Now, about the twist these two monitors are capable of being rotated to a portrait orientation. Not only will this amaze your friends and colleagues, it has very practical uses as well! Many computing tasks, such as page layout, word processing, and web browsing, are better suited to the portrait orientation. With dual monitors, you can have the best of both worlds traditional landscape orientation on one monitor, and portrait mode on the other. Although most portrait capable monitors can be rotated fairly easily, keeping one monitor in portrait orientation is very convenient especially for design and photo editing tasks where you may need to switch between orientations frequently.
Here's an example of how I set up my desktop for writing a Photoshop tutorial.
As you can see it gives me lots of photo-editing space in the landscape orientation, room for the palettes down the side of the portrait monitor, and still allows plenty of space for my text editor so I don't have to keep scrolling up and down to review what I've already written.
Most monitors that are capable of rotating to the portrait mode will come with the software to rotate your desktop. Most video cards by ATi and nVidia also include this feature in their drivers. If you have a rotating monitor, but don't have the software to rotate the desktop, the solution is Pivot Pro software. This is what I'm using since my Matrox video card does not include this feature. This is usually the software that comes bundled with pivoting monitors.
If you already have an LCD monitor and you like the idea of a portrait screen, but your LCD stand doesn't allow rotation, you may still be able to pivot your screen. A company called Ergotron offers the Neo-Flex LCD Stand with pivot, tilt, and rotation features. This LCD stand sells for about US$50 and should fit any LCD monitor.
I know there are some who feel that the color accuracy for design work is still not up to par on the LCD monitors, but for me there is no going back to a CRT. I don't want to give up the crispness, clarity, desk space and energy savings that an LCD monitor provides and with a good quality LCD on a DVI (digital) connection, the color issues just aren't as extreme as they were in the past. Whether you go with dual monitors or not, if you're in the market for an LCD monitor, try to find one that pivots. Most of the upper-end LCDs offer this now. And if you've already got a rotating monitor that you've never used in portrait mode, I encourage you to give it a "whirl!"
Advantages of Portrait and Pivoting Monitors for Desktop Publishing
CRT vs. LCD Monitors: Which Monitor is the Best to Buy?
Understanding LCD Monitors
Top Picks: 19-inch LCD Monitors
MaxiVista - Dual Monitors Without Extra Hardware
Oscar's Free Multi-Monitor Taskbar