Best External Monitors for Surface Book Windows Central 2020

Microsoft's Surface Book 2 and refreshed Surface Book 3 are undeniably some of the most potent modular laptops on the market, and their displays — available in two sizes — are gorgeous. However, there are plenty of times when extra screen real estate can make a big difference in productivity. And if you have room for a workstation, you might be looking for some external monitor suggestions. I've rounded up here the best for a variety of budgets and usage scenarios.

Multipurpose QHD: Dell UltraSharp U2719D

Editor's pick

Dell's U2719D 27-inch monitor has a 2560x1440 (QHD) resolution and IPS panel for a beautiful picture, and its lack of bezel makes it seem like the picture is much larger. Connect with HDMI or DisplayPort, take advantage of five USB-A 3.0 ports, and mount the monitor easily thanks to VESA support. This is a perfect monitor for productivity work.

27-Inch Curved Gaming: MSI Optix MAG272CQR

Staff gaming pick

With a 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a slight curve to the QHD display, you'll get an immersive, high-end gaming experience from this monitor. Connect with DisplayPort or HDMI, enjoy built-in RGB lighting, and hang your headset on the side with a retractable hook.

Slim 4K: HP Z27

HP's Z27 is an excellent general-purpose pick for most people thanks to a beautiful slim build with adjustable stand, wide viewing angles thanks to an IPS panel, and USB-C connectivity. It has superb color and contrast for a vivid picture, a 60Hz refresh rate, an 8ms response time for smooth visuals, and it comes with HP's Zero Bright Dots warranty.

16:10 Aspect Ratio: Dell UltraSharp U2415

Sick of a 16:9 aspect ratio and want something taller with more screen real estate? The Dell U2415 has a 16:10 aspect ratio, 1920x1200 resolution, and precise sRGB color for a vivid picture. It has a thin bezel, it can be VESA mounted, and it includes HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and DisplayPort for easy connectivity.

Best for Design: BenQ PD2720U

If you need a professional-grade monitor with precise sRGB, AdobeRGB, and DCI-P3 color reproduction, BenQ's PD2720U is a great pick. The 27-inch display has a 4K resolution, HDR10 support, and unreal color. Connect with HDMI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt 3.

Portable 14-Inch Display: Lenovo ThinkVision M14

Lenovo's ThinkVision M14 is our top pick for a portable display. It weighs just 1.26 pounds (570g) making it easy to carry around with your Book 2 or Book 3, it comes with a matte 1080p display with IPS panel, and its built-in stand keeps it at a proper angle for easy productivity. Connect with USB-C and enjoy 99% sRGB color.

$280 at Amazon

Budget Gaming: Dell S2417DG

Considering the price, Dell's 24-inch G-Sync gaming monitor delivers a lot. It has a 165Hz max refresh rate, a 2560x1440 resolution, and a 1ms response time. Rotate the stand for landscape or portrait mode, and connect with HDMI, DisplayPort, and four USB-A 3.0 ports.

Ultrawide Picture: LG 25UM58-P

For getting more done at once, this 25-inch ultrawide monitor from LG allows you to split the screen up to four times. It has a resolution of 2560x1080 with a 21:9 aspect ratio, an IPS panel, and two HDMI ports for connecting two PCs at once. Enjoy a refresh rate of 60Hz and 99% sRGB color reproduction.

$150 at Amazon

If we're making some suggestions

All of these monitors can deliver a satisfying experience. But we don't blame you if you're still unsure of which one you'd like to spend your money on. If you need a monitor that can handle just about anything you throw at, Dell's UltraSharp U2719D is a tremendous multipurpose pick. At 27 inches, it's an ideal size, it has a 2560x1440 resolution and IPS panel for a beautiful picture, and Dell has done a great job of removing bezel almost completely. Overall, it's a beautiful monitor that can fit into any home or office.

On the other hand, if you want to push your Surface Book 2's or Surface Book 3's hardware with some gaming, the MSI Optix MAG272CQR is a great 27-inch pick. We gave it a Recommended Award in our review, noting high refresh rate and low response time, superb color and contrast, and a high-quality build with built-in RGB lighting. It's slightly curved to up immersion, and while it doesn't natively support G-Sync (instead it supports FreeSync), I had no trouble enabling the technology to work with an NVIDIA RTX graphics card. If you're looking to do some gaming with your Book 2 or Book 3, this monitor will make a great choice.

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