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 145 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 best dual setup monitor we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It's a versatile 4k model designed for productivity but with enough gaming performance to satisfy most casual gamers. On top of that, it has a budget-friendly price tag. It has a 27 inch IPS panel with wide viewing angles, which is especially important in a dual-monitor setup as images remain accurate at the sides even if you sit up close. It has thin borders that aren't distracting, and it allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments so that you can align it perfectly.
It's a great choice for content creators as it has an outstanding SDR color gamut with full sRGB coverage. It supports HDR with great coverage of the DCI P3 color space, but it doesn't display dark colors well due to its mediocre contrast ratio, and it doesn't get bright enough to produce vibrant colors. It does get bright enough to overcome glare, though, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in most lighting conditions. It has a 10-bit panel with superb gradient handling to minimize banding, and there are no signs of color bleed.
If you want to game, it has a good response time, low input lag, and VRR support. It has a pair of speakers built-in if you don't have dedicated ones, and its Picture-in-Picture mode lets you display two input signals at once. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, great for reducing eye strain on those long workdays. Overall, it's a monitor that's well-suited for a wide range of uses and one that most people should be satisfied with.
If you want something with better ergonomics, then check out the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. Like the Dell S2721QS, it's a 27 inch 4k monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate. However, it has a stand with better height, swivel, and tilt adjustments so that you can place it exactly how you want it. Unfortunately, even though it has a fast response time and low input ag, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing when gaming. On the upside, it has two USB-C ports that support DisplayPort Alt Mode, which lets you display an image from a compatible device while charging it at the same time.
Overall, the S2721QS is a better choice for most people because it performs almost identically to the U2720Q, it has VRR support, and it's significantly cheaper. However, if you want a monitor with a better stand, then go with the U2720Q.
The ASUS VG279QM is the best dual monitor setup for gaming that we've tested. It's a well-built gaming model with outstanding ergonomics, so you shouldn't have any issues placing the screen in an ideal viewing position. It has wide viewing angles, so even if it's your secondary monitor and you're viewing it at an angle, you get the same great image accuracy as if you were sitting right in front of it.
It has a native 240Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to an incredible 280Hz. It has native FreeSync support and is compatible with newer NVIDIA graphics cards. The response time at its max refresh rate is incredible, one of the best we've tested on a monitor, resulting in almost no motion blur, and it remains outstanding even at 60Hz. Its input lag at 280Hz is also really low, but it dramatically increases at 60Hz, so it's not ideal for console gaming. The picture quality is great, as it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it performs well in bright rooms because it gets bright enough to combat glare and has decent reflection handling.
Unfortunately, its 1080p resolution may be too limited for those looking to multitask, but it doesn't put too much stress on your graphics card when gaming. It also has a low contrast ratio, which is expected from an IPS panel. It also has built-in speakers, great if you don't have space on your desk for dedicated speakers. All in all, this is one of the best monitors for dual setup that we've tested.
If you prefer a monitor with native G-SYNC support to take full advantage of your NVIDIA graphics card, check out the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG. Its 165Hz refresh rate is lower than the 280Hz ASUS VG279QM and has much worse out-of-the-box color accuracy, but it has a higher 1440p resolution. It has everything most gamers need, such as an outstanding response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature, and a low input lag that stays low even at 60Hz. It also has wide viewing angles, and it performs well in bright rooms because it has great reflection handling. Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, and like the ASUS, it has a low contrast ratio. On the upside, it has RGB lighting on the back panel, setting the mood in your gaming setup.
If you want the best monitor for dual screen gaming, check out the ASUS, but if you want something with native G-SYNC support, check out the ViewSonic.
The best monitor for dual setup with a 1440p resolution in the budget category is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. Mainly designed for office use, it offers good all-around performance that most people should be happy with. It's well-built and has one of the best ergonomics we've tested, as you can swivel it 90 degrees in either direction.
It has a great 1440p resolution that delivers clear text, helps with productivity, and allows you to open multiple windows on the 27 inch screen. It has a 75Hz refresh rate that provides smoother motion than typical 60Hz monitors. It has an impressive response time, and the Black Frame Insertion feature helps clear up motion blur. Input lag is incredibly low for gaming, and it has FreeSync VRR support. The borders are thin, and the wide viewing angles make it ideal for sharing either of your screens with a coworker or client. It also has good out-of-the-box color accuracy and performs well in bright rooms with a great peak brightness and very good reflection handling.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, which is somewhat expected for a model in this price range. Also, blacks appear closer to gray due to the IPS panel. It technically doesn't have a flicker-free backlight, but it flickers at such a high frequency that most people shouldn't notice. Overall, it won't cost you much, and it's one of the best monitors for dual setup that we've tested.
If you want a monitor with a higher refresh rate that's better suited for gaming, then check out the Gigabyte G27QC. Although it also has a 1440p resolution, it's very different than the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It has a curved VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, making it a much better choice for dark rooms. However, it comes at the cost of poor viewing angles, which means that images can look a bit washed out at the sides, especially if you like to sit up close. It has a lower input lag and a 165Hz refresh rate to provide a significantly more responsive gaming experience, and it has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Unfortunately, it has sub-par ergonomics and doesn't allow for swivel adjustment and rotation to portrait mode. Also, it doesn't get as bright, so you may have some visibility issues in well-lit rooms.
Overall, the ASUS is a better choice for productivity due to its superior ergonomics, wider viewing angles, and higher peak brightness. However, if you want a budget monitor for your dual setup with a higher refresh rate, then go with the Gigabyte.
12/15/2020: Replaced LG 27UK650-W with Dell S2721QS, replaced ASUS VG279Q with Gigabyte G27QC.
10/23/2020: Replaced the Dell U2718Q with the U2720Q; added the ASUS ProArt PA278QV and moved the ASUS VG279Q as the '144Hz Alternative'.
08/24/2020: Replaced the Dell S2417DG and the Dell S2716DG with the ASUS VG279QM and the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG. Added the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q to Notable Mentions.
06/23/2020: Replaced the Dell U2415 with the ASUS VG279Q as the budget pick.
04/24/2020: Added LG 27UK650-W as the main pick, moved the Dell U2718Q to an alternative pick, and the Dell U2518D was moved to notable mentions.
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.