Monitor specs to look for in a translator's monitor
Persoa que publicou o fío: placombe

placombe
Canada
Dec 11, 2018

Hello,

I am the IT technician for a translation company. We're setting up new offices and getting new hardware for those offices. We have a work space that will be dedicated to proofing, where 2 translators will be working together. We're looking to have 2 big screen hooked on wall mounted arms so the distance can be adjusted to fit whoever will be working there.

I know working in front of a monitor all day can be tiring for one's eyes, and I am looking for information
... See more
Hello,

I am the IT technician for a translation company. We're setting up new offices and getting new hardware for those offices. We have a work space that will be dedicated to proofing, where 2 translators will be working together. We're looking to have 2 big screen hooked on wall mounted arms so the distance can be adjusted to fit whoever will be working there.

I know working in front of a monitor all day can be tiring for one's eyes, and I am looking for information on the important specs to look for in a monitor, to make sure we get the best quality hardware for our translators. Is there any website or reference I can use to choose the best hardware for this new office?

Thank you for your help,

PL
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:50
Membro (2008)
Italian to English
Non-shiny Dec 12, 2018

I think the fundamental things should be:

- the top of the screen/s should be level with the operator's eyes.
- the screen/s should be matte, not shiny so that any light sources (natural or artificial) will not be reflected in the screen/s
- each screen should be wide enough to display 2 A4 size pages side by side, at full size.

I can't think of anything else.

Here's the one I use, with which I am very happy:

... See more
I think the fundamental things should be:

- the top of the screen/s should be level with the operator's eyes.
- the screen/s should be matte, not shiny so that any light sources (natural or artificial) will not be reflected in the screen/s
- each screen should be wide enough to display 2 A4 size pages side by side, at full size.

I can't think of anything else.

Here's the one I use, with which I am very happy:

https://www.benq.eu/en-uk/monitor/home-office/gw2760hs.html
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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:50
Membro (2013)
English to Russian
- Dec 12, 2018

Make absolutely sure to go with an "Eye Care" monitor. Those help reduce eye strain.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:50
Membro (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Max and @Placombe Dec 12, 2018

Max Deryagin wrote:
Make absolutely sure to go with an "Eye Care" monitor. Those help reduce eye strain.


What is an "eye care" monitor? A bit of googling got me this: it's a monitor that has (1) no flickering or reduced flickering when setting the brightness to less than 100% and (2) viewing modes that offer reduced blue light.

You can eliminate flickering on a non-"eye care" monitor easily by simply not setting the brightness to anything lower than 100%. Some monitors have "eco" settings that use less power, which affects the brightness without setting the brightness to less than 100%. You can also affect the brightness of the monitor by having more light or a different type of light in the room where the monitor is.

As for blue light reduction modes, you can use software for that (e.g. f.lux), or better still: get a pair of glasses that reduce blue light, and wear them while working on the computer. If you already wear glasses, some opticians give out free samples of coloured paper-framed plastic-film "glasses" that reduce blue light, which you wear over your regular glasses. If your monitor has modes for e.g. sport, internet, film, games, work etc, then those modes might be what an "eye care" monitor would offer anyway.

placombe wrote:
We're looking to have 2 big screen hooked on wall mounted arms so the distance can be adjusted to fit whoever will be working there.


I think a big problem is that different people have different needs. There is no single setting that is "ideal" for most people. I also stare at a monitor all day, and I don't suffer eye strain. But I have control over the angle of the monitor and I have control over the distance from the monitor, and I have control over the lighting conditions -- sometimes I open the curtains to let in natural light, sometimes I don't. I sit in a corner, and I have a diffused light in the corner of the room (i.e. behind the monitor), so some light bounces off the wall to the side of the monitor, which really helps me to see better.

Since some people like low brightness and others like high brightness, it may be a good idea to get monitors that allow setting the brightness easily (e.g. with an actual knob that you turn). There is little so infuriating than trying to set the monitor settings using those on-screen menus where you have to press the monitor's buttons in a special sequence to set e.g. the brightness every time you sit down at the computer.

Another thing you can do is to have multiple lamps on wall mounted arms that users can adjust and point to where they want it. Another thing: standard desks are very shallow (i.e. the distance from the front to the rear is very short), and I find that being able to sometimes move the monitor back quite a bit (e.g. more than arm's length) is also quite useful.

[Edited at 2018-12-12 20:24 GMT]


 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
no low-budget TNs Dec 12, 2018

I find that at least 23"+ IPS/VA/PLS flicker-free (no-PWM) 16:9/10 FullHD+ flip-able (portrait/landscape) monitors with Adobe RGB color gamut should do. However, it's not only habits, adjustments, and hardware, but also the environment and artificial lights what makes the difference. For example, in a shaded neutral-color room glossy monitors display a more vivid and contrast picture than matter counterparts. For what it's worth, other a-la MagicBright/DynaContrast features and fancy gadgets lik... See more
I find that at least 23"+ IPS/VA/PLS flicker-free (no-PWM) 16:9/10 FullHD+ flip-able (portrait/landscape) monitors with Adobe RGB color gamut should do. However, it's not only habits, adjustments, and hardware, but also the environment and artificial lights what makes the difference. For example, in a shaded neutral-color room glossy monitors display a more vivid and contrast picture than matter counterparts. For what it's worth, other a-la MagicBright/DynaContrast features and fancy gadgets like videocams or AirPlay/WiDi/MiraCast/MHL may come handy.

Also note, that overpromoted ultraHD (aka 4k) monitors running 100Hz+ are neither required for text-only jobs, nor supported by many applications, yet look eye-candies
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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 10:50
Russian to English
+ ...
A few tricks from personal experience Dec 12, 2018

Matte surface is certainly much better than glossy, but that's probably obvious. Let's talk first about screen proportions and sizes.
In my opinion, modern 16:9 monitors are poorly suited for text work, as the texts we work with are usually paginated, and we often want to see the entire page. Thus, for a 100% scale, the screen should be at least 30 cm high (28 cm = 11" for the US letter size). However, even with two windows or two text pages side by side, there will be some screen real est
... See more
Matte surface is certainly much better than glossy, but that's probably obvious. Let's talk first about screen proportions and sizes.
In my opinion, modern 16:9 monitors are poorly suited for text work, as the texts we work with are usually paginated, and we often want to see the entire page. Thus, for a 100% scale, the screen should be at least 30 cm high (28 cm = 11" for the US letter size). However, even with two windows or two text pages side by side, there will be some screen real estate wasted on a 16:9 monitor. 4:3 monitors, if you can source modern ones, would be more convenient. However, the very best option would be a monitor that pivots between landscape and portrait orientations and automatically changes the EDID data when pivoted, so that whichever way you turn it, Windows will always display things correctly.

Another important issue is whether to use one monitor or two. Staring at a flat screen all day without refocusing is deleterious for your eyes, and not everyone remembers to do eye exercises. My solution is to use two monitors, but not side by side! I use a laptop (whose screen is at the standard distance from my eyes) plus an external monitor, which is about 50% bigger and is installed above the laptop screen and about 50 cm farther away from me. My usual working arrangement is to display the source document on the top monitor and the target file (or the CAT tool if I am using it) on the bottom one. This way, in the course of work I keep refocusing my eyes back and forth. The pivoting function is probably more important for the top monitor.

On a side note, while choosing the monitors, you may well look into keyboards/pointing devices as well. As I mentioned on another thread just a few hours ago, the least hand-straining pointing device is a trackpoint (pointing stick), and as an added benefit, you don't need to remove a hand from the keyboard to control the pointer, which is very valuable when you do a lot of typing. Lenovo sells standalone keyboards with a trackpoint, wired or Bluetooth, with or without a numpad. Their key feel is excellent, too. One more thing you may want to get is an additional user-programmable keypad, which the users can adapt to their needs - either for special functions of the office suite / CAT tool, or possibly for words or even phrases that occur frequently in the given project to be "typed" by a single keystroke. There are dedicated keypads that do such tricks in firmware, but they are expensive; you can also take a standard keypad instead and implement this in software.

[Edited at 2018-12-12 21:10 GMT]
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Heinrich Pesch
 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 10:50
English to German
Room lighting Dec 13, 2018

Anton Konashenok wrote:

Matte surface is certainly much better than glossy, but that's probably obvious.

The monitor should be placed at a position that hinders any direct beam of light coming from a window or from a lighting device from reaching the screen. Otherwise any surface (whether glossy or matte) is non-ergonomic.

Additionally, when you are looking at the screen there should be no window in your angle of view, i. e. the monitor's backside should not point to any window. The contrast between window and screen is huge, even if you don't recognize this (ask a photographer), and thus very non-ergonomical.

4:3 monitors, if you can source modern ones, would be more convenient.

Yes. Or a 16:10 model instead of a 16:9 one.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 11:50
Membro (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Its tricky Dec 13, 2018

The other day I was looking for a new external monitor. Since many years I have been using a HP L1950g, which is a 5:4 format. I would like one somewhat bigger but of the same proportion, but there simply isn't any on the market. All are 16:9 and a few have 16:10 format. So even on a big screen they can show only half of a A4 page. Well, the rest of the space can be used for other software windows, but it is not ideal.
Pivoting means in that case the top of the screen comes too high, induc
... See more
The other day I was looking for a new external monitor. Since many years I have been using a HP L1950g, which is a 5:4 format. I would like one somewhat bigger but of the same proportion, but there simply isn't any on the market. All are 16:9 and a few have 16:10 format. So even on a big screen they can show only half of a A4 page. Well, the rest of the space can be used for other software windows, but it is not ideal.
Pivoting means in that case the top of the screen comes too high, inducing neck strain.
There are expensive 4k-monitors, but I don't know if they are matte. Also bending screens are to be found.
Hope my HP monitor will last still years, I simply cannot find any better solution.
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:50
Membro (2008)
Italian to English
Eye care Dec 13, 2018

Max Deryagin wrote:

Make absolutely sure to go with an "Eye Care" monitor. Those help reduce eye strain.


If you read the specification of model I mentioned above (in the link) you'll see that it meets those criteria.


 

placombe
Canada
INICIO DE TEMA
Monitor specs Dec 13, 2018

Thank you, that's some really helpful information I'll have to sort through to make my final decision. Since it will be a proofing room, we won't have people working in there every day, more like one or two days a week on average. My main concern was the quality of the display (resolution, PPI, Hz, etc.), as I don't want to have to get new monitors after a month if the users are not happy or have trouble reading the texts they are proofing. I can always rearrange the setup in the office to adjus... See more
Thank you, that's some really helpful information I'll have to sort through to make my final decision. Since it will be a proofing room, we won't have people working in there every day, more like one or two days a week on average. My main concern was the quality of the display (resolution, PPI, Hz, etc.), as I don't want to have to get new monitors after a month if the users are not happy or have trouble reading the texts they are proofing. I can always rearrange the setup in the office to adjust and make it ergonomic for the users (distance, lighting, etc.)Collapse


 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
IMO Dec 13, 2018

Just once or twice a week? Ok, if it's the same person, why not ask the editor? On the other hand, considering such a workload, it may be smart to contact a local freelance editor/proofreader working with their hardware

 


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Monitor specs to look for in a translator's monitor

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