Best Monitor for Programmers

With all these crazy Dell monitors coming on sale, I have a question for the WFH'ers and in particular programmers, what monitor do you guys recommend?

For context, I have a 15" Macbook Pro 2017 and am looking for 1 ultrawide (32"+) monitor rather than dual displays. I'm not really a gamer and would use this purely for productivity (coding) and watching Netflix, Youtube etc. I'll admit I don't know much about monitor specs but purely based off dimensions, it seems like Ozbargain loves these two:

  • Dell S3221QS 32inch
  • Xiaomi 34" Curved Gaming Ultrawide Monitor

Keen to hear some opinions

Edit: Thanks so much for the responses, I'll definitely take a pick out of the range you guys have given me and will just link anyone this post who has a similar question :)


  • +4

    This one gives me the most satisfaction.

    I'm using a Dell 27" IPS, and it's great. I'd suggest going to HN/JB etc and having a look at curved monitors, I don't know if there will be a benefit while coding. Have a look at some reviews.

  • +3

    Any 27 inch QHD monitor or if you choose 32 inch, it should be 4K resolution.

    I found 2 monitors is better vs single ultra wide one

    • Definitely good to have two monitors than one big one. I found one single 32" is too big.
      Two monitors are good for copy paste and compare, or coding in one debugging in another.
      I do have two 24 and one 32 setup, x2 is way better.

      • 34" ultrawide is like 2 X monitors with 1 monitor set up

  • +1

    I'm a programmer. I has the dell 27 4k. Sold it and got the xiaomi 34.

    27 4k was too small and not comfortable to code on.

    The xiaomi is really good. I'm looking to get another to stack them vertically.

    • That's good to know because I was so close to pulling the trigger on a 27 4k but realised I'd eventually upgrade that for a 32"+. Noted about the xiaomi - thanks :)

      • I'm also rocking a 34" WQHD (3440x1440). I personally think it's the sweet spot for programming. I also have a 24" FHD on each side though. It's a big desk.

  • +2

    32" all the way.

    I use 2 * AOC Q3279VWF - perfect for my programming needs.

    Pretty good for only about $280.

    • Damn that's cheap. Is there any catch with it being that cheap? Any lag?

      • +2

        Lag? Well it's not a gaming monitor, but it more than keeps up with my typing!

        Works perfectly for all my needs, no complaints (programming/youtube/simple games/etc)

      • No VESA mounting.

        You can get an adapter for around $50, but at that point you may as well get a better model.

  • I found 2 monitors better than a single monitor. I also found the 16:10 monitors better (the extra height is always nice) too. Must either have tilt and rotation (not that I use the rotation much) or use Vesa mounting.

    Which specific one? I've never really cared, but they tend to be Dells. It's just a glorified text editor.

    • have you tried a 34"+ ultra wide?

      i used to use 2 monitors until I got the ultra wide. never going back

      • I haven't.

        Better than 2 monitors? I found that 3 was too much for me for programming, but I prefer to use 3 when editing/color grading.

        • yea im just using one 34" atm… I am going to get another one when they go on sale. so they will stack vertically

  • Wouldn't bother with a 27" at all, unless desk space is a constraint. Hate them at work, too much room around it within my vision that I find it harder to focus on the screen.

    After trying several different kinds of monitors, I've found that the absolute sweet spot for productivity is 32" 1440p.

    Started with a 32" 60hz 1080P, wasn't enough virtual space. Moved to 32" 60hz 4k, found that it was too much space, a lot of room but too much mouse travel to do anything quickly.

    Traded that for a 32" 1440p 144hz monitor, LG 32GK650F-B, and it's been perfect. High refresh rate makes it feel much nicer to use, but 75hz or 100hz is probably enough.

    • +1

      yep agree, 1440p is best for coding and everyday, dont really need 4k for a monitor atm

  • I'm a web application developer using the Samsung widescreen monitor at work

    I loved it, especially with the Gnome extension: otherwise, it is difficult to manage application windows with widescreen monitors. But colors and text sharpness are not the strongest points for this model

    At home, I was using Dell P2418D - Vibrant color and great for media consumption like Netflix.

    Recently upgraded to Dell S3221QS 32inch(was under offer for 450$), I like the screen real estate and text sharpness. The colors could be better but not bad. I like the sound, bass, wide and good for one-person media consumption. Overall I liked it.

    For development word widescreen monitors are good, but for overall usage, curved or flat-screen monitors(27") are better

  • +1

    I'm using a 42inch TV at a distance. Don't need good refresh rates, response times for programming. TVs are usually cheaper than a monitor.

    • +1

      I was trying to justify to the missus that I need to buy a CX 48" OLED for work, but she didn't believe me.

      We are still debating about it (well, she thinks she isn't but I don't believe I've lost the argument yet!)!

      If (when) I win, I'll be htop'ing all the servers at once and see how pretty it looks.

  • Philips 328P6VUBREB with a 2017 MBP is what I am using now. It has USB-C (for reduced cable clutter on the table) and 4K. Can always have the MBP open on the side for a 2nd monitor for passive content.

  • Best Monitor for Programmers
    purely for productivity

    Someone watching over you :)

    • One of the best answers born from experience, no doubt. Nothing like an extra pair of eyes to trigger that sudden realisation why your code isn't working..

      • pair programming, haven't you heard of that before ;)

  • +1

    Pretty happy with the U4919DW, but it's just slightly too wide and lacking in vertical space. It's also one of few monitors that will charge @ 90+w

    General advice is just avoid 4k screens:

  • "A bad workman blames his tools" goes the saying.

    Honestly there's no right answer to this question. Everyone will have personal preferences of their own.

    When CRTs were replaced by LCDs my life changed because I used to get headaches (guaranteed within 10min at 60Hz, often at 70Hz, and not so much at 75Hz refresh). I haven't had a display induced headache since, so I'm personally happy with whatever.

    Some people prefer curved. Others flat. Some like super wide, others prefer 2 monitors. Some want super high resolution, others lower resolution, some value colour accuracy, etc etc.

    Ask yourself what your personal priorities are, and what your budget is, then read reviews and make a choice.

  • +2

    Cheap 24 inch 1080p monitors are honestly fine for me. When programming, screen is screen

    • Starting my dev journey now, I'm wondering what on earth a monitor could add to the experience, beyond personal preferences for size/shape…

    • +1

      16:10 makes a massive difference compared to 16:9 for work.

      • 16:10 makes a massive difference compared to 16:9 for work.

  • If you have a Macbook that charges over USB-C, get a monitor that has USC-PD (power delivery). Some of the monitors can charge up to 65 watts.
    If you get one of those, you can have one cable between your Macbook and the monitor and it will charge and send the video over the same cable. The monitor will also have some normal USB-A sockets, so you can plug in other things into the monitor such as an external hard drive, and it will all be available over the one cable to your Mac.

  • 32" 4k wins as a main monitor. I have the Dell 32" for <$400. It's been a game changer for me. Also have a 2k IPS 27" on the side.

  • Which one did you buy in the end?

    • I bought the Xiaomi one :)

      • Loving it? I am deciding between the two you mentioned plus the Gigabyte G32QC/G34QC.

        • Haven't received it yet but when I do I'll let you know