Buying a monitor for work from home use is a sound investment in today’s pandemic-ridden times which has forced companies to close shop and function in the background. Some experts are also suggesting that the work from home situation might become permanent for some since it has other benefits as well. Laptops will come to mind since they are an all-in-one solution, but their screens can be tiny and straining to use for eight or more hours.
Investing in a carefully selected computer monitor for work from home use is a practical upgrade to help you boost your productivity and spend less time crunching those numbers. But before you hit that buy button, check out the important points listed below.
Screen size is the primary concern you have when shopping for a monitor for work from home. Selection depends more crucially on your available space on a desk, plus the viewing distance you normally use. Most will be satisfied with 24-inch to 27-inch models, but you can also go with the large format, 43-inch, and 34 to 49-inch ultrawide displays if you are planning on getting more desktop real estate.
However, the second aspect listed below which is resolution is directly tied to a monitor for work from home’s size. Buying a low-resolution display with a larger diagonal might disappoint you since its image output will not look crisp or pixelated. We also don’t recommend going wider than 35-inch utlrawides for productivity, unless you are used to multi-monitor setups but want fewer cables.
The resolution will determine how much screen space you get and how sharp or detailed the images you see will be. Going with a higher resolution is always better for productivity but be wary of the size of the model you have selected. Getting a small 4K monitor is unwise since the squinting will surely tire your eyes out. You also wouldn’t want to use Windows scaling or having to zoom in and out since it ruins your workflow in our opinion.
If you want to go with a 1080p or full HD screen which is usually cheaper, we recommend staying with 24-inch to 25-inch monitors. You are going to need to go with 1440p or QHD if you want to upsize to 1440p, which is the only perfect resolution for it. 4K screens are only great if you are working on imaging or media, but it’s only comfortable to view if the display diagonal is at least 32 inches to 42 inches.
Ultrawides, on the other hand, are only suited to 1440p formats since the pixel density doesn’t drop too low while providing you more horizontal space. 34-inch to 35-inch models look great at 3440 x 1440, while 5120 x 1440 is the sweet spot for the larger, 49-inch screens.
Users with less than 20/20 vision might want to consider staying with the lower resolutions in a slightly larger size. You can go with 27-inch 1080p or 32-inch 1440p models which aren’t as crisp, but they can offer better visibility.
We recommend going with IPS variants if you are buying a monitor for work from home for its best overall quality and wide viewing angles. IPS is also the way to go if you want color accuracy, however, it’s not the strongest option for contrast depth. Most photo and video editing monitors are based on this tech due to this fact.
VA is a viable alternative if you want a monitor for work from home with deeper blacks and richly saturated hues. This type is great for entertainment purposes, but most VA products are less accurate than IPS panels. TN panels, on the other hand, are a no go since they are better suited for competitive gaming rather than professional use.
USB-C is becoming the most popular modern connector for users with USB-C devices like MacBooks for easier and clutter-free connection with a monitor for work from home. This single cable solution works both ways by enabling signal and data transfer while providing power for your laptop. However, most laptops are still stuck with HDMI, while desktops with GPUs rely on DisplayPort for video signals.
Some older devices could still be using DVI or VGA, so knowing what your PC has first is crucial when selecting a monitor for work from home. Cables are cheap and readily available nowadays, and the common standards like HDMI are already included in the monitor package. However, you should take note that DisplayPort and HDMI have mini versions commonly found on laptop outputs, so you might have to buy an additional mini DP to DP or mini HDMI to HDMI wire.
High refresh rate monitors are becoming common, even in the prosumer brackets since they look smoother and are capable of superb gaming experiences. However, you don’t have to spend the extra on them if you are only going to use the monitor for work from home for productivity. 60Hz variants are often sufficient for most uses and are commonly less expensive than their 144Hz or higher counterparts.
Many display products are now advertising wide gamut coverages which include DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB formats. However, sRGB monitors are still more common since the latter two require specialized panel treatments or backlights which can make them more expensive. We recommend staying with the variants tuned for sRGB for balanced color since the two can look oversaturated for office tasks.
But you still can go with a wide gamut display if you like watching HDR movies, do color grading work, or would like to play HDR games. Most of these models will have an sRGB filter or preset in their OSD, but be wary of their higher price tags.
The immediate accessories we can think of are webcams and lighting aside from the usual keyboard and mouse combos. Webcams are useful with monitor for work from home if your job requires to join regular online conference calls or meetings, but there are some models that have built-in cams. Lighting isn’t completely necessary, but it can help your video output look cleaner and more professional.
Webcams should be placed on top of your screen at dead-center, while lighting can be at an offset to the sides but positioned higher than your display. Of course, the latter varies depending on your environment, but it will help to imagine and plan your setup first before buying your gear.
This aspect is less of a concern nowadays for most monitors since manufacturers are already applying measures to help with lessening fatigue and eye-related issues. You only have to make sure that the monitor you selected is flicker-free and certified to have lower blue light emissions. Monitor OSDs also have LBL filters included, which turns the screen yellowish but will make it softer on your eyes for extended periods.
The Best Monitors for Work from Home Use
ViewSonic VX2485-mhu – Best Budget USB-C Monitor for Work from Home
The ViewSonic VX2485-mhu is an inexpensive USB-C monitor designed for office use that will not disappoint. It includes a 60-watt USB-C connector and a screen with decent imaging qualities which both punch way above its price bracket.
AOC 27G2 – Best Gaming Monitor for Work at Home Use
The AOC 27G2 and its smaller sibling, the 24G2 are both very affordable 144Hz monitors equipped with a color-accurate IPS panel. The model offers excellent clarity and responsiveness for the price, ensuring that it will satisfy the professional and avid gamer in you.
Dell P2720DC – Best 1440p USB-C Monitor for Work From Home
The Dell P2720DC is our top choice if you want a 1440p display with superb image quality and functionality. This model is already pre-calibrated from the factory, so you only need to plug it in to start enjoying its capabilities.
BenQ SW270C – Best 1440p IPS Monitor for Editing
The BenQ SW270C offers fantastic precision at a more palatable price point than its 4K sibilings. This model offers wide gamut coverage with AQcolor technology-treated color reproduction, ensuring that you get the best display for your edits.
Philips 346B1C – Best Affordable 100Hz Ultrawide Work from Home Monitor with USB-C
The Philips 346B1C offers a 100Hz curved screen with decent imaging capabilities, but what makes it stand out is its powerful 90-watt USB-C connector. It’s also priced below $600, making it one of the most affordable 100Hz 34-inch screens to date.
Dell U3419W – Best Premium Ultrawide IPS Monitor for Work from Home
The Dell U3419W is a better pick if you prioritize great factory calibration instead of a higher refresh rate. This USB-C monitor is built for business from the ground up, so you can expect superb functionality and reliability from it.
Asus ProArt PA32UCX -Best 4K HDR Monitor for Editing
The Asus ProArt PA32UCX is the crème de la crème of 4K monitors with its 1000-zone micro-LED backlight that produces astounding brightness and true HDR performance. It also features top-notch color precision, making it the best option for meticulous enthusiasts and editing professionals.
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.