Programming is one of the most popular jobs in our century. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or an amateur programmer, you definitely need a good monitor setup to write code effectively. Choosing the best monitor for programming can be intimidating for programmers because there are tons of monitor brands, screen sizes, resolutions and monitor setups and etc. You should also give attention to topics like budget, display panel, multi-monitor setups, rotation and more.
What has changed in 2017 – 2018?
In late 2017 and 2018, 4K monitors has started to be cheaper and affordable. Of course you can build a programming monitor setup with 1080p or 1440p monitors and you would be totally happy with the results. But if you are not on a budget and want to use your new system for more than 7-8 years, you can buy 4K monitors.
This guide will help you to choose the best monitor (or monitors) for programming. We have made a research in Reddit, programming forums, coding communities, Amazon and many more sources. We have also updated our recommended products for 2017 and 2018. Below, you can find the most popular monitors among programmers. After that, you can see our recommended products for different budgets and setups. And then, you can learn the things you need to consider when choosing a monitor for programming. Let’s get to work.
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Monitor Setup Ideas for Programming (For Each Budget)
If you want to build a monitor setup for programming, your budget is the most important factor. So we will try to recommend a proper monitor setup for each budget. We have made a research in Reddit, Amazon reviews, forums and many other sites to determine popular setups among programmers. Below, you can find a few recommended monitor setups for programming and you can choose the best one that fits your needs. After these setups, you can find the details of the choosing process below.
2 or 3 x 1080p Monitors
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In our research, we saw that monitor setups with two or three 1080p monitors are still popular in 2017 and there are reasons for that. Full HD monitors are really purchasable these days because they are cheap and they provide enough space for most of your activities. Most of the programmers use 2 or 3 of them to create a professional programming setup. For best performance, you should choose a 1080p monitor with 22 to 24 inches screen, IPS panel and thin frames. Then buy 2 or 3 pairs of them. You can also choose a monitor that works in portrait mode and create a setup like this one. So, you can create a decent programming setup with 2 or 3 1080p monitors, without spending a fortune.
HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-inch IPS LED Backlit Monitor
HP Pavilion 22cwa is one of the best selling full hd monitors on the market. It has 7ms response time with an 21.5″ anti-glare IPS display for smooth pictures. There are VGA, HDMI and HDCP ports on it so you can connect several devices to it. You can easily build a multi-monitor programming setup with this monitor thanks to it micro-edge design.
ASUS PB238Q 23″ Full HD IPS Monitor
ASUS PB238Q is a 23″ monitor with full HD IPS display. It has HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA and 4 USB 2.0 ports on it. This monitor is VESA mountable and has built-in speakers. You can use 2 or 3 ASUS PB238Q in portrait mode for a better setup. In Reddit and some other forums, this one is a very popular monitor among programmers.
ASUS Designo MX239H, MX259Ha and MX279H Full HD IPS Monitor
ASUS Designo MX2x9 series monitors are very popular among programmers and most of them are really happy using these monitors. There are 23″, 25″ and 27″ models and you can pick the one suits you. All these monitors come with IPS display panel, built-in speakers, HDMI and VGA ports. These ASUS Designo MX2x9 monitors are frameless so you can build a great multi-monitor setup.
Acer R240HY bidx 23.8″ Full HD Monitor
Acer R240HY is a 23.8″ full HD IPS monitor with zero frame design which is perfect for multi-monitor setups. It has VGA, DVI and HDMI ports on it. R204HY comes with Acer Flicker-less technology to prevent screen flickering and it also has a blue light filter. This monitor is a pretty good choice with its price, features and positive reviews from programmers.
AOC I2267FW 22″ IPS Frameless Full HD LED Monitor
AOC is a popular brand for quality monitors and this one would be a good choice for a programmer. AOC I2267FW is a 22″ IPS full HD monitor with frameless design. It has 5ms response time and VGA, DVI-D ports. Non-reflective matte anti-glare coating is a good thing but this monitor has no HDMI ports. I would recommend to check out AOC I2267FW for your programming monitor setup.
2 or 3 x 1440p Monitors
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This setup is an another popular monitor setup among programmers. 1440p monitors are a bit more expensive than 1080p monitors. But if you can spend an extra few bucks, you can create an awesome setup with 2 or 3 of them. In my opinion, 2 x 1440p monitors would be enough to create a professional programming environment. You can choose a 1440p monitor with 24 to 27 inches and most of them come with IPS panels. (Go for a 27″ one, you won’t be disappointed) Like I said before, thin frames and portrait mode will be a plus.
Acer G257HU smidpx 25″2560 x 1440 Monitor
Acer G257HU is one of the best selling 1440p monitors in the market. It is also very popular among programmers because its features make this monitor a perfect choice for programming setup. It has a 25″ 2560 x 1440 display with 4ms response time. G257HU has DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. Thin edges and X shaped stand help you to build a multi-monitor setup. You can learn a lot more about this monitor by reading its user reviews on product page.
ASUS PB278Q 27″ 2560×1440 IPS Monitor
ASUS PB278Q is my favorite monitor for both programming and gaming. It has a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS display with ASUS Eye care technology for flicker free experience. It has HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI ports on it. Also VESA mount compatible for wall and monitor arm mounts. You can use this monitor in portrait mode for multi-monitor setups so ASUS PB278Q is monitor is very popular among programmers.
ASUS Designo MX27AQ 27″ WQHD Frameless Monitor
I personally like ASUS Designo monitors and MX27AO is one of them. It is a 27″ WQHD monitor with AH-IPS technology to provide wide viewing angles. Built-in speakers, HDMI, DisplayPort, MHL ports and flicker-free technology deliver a satisfying user experience. It also has a frameless design for multi-monitor programming setups. You can read its user reviews for detailed information.
BenQ GW2765HT 27″ 2560×1440 IPS Monitor
If you want to have a nice WQHD monitor for your programming setup, BenQ GW2765HT is a good choice. It has a 27″ IPS display with 4ms response rate. ZeroFlicker & Low Blue Light technologies are good features for a programmer if you don’t want to have sore eyes after working for long hours. It has built-in speakers, VGA, DVI, DP and HDMI ports on it. I would recommend to check out user reviews on Amazon.com
Dell UltraSharp U2715H 27″ LED-Lit Monitor
Dell U2715H is a premium monitor for programming. It has a 27″ IPS 2560×1440 screen with an ultra-wide 178°/178° viewing angle. It is VESA compatible and a perfect choice for multi-monitor setups with frameless design. If you don’t have a tight budget, I would definitely recommend to check out Dell U2715H as a programming monitor. You can read user reviews for more info about it.
1 x Ultrawide Monitor
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Some users don’t want to deal with more than one monitor and want to have a tidier desk. There are really nice monitors larger than 27″ and they provide great performance for programming. They are wider than usual monitors and that means you will have enough space to display more than one columns. Ultrawide monitors are more expensive than 1080p or 1440p monitors but buying just one of them will do the job. These are also awesome for playing games and watching movies or series. You can go with the curved ones if you like that style.
ASUS Designo Curved MX34VQ 34” Frameless Monitor
Ultrawide monitors are pretty popular among programmers in 2017 and this monitor is a good choice. ASUS MX34VQ is a 34″ curved ultra-wide monitor with 3440 x 1440 resolution. It has a frameless design and comes with ASUS Eye Care technology to go easy on your eyes. There are 3 x HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort on it. Stereo 8W Harman Kardon speakers are pretty powerful too. This monitor can produce bright whites and dark blacks and is very suitable for a programmer or a designer.
LG 34UM68-P 34″ UltraWide Monitor
LG 34UM68 is a 34″ IPS monitor with 2560 x 1080 resolution and 5ms response time. It has 2 HDMI ports and a DisplayPort on it. If you are going to use your monitor for both programming and gaming, LG 34UM68 is one of the best choices. FreeSync and Game Mode are great features for any gamer and this monitor is totally efficient for a programming monitor setup.
Acer Predator 34″ Curved UltraWide Display
I personally like Acer products. This one is a 34″ curved monitor with 3440 x 1440 resolution and IPS display panel. Acer Predator X34 bmiphz has a DisplayPort and a HDMI port on it. With flicker-less and blue light filtering technologies, it is really comfortable (for your eyes) to use this monitor for working. It is also designed for gaming so if you have a Nvidia graphics card, you can use its G-SYNC feature for better gaming experience.
Dell UltraSharp U2913WM 29″ Ultra Widescreen LED-Lit Monitor
Dell is an another brand for quality monitors and I would recommend this one to any programmer. Dell UltraSharp U2913WM is a 29″ ultrawide monitor with 2560 x 1080 resolution and 8ms response time. It has DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI ports on it. It is not a curved one so if you want a ultra-wide monitor with flat screen, this one could be a better choice for your programming setup. I would recommend to read user reviews for more details.
LG 34UC98-W 34″ Curved UltraWide Monitor
If you are going to use a Macbook for programming, a monitor with Thunderbolt would be a good choice. LG 34UC98-W is a 34″ curved ultrawide monitor with IPS display panel and 3440 x 1440 resolution. It has 2 HDMI Ports, 2 Thunderbolt and 1 DisplayPort on it. If you want to game on your new monitor, its FreeSync feature is a great thing to use with AMD graphics cards. LG 34UC98-W is a premium programming monitor and you should read user reviews for further detail.
1 or 2 x 4K Monitors
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And the Oscar goes to… money. To be honest, if you don’t have a budget limit and just want to create the ultimate monitor setup for programming, I would recommend to go with 4k monitors. 4k monitors are a lot cheaper compared to past. You can buy 1 or 2 of them and create a monster monitor setup. 4k monitors will provide an enormous working space which is 4 times larger than a 1080p monitor. In addition, watching movies and playing games (if you have a decent graphics card) will be a really good experience on a 4k monitor.
ASUS PB287Q 28″ 4K/ UHD Monitor
In 2017 and 2018, I think 4K monitors will be the most popular choice for programming. ASUS PB287Q is one of the best selling 4K monitors on the market. It is a 28″ UHD monitor with 1ms response time and ASUS Eye Care technology. There are DisplayPort and 2 HDMI ports on it. VESA Mount compatibility is a plus for multi-monitor programming setups. ASUS PB287Q is a premium 4K monitor and I would recommend to check out its user reviews for further detail.
ASUS Designo MX27UC 27” 4K Monitor
ASUS Designo MX27UC is a 27″ 4K monitor with IPS display panel. It comes with ASUS Eye Care technology and built-in speakers. There are DisplayPort and HDMI ports on it. With its frameless design, it is very suitable for multi-monitor setups. This one is a really quality monitor for both programming and gaming. Read user reviews on Amazon.com for more detail.
Samsung U28E590D 28″ UHD Monitor with Freesync
If you want to buy a 4K monitor for programming, Samsung U28E590D is a popular choice among programmers. This 28″ 4K monitor with 1ms response time, Flicker Free technology and AMD Freesync feature provides a really good working and gaming experience. It has 2 HDMI ports and a DisplayPort on it. If you don’t want to spend much on a 4K monitor, Samsung U28E590D is a good choice for any programmer.
LG 27UD58-B 27″ 4K IPS Monitor with FreeSync
LG 27UD58-B is a 27″ monitor with 4K resolution and IPS display panel. It has 2 HDMI ports and a DisplayPort on it. This monitor is pretty popular among programmers and you can use two of them to build a multi-monitor programming setup. For anyone who wants to game on this monitor, it comes with Freesync feature and game mode preset. I would recommend to check out its user reviews on Amazon.com for further detail.
How to Choose the Best Monitor for Programming?
If you want to choose the best monitor for writing code, you need to know a few things. First and foremost, your new monitor setup should be nice to your eyes. This depends on different things like screen size, resolution, display panel and etc. After these, you should think about your budget, using purposes, needed inputs and outputs and numbers of monitors.
Screen size is one of the most important things when you choose a monitor for programming. A bigger workspace is always better, because it helps you to work faster by decreasing the amount of “alt + tab”ing. There is even a study proving that large monitors boosts productivity. But if you want to buy a large monitor, you should definitely consider its resolution. For 1920 x 1080p resolution, I don’t recommend any screen larger than 24″. If you want to go beyond 24″, you can choose a 1440p monitor up to 27″. For any screen larger than 27″, I would recommend a 4K resolution, if you are not on a budget. You can also have a look at ultra wide screens which are very popular among programmers.
Like screen size, screen resolution is a very important thing to consider when buying a monitor for programming. Higher resolution provides you a better view to write and read code. Actually, I won’t recommend any monitor lower than 1920×1080 resolution. Up to 24″, 1920×1080 will be enough but beyond 24″, I would recommend 1440p or if you have a large budget, I would recommend a 4K monitor. For double and triple monitor setups, you can use 2 or 3 1080p screens.
There are 3 main display panels for monitor. These are Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA) and In-Plane Switching (IPS). For programming, TN panel is not a good choice. You should definitely avoid TN panels, if you are not on a tight budget. Monitors with VA or IPS panels are very popular among programmers because of their color quality, contrast and viewing angles. I would recommend to choose a IPS panel monitor for programming. They definitely provide the best color quality, contrast, viewing angles and best performance for programming.
Inputs and Rotation
When choosing a monitor for programming, it is really important to know its outputs. If you will use your monitor with your laptop, you should choose it by considering the outputs on your laptop. Most of the modern laptops have a HDMI port on them. Some of them also have DVI, VGA or Mini HDMI too. If you have an Apple laptop, you should check Thunderbolt ports and etc. Long story short, you should decide which ports you will need to connect the monitor or multiple monitors.
In my opinion, you should also know if your new monitor could be rotated. Some programmers use their monitors rotated to get more vertical space for coding. I would recommend to buy a monitor which can be used in portrait mode. You can also create multi-monitor setups with portrait positioned monitors like this one.