One of the most popular ways to increase productivity in your home office is by adding a second monitor. The dual-screen setup allows you to use one monitor for work and the other for entertainment or browsing social media.
It can also help with multitasking as it offers more space for windows, apps, documents, etc., which means you won’t have to switch between screens so often. And if two monitors aren’t enough, there are plenty of three and four-monitor desks that allow you to turn your workspace into an even better place to work.
What to consider when buying a dual monitor setup
When you’re first starting out, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin with your first setup or if you even need two screens. Here are some crucial things to think about before purchasing:
– Your budget. Monitors come at many different sizes and prices. Some will offer the same resolution but with varying panel technologies, so you should decide what is most important to you before splurging on a monitor.
– How your computer handles dual monitors. If your graphics card can’t handle two or more screens, then this setup isn’t worth it for you. It is also important to consider your onboard graphics versus a more powerful video card.
– What you use your computer for. If you’re editing video or photos, then a dual monitor setup with matching panels and accurate colors will be of the most benefit to you. However, if it is mostly for multimedia consumption, then these features won’t matter much in choosing a monitor.
– Which monitor size is best for you? Generally, the rule of thumb is to make your primary monitor at least 20 inches and the additional screen 17 inches or less. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t go bigger if there are other features that make it worth it.
– Ports. Depending on the type of computer you have, most monitors will come with two or more HDMI ports and a VGA port (or DVI), but if your PC only has one display port, make sure to double-check that it is compatible with both screens before purchasing. Also, note that monitors typically don’t come with speakers, but if you’re looking for that added convenience, then there are plenty of options out there.
– Curved or flat screens? This is entirely up to personal preference as some may find it easier to read text off a curved screen; while others might like the clarity of a flat monitor. Make sure to test both options at your local electronics store to see what feels right for you.
– Panel type. There are three-panel types, but the most common for home setups are TN (twisted nematic) and IPS (in-plane switching) panels. While TN panels will typically be cheaper than IPS, they often don’t provide as good color accuracy or viewing angles.
– Monitor stand. Most monitors come with their own stands, but if you’re looking for a monitor without one or you want to mount it on the wall, make sure to check the specifications and weight of your chosen monitor and its included stand (if any).
The best dual monitor setups: what we tested
While there are many monitors to choose from, we selected six of the top-rated models with some stellar reviews. These were tested with the following system specs:
– AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU
– Asus ROG Strix B350-F Gaming Motherboard
– 16GB G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 RAM
– 128GB Team Group SSD
– 1TB Western Digital HD
– Three Asus VS248H-P 24″ Monitors
Best Monitors For Dual Setup
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5″ Full HD 1920×1080
- 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio
- Full HD 1080p (1920×1080) support and HDMI port.
- Splendid™ Video Intelligence Technology
Asus vs228H: This monitor is built with the intention of playing games in Full HD with little motion blur. The TN panel has a refresh rate of 60Hz, horizontal viewing angles up to 170 degrees, and an input lag of up to 5ms. Priced at around $160, this monitor is a decent cheap option for those looking for a minimal setup, but the limited viewing angles (especially vertically) may be a deal-breaker for some.
Acer G257HU smidpx
Acer G257HU smidpx 25-Inch WQHD
- 2560 x 1440 resolution
- 1 x DVI (w/HDCP), 1 X HDMI & 1 x Display Port.Brightness:350 cd/m²
- Widescreen Monitor
- Rapid 4ms response time
Acer G257HU smidpx: Made with gamers in mind, this 24-inch monitor has an IPS panel with a refresh rate of up to 75Hz, adjustable height, and highly customizable viewing angles. The screen itself is 2560×1440 resolution and comes with two HDMI ports (one 2.0), VGA, and DisplayPort; all great features for those looking for a versatile monitor for both work and play. Priced at around $450, this monitor is an excellent option for those looking for a high-quality yet affordable dual monitor setup.
SAMSUNG U28E590D 28-Inch 4k
- Picture in Picture (PIP) 2.0 technology
- AMD FreeSync and 1ms
- HDMI 2.0 inputs as well as one Display Port input
- 28-Inch 4k UHD LED-Lit
This 28-inch monitor features a TN panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz, four millisecond response time, and 1ms motion blur reduction. The screen resolution is 3840×2160 and the monitor itself is height adjustable. Priced at around $300, this monitor has a lot to offer in terms of size and refreshes rate at an excellent price.
Acer Predator XB271HK
Acer Predator XB271HK 27″”
- 16:9-4 ms GTG
- 3840 x 2160-1.07 Billion Colors
- 300 Nit 1,000:1
- 4K UHD
- HDMI – DisplayPort – USB – Black – MPR II
Acer Predator XB271HK: This 27-inch IPS panel has a resolution of 3840×2160 with up to 165Hz refresh rate (via Display Port) and 4ms response time. It also features Game Mode presets (FPS, RTS, etc.) for optimal gameplay; G-SYNC compatibility; multiple ports (DisplayPort, HDMI & USB 3.0); plus its height adjustable. Priced at around $720, this monitor is great for those looking for a big screen that can handle high frame rates while providing excellent color accuracy.
AOC Agon AG271QX
AOC Agon 27 inch AG271QX
- 144hz response time, 5ms, G sync
- Brightness- 350 cd/m2
- HDMI, (2) USB3.0, (2) USB 2.0
- AOC’s Flicker-Free Technology built
- 2560 x 1440 resolution
- Dynamic contrast ratio- 50,000,000:1,16:9 aspect ratio
AOC Agon AG271QX: This monitor has a TN panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz and an input lag of around 4ms. The screen resolution is 2560×1440 and the viewing angles are typically 170 degrees both vertically and horizontally. It also features G-SYNC compatibility, multiple ports (DisplayPort, HDMI & DVI) as well as VESA wall mount compatibility. Priced at around $600, this monitor offers everything computer gamers could want in one package at a great price point.
ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q
- 27-inch, WQHD 2560 x 1440
- ASUS-Exclusive GameVisual Technology
- ASUS-exclusive Ultra-Low Blue Light
- 165Hz refresh rate and NVIDIAG-SYNC technology
- 178-degree viewing angles
Asus PG279Q: For those who prefer IPS panels over their TN counterparts, this monitor is made specifically for fast-paced games that require high frames per second or high refresh rates to prevent motion blur. The monitor has an IPS panel with a refresh rate of up to 165Hz (via Display Port), 4ms response time, and has G-SYNC compatibility. Priced at around $700, this monitor is great for those looking for games that require high frame rates at high resolutions.
As you can see, there are many options to choose from when shopping for the perfect 2nd screen. While each model listed above excels in certain aspects over the others, all offer great value while providing excellent color accuracy and have minimal input lag. That being said, if we had to select one option for a dual monitor setup it would be the Asus PG279Q. This 27-inch IPS panel has a resolution of 2560×1440 with a refresh rate of up to 165Hz (via Display Port) and a 4ms response time. It also features G-SYNC compatibility, multiple ports (DisplayPort, HDMI & DVI) as well as VESA wall mount compatibility. Priced at around $700, this monitor offers everything computer gamers could want in one package at an excellent price point.
What do you guys think? Do any of these dual monitor setups catch your eye? Is there a certain model that goes unmentioned that you would recommend over the others listed above? Please let us know below and we promise to try and implement some of your suggestions into upcoming builds! Thank you all for reading and be sure to stick around for more great content!