Confessions Of A Tech Junkie, And The Latest Computer Monitors For Making Effective Client Presentations

Thursday, February 06, 2014 12:35
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Confessions Of A Tech Junkie, And The Latest Computer Monitors For Making Effective Client Presentations

Tags: advisor technology | client communications | client education | content marketing | productivity | Surface Pro 2 | Windows 8.1

About a week after I purchased an $860 27” a WQHD 2560X1440 touchscreen monitor, Lenovo announced a plan to release a UHD 3840x2160 touchscreen “smart” monitor in July 2014. My wife is going to kill me because I’ll probably buy the new one, too. Here’s why.

At the end of the year, I blogged about (and could not resist buying) the Acer T272HUL bmidpcz 27-Inch WQHD Touch Screen Widescreen Monitor. WQHD is the newest thing, and this is the only affordable WQHD touchscreen monitor you can find. It sells for just $160 over the price of a 27”-inch Dell touchscreen with a mere HD 1080p resolution. Put another way, a 2560x1440 monitor from (Dell U2713hm) sells for $700. So I was paying $160 for touch-sensitivity. 

For me, that $160 was well-spent because I can write about my experience with this monitor and telling you about the latest technology for making great presentations is so important to your success. You need to know to avoid

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WQHD monitors and wait until the Lenovo ThinkVision Pro 2840 debuts in July 2014. If you're a financial advisor, you need to know that, if you're looking for a new monitor, the best monitor for advisors to use for making presentations in their office is going to be this 4K touch screen Lenovo monitor that will serve as a desktop touch-controlled display for use with Windows 8.1 and also be a fantastic display for making presentations in-person or over the Web.
Do Not Buy A WQHD Monitor. For advisors upgrading hardware, it's no longer the Acer 27" WQHD touchscreen is no longer a great deal. Don't do what I did and buy the Acer touchscreen monitor with the 14440p resolution. I’ve been using it for over a month now and I’m satisfied, kind of. It’s a decent display and 1440P is a big improvement over 1080p high definition panels. But just a week after taking delivery of my WQHD touchscreen monitor, Lenovo announced a plan to launch in July 2014 the UltraHD Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840m — boosting resolution by about 50% over my now-obsolete 1440p Acer T27HUL and doubling the resolution over a 1080P HD monitor.
 
And the shortcomings of this Acer monitor do not end there. The display is too shiny and reflections are hard to avoid in a bright room. Light sources emanating from behind you will be reflected onscreen. I have to draw my blinds behind me and cannot use certain spotlights in my office.  You can work around these peccadilloes but a less shiny display is sensible. Also, its ergonomics are not quite perfect, as mentioned in detail below. But enough complaining.
 
Lenovo's ThinkVision Pro2840. This new Lenovo monitor isn’t just a 2160p touchscreen but it also comes with an NVIDIA® Tegra® processor that runs Google’s Android operating system (OS) for serving up movies, music, and other content on-demand. Think not of the Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840 as a mere Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) touchscreen monitor, but as an all-in-one computer serving up content from the Web running the Android OS, which powers more cell phones than any other OS being sold today.
Why touchscreens are good for advisors.  A big part of your job is explaining complicated charts and graphs to people, client education. Using a touchscreen for live and online meetings will make you a more effective communicator. The unique characteristics of touchscreens enhance financial advisor-client communications.
A big reason why iPads are popular with financial advisors is because iPads are great for making presentations and sharing information. Now imagine making a presentation on a 27-inch monitor, which is about six times the size of your iPad.
A touchscreen enhances the ability of most people to consume information. You can ask the client or prospect to circle important numbers on screen in your spreadsheet as you deliver your advice. The client engages in an overt act to consume the information you are presenting, and you can rest assured your ideas are understood. This is especially effective with that large part of the population who consider themselves math-challenged.
I am not equating the use of a touchscreen in client meetings with showing up with a gun at a knife fight. But you would be sporting nunchuks.
Involving clients or prospects in your presentations to them by asking them to circle a number on a spreadsheet onscreen that best illustrates what your are speaking about assures clients will understand what you are saying. Asking a client to circle a number or bullet point you covered that they do not understand assures people learn what your are presenting. When you show a client how much they must save monthly to retire at age 65, they will understand it if you have made them circle that number five times in a three minute presentation. Epic Pen, a free drawing program covered previously, enables you to draw circles or arrows on any touchscreen in any program anytime. It’s always available on your screen. When you activate pen mode, you can use your finger or a stylus to draw anywhere onscreen. That’s a big idea for financial communications.
I’m not saying that buying a 27-inch touchscreen is going to double your fee-income, but it will make your presentations more engaging. And there is the “cool factor.” PowerPoint presentations are beautiful when delivered live using a touchscreen. When you are presenting, waving your hand across a screen to advance to the next slide is so much better for a presenter than the undemonstrative mouse click. Different energy. When you're in front of a 27" monitor controlled by your touch, you're performing and not just clicking a mouse.
Let’s Get Physical: The Touchscreen’s Ergonomics  
When I bought my 1440p touchscreen, I was excited because using a touchscreen on your desktop computer requires the screen be situated just 12 or 15 inches away from your eyes. When you want to touch the screen, that’s about how close it needs to be.  You must comfortably be able position the display no more than 15 to 20 inches away from your eyes when you are typing and then lean forward toward the monitor when you want to use touch controls. When sitting, you will naturally want the monitor just 12 inches away from you when you are touching the screen. At that point in your physical relationship with your touchscreen, because the monitor is so close to your eyes, you need, at a minimum a 1440p resolution to use a 27” touchscreen comfortably on your desktop. WQHD is the minimum acceptable resolution for using a 27” touchscreen monitor as a desktop as well as a presentation tool. Put another way, the touchscreen controls with WQHD resolution will leave you feeling a little too close to use them routinely on a desktop computer. Touch control boosts effectiveness of presentations for practitioners, but touch control at a 1440p resolution situates a user just a little too close for touch controls to be used routinely throughout the day in desktop navigation. However, the new UltraHD Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840m could change that. Its 50% boost in resolution from 1440p to 2160p, should be just about the perfect resolution for a 27-inch multi-touch desktop monitor using Windows 8.1 to make you want to use the touch controls routinely as a desktop tool. The desktop, at 4K resolution, should be small enough so a user can be just 12 inches away and see the whole desktop without feeling like it’s “Land of The Giants.” Reading and writing documents and viewing Web pages as well as content you create in PowerPoint will not strain your eyes and also not feel too large at close range.
How Practitioners And Business Users Might Use An Android All-In-One
Lenovo points out that the Android OS and Tegra processor makes the Lenovo Pro 2840m a practical family computer and entertainment device. This monitor can serve as home entertainment hub. On-demand content can be streamed. Meanwhile, its 10-point multi-touch screen ensures a fully interactive experience for the family when looking at photos, playing games, and surfing the Web. Those features are not the applications an advisor would likely find useful — unless….
An RIA could use this monitor in a self-service reception area that greets clients and gives them Internet access while in your waiting room. Marketing and educational presentations about your firm could be looped in your reception room and they would be touch-driven. For instance, give an intern a 10-question financial management IQ test to insert into PowerPoint. Ask the intern to make it a touch-driven quiz, with all the answers at the end. When clients come to your office, they sometimes are driven by younger family members and other people who wind up waiting in your reception area. Why not market your services there?
Bottom line: Touch-control is an excellent tool for making presentations and the Lenovo Thinkvision Pro 2840 is worth waiting until July for because I have been using the next best thing, a WQHD touch monitor that is still ergonomically off-kilter for Windows 8.1 desktop use. Though the Lenovo Pro 2840mis being marketed as a monitor for graphic design professionals, financial advice professionals should be able to use it make more artful presentations.

 

 

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