In 2021, what is the best monitor for programming?
In this guide, I will present a selection of the best PC screens for programming. Programming and coding are the most sought-after areas at the moment.
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The monitor is not the only component needed for programming, however it becomes essential for developers who perform several tasks simultaneously on their computers.It is important to choose your computer screen according to these professional or personal uses (especially if you spend many hours behind your screen which increases your eye strain).
It is important to choose a monitor of the right size that allows you to open several windows. A flicker-free monitor is highly recommended, since backlighting can cause eye strain or headaches when used intensely. Some programmers also prefer to work on multiple monitors to allow you to open an editor on one side, and another software on the other side.
We will therefore review the 11 best monitors for programming with their pros and cons for each one.
Let’s start with the comparison table below.
Best Monitor for programming
Comparison of Monitors for Programming
|Monitor Model||Size||Resolution||Refresh Rate||Display Type||Price|
|Dell U3818DW||38″||3840×1600||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|Dell UltraSharp U2720Q||27″||3840×2160||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|LG 34WN80C-B||34″||3440×1440||60 Hz||LED||Shop now at Amazon|
|Dell U2518D||25″||2560×1440||60Hz||LED||Shop now at Amazon|
|ViewSonic VX2778-SMHD||27″||2560×1440||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|Dell Ultrasharp U2415||24″||1920×1200||60 Hz||LED||Shop now at Amazon|
|HP VH240a||24″||1920×1080||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|LG 34WK650-W||34″||2560×1080||75 Hz||LCD/IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q||27″||3840×2160||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|Dell P4317Q||43″||3840×2160||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
|BenQ PD3200U||32″||3840×2160||60 Hz||IPS||Shop now at Amazon|
Dell U3818DW : Best Ultrawide Monitor
- Get an immersive experience and enjoy incredible visuals on this 38 inches WQHD+ curved screen with infinity edge
- Complete your work projects and enjoy home entertainment with vivid visuals, accurate color and sharp details.
- Connect up to six compatible RF devices or Bluetooth 4.0
The Dell U3818DW monitor is one of the best ultra-wide screen programming monitors on the market. It offers a resolution of 3840×1600 pixels with an aspect ratio of 21:9. This screen size is really optimal for reading text. Its screen is slightly curved which increases the visibility on the edges and thanks to its IPS panel the image is not degraded.
For programmers who work with several programs, the screen offers a frame-by-frame mode which allows to display an image from two sources simultaneously. To reduce eye strain, the screen has a flicker-free backlight, which is ideal when working for several hours in front of the screen.
In terms of connectivity, the display has four USB 3.0 ports and one USB-C port (ideal for connecting a phone or connecting a laptop with the Alt DisplayPort mode). It is possible to connect these components in bluetooth, interesting if you want to share the screen of your phone for example.
The Dell U3818DW monitor is especially suitable for bright rooms with excellent reflection management, however, its contrast ratio is rather low in the dark.
Apart from this slight disadvantage, it remains one of the best monitors of 2021, I recommend it if you are looking for a large screen for programming.
Dell UltraSharp U2720Q: The Best mid-range Monitor
- Create an efficient workspace with the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) LED Backlit LCD IPS USB-C Monitor (7GZ651)
- Sleek design - 27 inch diagonal 4K UHD IPS screen with vibrant 3840 x 2160 resolution and thin profile that supports virtually seamless multi-display setups
- Exceptional visuals - see consistent, vibrant colors across a wide viewing angle enabled by In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology
In our list, most of the monitors are from Dell, but there is a good reason for that. Dell offers a great range of monitors and is a perfect match for your programming needs. The U2720Q monitor offers a large 27-inch screen with 4K resolution. This allows you to have an extraordinary image quality. It also has three USB 3.0 ports as well as two USB-C ports which allows you to install all its configuration without connectivity issues. If you spend long hours in front of your screen, the flicker-free backlight and light filter helps reduce eye strain. This monitor is one of the best value for money on the market.
LG 34WN80C-B: The Best Ultrawide Curved Monitor
- 34” 21: 9 WQHD (3440 X 1440) Curved IPS display
- USB type-C connectivity
- HDR 10 compatible
Its 21:9 aspect ratio coupled with the QHD UltraWide™ display offering 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution is ideal for efficient programming. You’ll have no worries about working on multiple software programs in a split screen. This also allows simultaneous monitoring of large amounts of footage for video editing, and many audio plugins and effects can be displayed at the same time.
USB Type-C™ support allows for charging the latest generation of laptops and fast data transfer. It is also compatible with Mac* devices. The LG 34WN80C-B only needs one cable to put the finishing touch on your mobile workstation.
- Diagonal size: 34″.
- LCD screen with LED backlight
- Format: 3440 x 1440 at 60 Hz / 21:9 (Panavision / Cinemascope)
- AH-IPS panel – Incurved – 8 bits + FRC – 5 ms
- Base adjustments : Tilt – Height
- Equipment : USB Hub
- Main video connectors : HDMI (x2) – DisplayPort – USB-C 3.1 Gen 1
- Technologies : HDR (HDR10) – 3H – Mega Contrast – Flicker-Safe
- 63.44 cm diagonal viewing size
- 2560 x 1440 at 60 Hz maximum resolution
- 16: 9 aspect ratio
The Dell UltraSharp U2518D monitor delivers a high-precision display with a 25-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution screen. With Dell HDR technology, this monitor combines superior color depth, remarkable clarity and high contrast to create stunning images.
With its ultra-thin frame, you’ll have the flexibility to install multiple displays. Its ergonomic stand allows you to adjust the height to 130 mm. In addition, you can rotate 90° and a horizontal rotation of +45°/-45° is possible.
- Diagonal size: 25″.
- LCD screen with LED backlight
- Format: 2560 x 1440 (Wide) / 16:9
- TFT IPS panel – 5 ms
- Base settings: Rotation – Tilt – Height – Pivot
- Equipment : USB Hub
- Main video connectors: HDMI – DisplayPort – Mini DisplayPort
- Technologies : HDR – Overdrive – Flicker-Free – ComfortView
- Surface treatments : Anti-reflection
- Hard Coating
- FORM & FUNCTION: With modern design, 2K WQHD (2560x1440p) resolution, and premium IPS panel, this monitors look as good as it performs
- AMAZING AT ANY ANGLE: A SuperClear IPS panel ensures stunning views no matter your vantage point
- ENHANCED VIEWING COMFORT: Flicker-Free technology and Blue Light Filter for all-day comfort
If you’re looking for a monitor with an elegant design and exceptional sharpness, I recommend the ViewSonic VX2778-SMHD. This 27″ and 16:9 aspect ratio LED display has a screen resolution of 2560 × 1440 and features a borderless display (a frameless edge-to-edge glass faceplate on an ultra-thin bezel underneath).
Its viewing angle of 178 degrees guarantees a sharp image even if you view the screen from one side or from the bottom up. It is also equipped with SuperClear technology (IPS).
Connectivity level, it is possible to quickly connect these devices thanks to the various ports present on this monitor (HDMI, DisplayPort 1.4 or Mini DisplayPort).
If you don’t want to invest in speakers (to save space for example) the ViewSonic VX2778-SMHD is equipped with a dual speaker that allows you to listen to music, follow a meeting in peace.
The main disadvantages are the absence of a DVI port and the display support which bends slightly.
Dell Ultrasharp U2415
- 24-inch WUXGA Monitor (1920x1200) at 60Hz, 16:10 Aspect Ratio
- 1000:1 Contrast Ratio, 16.78 Million Colors, 6ms Response Time. Enhanced power management with PowerNap enables the Dell Display Manager to either dim the monitor to the minimum brightness level or...
- Viewing Angel: 178/178, Widescreen Anti-Glare Display, Security Lock Slot
UltraSharp U2415 offers all the features any programmer would look for at a more than affordable price. The 24-inch monitor features 1920×1200 screen resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Its frame is thin with a minimalist design (which does not displease me on the contrary). It is designed to be used in a work environment. For programmers who prefer to have a vertical view of their screen, you can rotate the monitor by 90 degrees.
Its response time is 6ms, which also satisfies gamers to improve their performance on games. Its refresh rate is 60 hertz.
Connections are varied: HDMI, Mini DP, DP, audio line output, USB 3.0 with USB 3.0 upstream port.
It works on all operating systems (Windows,Linux,MacOS)
This monitor is also Climate Pledge Friendly, which means it is committed to respecting the environment.
HP VH240a : Best Budget Monitor
- RESOLUTION & PANEL — 23.8-inch Full HD monitor (1920 x 1080p at 60 Hz) with 16:9 aspect ratio and an anti-glare matte IPS LED-backlit panel (2 million pixels, 16.7 million colors)
- RESPONSE TIME — 5ms with overdrive for a smooth picture that looks crisp and fluid without motion blur
- BUILT-IN SPEAKERS — Integrated audio speakers provide great sound for your content (2 watts per channel)
If you don’t want to invest a fortune in a screen, the HP VH240a is for you. This monitor offers a 24-inch screen with a 1920x1080p resolution in FULL HD. Its aspect ratio is 16:9 and features a matte anti-glare LED backlit IPS panel (2 million pixels, 16.7 million colors).
Its screen is large enough to allow you to work serenely on several tasks at the same time. The screen can be rotated 90 degrees from horizontal to vertical.
Its response time is 5ms with an overdrive to have a fluid image that looks sharp and fluid without the impression of motion blur.
Connectivity level, this monitor has an HDMI port and a VGA port. It seems little but depending on your work it may be sufficient. It is also equipped with speakers directly integrated into the monitor with a power of 2watts per channel.
It is also possible to mount the screen on a wall mount with a 100mm VESA mounting scheme (You can find a wall mount by clicking here).
LG 34WK650-W 34″ UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor
- 34 inch ultrawide 21:9 full HD IPS monitor with HDR 10 and amd freesync (2018)
- HDR10 compatible; Tilt (Angle): 5 to15 Degree
- AMD free sync technology
For many programmers, the use of multiple screens is often necessary when working with different tools or software. The LG 34WK650-W makes up for this with its ultra-wide 34-inch FULL HD screen with a resolution of 2560x1080p. With LG’s Screen Split 2.0 technology, it is possible to split the screen into multiple virtual screens or choose the frame-by-frame option. The viewing angle is 178 degrees which guarantees a sharp image on each end of the screen. Its sRGB color gamut is 99%. It is possible to tilt the screen from 5 to 15 degrees maximum.
With the Flicker Safe technology, the flicker becomes almost invisible on the screen and relieves our eyes with the reader mode which creates a screen with a color temperature similar to that of paper. For ferrous video game programmers, AMD FreeSync technology allows the player to enjoy smooth movements by eliminating screen tears and stuttering (only works if the monitor is connected to HDMI).
Its refresh rate is 75 hertz, which makes movements smoother. The monitor is also equipped with 5watt stereo dual-speakers with MaxxAudio to enhance sound immersion. The monitor has two HDMI ports and one DP port.
Dell UltraSharp U2718Q : Best 4k Monitor for programming
- Exceptional details, ultimate efficiency — a 27” 4K screen with incredibly thin bezels — ideal for multiple monitor setup
- Hone in on every task with a multi-monitor setup and experience a virtually seamless view thanks to ultrathin bezels
- Dell HDR combines greater depth of colors, remarkable clarity and a high contrast range of shades to create strikingly realistic images. Colour Support:1.07 billion colours
The Dell UltraSharp U2718Q is a monitor with 4K resolution, these types are more and more common in the market but this monitor is still a reference in this business. With its 27-inch screen, the image details are exceptional with an impressive efficiency. This monitor combines one of the largest color depths, with a clarity and a range of nuances that offer images of striking realism (It supports 1.07 billion colors; simply incredible). With this wide and accurate color gamut, you can make graphics or video without any problems.
The design of the frame is very thin in order to allow to configure several monitors if desired. It is possible to fix this monitor to the wall, VESA compliant, to save space on your desk. The Dell UltraSharp U2718Q can also be rotated 90 degrees to provide a vertical display, often required by programmers.
You’ll be able to multi-task and stay organized with Easy Arrange technology, a feature that allows you to mosaic and view applications side by side – useful for people who don’t want to invest in multiple monitors.
Its refresh rate is 60 Hertz. You can connect up to six compatible RF devices or Bluetooth 4.0 via Dell Universal Pairing.
Supported Operating System : Windows 10, 8.1. 7
Here is a video presentation of the Dell UltraSharp U2718Q :
Dell P4317Q : Best Large Screen
- This Certified Refurbished product is certified factory refurbished and comes with a 90-day warranty
- 4K large screen experience: The 43" display with high-performance monitor scalar offers exceptional clarity up to Ultra HD 4K
- Multi-client capabilities: Connect up to four independent clients to a single monitor with customized views, all without bezel breaks, so you can take total command of your tasks. Easy on IT: RS232...
For programmers who do not wish to work with multiple displays, the Dell P4317Q is a solution. With its massive 43-inch screen, it is possible to display four separate displays with a resolution of 1920x1080p or a single display with ULTRA HD 4K resolution. Dell’s Display Manager software makes it easy to exchange inputs, zoom in on one of them and resize to rearrange them on the screen.
In terms of connectivity, the P4317Q provides :
1 x DP 1.2 / 1 x mDP 1.2 / 2 x HDMI 1.4 (MHL) / 1 x VGA / 1 x USB 3.0 port – Upstream / 4 x USB 3.0 port / 1 x audio input / 1 x headphone output / 1 x RS232
BenQ PD3200U : Best Design for a Monitor
- Exclusive AQCOLOR technology covers a wide variety of color spaces such as Adobe RGB, sRGB, Rec. 709, ensuring the colors on your screen are the brightest, boldest and most accurate
- View files side-by-side with DualView. Easily compare photos and videos in specialized CAD/CAM, darkroom or animation Display modes next to each other on one screen
- Ergonomic features allows you to customize your viewing experience with a tilt, twist or turn. Adjust the screen height or rotate to portrait mode for added comfort and workflow efficiency
The BenQ PD3200U is a 32-inch monitor with 4K UHD resolution. Equipped with BenQ’s Eye-Care technology, this monitor eliminates flicker and also filters out blue light. This helps reduce the eye strain that many programmers face when working for hours in front of their monitors.
You can also display multiple software or editors side by side with DualView technology.
Ergonomic features allow you to customize your viewing experience with a 90-degree tilt, twist or rotation. Adjust screen height or rotate in portrait mode for a more comfortable and efficient workflow. Refresh rate is 60 hertz.
The PD3200U has one HDMI port, one DisplayPort, one MiniDisplayPort and six USB 3.0 (2 up, 4 down).
How to Choose the Best Monitor for Programming
Before you decide on a good monitor, there are several things to consider. We will review the different factors that should be included in your monitor according to your needs.
Best Monitor for Programming : Display Panel
About ten years ago, CRT (cathode ray tube monitor) technology was the standard. But since then it has been totally replaced by TFT technology (liquid crystal display LCD).
Nowadays, four major TFT panel manufacturers share the market, namely Samsung, LG, AUO and CMI.
These manufacturers offer three main types of panels:
- TN (Twisted Nematic) : these are the fastest and most economical. They are generally the most suitable for gaming, but they have the drawback of producing a swarm in the videos and offer reduced viewing angles. It is the most widespread model today.
- VA (Vertical Alignment) : Still offered as MVA by AU Optronics, Sharp and CMO, PVA by Samsung, VA displays have significantly advanced LCDs for color. The screens of this type were so slow that they could not be used for players in action games (the famous persistence). Some high-end VA tiles are nowadays well suited for gaming.
- IPS (In Plane Switching) : IPS panels are still ardently supported and developed by LG. They have the advantage of being halfway between TN and VA: good color rendering, more or less satisfactory reactivity, very wide viewing angles.
For programming and coding, the TN monitor is not recommended at all, a VA or IPS monitor is preferable. This is because these monitors offer better color rendering, better contrast, better resolution and wider viewing angles.
The IPS is one notch lower since there is less backlight bleeding, less black level and fewer color bands.
Best Monitor for Programming : Viewing angle
It is the angle of vision in relation to the axis of symmetry of the screen.
The vertical and horizontal angle of view often varies between 120 degrees and 160 degrees. By increasing this angle of view, the user will have less need to be in front of his computer. This is not necessarily a problem if the viewing angle is small, since you usually stand in front of the screen.
Best Monitor for Programming : Contrast ratio
The contrast ratio is expressed for example as follows: 600:1. The higher this number is, the deeper the black colors will appear. This is very useful if you are a regular consumer of movies, series or video games. It also depends on the panel used for the monitor, it does not offer the same rendering with a similar contrast ratio.
Best Monitor for Programming : Brightness
The brightness corresponds to the brightness of the screen expressed in cd/m². More the figure is large, more the luminosity will be important. This characteristic is not essential and the screens generally propose the same luminosity.
Best Monitor for Programming : Response time
For video game enthusiasts, this is a very important factor.
Indeed, a high response time leaves an impression of a trace when moving around the screen called the ghosting.
In general, the larger the panel, the longer the response time increases.
Best Monitor for Programming : Format, resolution, screen density
The 16/9 format is the most common format currently used on monitors. On the large sizes, it is often the 21/9 format which is preferred. The screens 16/10 have the advantage of being higher, they are interesting for office automation or programming.
The resolution of the screen corresponds to the number of pixels in width times the number of pixels in height. The Full HD resolution is 1920×1080. In high-end monitors, 2K or 1440p (2560×1440 WQHD) and 4K (3840×2160 UHD) resolutions are developing strongly. There are also high-end monitors with intermediate resolutions of 2560×1080 or 3440×1440.
The density of the screen is related to the size of the pixels. A 22-inch screen in full HD resolution will have a higher density than a 24-inch screen in the same full HD resolution. The 22-inch screen will therefore be less easy to read, the texts will be written smaller.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a 4K monitor for programming?
For programmers, there is no need to invest in a 4K monitor. The only advantage is that 4K monitors tend to be larger than 1080p monitors in addition to offering superior image quality. On the other hand, if you like to play new games or edit photos in addition to programming, it might be worthwhile to invest in a 4K monitor.
What monitor size for programming?
At the minimum, it is recommended to choose a resolution of 1440p. As for the screen size, a 24″ monitor is already good for coding. For an optimal size, choose a 32 inch screen instead, so you can see more lines of code.
Is it worthwhile to use a curved monitor for coding?
For coding, curved monitors will have very little impact. It allows you to have an elegant look. I would advise you to go for a large screen with a better resolution.
In this guide we have reviewed the best monitors for programming for 2020. There are many models to choose from and it can be difficult to choose from all of them. It will depend on your need, so you know which one looks exactly like what you’re looking for!
I hope this guide has helped you in our choice, I have tried to provide complete information on these monitors. Feel free to send me comments if you hesitate between several models. I will be happy to answer them!
Thank you very much for reading this article on the best monitor for programming.
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See you soon!