One thing that the coronavirus made abundantly clear to many of us: Our home offices aren’t up to par. And judging by all the Instagram pictures of people using ironing boards as desks, we’re not alone.
However, while you can make do without a proper desk, it’s difficult to be efficient and productive at home when you’re trying to wade through numerous programs, tabs and documents on a single screen. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to upgrade your new home office — with a quality computer monitor. You can even double up and get two for a proper dual monitor setup.
For most people, a simple, well-made monitor will do the trick and there’s no need to spend extra for all the bells and whistles. The basic specs you will want to look for are:
- 1080p resolution: While we do love the sharpness that comes with 1440p and 4K monitors, they still cost considerably more. Still, if you can afford it, we’d definitely recommend splurging on the extra pixels.
- A 27-Inch screen: You can go bigger or smaller depending on preference, but 27 inches is a nice balance between having plenty of screen space without having your monitor dominate your desk.
- IPS Panel: For general usage, an IPS panel is superior to VA and TN panels as colors pop more and blacks are deeper. This may come at the expense of viewing angles and/or input lag, but for most people that won’t matter.
If you happen to be a creative, a gamer, or just want something that’s a little more premium in your home office, don’t worry: We have options for you too.
So stop trying to fit 10 different windows onto your tiny laptop screen. You can be as productive at home as you are at work when you add one of the best monitors to your home office.
1. Dell SE2719H 27-Inch 1080p Monitor
BEST FOR MOST PEOPLE
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense monitor that will handle your average day-to-day use with aplomb, the27-inch Dell SE2719H is the best monitor for your home office. Thanks to an IPS panel, you can expect vibrant colors, deep black and good viewing angles. The 1080p resolution, while not as luxurious as 4K, at least ensures text will be sharp enough to read without thrashing your eyes. The only real downside here is the inability to adjust the height, which makes it exponentially easier to get your ergonomics dialed in. Still, if you have no plans to game or professionally edit photos and videos, you aren’t likely to find more bang for your buck.
2. HP 27FWA 27-Inch 1080p Monitor
The HP 27FWA is an affordable, spacious monitor so you can continue to be an office hero, even though you’re at home. With the micro-bezel display, the display area is maximized as much as possible, which makes the overall size of the monitor smaller. And the ability to tilt and adjust the display so you’re as comfortable as possible makes this screen even more desirable. Gamers and creative professionals may want to consider some of our options below. But for everyone else, this crisp 1080p display is one of the best monitors and a serious upgrade to your current home office setup.
HP 27FWA 1080p Monitor
3. HP Pavilion 22CWA 21.5-Inch 1080p Monitor
BEST UNDER $100
With the shortage of good dual monitor setups available, the HP Pavilion 22cwa provides a reliable and affordable option for people who want a quality monitor pronto. The VGA and HDMI port setup is limited, but most people don’t need anything more than that. And if you have limited space in your home office, the 21.5-inch screen is just big enough. It has almost 5,000 customer reviews on Amazon with an 85% approval rating. Not bad for a monitor that only costs a Benjamin.
HP Pavilion 22CWA 1080p Monitor
4. Sceptre Ultra Thin 1080p Monitor
With two HDMI ports and VGA connectivity, you can have multiple devices connected to the Sceptre without having to switch the HDMI cable from one laptop to another. The thin 24-inch monitor even sports a pair of speakers, for those times you can’t find your headphones right before your Zoom meeting. You’ll be able to hear your co-workers loud and clear. And the best part — this 1080p monitor with plenty of connectivity is not only ultra-thin, but it’s also ultra-affordable.
Priced at just $137, this is a cheap monitor that’s ideal for professionals who need more screen space but not necessarily top-notch visuals. With more than 14,000 reviews and an overall 4.6-star rating from Amazon customers, this is a great second monitor for your office when you need to boost productivity.
Sceptre Ultra Thin 1080p Monitor
5. Viewsonic VP2785-4K 27-Inch 4K Monitor
BEST FOR CREATIVES
For graphic designers, photo and video editors, creatives and other professionals who work in visually intensive spaces, details matter. While you can certainly make due with a lesser monitor, we recommend going with the 27-Inch Viewsonic VP2785-4K which is one of the best monitors when it comes to color accuracy. In addition to the big screen size and 4K resolution, this monitor covers 99% of the Adobe RGB color space, 95% of the DCI-P3 color space and 100% of the sRGB and Rec.709 color spaces. This means that the way your images look on screen is the way they’ll look once you set them free out in the real world. This monitor isn’t cheap, but it could be the difference between good work and great work.
Viewsonic VP2785-4K Monitor
6. Samsung 32-Inch Smart Monitor M7
BEST TV/MONITOR COMBO
Working from home has forced us all to make compromises to our living spaces in order to accommodate the realities of the pandemic. And if you’re dreading the idea of having a computer monitor and a TV in your bedroom (or any screens at all), you might as well get some multifunctionality out of the situation. The Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is not only a 32-inch monitor, but it’s also a full-fledged 4K TV, complete with Samsung’s Tizen-based Smart TV interface. While you could probably connect a TV streamer like a Roku to your monitor, you likely won’t have the convenience of built-in speakers and this is almost certain to be cheaper than most other 4K monitors out there.
Samsung 32-Inch Smart Monitor M7
7. Dell Ultrasharp U2720QM 27-Inch 4K Monitor
BEST ALL-AROUND 4K MONITOR
Those looking to splurge on a monitor that can offer 4K resolution while still providing wide color coverage should look no further than the Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q, which comes out of the box providing 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and 99% coverage of the SRGB color space. This is important for those in creative fields who rely on a certain degree of color accuracy or those who just want to make sure they’re looking at a quality display. Furthermore, this is an incredibly ergonomic display, with the ability to tilt, rotate and pivot to your heart’s content. You can even change the orientation from landscape to portrait. And while vertical screens may be pointless fluff for consuming most internet content, it is great for programmers who need extra vertical real estate.
Dell Ultrasharp U2720QM
8. Dell Ultrasharp UP3221Q 32-Inch Mini-LED Monitor
We won’t lie: The fact that the Dell Ultrasharp UP3221Q is a 32-inch 4K mini-LED monitor feels excessive, decadent and indulgent all at the same time. But this mini-LED monitor is also so future that we’re jealous of anyone who can afford it. So what are the advantages of mini-LED tech? Because there are more than 2,000 LEDs, the screen can reach brightness levels of up to 1,000 nits, which allows for some impressive HDR performance. But more importantly, there are more dimming zones, which means finer contrast control across the screen. All of this combines to deliver a 4K picture that has more detail than you would get with a standard monitor, which is a godsend for high-level creatives, such as video editors, photographers and designers. Sure this may cost an arm and a leg, but the final product that this will help to yield could very well be worth it.
Dell UP3221Q Mini-LED Monitor
9. Dell U2719DX 27-Inch 1440p Monitor
BEST 1440P MONITOR
The Dell U2719DX is the best monitor that provides premium features while still remaining affordable. At 27-inches, it offers plenty of digital real estate, but it’s not quite as visually overwhelming as a 32-inch monitor. It also has impressive color accuracy, covering 99% of the sRGB color space and 85 % of the DCI-P3 color space. The 2560×1440 resolution offers noticeably improved sharpness over 1080p without the added cost that comes with a 4K display. And speaking of cost, while you will have to spend a little bit to get your hands on this monitor, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as other monitors with comparable specs.
Dell U2719DX 1440p Monitor
10. Viewsonic VX2485-MHU 24-Inch 1080p Monitor
BEST 24-INCH MONITOR
Even a 27-inch monitor is more screen than some people need, and in that case, the Viewsonic VX2485-MHU is the best monitor on the smaller side. This affordable, 24-inch 1080p monitor not only offers solid performance, but can also charge your laptop through its USB-C port. That means you’ll have one less wire mucking up your workspace, and while that may sound minor, it’s more convenient than you think.
Viewsonic VX2485-MHU 1080p Monitor
11. Razer Raptor 27-Inch Gaming Monitor
BEST FOR GAMING
Great color and refresh rate is exactly what a gamer wants from a monitor. The Razer Raptor 27 delivers on both fronts. This 27-inch monitor sports 2560×1440 pixel resolution and a peak 144Hz refresh rate, which is extremely impressive and makes for ultra-smooth gameplay. It’s a beastly monitor though, weighing around 25 pounds, so just make sure you have a sturdy enough desk for all that visual goodness.
Razer Raptor Gaming Monitor
12. Samsung CJ791 34-Inch Ultrawide Curved Monitor
Many companies are moving away from the dual-screen monitor setup and providing one ultrawide monitor instead. And why not — monitors like the Samsung Ultrawide provide 34 inches of QHD real estate, and no need to deal with dual monitor stands. Its high refresh rate of 100Hz is gaming worthy, too. If you’re looking for a streamlined solution to get your home office work-from-home ready, it’s hard to beat this ultrawide curved monitor.
Samsung 34-inch CJ791 Ultrawide Curved Monitor
13. Dell P2418HT 23.8-Inch Touchscreen Monitor
BEST TOUCH SCREEN
Touchscreens are more common in tablets and 2-in-1 laptops, but for those who prefer a hands-on approach to work, this is the best monitor for you. Dell makes some of the best laptops for professionals, so it’s no surprise that the computer giant also makes some of the best second monitors. Its stand allows for it to be folded in unique standing positions giving you an array of orientation options. It’s also affordable, albeit, a little older, but it’s a reliable 1080p touch screen offering that provides a great amount of utility.
Dell P2418HT Touchscreen Monitor
14. BenQ EX3203R 31.5-Inch Curved Gaming Monitor
BEST CURVED GAMING MONITOR
This is a great monitor for those who prefer a little more screen space and a curved screen. It has a similar resolution and peak refresh rate as the Razer Raptor, but it provides more display real estate for sharp and radiant visual content. It’s not nearly as heavy as the Razer either, but it does have a heftier price tag. Whether you plan on using the monitor for gaming or work, it’s a solid investment (especially for gaming).
BenQ EX3203R Curved Gaming Monitor 31.5-inch
15. Asus Zenscreen Go 15.6-Inch Portable Monitor
BEST PORTABLE MONITOR
When you go looking for the best monitors for your home office, you may be thinking of the standing monitors you’re used to using at the office. However, portable monitors are having a moment right now. This lightweight and portable monitor from Asus is a great way to turn any area in your home or apartment into a readymade office. The 15.6-inch anti-glare display connects quickly to your laptop via micro-HDMI or USB Type-C connection, making it compatible with both Macs and PCs. The Smart Cover can even hold the monitor in both landscape and portrait orientation to fulfill your secondary monitor needs.