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What are the best options on the market for external computer monitors?

Ben Halpern
A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.
・1 min read

What are the best monitors out there? I'd love suggestions at various price points based on quality and value.

Thanks y'all.

Discussion (18)

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Mike Silversides

My latest is a Dell U3415W, 34" of ultra wide goodness at 3440x1440. The 1440 high is really nice, decent resolution to put up lots of 'letter' size windows. Works nice compared to having two monitors.

A review that I based my decision on is at tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2016/0....

Pricey at $1300 CAD$. I think I got mine on sale about $1000. I've been very happy with it. Also works great with my Xbox and for watching DVD's and Blu-rays.

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Lorenzo Pasqualis • Edited

You can buy it from Amazon (latest, curved model) for $600.

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Robert Lippens

I have the same monitor and have 0 regrets - I got it on discount too, and it makes coding a much nicer experience, plus ... gaming is always nice due to the lack of bezels while still having the giant screen.

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Jared Meakin

I have this one as well. Great setup. Tried dual-stacked but it was overkill. One of these bad boys is all you’ll need. Couple it with something like Spectacle for window positioning/resizing and you’re golden.

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Nick Taylor (he/him) • Edited

I bought the BenQ 27" FHD 60Hz 4ms GTG LED Monitor (GW2760HL) from Best Buy Canada. I've been pretty happy with it. It has HDMI, VGA, DVI ports, headphone jack and built-in speakers (so, so, but I don't use them). I got it on sale in the fall of 2017 for I believe 200$ CDN before tax. The price has gone up a bit, but Best Buy Canada still has it at a decent price of 229$ CDN and change before tax.

I plan on wall mounting it eventually, but if you don't plan on wall mounting it, you may not like the fact that the height is not adjustable. You can only angle it back.

I find it a good size. I use multiple desktops on macOS to toggle through my main apps I'm using, so it works well with my dev workflow.

Having said that, I'm thinking about maybe getting a 32" monitor as I generally have my Mac in closed-clamshell mode.

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MetaDave 🇪🇺

BenQ seems to be great value. We have a couple of them, and if you don't want a lot of bells'n'whistles then the image is great.

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Valentin Pearce

I've got the 24" inch variant which was quite an improvement from my 13" laptop. with 2 HDMI ports and 1 VGA it's great value for money.

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Aaroh Mankad

If you aren't aware of Wirecutter, I highly recommend you check it out! They put in an insane amount of effort into their research and recommendations.

The Best 24-Inch Monitor

The Best 27-Inch Monitor

The Best 4K Monitors

Extra: The Best Monitor Arms

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Frank Carr

So far as bottom-feeder value, check out your local thrift stores. While they typically discard old CRT monitors they do put new flat screen ones up for sale, usually very cheaply. For example, I recently bought a rather decent HP w19e monitor for $3 at a local thrift. If you want to do a low cost Raspberry Pi project or the like, this is where you should look.

I've got an older model of the BenQ mentioned by Nick that I've had since 2011 that worked very reliably over the years. I've had big and fancy Samsung and Viewsonic monitors at work that haven't been all that reliable.

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Cyril Niobé

I don't know if it's relevant for you but have you heard about Slidenjoy monitors ?

Kind of "on the go" monitors for your laptop.

I don't have one yet but I keep it in mind when the time will come (a bit expensive tho).

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Brett Stevenson

I've been trying to find a solution to this question recently as well, though the main obstacle I've been encountering is finding a monitor that has decent color reproduction for front-end work, while also having a quick enough refresh rate for playing games in my downtime.

My price range is around $500-$600 and so far I've found the following options:

Though, I still haven't made a purchase yet, so I'm interested to see what else people suggest here.

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Dave Cridland

Dell.

I have five around the house - two are cheap ones, now over a decade old. Two were quite expensive when bought about a decade back, they run 1200x1600 (in portrait). One is "only" a few years old, a 2.5K.

I might eventually get an Ultra Wide curved one, but the problem is the old ones just won't die.

BenQ and other makes are OK, but as for me, give me Dell or give me, well, nothing, because I've already got Dells.

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DK

I've been happy with the LG 27UD68P, it's great quality and price. However, if it's for a Mac there are probably better options for productivity. I wish OSX had the window scaling options Windows does. 100% on a 27 inch 4K monitor is far too small to read but 200% is wasted space. Zooming each application a little bit is ok, until you want to switch back to your built-in display.

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Erik Nelson

I have the HP Omen 32 at home, which is a 1440p VA monitor. I like it a lot for development and gaming, but if you want dual displays it would be pretty hard to fit two of these side by side.

I think in terms of bang for your buck, look at open box QHD displays on Amazon or elsewhere. You can get a 27" IPS for around $300 in some cases.

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Ben Sinclair

I'm a fan of the Dell 24" and 27" ultrasharp monitors. I use a 27" one at work and a 24" IPS one at home that I picked up second hand for 60 quid. You can get an outstanding screen for programming for peanuts if you look in the classifieds :)

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Ricardo Bánffy

I'm considering a 40"-ish 4K TV. It's about the same dot-pitch a 20"-ish 1080p, but replaces 4 of them. It's not too large (I currently have a physically wider setup) and, if it's a curved one, eye focus stress should be more or less the same as multiple screens.

Plus, due to the volume, they are cheaper than the monitors.

The only drawback is that the settings are optimal for TV, which means it can default to add sharpness or color that's not in the signal and, sometimes, cut some pixels on the side so it has masks the borders when the filters applied would make them look odd. Any decent TV will have a game/computer mode that does away with the image "enhancement".

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Arden de Raaij

I don't think I've used anything else but Dell monitors in the last decade and I never had any regrets. I had two external Dell monitors myself (still in Amsterdam at the moment, I miss them) and recommended them to my company as well.

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Liz Rodriguez

I always hear Dell Ultrasharps are awesome!