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The 7 Best Monitors For Programming - Summer 2022 Reviews

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. A flicker-free monitor is also important, as backlight flicker can cause headaches and eye strain with prolonged periods of use. If you want to rotate your screen to show your work to a coworker or client, it's also important to have good ergonomics. Lastly, if you use the dark mode on your computer and work in a dark room, you'll want a monitor that has a high contrast ratio for deep blacks.

We've bought and tested more than 240 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors to purchase for programmers. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best ultrawide monitors, the best monitors for dual setup, and the best office monitors.


  1. Best Programming Monitor

    The best monitor for programming that we've tested is the Dell U2723QE. It's an impressive office-oriented monitor that looks good in dark rooms thanks to its IPS Black technology that delivers a decent contrast ratio. It's great if you want to use the monitor in a dark room and use the dark mode, so blacks look fairly deep and there's minimal blooming. The 4k resolution helps deliver sharp images, and the 27-inch screen size is great for multitasking, meaning you can open multiple windows at once. It also has remarkable ergonomics, and you can rotate it into portrait mode if you prefer.

    Connecting to the monitor is easy as it has a large USB hub with three USB-C ports, including one that supports 90W of power delivery with the DisplayPort Alt Mode, which is great if you want to connect your laptop with a single wire. It even has an Ethernet port so you can connect directly to the Internet if your Wi-Fi connection isn't working, and there are a few USB ports that you can charge your devices from or connect your mouse and keyboard.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Monitor For Programming

    The Dell U2723QE can be expensive for some programmers, so if you want to save a bit of money for something in the mid-range category, the Dell S3221QS is the best monitor for your needs. It's a good office monitor with a large 32-inch screen, which is enough to open multiple windows and keep multitasking while coding. The 4k resolution also delivers clear text and sharp images. It looks great in dark rooms as it has a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks, which is also great if you use the dark mode while coding and you're in a dark environment, meaning blacks don't look gray.

    Unfortunately, you don't get the same connectivity options as the Dell U2723QE, but that's the trade-off of getting a mid-range monitor, but it still has a USB hub. While its stand doesn't offer the best ergonomics as you can only tilt it and adjust the height, you can also easily remove the stand and mount the screen if you want to change the position to your liking. You can also view images from two sources at once thanks to its Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Monitor For Programming

    Should you be looking to save even more money when shopping for a monitor, the Dell S2721QS is the best budget monitor for programming we've tested. It's similar to the Dell S3221QS but is cheaper thanks to its smaller 27-inch screen. While the smaller screen size isn't as ideal if you need to open multiple windows at the same time, it has a better pixel density with amazing text clarity. However, it has a different panel type than the S3221QS with a worse contrast ratio, which means that blacks look gray in dark rooms if you use the dark mode.

    If you want something that performs better in the dark, the Dell S2722DGM is another budget-friendly monitor that's good for the office. However, it has worse text clarity than the S2721QS because of its 1440p resolution. If you care about text clarity, the S2721QS is the better choice. Additionally, the S2721QS has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with a coworker or client sitting next to you, as the image remains the same from the sides.

    See our review

  4. Best Monitor For Programming And Gaming

    If you also want a monitor for gaming after a long day of coding, the Gigabyte M32UC is the best monitor for developers who also like to game. It's similar to the Dell S3221QS because it has a 32-inch, 4k screen with a VA panel, but the main difference is that the M32UC has a bunch more gaming features. In terms of programming, the text clarity is incredible thanks to the 4k resolution, and it looks good in dark rooms thanks to its high native contrast. It doesn't have a local dimming feature, but most local dimming features on monitors don't perform well anyway.

    It's an excellent 4k gaming monitor because it has a 144Hz native refresh rate, and the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth allows you to play those high-frame-rate 4k games without issue from a compatible PC or the current-gen consoles. It also has an excellent response time that makes motion look smooth and has low input lag for a responsive feel while gaming. If your graphics card can't take full advantage of the monitor and you want something with a lower 1440p resolution, the Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T is also a great choice, but it isn't as good for console gaming as the M32UC because it doesn't support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.

    See our review

  5. Best Monitor For Programming In Bright Rooms

    While most programmers use their monitors in dark environments, there are a few great monitors available if you do your coding in a bright room. In that case, the Dell S2722QC is the best monitor for working and programming in bright offices and rooms. Like the Dell U2723QE, it has a 4k resolution with a 27-inch screen, meaning it has high pixel density and sharp text clarity, so you can easily read fine letters. It gets bright enough to fight glare, and the main difference with the U2723QE is that it has much better reflection handling, so visibility isn't a problem in most well-lit rooms.

    The monitor has good gray uniformity that makes full-screen webpages or programs with uniform colors look great, and the out-of-the-box accuracy is decent. It also has wide viewing angles if you want to show your work to a coworker or client, and the excellent ergonomics make it easy to adjust in an ideal viewing position.

    See our review

  6. Best Ultrawide Monitor For Programming

    The Gigabyte M34WQ is the best ultrawide monitor for programming 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. It has a good selection of inputs, meaning you can connect multiple devices. It has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode. However, 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.

    The 21:9 aspect ratio offers more horizontal screen space compared to 16:9 monitors, and the 3440x1440 resolution results in good text clarity. If you want something with an even wider screen and a 32:9 aspect ratio, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is also a great choice that looks great in dark rooms. However, it doesn't have any USB-C ports like the Gigabyte, so if you want to use a USB-C connection, the Gigabyte is the better choice.

    See our review

  7. Best Portable Monitor For Programming

    The world of programming often needs programmers to fix emergencies at any moment, and if you work on the go and on-call, a portable monitor is ideal for you. These types of monitors are different from typical desktop monitors because they're smaller and meant to be used as a secondary display with your laptop while you aren't at your desk. If this is something you're interested in, the Dell C1422H is the best portable monitor for programming. It has two USB-C ports, which is great if your laptop supports USB-C as you can easily connect to it, and it has a 14-inch display with a 1080p resolution. It means that it has excellent text clarity.

    It performs well if you need to use it in a well-lit environment, like on a train or at a coffee shop during the day, as it gets bright enough to fight some glare and has good reflection handling. However, it isn't as good in dark rooms because it has a low native contrast ratio, but many portable displays aren't good for dark environments anyway.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell U3223QE: The Dell U3223QE is essentially a larger variant of the Dell U2723QE, so get this if you want the bigger screen, but keep in mind that it also costs more. See our review
  • Lenovo ThinkVision M14: The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is extremely similar to the Dell C1422H, and there aren't many differences between either. Get whichever you can find cheaper, but the Lenovo currently costs more. See our review
  • Gigabyte M32U: The Gigabyte M32U is very similar to the Gigabyte M32UC. The main difference is their panel type, and the M32UC has better contrast, but if you want something with wider viewing angles instead, the M32U is the better choice. See our review
  • Dell Alienware AW3423DW: The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is a great ultrawide monitor that performs exceptionally in dark rooms due to its near-infinite contrast ratio. However, it has some text clarity issues, so it's better to go for the Gigabyte M34WQ for programming. See our review
  • Apple Studio Display: The Apple Studio Display is a great choice for bright rooms if you program on macOS because it's fully compatible with that OS. However, it has limited compatibility and connectivity if you want to use it with other OS, so that's why the Dell S2722QC is the better choice overall. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jul 21, 2022: Moved the Dell U2723QE to 'Best Monitor' and moved the Dell S3221QS to 'Best Mid-Range'; replaced the Samsung Odyssey G3 with the Dell S2721QS because it has a higher resolution; added the Dell S2722QC as 'Best For Bright Rooms'; added the Apple Studio Display to Notable Mentions.

  2. Jul 15, 2022: Complete restructuring to reflect user needs; replaced the Dell S2722QC with the Dell S3221QS, the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE with the Dell C1422H, and the Gigabyte G27Q with the Samsung Odyssey G3 because they're all better in dark rooms. Replaced the Gigabyte M32U with the Gigabyte M32UC and renamed to 'Best For Gaming'; removed the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD; added the Dell U2723QE as the 'Best For Mac'.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

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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