By Mike Szostech Last updated
Depending on the purpose of your computer setup, a vertical, or portrait monitor may be beneficial for your productivity. Keep reading to see what the best vertical monitor is for your application.
Typically, monitors come with stands and are mounted in a landscape orientation. This is the format of a typical widescreen monitor, where the width is greater than the height – 16:9 is the common aspect ratio used where the width of the monitor is 16 units and the height of the monitor is 9 units. In portrait mode, the width is 9 units and the width is 16 units.
Widescreen monitors are great for gaming and for watching movies, and that’s why that format has taken off. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find a non-widescreen-format monitor, which is what sent us looking for a solution.
Do I need a vertical monitor for the type of work I do?
It’s true that working on any specific monitor layout you can get used to it and work efficiently – whether it be a single monitor, 2 monitors, or some other setup. However, if you’re looking for increased productivity, take some time to notice when you spend lots of time scrolling, or switching windows, when trying to complete a specific task.
For us, when writing articles for Canada Reviewed, we typically have 5 or more windows open:
- WordPress Admin editor
- Adobe Photoshop
- A folder of our images
- Depending on the type of product review, we may have the manufacturer’s website or other reference material open
- We also like to be able to view the article in our website’s layout
With all those windows open, we were looking at how to add a third monitor to our desks.
Photoshop has many side toolbars, so a wide display makes sense. But when we’re writing articles, or viewing our articles, they are long and narrow, and WordPress only has a minimal side toolbar.
For working, there’s tons of wasted white space on the sides of our screens that just feels wasted. And, we can’t see much of the ‘content’ which leads to lots of scrolling. We found ourselves often scrolling up and down, making sure that our article overview and order makes sense.
Once we realized this, we started the search for the best vertical monitor that would increase our productivity.
This is a gaming monitor, but it isn't 4K, so it's pretty cheap considering it's a 31 inch curved monitor. When comparing specs and price and what we need, it will serve our purposes as the best vertical monitor for our work tasks.
Go for a highly realistic gaming experience with this Acer 31.5" LED monitor. Its curved 16:9 display and 1440p WQHD resolution offer a highly immersive visual experience with exceptional picture quality. The 1ms response time, 165Hz refresh rate and 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio offer smooth and fluid gaming visuals.
Get the best price Acer 31.5" Curved Gaming Monitor in Canada from:Best Vertical Monitor - Acer 31.5" Curved Gaming Monitor
If you're looking for a vertical monitor that works out of the box without needing to use a separate monitor arm, then this is a great choice. It's a 27" portrait monitor for around $400.
Perfect for multi-display setups, the 27” ASUS ProArt PA278CV supports daisy-chain function on DisplayPort and features a USB-C port for video transmission and power delivery.
Get the best price ASUS ProArt Display 27" Monitor in Canada from:
How does a portrait monitor’s resolution affect workspace?
A monitor’s resolution is simply the number of rows and columns of pixels on the screen. The more pixels, the more unique colors can be displayed. As technology increases, the number of pixels has increased. It’s the same with TVs, which is why 4k and now even 8k is the new standard.
For a gaming monitor, high resolution is often desired, with a 4k curved gaming monitor being the holy grail. For working, however, higher resolution isn’t necessarily what you want, you just want more screen real estate for accomplishing your tasks.
We’ve been working on 27″ widescreen monitors for a few years now, and they have a resolution of 1920 x 1080. That means that there are 1920 vertical columns of pixels, and 1080 horizontal rows of pixels. This limits the amount of vertical we can see at once, but if we rotate the monitor to a portrait orientation, we can now see 1920 rows of pixels rather than the 1080 before.
Just for fun we flipped our monitor to a portrait monitor for a while and realized it wasn’t ideal. Now we can only see 1080 columns of pixels, and if we’re doing something with a sidebar or toolbars, that’s not quite enough. If you’re reading news or magazine sites, 1080 columns is probably just right, but for us we needed more.
That means we were looking for a monitor that had at least 1440px of height (which would turn into width when we flipped it to a vertical monitor).
Another concern we noticed with our monitor flipped to a portrait monitor was that the colors at the top and the bottom of the screen were slightly off. This is because of the viewing angle, and since the monitors are designed to be used in landscape orientation, the viewing angle isn’t that great.
To solve this, you can either look at a specific portrait monitor (which can be quite expensive), or we realized we could look at a curved monitor. The best vertical monitor will have a wide viewing angle in the landscape orientation so that colorshift is limited when the monitor is rotated to portrait. However, since the monitors we tested with claim 170 degrees of viewing range, and we still noticed colorshift, we weren’t convinced 178 degrees would totally fix the problem.
Since a curved monitor (turned to be a vertical monitor) angles the top- and bottom-most pixels towards your eye, the viewing angle is not as severe and thus the discoloration with the same viewing angle specs would be basically unnoticeable.
So, armed with all of this knowledge, we set out to find a cheap vertical monitor for coding and writing. We think we found the best vertical monitor based on our needs and current prices.
Do I need a stand for my vertical monitor?
There are some monitors that come with ability to rotate the monitor right on the provided stand. When we looked for this type of monitor, we found it limited us to only a few, expensive portrait monitors. They are out there, but they weren’t curved, and they cost about the same as a curved monitor with similar specs.
Since we were using a monitor arm mount for our setup, we didn’t worry about finding a specific ‘vertical monitor’. We want to be able to position, or reposition the monitor to get the ideal ergonomics and so we didn’t want to be stuck with a specific monitor height because of a built in stand.
PrimeCables Single Monitor ArmAmazon.ca
We started with a fully adjustable swing arm mount and we mounted the 31.5 inch curved monitor vertically on that mount. It's rated for up to 14 lbs, so we were right around the max weight. After adjusting the gas spring pressure, the mount worked well and held the monitor in place - right where we wanted it.
The biggest complaint was that when mounting the monitor to the mount, we had to hold it in place and then thread the screws in. That proved to be a little difficult without an extra set of hands. As well, when using the grommet mount, the included wingnut just didn't get tight enough to hold the arm base in place while maneuvering the arm placement for our vertical monitor. We ended up tightening the wingnut with an adjustable wrench and haven't had an issue since.
After using the vertical monitor off to the side, and our 27 inch widescreen in the center (with the second 27 inch screen to the left), we quickly realized that still meant turning our head to the side whenever we were writing – which is most of the time.
After comparing the viewing space on the portrait monitor to that of the 24inch landscape monitor, we decided to give it a try with the vertical curved monitor in the center position. That of course meant we needed another mount.
Suptek Dual Monitor Stand up Desk MountAmazon.ca
The best vertical monitor for our needs was the huge 31.5 inch screen, but that means that the vertical mounting point (in the center of the monitor) is at least 14 inches above our desktop. We needed a monitor stand that was tall enough, so we ended up trying out the Suptek dual monitor stand. We love this stand. It is super heavy duty and doesn't wiggle at all with our portrait monitor mounted on it.
There were some negative reviews about the mount not being strong enough to hold heavier monitors even though it's rated for up to 22 lbs. At first we had the same problem, and the cheap wrench they provide just bent when we tried tightening it more. We did have to get our own wrench out to tighten the vertical angle bolt enough to keep the monitor from slumping down, but now there is no issues.
Now we were left with our third monitor. We wanted to mount it on the other side of our choice for the best vertical monitor, opposite the other 27 inch screen. We were so impressed by the sturdiness, and cheap cost of the Suptek dual monitor stand that we decided to get their add-on arm.
Suptek fully adjustable long arm mountAmazon.ca
Typically, a vertical monitor stand will support 2 monitor arms, with the edge of the 2 monitors touching at the center point. We needed our side monitor to be an extra 10 inches out from the center point, so we needed an extra long arm.
Suptek has a 3-section arm that is rated for 22 lbs, and we hoped it was as sturdy as their dual monitor desk mount. We ordered it, and we were right. Like their stand mount, this is heavy duty. We did have to use our own wrench again, but now we have the best vertical monitor front and center with a 27 inch widescreen monitor floating off to each side!