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Ultrawide monitor for programming

For about a month I've been using a 25" LG 25UM65 Ultrawide monitor. I decided to try it after watching some youtube videos and wondered if I could benefit from the extra screen space.

It's not clear to me if ultrawide monitors are popular anywhere in the world (I hope to gain some insight from feedback to this post) but here in brazil - with 4k monitors prohibitively expensive - they are a viable alternative costing the same as a widescreen monitor.

While resolution-wise they are much less than a 4k monitor they are still a good middle-step until you decide to invest in a 4K one or wait the prices get lower.

Regarding using it, the 2560X1080 resolution gave me 33% of extra horizontal space, I can't guarantee that my productivity got a boost, but it certainly feels that way. It now allows me to comfortable open Chrome and Gedit side by side while creating new posts for my blog.

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Chrome and Gedit side by side

Splitting the space 50/50 I got a 1280px window for Chrome, it works fine for 99% of my navigation workflow; using chrome with 2560 pixels often result in a odd page resize or excessive lateral blank space, so now I usually keep a gnome-terminal or sublime open side by side with chrome.

One of the situations that I benefit most is using Pycharm. I was never a fan of IDE experience on notebook resolution (1366x768), while the "HD" display offer a better experience, a second display (at least to me) was almost mandatory. But now I can use the IDE including both the left and right side panels:

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Pycharm with left/right panels

Another game changing happened doing JS development, the chrome inspector and the website fits happily on the same screen, there is no more need to detach it and put on the second display. I still have the notebook display, so it almost feels like I'm working with a three monitors setup, however the small one is used less often now.

Using sublime I can open three files comfortably with 87 columns each. I can also make any combinations of terminals and sublime up to three windows, but most other apps will fit better in a two windows setup.

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Sublime with three files opened

While researching about ultrawide monitors I found some conflicting information regarding Linux and OSX compatibility, but I had no problem with my LG and a Philips that I tested before. Both worked plug n play with Ubuntu, hdmi cable and a onboard Intel HD


by Ricardo Pascal on July 18, 2015


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