Using two monitors in your setup has a few benefits, as you can easily multitask with windows open on both screens. When looking for monitors for your setup, you have to think about how many video ports your computer has. It helps if it has two video ports so that you can connect each monitor separately, and most modern computers won't have any problems outputting two signals at once, including up to 4k. However, if your PC only has one output, then one of the monitors you get needs to support daisy chaining for you to connect a second display.
While you can buy any two monitors, some brands and retailers sell two-in-one monitor bundles. However, those are usually cheaper and smaller displays that aren't special, so if your budget allows for it, getting two units of any higher-end model is the best way to go. While you can get any combination of sizes you prefer, 27-inch and smaller displays are popular in multi-monitor setups, as bigger displays can take up too much space.
We've bought and tested over 295 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors to buy for a dual setup. See our recommendations for the best work monitors and the best vertical monitors. However, if you think a dual monitor setup isn't right for you, it may be worth looking for the best ultrawide monitors instead.
The Dell U2723QE is the best monitor for dual setup we've tested. Its 27-inch screen offers enough space for multitasking, especially if you place two windows side-by-side, and its 4k resolution helps deliver sharp text. It has remarkable ergonomics, meaning it's easy to adjust to your ideal viewing position. It's an impressive office monitor with many connectivity options, including a DisplayPort output, so you can daisy chain a second monitor, which is useful if your computer only has one video output.
If you need to connect multiple devices to your dual monitor setup, this display is also a great choice, as it has a KVM switch. You can connect your mouse and keyboard directly to the monitor and control both devices with them. Its 90W of power delivery on one of the USB-C ports is also enough to keep your laptop's battery going while you work. In terms of picture quality, it displays a wide range of colors with excellent accuracy, and even though it has disappointing reflection handling, it gets bright enough to fight glare, which is great if you want to use it in a well-lit room.
If you don't need all the extra features of the Dell U2723QE and prefer getting something cheaper, check out the Dell S2722QC instead. It's a lower-end model compared to the U2723QE, and it often goes on sale for a low cost, but the main trade-off is that it has a smaller USB hub and fewer features. It doesn't support daisy chaining like the U2723QE, so your PC needs two video ports to connect to each monitor separately. It doesn't have a KVM switch either, so you can't easily switch between two devices and use the same keyboard and mouse, and instead of the five USB-A ports on the U2723QE, it only has two.
Besides that, it's still an excellent productivity monitor because it has a 27-inch screen with a 4k resolution that produces remarkable text clarity. Although it doesn't have a dedicated sRGB mode like the U2723QE, its image accuracy is still decent enough for everyday use. On top of that, its reflection handling is even better than on the U2723QE, and combined with its great SDR peak brightness, you won't have issues using it in a bright room.
If you're looking for the best secondary monitor at a budget-friendly price, consider the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV. It has a lower 1440p resolution than the Dell S2722QC, meaning text isn't as sharp, but that's the sacrifice you need to make for something cheaper. Despite that, it still has decent text clarity, and the 27-inch screen offers enough space even if you want to put two windows side-by-side. On the plus side, it even supports daisy chaining with a DisplayPort output, which is great if your laptop only has one video output and you need to connect your two monitors to each other. If you don't need that, you can also check out the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, a slightly cheaper model that doesn't support daisy chaining.
The PA278CV has outstanding ergonomics; you can even rotate it into portrait mode, making it easy to adjust next to another display. It has fantastic image accuracy before calibration, so you don't need to calibrate it if you're a content creator. However, it doesn't support HDR, so if that's important to you, the Dell UltraSharp U2520D is another 1440p option that does, but it costs more.
If you're looking for the best secondary monitor for cheap, check out the ASUS VG246H. Getting a cheap monitor is beneficial if you're on a tight budget and don't need anything special, but there are a few trade-offs. It has a smaller 24-inch screen than the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and a lower 1080p resolution, meaning images aren't as detailed, but the text clarity is still decent. It doesn't support daisy chaining either, but that's the case with most cheap displays, and you'll just need to make sure your PC has two video outputs.
Fortunately, its smaller screen makes fitting two monitors next to each other easier if you have a small desk. Besides that, it offers good office performance for its cost as it has remarkable ergonomics, letting you easily adjust the screen how you want. It's fine in a moderately lit room thanks to its good reflection handling and decent peak brightness. However, if you want something even brighter, the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is another good cheap option, but it's harder to find.
Nov 15, 2023: Removed the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV and renamed the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV to 'Best Budget Monitor' because both monitors are similar in price and performance, and the PA278CV supports daisy chaining; added the Dell U3223QE 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.