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6 Best Monitors For Programming - 228 Tested - Spring 2022

Updated
Best Monitors For Programming

When programming or coding for long periods, it's essential to have a comfortable monitor to keep eye strain to a minimum. It's important to get a monitor that's the right size, with enough screen real estate to have multiple windows open and still work comfortably without having to squint. A flicker-free monitor is also a must, as backlight flicker can cause headaches and eye strain with prolonged periods of use, especially if you're sensitive to flicker. If you want to rotate your screen to show your work to a coworker or client, it's also important to have good ergonomics.

Below are our recommendations for the best monitors for programming to purchase. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best ultrawide monitors, the best monitors for dual setup, and the best 34 inch + monitors.


  1. Best 4k Monitor For Programming

    The best monitor for programming we've tested is the Dell S2722QC. The 27 inch, 4k screen delivers incredibly sharp text and great screen real estate that makes it easy to see more of your work at once. It has a flicker-free backlight and a low blue-light mode, ensuring a comfortable viewing experience, even during long coding sessions.

    It has very good ergonomics and wide viewing angles, so you can easily adjust the screen to your ideal viewing position or turn the screen. It has great peak brightness in SDR and very good reflection handling, so you don't have to worry about glare in most viewing environments. Finally, it has great connectivity, with a built-in USB hub and USB-C connectivity, including 65W of power delivery, so you can charge your laptop while you work.

    Sadly, it's not the best choice for a dark room or if you prefer to use your favorite IDE's dark mode, as it has low contrast, so blacks look gray in a dark room. The high resolution also isn't the best if you have to remotely connect to your PC over a slower network connection as it requires higher bandwidth. Overall, it's an impressive monitor for most uses, and it's the best monitor for developers we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Larger Alternative

    If you want something a bit bigger, then check out the Gigabyte M32U. It has worse ergonomics than the Dell S2722QC, and because it's a larger screen, it has lower pixel density and worse text clarity, but it's still fantastic. Although mainly designed as a gaming monitor, it's great for office use, with wide viewing angles, excellent gray uniformity, and okay ergonomics. Visibility isn't an issue in most viewing environments, as it has very good peak brightness and decent reflection handling. There's a great selection of office features, including a built-in KVM switch, allowing you to work with two sources using one keyboard and mouse. Sadly, it has uniformity issues with dark scenes as there's backlight bleed, and the local dimming feature is terrible.

    Overall, the Dell monitor is the best option for most programmers. However, if you want something a bit larger or you want an excellent gaming monitor for when you need to take a break from programming, then check out the Gigabyte.

    See our review

  3. Best 1440p Monitor For Programming

    The best 1440p monitor for programming is the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. Although it's mainly a gaming monitor, it's also great for office use as it has a few extra features. It has wide viewing angles and great ergonomics, so you can easily adjust it to the ideal viewing position or share your screen with someone else, and everyone will see an accurate image.

    It has a completely flicker-free backlight and a blue light reduction feature, which help reduce eye strain with longer coding sessions. It has a few features that can help improve your productivity, including a built-in USB hub and a USB-C port, great if you're working on a laptop with limited connectivity. It has good text clarity, which is essential when staring at long lines of code, but it's not as sharp as on a 4k display.

    Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio and just alright black uniformity, so it's not the best choice for a dark room or if you like to use dark mode. There are also some issues with color accuracy on our unit before calibration, but this isn't an issue for coding. Overall, if you're a programmer and want a 1440p resolution, you should be happy with this one.

    See our review

  4. Best Ultrawide Monitor For Programming

    The Gigabyte M34WQ is the best ultrawide monitor for programming that we've tested. One main advantage of having an ultrawide monitor is that you can open multiple windows side-by-side, meaning it's a good choice if you have a multi-monitor setup and prefer using just one display. The 21:9 aspect ratio offers more horizontal screen space compared to 16:9 monitors, and the 3440x1440 resolution results in good text clarity.

    It has a good selection of inputs, meaning you can connect multiple devices. It has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode if you want to display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time, but it only supports 15 W of power delivery. It has Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes so you can view images from two sources at once, and with its KVM switch, you can control both sources with the same mouse and keyboard.

    Sadly, like any screen with an IPS panel, it has a low contrast ratio that results in gray-looking blacks and mediocre black uniformity. Also, you can't rotate it into portrait mode, but that's normal for an ultrawide monitor. If that isn't a problem for you, it's the best ultrawide monitor we've tested for coding.

    See our review

  5. Best Portable Monitor For Coding

    The best portable monitor for coding we've tested is the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE. Although it's mainly a gaming monitor, it's also a decent portable office monitor. The 1080p, 17 inch screen has a relatively high pixel density, roughly equivalent to a 24 inch 1440p display, resulting in great text clarity, even if your programming environment doesn't support ClearType. It's also flicker-free, which can help reduce eye strain.

    Of course, this monitor is designed for portability, and it doesn't disappoint. The 17 inch screen should fit in most laptop bags or backpacks, and the folio case protects it during transport while also doubling as a stand. It also has a built-in 7800 mAh battery, so you can get up to 3.5 hours of coding without draining the battery on your laptop. It also has great connectivity, with micro-HDMI and a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, meaning you can use it with pretty much any device.

    It's not perfect for everyone, though, as it has a low contrast ratio and disappointing black uniformity. If you like to use your IDE's dark mode in a darker environment, a monitor with a VA panel might be a better choice. Overall, it's by far the best portable monitor for programming that we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Monitor For Coding

    The best monitor for coding in the budget category that we've tested is the Gigabyte G27Q. Overall, it's a good office monitor with wide viewing angles, a great 1440p resolution, and a 27 inch size that delivers good text clarity. Visibility in a bright room isn't an issue, as it has great peak brightness and good reflection handling, so it can easily overcome glare. Like all monitors on this list, the backlight is completely flicker-free at all brightness settings, which is great.

    It has great connectivity, with a built-in USB hub, but it doesn't offer any USB-C ports, so you'll need an adapter if you're working from a laptop that doesn't offer any full-sized HDMI or DisplayPort connections. It has excellent gray uniformity and good accuracy out of the box, as well as an outstanding color gamut, great if your work often includes design elements that rely on accurate, uniform colors.

    Unfortunately, it has low contrast, so it's not a good choice for a dark room or if you prefer to use dark mode on your computer. It also has poor ergonomics, so it might be hard to place in an ideal viewing position. Overall, despite the budget price, it's a very good monitor, and it's a great choice for coding.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell U2720Q: The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is a great office monitor with USB-C input, but it's more expensive than the Dell S2722QC, so it's not worth the price increase. See our review
  • Gigabyte M27Q: The Gigabyte M27Q is slightly cheaper than the Gigabyte G27Q, but it uses a suboptimal BGR subpixel layout. This layout normally isn't an issue, but it can cause some text clarity problems in certain IDEs. See our review
  • ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV: The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is a great productivity monitor with USB-C input and a 1440p resolution, but it doesn't have HDR support like the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. See our review
  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS is very similar to the S2722QC, and the main difference is that the S2721QS doesn't have a USB-C input. If you don't need that, go for whichever monitor you can find for cheaper. See our review
  • Gigabyte M28U: The Gigabyte M28U is a smaller version of the Gigabyte M32U with many of the same features. However, it's not that much bigger than the Dell S2722QC, so if you want a large 4k display, go for the M32U. See our review
  • Dell S3422DWG: The Dell S3422DWG is an ultrawide monitor like the Gigabyte M34WQ, and it's good overall, but it doesn't have as many extra productivity features or a USB-C input. See our review
  • Lenovo ThinkVision M14: The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is a cheaper alternative to the ASUS XG17AHPE, but it has a much worse response time, so scrolling through long coding pages will look bad. See our review
  • LG 38WN95C-W: The LG 38WN95C-W is a large 38 inch ultrawide display with a 3840x1600 resolution, but it costs a lot more than the Gigabyte M34WQ, so it's not worth getting. See our review
  • LG OLED48C1: The LG 48 C1 is a 48 inch TV that we tested as a monitor, and it's great for coding in dark rooms because it has a near-infinite contrast ratio, but unlike the Gigabyte M32U, it has the risk of permanent burn-in. See our review
  • Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx: The Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is a versatile budget monitor with excellent ergonomics. However, it has a smaller screen and lower resolution than the Gigabyte G27Q, so it's only a good choice if you want to use it as a secondary display. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Mar 23, 2022: Replaced the LG 34GP950-B with the Gigabyte M34WQ because it has more office features and moved it to its own 'Best Ultrawide' category; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.

  2. Jan 24, 2022: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the more recent Dell S2722QC. Refreshed our text throughout.

  3. Nov 19, 2021: Completely restructured the article, adding a new category for the 'Best 1440p Monitor For Coding'. Removed most of our picks, as they're currently sold out, and removed most of our Notable Mentions, as they're quite old.

  4. Sep 20, 2021: Replace the LG 32UD99-W with the Gigabyte AORUS FI32U, as it's no longer available. Replaced the 'Best Compact Monitor' category with 'Best Portable Monitor' and changed the recommendation to the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE.

  5. Jul 22, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q with the Dell S2721QS because it's cheaper. Replaced Dell U3818DW with LG 38WN95C-W because it's hard to find.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for coding and programming that are currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price, and feedback from our visitors.

If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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