The best dual monitor setups provide a great deal of freedom, make it much easier to multitask, and provide a more immersive gaming experience. When shopping for monitors for a dual setup, the selection criteria are a bit different. Most people look for thinner bezels, so there's less space between the displays. Dual monitor setups can either be VESA mounted or simply displayed side-by-side on the same desk, in which case great ergonomics are a must.
We've tested over 180 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors for a dual setup to purchase. See also our recommendations for the best office monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best 34 inch+ monitors.
The Dell UltraSharp U2721DE is the best dual setup monitor with a daisy chain feature that we've tested. It's a good IPS monitor that's designed for office use. It has a large 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution, providing you plenty of space for multitasking. The stand allows for all manner of adjustments so that you can place the screen however you like. Viewing angles are decent, and it gets bright enough to combat glare.
It's a great option for those looking to create a clean and minimalist setup. It has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, which lets you display a signal from a compatible device and charge it simultaneously. When used in a dual monitor setup, you can daisy chain the first monitor to the second one using just a DisplayPort cable, which means that you don't need to have multiple video outputs. On top of that, the bezels are incredibly thin, making the dual setup look almost seamless.
Unfortunately, this monitor isn't the best choice for gaming. The response times are only decent, and it has a 60Hz refresh rate, so motion doesn't look very smooth. The USB-C port can only carry 65W of power, which might not be enough to charge more power-hungry laptops. Nonetheless, it's one of the best monitors for dual setup that should please most people, and it'll help keep your setup clean with as few cables as possible.
If you prefer a smaller monitor, then check out the Dell UltraSharp U2520D. Like the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE, it's a 1440p IPS monitor, but it has a smaller 25 inch screen, which increases text clarity. It has two USB-C ports, one of which supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, and it can also daisy chain to a second monitor using a single DisplayPort cable. It has wider viewing angles, HDR support, and much faster response times. Its smaller screen size doesn't offer as much real estate, but because it has the same 1440p resolution, the pixel density is higher, making images and text look sharper.
Overall, the U2721DE and the U2520D are very similar, and choosing between them depends entirely on your preference. The U2721DE offers more screen space, but the U2520D has a higher pixel density, wider viewing angles, and HDR support.
The best dual monitor for gaming is the ASUS VG279QM. It's an excellent option with a high 240Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 280Hz over a DisplayPort connection. It's very well-built with solid plastic, and the stand offers fantastic ergonomics, making it easy to place in an ideal viewing position. If you want to wall-mount it, it has a VESA 100x100 slot.
The VG279QM offers all the features gamers are looking for. It has native FreeSync support, and it's G-SYNC compatible in case you have an NVIDIA graphics card. Thanks to its high refresh rate, it has incredibly quick response times and motion looks very smooth. Input lag is very low if you game at its max refresh rate, but it increases at 60Hz, so it's not the best choice for console gaming. It has wide viewing angles so the image remains accurate no matter how you position the screen, and it gets bright enough to combat glare and has decent reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room.
Sadly, the 1080p resolution may be too limiting for some, but this allows it to achieve higher frame rates. However, this also means it has only decent text clarity, but if you want a smaller screen with higher pixel density, then check out the similar ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM. Regardless of this, the VG279QM is the best dual monitor setup for gaming.
If you prefer something with a higher 1440p resolution, then look into the Gigabyte M27Q. It has a lower refresh rate than the ASUS VG279QM, but you can still reach 170Hz for a smooth gaming experience. Input lag is very low and remains low at 60Hz, which is great, and there's almost no motion blur thanks to the quick response times. The 1440p resolution helps deliver clear images, but the panel has a BGR subpixel format, which not all programs may support. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in most well-lit environments because it gets bright enough to combat glare and has decent reflection handling. Sadly, the stand doesn't offer any swivel adjustments, so it may be difficult to place in an ideal viewing position.
If you want the best monitor for dual-screen gaming, then you can't go wrong with the ASUS, but if you prefer something with a higher 1440p resolution, then check out the Gigabyte.
The best monitor for dual setup in the budget category is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. This great office monitor has a 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution, so you get plenty of screen real estate for multitasking as well as sharp images and text. The stand allows for all manner of adjustments, making it easy to place the screen in an ideal viewing position. It has great viewing angles and provides good visibility in bright settings.
It has an excellent color gamut with near-full sRGB coverage and decent Adobe RGB coverage. Gradient handling is amazing, and there are no signs of color bleed, which is great for content creators. Its 75Hz refresh rate makes everything feel just a bit more responsive than a typical 60Hz panel, like when moving the mouse or scrolling through a document quickly. Along with its low input lag, great response time, and VRR support, you can get a pretty good gaming experience.
Unfortunately, like most budget monitors, it doesn't support HDR. There are four USB 3.0 ports, with two of them located on the side for easy access. It has an analog audio in port that allows you to play audio from an external device using the built-in speakers in case you don't have dedicated ones. The backlight is flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain. Overall, it's a great and versatile budget monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you want a monitor that delivers a better gaming experience, then check out the Gigabyte G27Q. Like the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, it's also a 27 inch 1440p IPS monitor. The biggest difference is that it has a much higher 144Hz refresh rate, which makes gaming feel smoother and more responsive. It has better response times at max refresh rate but not at 60Hz, so it's not the best option for 60fps console gaming. It supports HDR and can deliver a pretty decent experience in games, but it doesn't get bright enough for a true cinematic HDR experience and lacks local dimming. Unfortunately, its ergonomics are significantly worse because it can't swivel or rotate to portrait mode.
If you're mainly looking for a monitor for work, go with the ASUS because it has much better ergonomics. However, if you want a dedicated gaming monitor, then go with the Gigabyte.
Jun 14, 2021: Verified picks for availability; added the Gigabyte G27QC and the Acer Nitro XV272U to Notable Mentions.
Apr 15, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
Feb 15, 2021: Minor structure changes. Removed Dell S2721QS, Dell UltraSharp U2720Q, and ViewSonic Elite XG270QG. Added Dell UltraSharp U2721DE, Dell UltraSharp U2520D, and Gigabyte M27Q. Replaced Acer Nitro XF243Y with Gigabyte G27Q.
Dec 15, 2020: Replaced LG 27UK650-W with Dell S2721QS, replaced ASUS VG279Q with Gigabyte G27QC.
Oct 23, 2020: Replaced the Dell U2718Q with the U2720Q; added the ASUS ProArt PA278QV and moved the ASUS VG279Q as the '144Hz Alternative'.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for a dual setup 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.