The Best Monitors for Programming [October 2019]
Everybody seems to love a good external monitor. Whether you’re using it for gaming, music production, or programming, having a larger monitor with which you can more clearly separate and see your open windows can be an incredibly thing.
But programmers tend to have a special affinity for the external monitor, due in part to the fact that they stare at it for so many hours during the day. Only pro-level gamers rival programmers and coding pros when it comes to the amount of time spent in front of a monitor, and these developer gurus understandably want to invest in something that’s going to not make them go blind in a matter of months.
Another reason programmers seem to love monitors so much is that they allow them to have multiple windows open simultaneously. Any true coding wizard can attest to the fact that most development platforms require the use of several windows at once, and trying to cram them into that gorgeous-yet-limited MacBook Pro screen often just doesn’t cut it.
So what should you look for in a monitor that lends itself to programming and coding?
First, you’re going to want to ensure that the resolution is high enough that you won’t be straining your eyes, and that the tiny little text you’re staring at all day is sharp and concise.
Second, you need to find a monitor that’s big enough to contain multiple windows at once but not so big that you have to keep craning your neck in order to see the corners of the screen.
And finally, you’ll want a monitor that’s supremely reliable, since you won’t want to endure any type of crash halfway through a serious coding session at 4am when Best Buy is closed.
It’s with these considerations in mind that we bring you the best monitors for programming. Enjoy.
When it comes to creating amazing monitors that are both stylish and affordable, it’s hard to beat Lenovo. Despite its unassuming looks, this monitor is perfect for programmers on a budget who want a screen they can stare at all day without issue.
It provides an unobstructed viewing experience thanks to a near-edgeless screen (allowing you to keep multiple windows open at once without hassle), and you’ll be able to bypass the typical cable clutter that comes with external monitors since everything you need comes through a single USB-C cable.
This connection also means you’ll enjoy twice the transfer speeds of USB 3.0 at 10Gbps, and you’ll be able to seamlessly connect to your peripheral devices in order to multitask with ease.
This monitor is also incredibly clear and detailed for its size, and you get 1920 x 1080 pixels of full-HD resolution that provides exceptional visual clarity at virtually every angle—a major plus for programmers who often use two monitors and need to have them aligned perfectly in order to avoid glare.
You also have a multitude of optional connectivity options if you choose to forgo the USB-C connection, thanks to a variety of ports that include VGA and HDMI.
This monitor is also fully plug-and-play—meaning you won’t have to worry about installing those obnoxious drivers on your laptop or desktop in order to start enjoying all the benefits of your new gadget.
And lastly, thanks to a TÜV Eye Comfort certification, you’ll be able to stare at this monitor for hours on end during your longer coding sessions without experiencing that all-too-familiar eye fatigue and strain.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include an ultra wide monitor on our list, since for some programmers, bigger is simply better. Aside from the fact that these ultra wide monitors can eliminate the common need to string two costly monitors together in order to get the size you need, these monitors are often shorter than their wide counterparts, which allows users to once again reduce eye strain over long periods of time.
This layout also gives your windows the space they demand while keeping them on the same plane, and you’ll be able to enhance your viewing angles and color reproduction more efficiently than if you were to string together multiple monitors for the same effect.
This monitor boasts HDR10 technology with a high dynamic range, and you’ll be able to support specific levels of color and brightness that exceed the capabilities of ordinary monitors.
And if you happen to like taking your coding breaks with a game or two (and who doesn’t?) the 21:9 aspect ratio makes games more immersive and realistic than on tradition monitors.
This gadget also delivers over 99% of the sRBG spectrum—making it a great choice for coding pros who need to incorporate graphics or test out visual emulations of their code at a moment’s notice.
It offers a virtually borderless display and on-screen controls that put a wide range of handy monitor settings directly at your fingertips (as opposed to forcing you to fidget with buttons on the side of the screen), and you’ll be able use an ergonomic stand that makes it easy to fine-tune the monitors angle.
Anyone who’s familiar with our monitor selections knows how much we love Dell monitors. Known for their affordability, style, and overall quality, these monitors are great for virtually any type of task, and this S Series beauty is no exception—especially when it comes to the unique needs of programmers.
It delivers a supremely crisp and vivid image through a 32-inch screen that’s mostly borderless, and you’ll be able to work for hours on end without eye fatigue thanks to a super-high 2560 x 1440 resolution.
The wide viewing angles ensure a clear view of the monitor from multiple vantage points and covers 99% sRGB color gamut, and although this may not be a primary concern for most programmers who constantly have a pair of headphones strapped over their ears, the speakers on this monitor are truly impressive—offering a relatively cinematic experience when compared to most external monitors.
You have the option of using the included stand or mounting this monitor on the wall, and there are the usual connection options that allow you to quickly hook up both your computer and your peripherals with ease straight out of the box.
Coming in at the exact same price point, we have this Phillips frameless monitor, which provides a different experience for people who prefer to have more visually-immersive coding sessions when they’re writing their programs.
You get a full HD 1920×1080 resolution that stems from a curved VA panel that’s ideal for wide viewing angles and accurate color reproduction with an immersive viewing experience, and a 5ms response time along with a 75Hz refresh rate means that you’ll be able to stare at the screen during your more intense programming sessions without worry.
There’s also a helpful low-blue mode that reduces eye fatigue, and an impressive 4-year warranty means that you’ll be able to replace your beloved monitor on the off-chance that you encounter any problems.
Adding to our list of curved monitors we have this well-reviewed Sceptre beauty, which comes with 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution, a 75Hz refresh rate, and all the ports you need for fast and easy connections across the board—including HDMI and VGA ports.
An 1800R curved design matches the contours of the human field of vision (maximizing visibility and immersion in all your coding needs), and the eggless exterior provides more room for the screen while also producing a sleek and modern appearance.
Much like the other top-notch monitors on our list, the blue-shift light mode reduces eye strain, and the tilting feature on the stand does its part to minimize glare while clarifying your image.
Rounding out our list is another LG fan-favorite, which comes loaded with a full HD IPS display along with a minimalist design that looks great on any programmer’s desk.
You get a wide range of helpful on-screen controls along with a refresh rate of 60 Hertz, and out-of-the-box compatibility with Windows 10 means that you won’t have to worry about installing any drivers or software in order to get started.
Also available in white, this monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and features a very helpful (and very rare) specialized anti-glare feature that automatically adjusts to the ambiance in the room—meaning you won’t have to fiddle with the controls in order to lock in the settings you need.