Monitors for Productivity

Whether at home or in the office, a lot of our time if often spent in front of a monitor. With this in mind, it’s important to have the right screen for the job. The models featured in this section are ideal for typing-based tasks such as coding, writing documents or simply emailing. Many are also well-suited to design work; we appreciate not everyone’s workload involves text alone. Some models feature high resolutions such as 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p) or 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD). With a few UltraWide options of 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD) or higher, for those favouring an expansive horizontal workspace even with just a single display. The improvement offered to ‘desktop real-estate’ (useful workspace) coming from lower resolutions can be quite substantial. The increased pixel density offers benefits when it comes to text clarity and the clarity and detail of suitably high-resolution image and video content. Other factors taken into account for the screens featured here include viewing comfort, with all models marketed as ‘flicker-free’ and most feature effective Low Blue Light (LBL) operation. Ergonomic flexibility can also be important for a comfortable experience, with most screens featured offering tilt and height adjustment. With some models featuring additional flexibility such as swivel and pivot (90° rotation into portrait).

 

Our key up to date recommendations are given in the table below, grouped by size.

 

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~24 inches~27 inches~32 inches34 inches~38 inches

Samsung F24T45 (23.6″ 75Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080)

 
Samsung F24T45

Samsung F24T45

 
Key aspects:

  • 23.6″ IPS-type panel
  • Medium matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 75Hz (48 – 75Hz VRR, FreeSync)
  • 8-bit (6-bit + FRC assumed)
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (250 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • DP 1.2a, 2 HDMI 1.4 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 USB 2.0 ports (plus upstream)
  • Tilt (3° forwards, 25° backwards), height (130mm or 5.12 inches), swivel (45° left, 45° right) and pivot
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • AC power (internal power converter)


Why choose this monitor:

The Samsung F24T45 is a smart-looking monitor with simple but robust design. Some USB ports are included for convenience, alongside multiple HDMI ports and DisplayPort. The Full HD resolution doesn’t offer the same ‘desktop real estate’ as WQHD and above but will be adequate for some. The screen is quite solidly built with strong ergonomic flexibility, beyond what you’d usually see within this price range. An IPS-type panel is employed for strong colour-consistency, with ~sRGB colour gamut for a ‘rich and natural’ look to things. Support for a 75Hz refresh rate gives a slight edge in ‘connected feel’ and minor perceived blur reduction which some will appreciate even on the desktop. Low Blue Light (LBL) settings including ‘Eye Saver Mode’ and the ‘Warm2’ colour temperature setting are also included to aid relaxing viewing.


Further reading:

Manufacturer product page

ASUS PA278QV/CV (27″ 75Hz IPS, 2560 x 1440)

 
ASUS PA278QV/CV

ASUS PA278QV/CV

 
Key aspects:

  • 27″ IPS panel (Innolux M270KCJ-L5B AAS IPS-type)
  • Light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p)
  • 75Hz (48 – 75Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • True 8-bit
  • Flicker-free [~20kHz PWM] WLED backlight (350 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • QV: DP 1.2a, MiniDP 1.2a, HDMI 1.4, Dual-link DVI, 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm microphone jack
  • CV: DP 1.2a, DP out (MST Daisy Chaining), HDMI 1.4, USB-C (65W PD, DP Alt Mode, upstream data), 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • QV: Tilt (5° forwards, 35° backwards), height (~150mm or 5.91 inches), swivel (90° left, 90° right) and pivot
  • CV: Tilt (5° forwards, 35° backwards), height (~150mm or 5.91 inches), swivel (45° left, 45° right) and pivot
  • 2 x 2W speakers
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • AC power (internal power converter with ‘zero watt’ switch)


Why choose this monitor:

The ASUS PA278QV and PA278CV have a smart home-office design with excellent ergonomics and a good selection of ports. The ‘QV’ has a good solid build with robust stand neck, whilst the ‘CV’ has a more minimalistic stand neck design. The ‘CV’ also includes USB-C to help minimise the number of cables required. The 27″ screen and 2560 x 1440 resolution provides a useful amount of ‘desktop real estate’, whilst providing good clarity for text and high resolution image content. This is further aided by the light to very light matte screen surface with relatively smooth finish. The well-calibrated IPS-type panel provides rich, consistent and natural-looking colour output. Which can be appreciated for both general-purpose use and colour-sensitive design work. The 75Hz refresh rate can be appreciated for productivity purposes, too, offering a better ‘connected feel’ and slight decrease in perceived blur compared to 60Hz. Flexible and effective Low Blue Light (LBL) settings also feature, potentially enhancing viewing comfort.

Further reading:

Our review of the ‘QV’. ‘CV’ is the same aside from ports and stand design.

A comparison with the Dell U2719D

Manufacturer product page (QV)

Manufacturer product page (CV)

Philips 288E2UAE/288E2E (28″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 288E2UAE (288E2E)

Philips 288E2UAE (288E2E)

 
Key aspects:

  • 28″ IPS panel (Innolux M280DCA-E3B AAS IPS-type)
  • Light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 60Hz (40 – 60Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 10-bit (8-bit + FRC)
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (300 cd/m² peak luminance, ~87% DCI-P3 gamut)
  • PiP/PbP (2 devices)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0 (x2 for ‘E2E’), 3.5mm audio output, 4 USB 3.2 ports (‘E2UAE’ only)
  • 2 x 3W speakers (‘E2UAE’ only)
  • Tilt (5° forwards, 20° backwards) and height (100mm or 3.94 inches) adjustment
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • DC power (external ‘power brick’)


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 288E2E (288E2UAE) features a 28″ ‘4K’ UHD screen. This delivers an excellent pixel density, providing strong clarity to text and suitably high-resolution image content – even if scaling is used. And providing a generous amount of desktop real-estate. The IPS-type panel delivers strong consistency, with a 87% DCI-P3 colour gamut giving a good dose of extra vibrancy without strong oversaturation. Meanwhile, the light to very light matte screen surface provides decent glare-handling. Whilst retaining the clarity and vibrancy potential better than ‘stronger’ surfaces. Other features of note include a height-adjustable stand and effective and flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings, promoting a more relaxing viewing experience. The brightness adjustment range isn’t as good as some models, but will be suitable for most users. Our review unit was right where we wanted it in terms of colour temperature, gamma and brightness – which was nice to see. But individual units and preferences vary in that respect.


Further reading:

Our review

An article exploring the ‘4K’ UHD resolution on screen of this size

Manufacturer product page

Philips 328E1CA (31.5″ 60Hz curved VA, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 328E1CA

Philips 328E1CA

 
Key aspects:

  • 31.5″ VA panel (TPV TPM315WR1-FP01.S Samsung SVA)
  • 1500R curve
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 60Hz (48 – 60Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 10-bit (8-bit + FRC)
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (250 cd/m² peak luminance [>300 cd/m² measured], ~122% sRGB gamut)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2a, 3.5mm audio input, 3.5mm audio output
  • 2 x 3W speakers
  • Tilt (5° forwards, 20° backwards) adjustment
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • AC power (internal power converter)


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 328E1CA delivers a big-screen ‘4K’ experience. Retaining a strong pixel density for excellent text clarity and providing appropriate detail to suitable image content. Whilst also delivering an excellent amount of useful workspace, with lower levels of scaling or application-specific zoom (if any) required. The 1500R curve of the screen was something we found easy to adapt to and exaggerated in photos and videos of the monitor. Some would claim this is beneficial for viewing comfort, too. The VA panel focuses on strong contrast, helping give text a somewhat bolder or ‘inkier’ appearance and aiding bright content against darker backgrounds. Something that some designers will appreciate. The fairly generous colour gamut helps inject a bit of extra vibrancy, but nothing extreme. Ergonomics are limited (tilt-only), but VESA provision is included.

Further reading:

Our review

A post summarising our thoughts on this model in the context of some alternatives

Thoughts on this model from a designer

Manufacturer product page

LG 32UN650 (31.5″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
LG 32UN650

LG 32UN650

 
Key aspects:

  • 31.5″ IPS panel (BOE MV315QUM-N20 IPS-ADS)
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 60Hz (40 – 60Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 10-bit (8-bit + FRC)
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (350 cd/m² peak luminance, ~95% DCI-P3 gamut)
  • PiP/PbP (2 devices)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • DP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 2 x 5W speakers
  • Tilt (5° forwards, 20° backwards) and height (110mm or 4.33 inches) adjustment
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • DC power (external ‘power brick’)


Why choose this monitor:

The LG 32UN650 (32UN650-W owing to white rear) delivers a 31.5″ ‘4K’ IPS experience at a very competitive price. This screen size and resolution combination delivers an excellent pixel density and ‘desktop real estate’ potential. Providing crisp and clear text and detailed high resolution image content. The IPS-type panel provides very good colour consistency, whilst the 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut gives a vibrant and lively look to things. Meanwhile, the light matte anti-glare screen surface provides a decent level of glare-handling without the layered appearance some ‘stronger’ matte surfaces give. A ‘Reader Mode’ Low Blue Light (LBL) setting is included, whilst ‘Maxx Audio’ speakers deliver richer and more powerful sound output than most integrated speakers. The colour consistency isn’t quite as strong and screen surface a bit less smooth than the EW3280U, which we also recommend – and USB-C isn’t included. But the LG is an impressive screen for the price, providing a strong all-round performance and good ergonomics.

Further reading:

Manufacturer product page

Philips 346E2CUAE (34″ 100Hz curved VA, 3440 x 1440)

 
Philips 346E2CUAE

Philips 346E2CUAE

 
Key aspects:

  • 34″ VA panel (TPV TPM340YP05 Samsung SVA)
  • 1500R curve
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD – 21:9 UltraWide)
  • 100Hz (48 – 100Hz VRR, including AMD FreeSync)
  • True 8-bit
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (350 cd/m² peak luminance, ~121% sRGB gamut)
  • PiP/PbP (2 devices)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • DP 1.2a, HDMI 2.0, USB-C (65W PD and DP Alt Mode), 4 USB 3.2 ports, 3.5mm audio output
  • 2 x 3W speakers
  • Tilt (5° forwards, 20° backwards) and height (100mm or 3.94 inches) adjustment
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • AC power (internal power converter)


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 346E2CUAE offers a 3440 x 1440 resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio with 100Hz refresh rate for a bit of extra fluidity on the desktop. The pixel density is good – similar to a 27″ WQHD screen – whilst you gain extra horizontal ‘real-estate’. Some find this very attractive for multi-tasking with multiple applications side by side. We find the 1500R curve on UltraWides like this easy to adapt to (mileage may vary), exaggerated and images and photos showing the screen. Some would point towards potential viewing comfort improvements, too. The VA panel offers strong contrast for ‘inkier’ looking text, whilst helping bright elements stand out better against dark backgrounds. The reasonably generous colour gamut offers a bit of extra vibrancy and saturation compared to models following sRGB more stringently, but not to an extreme degree. Other points to note include a sold overall construction with height-adjustable stand, 4 USB 3.2 ports and USB-C provision (note: data transfer via separate upstream port). Plus effective Low Blue Light (LBL) settings and a ‘PowerSensor’ which dims or switches off the screen if nobody is using it.

Further reading:

An article exploring the 3440 x 1440 resolution

Our review of the 346B1C – same panel, so similar performance characteristics. But alternative styling and features.

Manufacturer product page

Acer XV340CK P (34″ 144Hz IPS, 3440 x 1440)

 
Acer XV340CK P

Acer XV340CK P

 
Key aspects:

  • 34″ IPS panel (BOE MV340VWB-N20 ADS-IPS)
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD – 21:9 UltraWide)
  • 144Hz (48 – 1440Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • True 8-bit
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (250 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)
  • PiP/PbP (2 devices)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 DP 1.2a ports, 3.5mm audio output, 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 x 3W speakers
  • Tilt (5° forwards, 30° backwards), height (150mm or 5.91 inches) and swivel (180° left, 180° right) adjustment
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • AC power (internal power converter)


Why choose this monitor:

The Acer XV340CK P delivers a 21:9 UltraWide experience in budget IPS form. Delivering the expansive horizontal screen space and good pixel density of the 3440 x 1440 resolution with quite consistent colour output and ~sRGB colour space coverage. Giving a rich we like to refer to as ‘rich and natural’. The screen surface offers effective glare handling without the ‘smeary’ appearance of heavy graininess of stronger matte surfaces. The maximum luminance is more limited than most UltraWides, but sufficient for most users. The 144Hz refresh rate and decent pixel responsiveness make for a relatively fluid desktop experience, too, with reduced perceived blur and improved ‘connected feel’ compared to lower refresh rates. Other aspects of note include effective Low Blue Light (LBL) settings to aid relaxing viewing and good ergonomics.

Further reading:

A thread exploring this model in the context of others for productivity

Manufacturer product page

LG 38WN75C (37.5″ 75Hz curved IPS, 3840 x 1600)

 
LG 38WN75C

LG 38WN75C

 
Key aspects:

  • 37.5″ IPS panel (LG Display LM375QW1-SSA1 IPS)
  • 2300R curve
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 1600 (UWQHD+ – 21:9 UltraWide)
  • 75Hz
  • 10-bit (8-bit + FRC)
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (300 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)


Ports and ergonomics:

  • DP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3.5mm audio output
  • Tilt and height adjustment
  • 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • DC power (external ‘power brick’)


Why choose this monitor:

The LG 38WN75C (38WN75C-B owing to black rear) provides an expansive 3840 x 2160 resolution spread across a large screen. This gives an excellent amount of useful desktop space whilst keeping the pixel density quite high for relatively crisp text and image content. The light matte anti-glare screen surface with smooth finish keeps things free from clear graininess or layering, too. A relatively gentle 2300R curve is included, something most find to be a natural addition that’s easy to adjust to. The 75Hz refresh rate provides a slight boost in ‘connected feel’ and decrease in perceived blur compared to 60Hz. A ‘Reader Mode’ Low Blue Light (LBL) setting is included to help promote a more relaxing viewing experience, too, whilst the stand includes tilt and height adjustment.

Further reading:

Manufacturer product page

This list is heavily condensed; look out for the recommended badge in our reviews as well. You can sort our reviews by badge status and various other features in the review archive.