The best monitors for programming 2019

The best monitor for programming
Image credit: Shutterstock
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Working with code means spending a long time in front of a screen, so it's worth investing in one of the best monitors for programming. A 4K screen is a great starting point, making text look smooth and helping minimize eyestrain. Extra-wide and curved monitors are also a great choice for programming because they enable you to see more at once, and many are ideal for multi-monitor setups, with thin bezels to minimize distractions.

Ergonomics are important too; the best monitors for programming features are easily adjustable, with a good range of movement. You might also like a monitor that can be rotated to portrait orientation. It's also a good idea to look out for monitors with blue light filtering, which will be kinder to your eyes, and flicker reduction. Some monitors also offer automatic brightness adjustment, which fine-tunes the display to suit the ambient light to help you avoid eyestrain. It might also be worth looking at the best monitor stands too, to get your set-up just right. 

If you can wait a few weeks before buying, you could well see some of these best monitors for programming in amongst some great Amazon Prime day deals. But if you've got the cash and are ready to go, here's the best money can currently buy. 

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Image credit: BenQ

Image credit: BenQ
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Image credit: BenQ

Image credit: BenQ
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Image credit: BenQ

Image credit: BenQ

01. BenQ PD3200U

The best monitor for programming overall is easy on the eyes

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 1x MiniDisplayPort | USB: 6x USB 3.0 (2 up, 4 down)

4K resolution
Blue light filter
Stand isn't very attractive
'Creative' modes are unnecessary

4K monitors are great for programming, but only if they're large enough that you're not left squinting at tiny text. There are no such worries with the BenQ PD3200U, whose huge 32-inch panel takes up quite a lot of desk space, but looks fantastic. It features BenQ's Eye-Care technology, which filters blue light and eliminates flicker so you can work in comfort. The display can also be rotated 90 degrees if you're among the many programmers who prefer working with a vertical display. It was originally created with designers in mind, but the BenQ PD3200U is also a programmer's perfect companion.

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Image credit: MSI

Image credit: MSI
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Image credit: MSI

Image credit: MSI
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Image credit: MSI

Image credit: MSI

02. MSI Optix MAG271CR

The best monitor for programming on a budget is an absolute steal

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Panel technology: VA LED | Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI | USB: 3 x USB 2.0 (1 up, 2 down)

Very reasonably priced
Gently curved design
Pixel density a little low
No rotation

If you're working to a budget, take a good look at the MSI Optix MAG271CR. This montor was built for gamers, but works equally well for programming thanks to its gently curved design and flicker-free panel. Its 144Hz refresh rate is particularly impressive (though less important for programming) and its stand is easy to adjust, offering 130mm of height adjustment and 25 degrees of tilt. Our only reservation is that the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution is a little low for a monitor this size, so text doesn't look quite as crisp as we'd like. For the price, though, it's hard to beat.

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03. BenQ DesignVue PD2720U

The best monitor for programming if money is no object means business

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: | Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 2x USB-C | USB: 3x USB 3.1

Lots of input options
4K resolution
Refresh rate a little low
Very expensive

The BenQ DesignVue PD2720U features a top-end 4K IPS panel to ensure text looks pin-sharp as you work. It's also an excellent display for a multi-montitor setup thanks to its two USB-C ports, which enable you to daisy-chain several screens together, and its flexible stand means you can easily switch it to portrait orientation if you prefer. Like all BenQ monitors it feaures the company's proprietary blue light filtering and anti-flicker technology to reduce strain. If you're also a gamer you might prefer a monitor with a higher refresh rate than 60Hz, but this serious screen is built for work rather than play.

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Image credit: LG

Image credit: LG
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Image credit: LG

Image credit: LG
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Image credit: LG

Image credit: LG

04. LG 34UC79G-B

The best ultra-wide monitor for programming gives you more room to work

Screen size: 34-inch | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI | USB: 3x USB 3.0 (1 up, 2 down)

Huge display
Great value
Low resolution for the size
'Game modes' add little

The ultra-wide LG 34UC79G-B gives you plenty of space to work, and its 21:9 IPS panel offers great viewing angles if you shift position or adjust it while you're working. Like any ultra-wide panel, it can't be swivelled, but it does offer 120mm height adjustment and 25 degrees of tilt, with robust build quality that will keep you working happily for years to come. Its resolution is a little lower than we'd like for a panel this size, but a panel with more pixels carries a much higher price tag. This is a lot of monitor for the price, and makes very few compromises.

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Image credit: BenQ

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Image credit: BenQ

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Image credit: BenQ

Image credit: BenQ

05. BenQ EX3501R

The best curved monitor for programming is a stunning all-rounder

Screen size: 35-inch | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 100Hz | Panel technology: VA | Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C | USB: 2x USB 3.0

High resolution
Ambient light monitor
Not very adjustable
Could be overkill

The BenQ EX3501R is a stunning monitor that will serve you equally well for programming and gaming. Its high resolution makes the short and wide aspect ratio easier to work with, and if there's still not enough space, the USB-C connection makes multi-monitor setups easy. It features blue light filtering, plus a sensor on its bottom bezel that detects ambient light levels and adjusts the panel's brightness accordingly. This is a smart looking monitor too; it's just a shame it's not more adjustable, offering 25 degrees of tilt, but just 60mm height adjustment. Otherwise, the EX3501R is hard to fault.

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