The best monitors for programming: 2023 List

The best monitors for programming provide high-quality displays with little or no eye strain.
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The best monitors for programming: 2023 List - W3Tekno

The best programming monitors can make working on your creative endeavours even more enjoyable. You can assume that any display will work for this. After all, when you spend all day working on grammar, variables and data structures, you don't need extra features.

However, having one of the best displays for coding can also dramatically improve your workflow (read below to find out exactly what you need). This is similar to how having an ergonomic and comfortable keyboard can significantly improve your typing experience. To help you make the right choice of monitor for programming, we have used our know-how to compile a list of excellent displays that we have tried, tested or extensively reviewed, taking into account various demands and budgets.

BenQ DesignVue PD3220U - The ideal programming monitor for experimenting content creators.

BenQ DesignVue PD3220U

The ideal programming monitor for experimenting content creators.
Specifications
  • USB-C: Yes x 2
  • Screen size: 31.5 inches
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Aspect ratio: 16: 16:9
  • Brightness: 250 nits
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Viewing angle: 178/178
  • Contrast ratio: 1000: 1000:1
  • Color support: 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, 95% DCl P3
  • Weight: 10.7kg
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Lovely IPS panel
  • Gorgeous design
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Not cheap
  • The BenQ DesignVue PD3220U monitor is an excellent display. It offers excellent colour coverage with 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB and 95% P3 colour gamuts, although our own tests recorded up to 98% DCI-P3. It is factory calibrated and delivers excellent colour accuracy right out of the box. It also features a range of colour modes including Animation, Rec.709, Adobe RGB and CAD/CAM to streamline the workflow of the creative process. Plus, it currently retails for around $1,099.

    It has capabilities such as PiP/PbP for multi-input multitasking, two Thunderbolt 3 connections for daisy-chaining multiple displays and even adding external GPUs, and the much-desired portrait mode with automatic portrait desktop orientation, which is more important for programmers and web designers. The sweet spot for delivering crisp, highly detailed images that allow for a comfortable encoding experience and can serve for much more besides is 4K resolution on a 32-inch display with a pixel density of 140 PPI.

    ViewSonic VP2458 Professional 24-inch monitor - The best programming monitor for a limited budget.

    ViewSonic VP2458 Professional 24-inch monitor

    The best programming monitor for a limited budget.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 24in
  • Resolution: 1920x1080 (HD)
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 1xVGA
  • USB: 3
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Flexible
  • Cheap
  • Near-frameless design
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Not 4K
  • If you're new to programming or still in school, you'll no doubt want a programming monitor that's easier on your wallet, ideally one that doesn't compromise on quality. Fortunately, there are a few reasonably priced options available, such as the ViewSonic VP2458 Professional. It's priced at under $300/£300 for most people, but has some attractive features for programmers.

    It has the blue light filter seen on more expensive monitors, allowing you to work through the night without getting too tired. With 100% sRGB coverage and quick and simple colour calibration, it also produces true-to-life colours. With a 24-inch screen, it's just the right size for dorms or small apartments, and the adjustable layout allows you to work in optimal posture even in a limited space. What's more, if you prefer to use multi-monitor setups, the virtually frameless design ensures a smooth visual experience.

    The ViewSonic VP2458 Professional keeps things at a modest HD resolution to keep costs down, but at this price that's a reasonable trade-off.

    LG DualUp Monitor 28MQ780 - The best 16:18 monitor for coding and multi-tasking.

    LG DualUp Monitor 28MQ780

    The best 16:18 monitor for coding and multi-tasking.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 27.6in
  • Resolution: 2560 x 2880
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Input: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x USB-C with DP Alt + 90W PD
  • USB: 1x USB 2.0 Upstream, 1x USB 3.0 Downstream
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Ergonomic stand is a well-executed
  • Multi-tasking features are really useful
  • That 16:18 is the ultimate aspect ratio for productivity
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • C-clamp might not fit some desks
  • More color spaces would have been nice
  • We're not sure why that is, as there aren't many more 16:18 monitors for developers, writers and other multitaskers. LG's newest product, the LG DualUp Monitor 28MQ780 with a 16:18 aspect ratio and a fully articulatable mount and stand, has yet to be fully reviewed, but it only took us a few hours of use to realise its genius.

    At a square size, this 2560 x 2880 monitor is wide enough to show everything you need through any open window, whether in landscape or portrait mode. By allowing you to stack two or three windows on top of each other, it also helps you organise them, making them surprisingly easy to reach when you're viewing a lot of material.

    Of course, if you just want to concentrate on your code, you can maximise this window and have more than enough space to see an important part of it without having to bend over. The ergonomic and fully articulated stand completes this high-end productivity package by allowing you to tilt, swivel, twist and slide it forwards or backwards fluidly until you reach the most comfortable position for you.

    LG UltraFine Display 32UL950 - The best monitor for programming overall.

    LG UltraFine Display 32UL950

    The best monitor for programming overall.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 32in
  • Resolution: 3840x2160 (4K UHD)
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 1xThunderbolt, 2xThunderbolt 3
  • USB: 2
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • 4K resolution
  • Large screen
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Nothing at this price
  • Even if you're just starting out as a programmer, the expensive price tag ($1,000) of the LG UltraFine Display 32UL950 can be hard to swallow. But the display is excellent, with 600 nits of brightness, HDR600 compatibility and 98% DCI-P3 colour coverage. It's a joy to use, not only for encoding, but also for watching films or playing PC games.

    With a screen size of 32 inches, you can view multiple windows side by side without having to strain your eyes to read the written code. A data transfer rate of 40GB per second is made possible by Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which adds to the feeling of immersive work.

    While it's not the most affordable programming monitor on our list, its superb specs, premium design and excellent colour coverage make it a good deal and worth investing in if you have the cash.

    BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R - The best monitor for programming and gaming.

    BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R

    The best monitor for programming and gaming.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 34in
  • Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
  • Refresh rate: 144hz
  • Inputs: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x USB Type B (Upstream), 2x USB 3.0 (Downstream), 1x 3.5in headphone/mic jack
  • USB: 1x USB Type B (Upstream), 2x USB 3.0 (Downstream)
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Reasonably priced
  • Curved ultrawide screen
  • Great for gaming as well as programming
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Not the best colour accuracy
  • While the BenQ EX3203R is primarily designed for gaming, we discovered during our screen tests that it's also perfect for normal productivity tasks. Costing around $500, this monitor's large screen and high quality make it an excellent choice for programming. So, if you're a developer and avid gamer, this is a choice worth considering. It's perfect for encoding with 1440p resolution, which allows you to work with more pixels than a 1080p display without going as crazy as a 4K panel.

    The 34-inch screen size may seem excessive to some, but it has a 1000R curvature that makes it quite pleasant to use. While calibration is necessary for optimum performance and colour accuracy is not perfect, this is unlikely to be a major issue for programming.

    Huawei MateView - The best all-rounder if you want a 3:2 aspect ratio.

    Huawei MateView

    The best all-rounder if you want a 3:2 aspect ratio.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 28.2in
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2560
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C
  • USB: 2 X USB 3.0, 2 x USB-C
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Very bright with HDR capability
  • Exceptionally colour-accurate
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • AdobeRGB coverage could be better
  • Brightness uniformity not great
  • The Huawei MateView is unquestionably stylish and expertly crafted by Huawei. For example, when using its stand, it provides a surprising number of ports, while maintaining its highly organised, small appearance. And its specs are equally outstanding, including 500 nits brightness, HDR 400, colour accuracy up to DeltaE-1, and 100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 colour coverage. As it's a USB-C monitor, it comes with a USB-C connector that enables data and video transfer as well as Power Delivery up to 65W.

    The 3:2 aspect ratio, unusual for PC screens, is what makes it an excellent panel for programming. The 3:2 aspect ratio we evaluated during our Huawei MateView review proved to be highly beneficial in terms of productivity, as it allows a panel to display more lines of text and reduces scrolling when working with long documents. All in all, programmers, developers and web designers will find it useful.

    Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ - High-end USB-C monitor with camera for productivity.

    Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ

    High-end USB-C monitor with camera for productivity.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 31.5in
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Input: 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x DP 1.4, 1x USB-C, 1x USB-C 90W PD
  • USB: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-C 90W PD
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Excellent colour coverage and high accuracy
  • A ton of useful features
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Expensive
  • The Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ is designed primarily for productivity and multitasking. This means it has numerous multitasking features such as automatic KVM (Keyboard, Mouse, Video), Picture-by-Picture (PbP) and Picture-in-Picture (PiP), as well as the option to daisy-chain two 4K displays, which programmers will no doubt love. A wealth of realistic creative colour settings are available for any project, be it graphics, photos or videos. All this should make up for the absence of portrait mode.

    As working from home or remotely is becoming commonplace, its main feature is a built-in smart camera capable of producing video up to 4K at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60 frames per second and featuring SafeShutter functionality. Whether you work from home full-time or use a hybrid setup, it should seamlessly connect you to clients, project managers and other colleagues.

    While we haven't done a comprehensive evaluation yet, we've used it in tests and put it through its paces. We're happy to report that it performed just as well in use, delivering the kind of rich, clear and colourful images we've come to expect from displays in this price range.

    Samsung CRG9 - An extremely large screen, ideal for programming.

    Samsung CRG9

    An extremely large screen, ideal for programming.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 49in
  • Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Input: 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x Display Port 1.4
  • USB: USB 3.0, USB 2.0
  • Reasons To Buy
  • HDR
  • Great screen size
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Needs tweaking out of box
  • Menu can be tricky
  • Already on the list is an ultra-wide monitor that fits the lower end of the definition and is suitable for a wider range of desk styles. At the other end is the Samsung CRG9, a massive 49-inch display with a 32:9 aspect ratio. Thanks to the enormous workspace, you can open all your programmes, web pages and other things at the same time. Also, using two devices at the same time on a single screen saves more space than using several monitors, thanks to the picture-in-picture mode and numerous inputs.

    Thanks to some of Samsung's best technologies, the monitor provides excellent visual quality, making it a great choice if you're editing photos or videos, as well as writing code. Again, it's an expensive choice, but given everything you get, it's great value.

    BenQ EW3280U - The best mid-range display for programming and multimedia use.

    BenQ EW3280U

    The best mid-range display for programming and multimedia use.
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 32in
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C
  • USB: 1 x USB-C
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Excellent feature set
  • USB-C connectivity
  • Great color coverage
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Not much in terms of ergonomics
  • Although the BenQ EW3280U is from the company's entertainment range and was created primarily for watching multimedia content, we found that it also works well as a productivity monitor. Pricing is excellent for programmers on a budget, and features such as light sensors that determine ambient light and adjust brightness and colour temperature as needed are great for your eyes.

    Meanwhile, USB-C with DisplayPort Alt mode lets you connect your essential devices as well as charge your laptop and power the display. The 32-inch screen size is ideal for 4K quality viewing, allowing you to easily review your codes. With the DisplayHDR 400, excellent speaker pair and included remote control, you can relax and watch films after work. Read our full BenQ EW3280U review to find out more about why we recommend this display.

    Philips Brilliance 499P9H - Another super-large monitor for programming

    Philips Brilliance 499P9H

    Another super-large monitor for programming
    Specifications
  • Screen size: 49in
  • Resolution: 5120 x 1440 (QHD)
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Inputs: 2x HDMI, 1xDisplayPort
  • USB: Docking station
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Huge size
  • USB-C docking station
  • Replaces multiple monitors
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Expensive
  • The Philips Brilliance 499P9H is another tremendous ultra-wide alternative at 49 inches. This provides a more organised alternative to using multiple displays, such as the Samsung monitor mentioned above. You can stretch out as far as you can in the large screen space you get, which helps you work faster and more efficiently.

    In keeping with its multitasking capabilities, it also features a built-in USB-C docking station, a built-in KVM switch for quickly switching sources, and up to 65W of power delivery, allowing you to power and charge your laptop over USB-C. US stock prices are currently low. However, this award-winning programming monitor doesn't come cheap, so only get it if you think the whole package is worthwhile for you.

    The best monitors for programming: FAQs

    There are several key factors to keep in mind when purchasing a monitor for coding. The first issue is size. You need a screen that's big enough to work with without straining your eyes, but not so huge that it's uncomfortable. Curved screens that prevent you from having to crane your neck to see the entire screen can alleviate the discomfort of a large monitor towering over you.

    Resolution is another important consideration. The higher the resolution, the more workspace you have and the clearer the text can appear. While you can adjust the text scale in Windows 10 and macOS to make reading on high-resolution monitors more enjoyable, ultra-high resolutions can make text appear too small, which is again annoying.

    In addition, ergonomics are very important. The best programming monitors are easily adjusted and have a wide range of movement. A screen that can be rotated into portrait mode may also be something you would like. Blue light filtering and flicker reduction are other features to look for as they reduce eye strain. Another feature that helps prevent eye strain on some monitors is automatic brightness adjustment, which adjusts the brightness of the screen according to the light in your environment. It may also be worth checking out the best monitor stands to make sure you have the ideal arrangement.

    How big should my monitor be for programming?

    The size of a screen is greatly influenced by your workflow and work environment. If you want to sit further back so you can see everything properly, use a larger monitor. But if you work in a smaller space, you need to be able to see the entire screen. This requires sitting back. Otherwise you may find yourself scrolling so much that your neck and eyes hurt.

    Are 4K monitors suitable for programming?

    The resolution of your screen won't matter as much when writing code as it does for other content creators. At least for work, being able to work comfortably takes priority over access to great images. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider UHD monitors for your next display.

    For developers, UHD panels have an advantage over their lower-resolution equivalents. Thanks to the larger screen area of higher resolution, you can place more windows on your screen while you work. In fact, increased resolution makes workflow more efficient.

    Why do coders use vertical monitors?

    When using a vertical screen, you can read and review much larger sections of your work at once. The width of a screen does not affect how long a line of code is when typing or reading, as it does when editing images or video. Therefore, switching a monitor to portrait mode maximises the use of your screen space. Of course, you will need to pair it with a horizontally set display to view the results.

    Is a curved screen good for programming?

    Whether you want a flat or curved panel depends primarily on personal preference. Flat panels are much more suitable for multi-screen setups, as some can rotate 90 degrees for use in portrait mode.

    If you want to sit a little closer to your screen, a curved monitor may be preferable, especially if you don't plan to add an additional panel. Because of the curvature, you can see the edges of the screen without shifting your focus to other areas of the screen, making for a more immersive viewing experience. Also, the curved form will make the eyes less tired.

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