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The 5 Best Monitors For Programming - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best Monitors For Programming

Programming often requires you to multitask with a ton of windows open, and if that's what you need, you'll want a big monitor to open all your windows at once. While high-resolution monitors are a great choice for that as you can view more of your text at once with sharp clarity, there are also large ultrawide monitors available if you prefer something with more horizontal screen space. Don't only consider the size as you also want to look for other things in a monitor like good ergonomics, wide viewing angles, and a USB hub if you connect external devices.

We've bought and tested more than 260 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 Monitor For Programming

    The best programming monitor we've tested is the LG 38WN95C-W. It's a great overall display that's versatile for different uses, and it offers very good performance for work. It has a large 38-inch screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is great for programming because you can easily open multiple windows at once and multitask without having to open and close windows. It has a unique 3840x1600 resolution which results in good text clarity. If you want even better text clarity, the LG 40WP95C-W is a similar display with a 5120x2160 resolution, so text is extremely sharp, but it also costs a lot more for features you don't necessarily need for programming, like accurate colors.

    This monitor offers great connectivity with two USB-A ports and a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3. It means that you can connect a compatible laptop to display an image from it and charge it at the same time while you're working. It also has a Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you view images from two sources at once, which is great if you need to work with a laptop and computer at once.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Monitor For Programming

    If you're looking for something a bit cheaper in the upper mid-range price category or aren't a fan of the ultrawide format of the LG 38WN95C-W, check out the Dell U3223QE. It's also an impressive work monitor with a large 32-inch screen and 4k resolution, so while it doesn't offer as much screen space as the LG, it has improved pixel density for sharper text clarity. It means that you can easily read your coding text and view more lines at once, and the screen is big enough for multitasking with various windows open.

    It has extra features to improve your workflow, like a massive USB hub with three USB-C ports and five USB-A ports. It supports DisplayPort Alt Mode if you want to connect a laptop, and it has a KVM switch that makes it easy to use the same keyboard and mouse if you have two devices connected to the monitor. If you find the 32-inch screen too big, you can also find the Dell U2723QE, which has a 27-inch screen and costs a lot less for similar performance, and it's a better option if you're looking for something in the mid-range price category.

    See our review

  3. Best Lower Mid-Range Monitor For Programming

    If you find the Dell U3223QE too expensive, there are good options that are cheaper in the lower mid-range price category, like the Dell S2722QC. It's a step down from the U3223QE in terms of features because it has a smaller USB hub with a single USB-C port and two USB-A ports, and it doesn't have a KVM switch, so it isn't as good for multitasking, but that's what you have to expect for getting something cheaper. Still, it offers the same 4k resolution with fantastic text clarity, and although the screen is smaller, you can easily open two windows side-by-side.

    It's a great choice to use in well-lit rooms because it gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is also very good, even better than the U3223QE, meaning you won't have issues using it with some lights around. Luckily, it has wide viewing angles that make the image remain consistent from the sides, and with excellent ergonomics, it's easy to adjust the screen and share it with someone else if you need your coworker to look over your coding.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Monitor For Programming

    If you're looking for the best programming monitor on a budget, the Dell S2721QS is a good alternative. While it has the same 27-inch, 4k screen as the Dell S2722QC, it's cheaper because it's rather basic in features, but it's still a great choice for a budget model and delivers sharper text than other similarly-priced monitors. The incredible text clarity makes it easy to see more of your work at once, and the screen is big enough to multitask. If you aren't a fan of 4k screens and prefer a 1440p resolution, the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV is a good alternative and has more USB ports, but text doesn't look as sharp.

    It's great for sharing your screen with coworkers as it has wide viewing angles, and the stand offers impressive ergonomics, making it easy to adjust to an ideal viewing position. It's also a great choice for well-lit rooms as it gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is very good.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap Monitor For Programming

    If you want a cheap entry-level monitor that won't take up a lot of space, then the ASUS VG246H is a good option. With a smaller 24-inch screen and lower 1080p resolution than the Dell S2721QS, it's better to use it as a secondary display next to your main one, or it's also a good choice to use two next to each other for more screen space. Still, the text clarity is decent, and the picture quality is good thanks to its good reflection handling and decent SDR peak brightness, meaning you won't have problems with it in a bright room.

    It's pretty barebones in terms of features, which is what you have to expect for a cheaper monitor. Despite its low cost, it has remarkable ergonomics that make it easy to adjust the screen to your liking, and with wide viewing angles, the images look the same when viewing directly from directly in front or from the sides. It also has a flicker-free backlight that helps reduce eye strain during long work sessions.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Gigabyte M34WQ: The Gigabyte M34WQ is an ultrawide monitor like the LG 38WN95C-W with a smaller 34-inch screen and 3440x1440 resolution, so it's a good choice if you want something cheaper, but if you want the best monitor for developers with a wide screen, go for the LG. See our review
  • Dell S3221QS: The Dell S3221QS is larger than the Dell S2721QS, which is good if you want the extra screen space, but it also costs more and has worse ergonomics, so the S2721QS provides the best overall performance. See our review
  • HP X27q: The HP X27q is a cheap monitor that costs a bit more than the ASUS VG246H and has a larger 27-inch screen with a 1440p resolution. Get this if you want that size and resolution, but it also has worse ergonomics. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 18, 2023: Replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ and the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV with the Dell U3223QE and the Dell S2721QS because they're each better aligned with user needs for programming; renamed the Dell S2722QC to the 'Best Lower Mid-Range Monitor'; updated the Notable Mentions based on changes.

  2. Nov 10, 2022: Restructured article to reflect how programmers are looking for monitors; removed the Gigabyte M32UC, Dell S3422DWG, Dell S3221QS, Dell S2722DGM, and the Lenovo D27-30; added the LG 38WN95C-W, Gigabyte M34WQ, Dell S2722QC, ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, and the ASUS VG246H because they're all better-suited for productivity; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  3. Oct 06, 2022: Restructured article to reflect user needs for programming in the dark; Removed the Dell U2723QE, Dell S2722QC, Dell S2721QS, and the Dell C1422H because they all have a low contrast ratio; renamed the Gigabyte M32UC as the 'Best Monitor For Programming'; replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ with the Dell S3422DWG and renamed to 'Best Upper Mid-Range Monitor'; added the Dell S2722DGM and the Lenovo D27-30 to their respective categories; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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'.

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.