Best Monitor for Programming & Coding – 2016

Monitor (Amazon Link) SizeResolutionPanelInputsPrice (Amazon)
AOC i2367Fh Frameless LED-Lit Monitor23"1920 x 1080IPSVGA, 2 x HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Acer R240HY bidx Widescreen Display23.8"1920 x 1080IPSVGA, DVI, HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
ASUS PB278Q WQHD Back-lit LED Monitor27"2560 x 1440IPSVGA, HDMI, DVI, Dport Check-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Dell UltraSharp U3415W Curved LED-Lit Monitor34"3440 x 1440IPSHDMI, Dport, Mini DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Dell Ultra HD P2715Q LED-Lit Monitor27"3840 x 2160IPSDport, Mini Dport, HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]

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.

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. Top of the page, you can find the most popular monitors among programmers. Below, 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. ** Updated for August 2016 **

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
Monitor (Amazon Link) SizePanelInputsPrice (Amazon)
AOC i2367Fh Frameless LED-Lit Monitor23"IPSVGA, 2 x HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Acer R240HY bidx Widescreen Display23.8"IPSVGA, DVI, HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
ASUS MX239H Back-lit LED Monitor23"IPSVGA, 2 x HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
HP Pavilion 23xw LED Backlit Monitor23"IPSVGA, 2 x HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
ViewSonic VX2270SMH-LED SuperClear Frameless Monitor22"IPSVGA, HDMI

In our research, we saw that monitor setups with two or three 1080p monitors are the most popular ones 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.

2 or 3 x 1440p Monitors
Monitor (Amazon Link) SizePanelInputsPrice (Amazon)
ASUS PB278Q WQHD Ergonomic Back-lit LED Monitor27"IPSVGA, HDMI, DVI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Acer K272HUL bmiidp Widescreen Display27"AHVADVI, 2 x HDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
BenQ GW Series GW2765HT Screen LED-Lit Monitor27"IPSVGA, DVI, HDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
ASUS MX27AQ Back-lit LED Monitor27"IPS2 x HDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Apple Thunderbolt Display27"IPSThunderboltCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]

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.

1 x Ultrawide Monitor
Monitor (Amazon Link) SizePanelInputsPrice (Amazon)
Dell UltraSharp U3415W Curved LED-Lit Monitor34"IPSHDMI, Dport, Mini DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
LG Electronics UM95 34UM95C LED-Lit Monitor34"AHVA2 x HDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Dell UltraSharp U2913WM 29-Inch 21:9 Widescreen LED-Lit Monitor
29"IPSVGA, HDMI, Mini DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Acer B296CL Widescreen Display with ErgoStand29"IPSDVI, 2 x HDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 LED-lit Monitor25"IPS2 x HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]

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.

1 or 2 x 4K Monitors
Monitor (Amazon Link) SizePanelInputsPrice (Amazon)
Dell Ultra HD P2715Q LED-Lit Monitor27"IPSDport, Mini Dport, HDMICheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Samsung UE590 LED-Lit Monitor28"TN2 x HDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Samsung UE590 UHD-QHD LED-Lit Monitor
Dell Ultra HD 5K LED-Lit Monitor27"IPS2 x Dport, Mini DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]
Samsung Ultra High Definition LED Monitor28"TNHDMI, DportCheck-Price-at-Amazon-Now[1]

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.

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

programming monitor screen sizeScreen 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.

Screen Resolution

programming monitor screen resolutionLike 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.

Display Panel

programming monitor display panelThere 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

best monitor for programming inputsWhen 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.

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