The 6 Best Monitors for Programming and Coding in 2021

Upgrade your workstation with these top displays

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The Rundown
"The U2415 is built to be at its best in a work environment."
Best Budget:
HP VH240a at Walmart
"The price and size make it an ideal candidate for a multi-monitor arrangement."
"Built for creative professionals, ideal if your work involves front-end graphics and design."
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."
"Enough room to see multiple windows and many, many lines of code all at once."
Best for Features:
BenQ EX3501R at Amazon
"The BenQ EX3501R is an ultrawide curved monitor loaded with features like improved brightness, HDR, and file transfer support."
in this article

The best monitors for programming and coding should be large, high-resolution, and have features that allow for effective multitasking. For programmers and coders that may need to consult large amounts of data at a time and have numerous spreadsheets or pages open, bigger is better. Our top pick for the category is the Dell Ultrasharp U2415 on Amazon. It's a 24-inch 1920x1200 monitor that works well at home and in an office environment due to its sharp resolution, multiple port options, and high brightness level.

If you're looking for monitors for any purpose, take a look at our list of the best computer monitors. Otherwise, read on to see our overview of the best monitors for programming and coding.

Best Overall: Dell UltraSharp U2415

Dell UltraSharp U2415

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.

Best Budget: HP VH240a

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. 

Best Design: BenQ 709 PD3200U 32-inch 4K UHD Monitor

BenQ 709 PD3200U 32-inch 4K UHD Monitor

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.

Best Ultra-Wide: LG 34WK650-W

LG 34WK650-W

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).

Best 27-Inch: ViewSonic VG2765 27-Inch 4K Monitor

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.

Best for Features: BenQ EX3501R Ultrawide Curved Monitor

The BenQ EX3501R is a curved, ultrawide monitor that can do double duty for programmers and gamers because it's packed with tons of useful features for both. The biggest selling point is the huge 35-inch 3440x1440 display which can allow you to have multiple pages of data or spreadsheets open at a time. It comes with eye-care technology that uses a proprietary sensor to adjust the screen brightness and color temperature based on your room lighting. This can be particularly helpful during long hours of coding. Even better, the EX3501R comes with USB-C connectivity allowing you to enable fast USB data transfers and 2K video with just a single cable.

Final Verdict

The best monitor for programming and coding is the Dell UltraSharp U2415. It's designed for workspaces and comes with a 24-inch IPS display for rich and accurate colors. The 1920x1200 resolution is 16:10, including more vertical room see data and lines of code. Also worthy of mention is the HP VH240a. It's a great monitor on a tight budget, with the same 24-inch size and 1080p resolution.


What resolution do I need for coding/programming?
As in most displays, size is a major consideration when choosing a resolution (typically the larger a display, the higher resolution you need to maintain the sharpness of an image). Because coding often requires reading dense text, higher resolution is generally recommended, so that text/data can be enlarged without sacrificing legibility, though for most desktop monitors FHD (1080p) is sufficient. If you're coding on a larger display or a flat screen TV, 4K is probably a more reasonable target.

Does refresh rate matter?
Refresh rate refers to the number of frames a monitor is capable of displaying per second, rated in hertz. Generally, higher refresh rates are only critical for motion, like that in first-person shooters or action movies. For a dedicated programming and coding display, a lower refresh rate is fine, especially considering the modern standard is around 60Hz.

Does panel type matter?
If you plan to spend a lot of time parked in front of a display, panel type is important. Relying on outdated technology like TN (twisted nematic) with its poor color accuracy and abysmal viewing angles can increase eye strain, and should only be considered when budget restraints make it a necessity. Your target should be at least a VA panel or, ideally, an IPS panel (or perhaps one of its variants) with improved color depth and pixel density.

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