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Best Overall: Dell UltraSharp U2415 at Amazon
"The U2415 is built to be at its best in a work environment."
Best Budget: HP VH240a at Amazon
"The price and size make it an ideal candidate for a multi-monitor arrangement."
Best Design: BenQ PD3200U DesignVue 32-inch 4K IPS Monitor at Amazon
"Built for creative professionals, ideal if your work involves front-end graphics and design."
Best Curved: LG 34UC98-W at Amazon
"Creates a huge amount of digital workspace, all on a sharp and vibrant IPS display."
Best Ultra-Wide: LG 34WK650-W at Amazon
"A great-looking yet well-priced option, with a 2560 x 1080-pixel resolution, a 34-inch diagonal, and a 21:9 aspect ratio."
Best 4K: Dell UltraSharp U2718Q at Amazon
"Offers four times the number of pixels of Full HD, letting you take full advantage of a large screen."
Runner-Up, Best 4K: Asus PB287Q at Amazon
"Crisp, great-looking 4K display with plenty of room to work."
Best 27-Inch: ViewSonic VG2765 at Amazon
"Enough room to see multiple windows and many, many lines of code all at once."
Best Big Screen: Dell P4317Q at Amazon
"The colossal 43-inch monitor is literally like four 21-inch 1080p screens put together in a single machine."
Courtesy of Amazon
Programming and coding is a lot about what gets the job done, and the Dell U2415 definitely has the practical features to do so—all for a very practical price. The display is built with in-plane switching (IPS) technology for rich, accurate colors and great picture quality that holds up from almost any angle. The nicely sized 24-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, which comes to a 16:10 aspect ratio. That’s taller than the typical Full HD 1080p monitors at a 16:9 ratio, so besides fitting multiple windows on the screen, you get some extra vertical room to see more lines of code at once. It’s also easy to pivot the whole display 90 degrees and put it in portrait mode for even more vertical space.
The U2415 is built to be at its best in a work environment. Sure, the slim bezels and minimalist design look attractive on your desk, but its adjustability is what can make it your go-to programming display. It has a full range of forward-and-back tilt, side-to-side swivel, and up-and-down height adjustment so you can find the optimal positioning for you, including if you make it part of a multiple-monitor setup. And you can easily connect devices through the wide selection of inputs at the bottom, with two HDMI ports, DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, and USB ports including a high-speed USB 3.0.
If your goal is to be able to tackle basic coding without a lot of premium display technology, there are plenty of budget monitor options out there. The HP VH240a is one that provides great functionality for your money. the 24-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) resolution display leaves more than enough room for multitasking, with strong color and image quality from its IPS panel. The input selection only has an HDMI and VGA port available, and the built-in audio has only two weak two-watt speakers, but those typically wouldn’t be crucial to programming work.
Its look might comes across as fairly basic and minimal, but the VH240a is still thin and nicely designed with an impressive full range of adjustability. It can raise up about 5 inches, tilt 30 degrees, swivel 360 degrees, and pivot 90 degrees to portrait mode. The price and size also make it an ideal candidate for a multi-monitor arrangement if you want to get a second one or add it to your existing setup. You may even find the product bundled with a dual-monitor stand to help you make it happen.
Programming isn’t always the flashiest undertaking, but if you can spare some frills, the BenQ PD3200U lets you code in style. It’s a 34-inch 4K monitor built for creative professionals, ideal if your work involves front-end graphics and design. The display has been factory-calibrated for highly accurate color reproduction and wide coverage of professional color spaces. A Hotkey Puck integrated into the stand lets you quickly switch between dedicated display modes for animation, image processing, and CAD/CAM work, or you can customize it to control other settings on the fly.
Still, anyone can benefit from the PD3200U’s 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and gorgeous screen, and it has many smart design features for extended screen work. An antiglare finish, blue light filters, and flicker-free technology help keep your eyes comfortable and healthy. The stand allows for a full-range of tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, with a 90-degree pivot that the display automatically senses and adjusts content for. The monitor’s software can also divide the display into a variety of split-screen configurations. There’s even a built-in KVM switch so you can control two different PCs with the same keyboard and mouse.
Beyond their distinct aesthetic, curved monitors aim to provide a more immersive gaming or movie-viewing experience. For coding purposes, perhaps a more practical benefit is making it easier for you to see your work at the edges of a wide screen. Some people find curved screens to cause less eye fatigue, too.
LG’s 34UC98-W is an ultra-wide (21:9 aspect ratio) display with a 34-inch diagonal and a 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution (about 2.4 times more than 1080p). That comes together to create a huge amount of digital workspace, all on a sharp and vibrant IPS display at a fairly strong 1900R curve radius. The monitor offers tilt and height adjustments, along with on-screen controls to split the display to show two sources or add a picture-in-picture sub-screen. It also has convenient options for connecting to devices, like MacBooks in particular—a USB 3.0 port allowing for Quick Charge and two Thunderbolt 2.0 ports for faster transfer speeds.
Multiple monitors can be a good solution for programmers or anyone looking to have more applications open and see more information all at once. But what about getting extra screen real estate through a single ultra-wide display, so you don’t need to coordinate and connect to different pieces of equipment? The LG 34WK650-W is a great-looking yet well-priced option, with a 2560 x 1080-pixel resolution, a 34-inch diagonal, and a 21:9 aspect ratio. That’s the same pixel height as Full HD but 33-percent wider—and at a large, easily viewable size. The antiglare-treated IPS panel’s 178-degree viewing angles makes sure the picture holds up when you glance at the far ends, too.
The 34WK650-W comes with a number of features to help with productivity, like LG’s Screen Split 2.0 to divide the display into multiple virtual screens or provide picture-in-picture. You can quickly control this and other display settings by clicking through an on-screen menu instead of using physical buttons on the monitor. The monitor itself can also tilt and adjust in height to help you find a comfortable viewing position.
Beyond the nice setup the monitor offers for coding, you can enjoy other high-end display tech as well, such as high-Dynamic Range (HDR) support for boosted image quality, and AMD FreeSync for smoother gaming experiences (with compatible graphics cards).
Monitors with 4K resolution—3840 x 2160 pixels, also known as Ultra HD—are becoming more common and affordable, and programmers are among the people who can benefit. 4K offers four times the number of pixels of Full HD, letting you take full advantage of a large screen like the Dell U2718Q’s 27-inch display. Every inch will be clear and crisp on its IPS panel with wide viewing angles, 1300:1 contrast ratio, and 163 pixel-per-inch (ppi) density. If you do any graphics or media work, its wide and accurate color range has you covered. The display also has an antiglare coating to help make it even easier on the eyes.
Like most of Dell’s UltraSharp offerings, the U2718Q’s ergonomic options are impressive. Its simple yet sturdy stand allows for swivel, tilt, and height adjustments, along with a 90-degree pivot to turn to a vertical orientation. It also supports VESA-compliant mounting if you want to save desk space and mount it on the wall.
The Asus PB287Q is a 28-inch monitor that offers nice balance: a crisp, great-looking 4K display with plenty of room to work, along with a minimal 1-ms pixel response time for smooth fast-action gaming if or when you want to call it a day and relax. This speedy response time comes from its twisted nematic (TN) panel, an older display technology that’s great for games but doesn’t match IPS panels in terms of color accuracy and viewing angles. If your focus is on back-end programming rather than color-critical graphics work, though, it won’t be as much of a concern. More important to you may be the Asus EyeCare features that cuts back on eyestrain through flicker-free technology, reading and darkroom modes, and reduced levels of blue light.
Asus monitors also tend to be some of the most adjustable ones around, providing even more flexibility and comfort for long screen sessions, whether you’re coding or gaming. The PB287Q can tilt 20 degrees up or 5 degrees down, swivel 60 degrees to either side, and adjust up and down almost 6 inches. It supports a very useful pivot to portrait orientation, though you’ll have to adjust your display settings when you switch.
The 27-inch size is a popular choice for work monitors—it’s big enough without being too massive or moving into the ultra-wide territory. The ViewSonic VG2765 is a mid-range 27-inch IPS display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, enough room to see multiple windows and many, many lines of code all at once. The monitor looks great all around, with its thin bezel on three sides framing a clear and vibrant picture, helped by ViewSonic’s SuperClear technology for improving viewing angles. Flicker-free and blue light filtering features also work to cut back on eye strain for long coding sessions.
The 27-inch screen and 16:9 aspect ratio works well in portrait orientation, too, and the VG2765 can pivot to take advantage of the vertical space. Its ergonomics are excellent in general, allowing for wide-ranging swivel, tilt, and height adjustments. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a comfortable position on your desk, but if you prefer, it also includes holes for VESA-compatible wall mounting.
As a replacement for a multi-monitor office setup, the Dell P4317Q is a unique beast. The colossal 43-inch monitor is literally like four 21-inch 1080p screens put together in a single machine—except you don’t have to deal with the logistics of arranging separate monitors on your workstation, routing their cables, and setting them up to work together. The P4317Q can display screens from up to four separate 1920 × 1080-resolution sources, or from a single 4K source. Its Display Manager software makes it easy to swap inputs, zoom in on any of them, and rearrange or resize them on the screen.
Image-wise, the P4317Q’s IPS panel delivers rich colors and a sharp picture from nearly anywhere you try to look. This is helpful since the stand only allows for tilt adjustment, and you’ll likely be looking around to see the whole thing. It also supports VESA wall mounting if you don’t want it taking up desk space. You might also want to get a keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) switch if you’re using multiple computers, so you can control them using the same input devices.
Our writers spent 101 hours researching and testing the most popular monitors for programming and coding on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.