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 165 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, it has a 60Hz refresh rate, and there's no VRR support. One thing to note about the USB-C port is that it can only carry 65W of power, which might not be enough to charge more power-hungry laptops. Nonetheless, it's a good office monitor 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. 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 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 up to 280Hz, and its VRR support includes native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility. The response time at its max refresh rate is incredible, one of the best we've tested on a monitor, which results in almost no motion blur. Its input lag at 280Hz is also really low, but it dramatically increases at 60Hz, so it's not ideal for 60fps console gaming. 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. However, it doesn't put too much stress on your graphics card when gaming, which means that you can achieve higher frame rates. It also has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray in the dark, although that's typical for IPS panels. It has built-in speakers, great if you don't have space on your desk for dedicated ones. All in all, this is one of the best monitors for dual setup that we've tested.
If you find the ASUS VG279QM's 1080p resolution too low, then consider the Gigabyte M27Q. It has a 1440p resolution that's much better suited for a 27 inch screen size, resulting in sharper text and images. It's also an IPS monitor with wide viewing angles and great peak brightness. Response times are exceptional, but it has a lower 170Hz refresh rate. That said, it should be enough to provide a smooth and responsive gaming experience that should please most gamers. It comes with tons of features, like Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture, a USB-C port with DisplayPort Alt Mode, and an integrated KVM switch that lets you control two computers with one set of peripherals. The ergonomics are poor, so it's best to VESA-mount it if you need better adjustability. One important note about this monitor is its BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect image quality, but it can cause blurry text in some instances, which might bother some people, especially if you plan to use it for work.
Overall, the ASUS provides a smoother gaming experience due to its higher refresh rate and faster response times. However, if you find its 1080p resolution too low, then go with 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. It has the best stand we've seen on any monitor because it allows for all manner of adjustment, 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.
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'.
Aug 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.
Jun 23, 2020: Replaced the Dell U2415 with the ASUS VG279Q as the budget pick.
Apr 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.