Stacked and Vertical Monitors Are Turning Into the Next Big Thing

It’s efficient and comfortable

  • Mobile Pixels’ Geminos Stacked is a stacked pair of screens connected by a hinge.
  • Vertical or square screens make some tasks way easier.
  • Try rotating the screen you already own for a fresh perspective.
LG DualUp 2 monitor


Monitors were square-ish, then they got wide, then they started to curve, and now they're growing taller.

The new trend in computer displays seems to be stacked, double-height monitors, screens that tend to be more square, or have a mild portrait orientation. The idea is you can view apps and windows above and below each other, rather than side-by-side like you would on a widescreen monitor. But what are they good for? And is it worth switching? Depends on what you're doing.

"We are observing this development with interest, and, generally speaking, we do see a small market for double height displays, but it is rather specific and [covers] niche needs. The same effect can be achieved with other monitors that pivot 90 degrees from horizontal to vertical," Stefan Engel, VP & GM of visuals business at Lenovo, told Lifewire via email.

More Space

The idea behind any kind of large screen or multi-monitor setup is that more space makes it easier to get stuff done. Instead of juggling windows on a 13-inch laptop screen, you can spread out and see everything at once.

"For professional photographers like myself, a dual display is essential for post-production—having one monitor showing a close up of a photo edit and the other showing the editing tools is an efficient and fast way to perform complex retouches," professional photographer Mark Condon told Lifewire via email.

"Whether the screens are adjacent or stacked is irrelevant unless space constraints favor one position over the other," Condon continued. "Moving your eyes (and to a lesser extent your head) side to side vs. up and down provides a similar experience, once you are used to the movement during computer use."

Mobile Pixels

Because they never have to move, you never have to look for them. It's like the keys on your keyboard. You don't have to think about where they are.

"They increase productivity for employees who must reference multiple documents, web pages, and information displays simultaneously," Carl Mazzanti, of IT consultancy eMazzanti Technologies, told Lifewire via email. "eMazzanti Technologies has been using stacked and side-by-side large screen monitors for at least 15 years. Multiple large screen monitors on our technicians' desks have enhanced productivity by as much as 20 percent."


Mobile Pixels' Geminos Stacked is two monitors in a folding clamshell configuration, with one atop the other. This lets you angle the two screens to best exclude reflections and to make things comfortable.

"Screens like the Geminos Stacked are an attractive way to provide double the screen real estate [with] less room since the screens are placed at an angle. Whether this can improve efficiency or ease of work is arguable, but for space considerations, it's an exciting product," says Condon, whose Shotkits website reviews unusual monitor setups for photographers.

Samsung Odyssey Ark 4K curved monitor


Another tall monitor is Samsung's new Odyssey Ark 4K, a 55-inch curved gaming screen that can be rotated 90 degrees to become vertical. But unlike other vertical monitors, this one has a curve that makes it kind of loom over you. Samsung calls this "cockpit mode," and it can be handy for flight simulator games but also regular desktop computer tasks. 

Do Try This At Home

Buying a new display just to check if you like this kind of setup is a risky, possibly expensive option. But you may be able to do it without buying anything. Many monitors can be rotated to a vertical orientation, possibly including the one you already own and use. Then, you just have to tell your computer what you’ve done so it can rotate the on-screen image. 

Whether the screens are adjacent or stacked is irrelevant, unless space constraints favor one position over the other

Some monitors, like Apple’s Studio Display, can even detect a 90-degree twist and automatically change the settings—just like an iPad. 

The downside of using a wide screen like this, however, is that it becomes a very tall screen when rotated. The nice thing about purpose-made square and vertical monitors—like the LG DualUp, is that the top and bottom don’t stretch out of view.

Maybe you will like it. I’m typing this article with my monitor rotated upright, and it feels very weird, but perhaps if we all give it a chance, we might end up liking it.

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