicon_wink.gif


Matt is also, for me, a must be!


 
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