Best monitors for a dual screen setup (February 2023)

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Best Monitors for Dual Setups
(Image credit: Future)

The best monitors for a dual setup can optimize your workflow and boost your productivity considerably. Ex-Microsoft Supremo, Bill Gates, is famously a huge fan of multiple monitors.

Every year, monitors get bigger. Should you get the largest monitor you can buy, or would two monitors be better than a huge one like an ultrawide one? Whether you're doubling up on the best 4K monitor on the market or just wanting to expand your 1080p workspace, this guide will explore the research that supports using two displays instead of one and what monitor pair is best for every use case.

The main benefit of a dual monitor setup for businesses is productivity. Multiple displays allow you to see more, eliminating the delays caused by window and application switching. You will also find that two smaller monitors deliver better results and often cost less than buying a single, super-large one. 

We've compared these dual-setup monitors on many points, from their screen size and resolution to their brightness, ports, and design. We evaluated what scenarios and users they're best for, what devices they're compatible with, and the panel type, among other aspects. 

We've also reviewed the best business webcams and the best business Macs. We've written extensively on multiple monitors, why you need dual monitors (or more than one monitor), and how to create a fantastic multi-monitor setup.


The best monitors for a dual setup in 2023 in full

BenQ PD2725U

Best overall monitor for dual setup (Image credit: Future)
Best overall Monitor for dual setup

Specifications

Screen Size: 27-inch
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Ports: Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C
Ergonomics / Stand: Height adjustable, tilt, and rotatable to 90 degrees, can be removed for VESA mount.

Reasons to buy

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Excellent color accuracy
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A wide range of connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
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Sleek design with thin bezels and an adjustable stand
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On-screen display and shortcut keys for easy navigation
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Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture modes for multitasking

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive compared to other 4K monitors on the market
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Poor built-in speakers compared to rivals

The BenQ PD2725U is a 27-inch monitor that is well-suited for use in a dual setup. It can be daisy chained from one monitor to another, allowing for one single cable into your computer, whilst still getting the benefit of onboard ports. One of its standout features is its 4K resolution, which offers crisp, clear visuals that are ideal for media creation and editing tasks. In addition, the monitor supports HDR, which helps to enhance contrast and color accuracy. Other features of the PD2725U include a 60Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and a wide viewing angle. The 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient for most tasks and helps to reduce motion blur, while the 4ms response time ensures that there is minimal delay between player input and on-screen action. The wide viewing angle makes it easy to view the monitor from a variety of positions, making it comfortable to use for extended periods of time.



Read the full review: BenQ PD2725U Monitor

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InnoCN 27M2U Mini LED monitor

Best dual monitor for the money (Image credit: Future)
Best dual monitor for the money

Specifications

Screen Size: 27-inch
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Ports: HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, USB-C, Headphone Jack,
Ergonomics / Stand: Height adjustable, tilt, and rotatable to 90 degrees, can be removed for VESA mount.

Reasons to buy

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90W Type-C power delivery
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Superb color reproduction
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Impressive peak brightness
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Thoughtful packaging
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Brightness sensor

Reasons to avoid

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OSD controls could be better
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No extra USB ports or KVM features
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Cheap-looking, plastic finish
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Lights at the back

The InnoCN 27M2U is a 27-inch monitor that is designed to be both stylish and functional. It features a sleek, slim bezel that is sure to complement any desk setup. In terms of performance, the 27M2U offers a Full HD resolution, which is more than sufficient for productivity tasks and everyday use. The monitor also has a 60Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and a wide viewing angle, making it well-suited for multitasking and general use. The 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient for most tasks and helps to reduce motion blur, while the 4ms response time ensures that there is minimal delay between player input and on-screen action. The wide viewing angle makes it easy to view the monitor from a variety of positions, making it comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

Read the full review: InnoCN 27M2U Monitor

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BenQ PD3220U Monitor

Best 32-inch Monitor for dual setup (Image credit: Future)
Best 32-inch Monitor for dual setup

Specifications

Screen Size: 32-inch
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Ports: HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, USB-C, Headphone Jack,
Ergonomics / Stand: Height adjustable, tilt, and rotatable to 90 degrees, can be removed for VESA mount.

Reasons to buy

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High-quality build and attractive design
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Excellent display performance with 4K resolution, high pixel density, and HDR capability
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Wide range of connectivity options, including multiple HDMI and DisplayPort ports and a USB-C port

Reasons to avoid

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Built-in speakers are not great

The BenQ PD3220U is a 32-inch monitor that offers a solid all-around performance. It features a 4K resolution, which provides crisp, clear visuals that are ideal for tasks such as photo editing and video production. In addition, the monitor supports HDR, which helps to enhance contrast and color accuracy. Other features of the PD3220U include a 60Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and a wide viewing angle. The 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient for most tasks and helps to reduce motion blur, while the 4ms response time ensures that there is minimal delay between player input and on-screen action. The wide viewing angle makes it easy to view the monitor from a variety of positions, making it comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

Read the full review: BenQ PD3220U Monitor

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Design

Best 10440p dual monitor (Image credit: Future)
Best 10440p dual monitor

Specifications

Screen Size : 27-inch
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (WQHD)
Ports: 1 x HDMI (1.4), 1 x USB Type-C (HDMI 2.0 signal), 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x headphone jack
Ergonomics / Stand: Height adjustable, tilt, and rotatable to 90 degrees, can be removed for VESA mount.

Reasons to buy

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Tool-free design
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Built-in speakers
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USB-C connectivity
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Small, minimal bezels
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Easy-to-use OSD menu
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Can be rotated to portrait mode

Reasons to avoid

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No cable management features
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Doesn’t ship with a USB-C cable

The MSI Modern MD271QP is a 27-inch monitor that is geared towards gamers. It boasts a fast refresh rate of 144Hz, which helps to reduce motion blur and provide a smooth, seamless gaming experience. In addition, the MD271QP has a low input lag, which ensures that there is minimal delay between player input and on-screen action. Other features of the monitor include a Full HD resolution, a 4ms response time, and a wide viewing angle. The Full HD resolution is sufficient for most gaming tasks, and the 4ms response time ensures that there is minimal delay between player input and on-screen action. The wide viewing angle makes it easy to view the monitor from a variety of positions, making it comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

Read the full review: MSI Modern MD271QP

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BenQ PD2725U

Best 28" monitor for dual setups (Image credit: Future)
Best 28" monitor for dual setups

Specifications

Screen Size: 28-inch
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Ports: HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, USB-C, Headphone Jack, USB-A (x2)
Ergonomics / Stand: Height adjustable, tilt, and rotatable to 90 degrees, can be removed for VESA mount.

Reasons to buy

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65W power delivery
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Great stand
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Portrait mode
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Color fidelity, HDR support

Reasons to avoid

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Controls aren’t labeled
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Only two USB ports

The Monoprice 28-inch CrystalPro 4K is a large monitor that offers plenty of screen real estate for multitasking and productivity. It has a 4K resolution, which provides crisp, clear visuals that are ideal for tasks such as photo editing and video production. In addition, the CrystalPro 4K has a 60Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and a wide viewing angle, making it well-suited for general use.


Read the full review: Monoprice 28-inch CrystalPro 4K

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We've also featured the best monitor, best ultrawide monitor, and best business monitor.


Is there a benefit to using dual monitors?

Developers

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

 Science says yes.

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Using two monitors is not a fad, the benefits are real and measurable. What was anecdotal evidence and assumption is supported by scientific research too. Behavioral research studies have found a reduction in the time required to complete tasks and significant increases in productivity. 

Jon Peddie, an influential analyst and an industry pioneer in the field of graphics has done the numbers (opens in new tab), and they show a productivity increase of over 40 percent: "We found that users with multiple monitors have an average productivity increase of 42 percent," Peddie explained.

Other experts have validated these assumptions: researchers from the Software Usability Research Laboratory at Wichita State University found 91 percent of users prefer dual monitors to a single monitor during a study (opens in new tab) completed in 2011. Computers with one and two monitors were used to observe participants as they performed business tasks. People with two displays completed their tasks 18 percent faster. Many even said a pair of smaller screens would be preferable to looking at a single big screen.

Best Monitors for MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Nikolay Tarashchenko / Unsplash)

Dual monitors or a single ultrawide monitor? The pros and Cons

We aren't keen on including prices in buying guides, but for the sake of comparison it’s easiest to display current prices. A pair of 27-inch 4K screens from our best for productivity choice cost less than 600 dollars at the time of writing. There are 8K pixels on a combined display area of 46.98 inches horizontally by 14 inches vertically, and a diagonal size of 49 inches. 

If you prefer a 49-inch curved display with a resolution of 5120x1440 pixels and they do exist, you're looking at paying $866 for an entry-level ROG Strix XG49VQ, $1100 for a mid-tier Sceptre Curved 49, and $1349 for a high-tier Samsung Odyssey G9.  

As a result, you get a gigantic screen designed mostly for gamers, which can only be used as delivered. If you have separate screens, you can move them vertically or horizontally as you wish. A single monitor is also a single point of failure, so if it malfunctions you're left with nothing to look at.

Those who advocate a single monitor can rightly claim that with a single screen there are no bezels to get in the way, there is only a huge smooth surface of continuous pixels. You decide whether visual comfort vs bulkiness is more advantageous for your use case. Proponents of a dual setup say the human brain is very effective at focusing on what is important and ignoring everything else. Therefore, when you start using more than one screen, especially with multiple apps, the middle bezels just disappear.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to choose the best monitors for a dual setup for you?

When choosing the best dual monitor setup, you'll want to consider aspects like screen size, resolution, brightness, connectivity options, panel type, and display modes. 

Back when monitors were big CRT tubes, placing monitors next to one another was the only option, but today's monitors are thin and no longer weigh a ton. With flexible mount options and monitor stands, you can easily position the screens to your liking and even stack displays on top of one another if you want to. 

Some monitors even support screen rotation for "portrait" mode. Lawyers working on long blocks of text and those reading scanned printed documents will benefit from portrait mode, if supported.

You'll want to consider how much space you have at your office for the screens. Keep in mind that you don’t need a huge office to take advantage of dual displays: there is a new breed of small 15-inch portable monitors that deliver the high information density of 4K ultra HD without the bulk. These come with their own foldable stands and can be easily slipped into a backpack, taking your dual-screen setup virtually everywhere.

When you choose a pair of 4K monitors, make sure your graphics card is capable of handling them. To drive two monitors at 4K you´ll want cards  capable of handling two or more displays. Just to mention a few: the Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2060 or the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 can support up to three 4K displays and come with three full size ports. 

If you are on a tight budget you could have a card like the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 capable of driving two monitors in 4K at a reasonable price. You can find plenty of options in our graphics cards guides for AMD and Nvidia.

Collin Probst
B2B Hardware Editor, TechRadar Pro

Collin is the B2B Hardware Editor for TechRadar Pro. He has been in journalism for years with experience in both small and large markets including Gearadical, DailyBeast, FutureNet and more.


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