Best desktop monitor for macbook pro: The best monitor for MacBook Pro in 2023

Best Monitor for MacBook Pro

The best MacBook Pro monitors include the Dell 27020Q UltraSharp Monitor, Gigabye M27Q, and the LG 34BK95U UltraFine Ultrawide Monitor

Apple’s computers are powerful tools with fantastic displays. If you need more real estate, though, we’ve rounded up options for the best monitor for MacBook Pro in 2023.

After all, sometimes you’re going to need a bit more screen real estate than the MacBook Pros offer, even in their largest variations. Chances are, if you’re looking for the best monitor for MacBook Pro, you’re using the device for work of some kind.

That means you’re going to want to look out for a variety of things, including screen size, screen resolution, and even color quality. Finding one of the best MacBook Pro monitors can be difficult, especially with so many monitors out there to choose from. That’s why we’ve done most of the legwork and put together this list of the best MacBook Pro monitors, including a budget option for those who don’t want to break the bank with their latest accessory.

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Best overall monitor for MacBook Pro

The Dell UltraSharp U2723QE has a built-in USB-C port.

The Dell UltraSharp U2723QE is a newly-upgraded model that comes sporting excellent color coverage. Once you’ve seen it in action, you’ll never want to go back to another monitor. This delightful display comes with support for 4K resolution, and 98% DCI-P3, 100% sRGB, and 100% REC 709. That means you’ll have vibrant, sharp, and naturally beautiful visuals no matter what you’re doing on your MacBook Pro.

Buy at Dell

The panel here is also 27 inches, which means plenty of screen real estate to spread out your windows and make use of. The included ergonomic stand can also tilt, pivot, and adjust vertically, which means you can easily set it up any way you like it without having to move the monitor stand around a lot.

On top of great resolution and color quality, the Dell UltraSharp U2723QE also comes with a built-in USB-C port. That means you can charge your MacBook Pro even while running it at its full potential. The brightness could be a little bit better, but with so many other things going for it for under $700, this is a great contender for the best monitor for MacBook Pro.

Best budget monitor for MacBook Pro

The Gigabyte M27Q offers an abundance of features for a budget-friendly price.

If you want to add a monitor to your MacBook Pro setup, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, there are still some good options. One of the best budget options is the Gigabyte M27Q. This monitor features a max refresh rate of 170Hz an an IPS panel with a full resolution of 1440P. That makes it crisp enough to handle most work you’ll throw at it. The color support here isn’t as great as you’ll find in higher-priced monitors, but it’s still more than good enough for most of what you’ll do with it.

Buy at Amazon

The peak brightness, on the other hand, is extraordinary, and it handles reflections really well, too. That means you can work in bright rooms without having to worry so much about them causing glare on your screen. Additionally, the picture quality is good overall, and the accuracy of the image is fantastic right out of the box. If it had checked a few more boxes, it could easily have been a possibility for our best overall MacBook Pro monitor. But, since it falls somewhat short, and the included USB-C port doesn’t have enough power to charge your MacBook Pro, it will have to settle for the budget spot on our list.

Best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro

The LG 34BK95U-W Ultrafine display has ample ports to connect accessories.

If you want to maximize screen real estate, while also taking advantage of a colorful and bright screen. At 34-inches, this 5K monitor is a great option for anyone who needs a large screen with a high resolution. It also comes with ample viewing angles and great build quality. Overall, it’s hard to beat the LG 34BK95U-W Ultrafine and its bevy of features.

Buy at Amazon

On top of sporting a higher resolution panel, the 34-inch monitor also comes with a ton of ports, including a DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, as well as a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) port, and even some regular USB-A 3.0 ports. That makes it great for accessories, which most MacBook Pros may struggle with. One of the real standout parts of this monitor, though, is its three year warranty for parts and labor. That means you won’t have to worry about dropping such a large sum on a monitor again, at least for a good few years. The LG 34BK95U-W retails for $999, but is available at Amazon.

Apple’s best monitor for MacBook Pro

The Apple Studio Display connects easily to your MacBook Pro

If you don’t mind spending a pretty penny and want to keep everything in the Apple ecosystem, then pair your MacBook Pro with the Apple Studio Display. The newly released 5K monitor comes with a bevy of features, including multiple USB ports, which should help you accessorize as needed.

Like the Pro Display XDR, the Studio Display is geared towards creative professionals. That means multiple reference modes, and P3 wide color gamut support, too. You’ll also find a built-in six-speaker sound system, as well as a 12MP ultra-wide web camera enclosed in the front of the device. The entire thing is powered by an onboard A13 chip, and comes with a nano-texture display that does great at cutting down on glare.

Buy at Adorama

There are better 5K displays out there, but if you really want to keep it in the Apple family, then the Studio Display is the monitor for you. Read our full Apple Studio Display review.

AppleInsider readers can also save $110 to $150 on the Studio display with this activation link and promo code APINSIDER at Adorama. Step-by-step coupon instructions can be found here.

Best Apple alternative monitor for MacBook Pro

The Alogic Clarity is a solid monitor with a distinctly Apple-like design language. Although it’s cheaper than the Apple Studio Display, the Clarity monitor does have its own suite of productivity tricks and additional feature that could help sway your decision.

The Alogic Clarity monitor is a budget-friendly option.

Buy at Alogic

It’s a 27-inch monitor with a 4K display with a resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. It packs more port options than the Apple Studio Display, with a pair of HDMI ports, a Type-C, two USB-A ports, headphone jack, and a USB-B port.

The Alogic Clarity doesn’t match Apple’s display pound-for-pound, but it does come in at a cheaper $799. 99 — and delivers a lot of value for that price point.

Best reference monitor for MacBook Pro

If you’re looking for a reference monitor for high-end graphics and film editing work, then the Pro Display XDR is a solid option. This is a 32-inch monitor with a 6K resolution, HDR supports, and up to 1000 nits of brightness. It’s tailor-made for professionals.

Pro Display XDR

Buy at Adorama

The Pro Display XDR has the same port array as the Apple Studio Display, with three USB-C ports and a single Thunderbolt 3 port. While it doesn’t come cheap, it’s still significantly less expensive than most other professional-grade reference monitors.

If price isn’t an issue, the Pro Display XDR is the best monitor for MacBook Pro.

It typically costs $4,999 at places like Amazon, or $5,999 with the special matte Nano Texture Glass. But AppleInsider readers can save up to $510 on the Apple Pro Display XDR in addition to $100 off AppleCare at Adorama with this activation link and promo code APINSIDER. Need help with the coupon? Here are step-by-step activation instructions.

Best 5K monitor aimed at creatives for MacBook Pro

The LG UltraWide 5K2K is a powerful monitor aimed at creative professionals. It’s a 34-inch wide display with a 5K horizontal resolution and 4K vertical resolution. It sports a 90% DCI-P3 wide color gamut range, max brightness of 450 nits, and a resolution of 5120 by 2160 pixels.

LG UltraWide 5K2K

Buy at Amazon

On the rear, you’ll find a plethora of ports, from a pair of HDMI ports to a DisplayPort, various USB ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. The real draw here is the screen real estate. Its massive display area makes for easier workflows across a variety of creative and productive tasks.

You can buy the LG UltraWide 5K monitor for $1,086.46 on Amazon or for $1,496.99 at Adorama.

Best smaller 4K monitor for MacBook Pro

The LG UltraFine 4K has the distinction of being an Apple-approved monitor that you can purchase directly from the iPhone maker. It’s a 23.7-inch display with a 3840 by 2160 resolution, a P3 wide color gamut, and up to 500 nits of brightness.

The LG UltraFine 4K display pairs nicely with Apple’s MacBook Pro.

Buy at B&H

It can power a MacBook Pro with its included 85W Thunderbolt 3 cable, and it also sports two Thunderbolt 3 ports and three downstream USB-C ports. On the audio and visual side, it packs built-in stereo speakers.

You can purchase the LG 4K UltraFine display for $699 at B&H.

Best monitor with smart TV features for MacBook Pro

The Samsung M8 is a 4K monitor that can also act as a smart TV, allowing users to take advantage of online services without a host device. That makes it a bit more versatile than other monitors on the list — but the Samsung M8 still functions well as a dedicated computer display.

While it’s a larger 32-inch monitor, it has a lower pixel density than Apple’s Studio Display. Despite that, it still supports HDR10+, a 99% sRGB color range, and up to 400 nits of brightness. It packs a single HDMI port and a pair of USB-C ports (with one downstream and one upstream port).

Samsung M8

Available at Samsung

As far as audio and visual goes, the Samsung M8 has its own 5W speaker system with a tweeter, a Far Field Voice microphone, and a detachable webcam.

It’s available starting at $579 from Samsung or at Amazon for as low as $464.

Best desktop companion to a MacBook Pro

There are likely times when a dedicated desktop Mac is going to be more useful to your workflow than a separate monitor. In these cases, your best bet is likely to be the 24-inch iMac, which is powered by an M1 chipset and sports some hefty display features.

24-inch iMac

It packs a 4.5K display with a 4,480 x 2,520 resolution, 500 nits of brightness, True Tone, and Wide Color range. Of course, it’s also a dedicated computer in its own right, with a powerful M1 chipset and a seven- or eight-core GPU.

While it can’t function as a monitor for your MacBook Pro, you can streamline your workflows using features like Continuity and AirDrop.

Best MacBook Pro monitor for multitaskers

The Dell UltraSharp U4021QW offers enhanced screen real estate.

If you’re planning on multitasking, then going with an ultrawide monitor can be a great way to give yourself some extra screen real estate. It might not be the best ultrawide out there, but the Dell UltraSharp U4021QW does come close, and it gives you a ton of features to take advantage of during usage for under $2,000.

Buy at Dell

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. This monitor is massive. At 39.7 inches, the Dell UltraSharp U4021QW will take up a lot of desk space. But, it makes up for all of this with an absolutely stunning picture quality you aren’t likely to find on many other monitors. The ports that it comes with are also fantastic, and you’ll probably never need to use them all.

But what makes it so special for multitaskers? We’re glad you asked. Let us introduce you to the Dell UltraSharp U4021QW’s various multitasking modes, including picture-by-picture, picture-in-picture, and KVM (which stands for keyboard, video, and mouse). These features allow you to connect two separate laptops or computers and view them on that single screen. So, if you need to collaborate with a teammate who has their own MacBook Pro, the Dell UltraSharp U4021QW can let you both work side by side whenever you need to.

While it may be tough to choose between these monitors, there is a great chance of discovering the best monitor for MacBook Pro that will fit your needs here.

The best monitors for MacBook Pro in 2023

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Written By
Don Melanson

Updated Apr 13, 2023 2:15 PM

The best monitors for MacBook Pros are already built into the machines themselves, but sometimes you just need more room to work. Adding an external monitor can create a more productive work environment. For some of us, the extra real estate for windows and applications that pop up over each workday feels like a necessity. With a high-end laptop like the 2021 MacBook Pro, it’s important to choose a monitor that matches the capabilities and, in this case, specific requirements of your computer. It is capable of driving some really high resolutions (especially the higher-end models), so you’ll want a monitor that can take advantage of its power. As a result, the best monitors for MacBook Pro tend to be a fairly particular breed of high-end display.

  • Best overall: ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV
  • Best 4K: Dell UltraSharp U2720Q
  • Best 5K: LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • Best 32-inch monitor: LG UltraFine 32UL950-W
  • Best ultrawide: Samsung CJ791
  • Best budget: ViewSonic VP2756-2K
  • Best Apple monitor: Apple Pro Display XDR

How we selected the best monitors for MacBook Pro

As a freelance technology critic who works from home full-time and is responsible for buying all of my own gear, I put a lot of time into researching my purchases and determining the best setup for my needs. To pick the monitors for this list, I relied on my own experience as a writer who has covered technology and hardware extensively for sites like Reviewed, Popular Mechanics, and Engadget. I also turned to expert reviews from a variety of trusted publications and consumer reviews from online retailers, to get a good sense of the best options currently on the market.

Our recommendations for the best monitors for MacBook Pro cover a wide range of options, from budget-minded models to high-end, premium displays. The common thread is that they all allow for a simple grab-and-go work setup, offer USB-C charging, and at least a couple of spare USB ports for your peripherals. We also focused on features that complement the work that the MacBook Pro does best, including color accuracy for photo editing.

Best overall: ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV

Why it made the cut: While it isn’t the biggest display and doesn’t run in 4K, the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV offers tremendous value with the specs most people need for work. Plus, it’s affordable enough to make a dual-monitor setup reasonable.  


  • Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440
  • Refresh rate: 75Hz
  • Ports: USB-C, DisplayPort (2), HDMI, USB 3.1 (4)
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 65W
  • Panel type: IPS


  • Plenty of connectivity
  • Good color accuracy
  • Stylish and functional design
  • Fairly affordable


  • Sub-4K resolution
  • 65W power charges larger MacBook Pros slowly

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is not the biggest monitor, nor does it have the highest resolution, but it is an incredibly balanced display. The 27-inch, 1440p display brings some small trade-offs in sharpness, but the rest of the ProArt’s specs make it the best monitor for MacBook Pro for overall value. Those specs include ample connectivity with four USB 3.0 ports, plus HDMI and DisplayPort connections, and a very adjustable stand that’ll let you dial in your setup just right. As a bonus, the monitor’s sleek black and silver design also complements the MacBook Pro nicely, making it a sharp aesthetic choice if you don’t have thousands of bucks for an Apple Pro Display XDR.

Best 4K monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2720Q



Why it made the cut: Dell’s UltraSharp U2720Q offers a step up with 4K resolution and 90W of charging power via USB-C, which better suits the larger MacBook Pros.


  • Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 × 2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Ports: USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3.0 (3)
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 90W
  • Panel type: IPS


  • 4K resolution
  • 90W power delivery
  • Fully-adjustable stand 


  • 60Hz refresh rate

Dell’s monitors have maintained one of the best reputations around for decades now and generally make for a solid choice across the board whether you’re looking for a budget or high-end display. The UltraSharp U2720Q is a particularly strong choice: It’s the best 4K monitor at a reasonable price, with relatively few compromises. While you will have to settle for a 60Hz refresh rate, which may hurt for gamers and content creators, its great color accuracy, large host of ports, and fully adjustable stand make the U2720Q a strong productivity pick.

Best 5K monitor: LG UltraFine 5K Display

Why it made the cut: While it’s been around the block, LG’s Apple-approved Ultrafine 5K display offers solid specs across the board, making it an ideal (albeit pricey) companion for any MacBook Pro.


  • Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 5120 x 2880 
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (3)
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 94W
  • Panel type: IPS


  • Incredibly sharp image
  • P3 wide color gamut
  • 500 cd/m² brightness


  • Expensive

The LG UltraFine 5K Display has been the best 5k monitor for high-end Mac users for some time. There’s a reason for that: It’s the only third-party monitor line endorsed by Apple and sold at the Apple Store.

That endorsement has extended the display’s lifespan, even as they become harder to find, but it’s easy to understand why Apple picked it. The 27-inch, 5120 x 2880 resolution display features incredible pixel density—218 pixels per inch—plus P3 wide color gamut, making it an exceptional resource for artists and content creators. It also offers a rare all-in-one A/V package, including a built-in 1080p webcam, microphone, and speakers, which are convenient whether or not you wind up using them.

Best 32-inch monitor: LG UltraFine 32UL950-W

Why it made the cut: If you want a big, big screen, LG’s UltraFine 32UL950-W offers an excellent set of specs as the best 32-inch monitor, with only a couple drawbacks.


  • Size: 31.5-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (2), DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3. 0 (2)
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 60W
  • Panel type: IPS


  • 4K resolution
  • Thin bezels
  • Ample ports


  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 65W power delivery

A 32-inch monitor is basically a TV sitting on your desk, and thus may be too big for some folks with limited desk space. It’s a bit glamorous, though, and helpful for multi-taskers and creative professionals who just want a big canvas for their work. Technically measuring out to 31.5 inches, the LG UltraFine 32UL950-W packs 4K resolution and plenty of amenities that make it a great fit for a MacBook Pro. That includes a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and two standard USB ports, plus HDMI and 3.5mm audio out. The monitor’s thin bezels also ensure the display doesn’t take up any more space than it has to. It does only provide 65W of power via the USB-C cable, however, which isn’t a problem for 13-inch MacBook Pro users but it will charge 14- and 16-inch models more slowly than with their standard charger.

Best ultrawide monitor: Samsung CJ791

Why it made the cut: The Samsung Cj791 comes with a few compromises to keep its price reasonable, but offers an immersive experience not possible with standard displays making it our pick for the best ultrawide monitor.


  • Size: 34-inch
  • Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
  • Refresh rate: 100Hz
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (2), DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3.0 (2)
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 85W
  • Panel type: VA


  • Immersive, 34-inch curved display
  • 85W power delivery
  • 100MHz refresh rate


  • Poor contrast and viewing angles

Ultrawide Samsung’s curved CJ791 monitor is a particularly good option for MacBook Pro users, providing 85W of power over Thunderbolt 3, along with a 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, a fairly low 4 ms response time, fast 100MHz refresh rate (plus support for AMD FreeSync), and some built-in 7-watt stereo speakers. Reviews of the monitor have consistently noted that both contrast and viewing angles are a bit lackluster compared to some other non-ultrawide options, however, which are a few trade-offs to keep in mind.   

Best budget monitor: ViewSonic VP2756-2K

Why it made the cut: The best budget monitor by monitor standards, ViewSonic’s VP2756-2K offers comparable specs to our top pick in a no-nonsense package.


  • Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Ports: USB-C, Displayport, HDMI, USB 3.0 (2), USB Type-B
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 60W
  • Panel type: IPS


  • Affordable but still includes USB-C
  • Fully-adjustable stand
  • Good color accuracy
  • Built-in stereo speakers


  • Only 60W of power over USB-C
  • Somewhat bland appearance

You can always get a cheaper monitor if you’re willing to compromise on size and specs, but the ViewSonic VG2756-2K is a very reasonable price-conscious mid-tier monitor that delivers what we’d recommend maximizing everyday work and play with a MacBook Pro. The VG2756-2K is a 27-inch, 1440p monitor that you can connect to your laptop via USB-C. It also features a solid 5ms response time, 350 cd/m² brightness, built-in stereo speakers, a fully adjustable stand, and a three-year warranty. One small caveat: The USB-C connection only offers 60W of charging power, so the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros may charge slowly. Aside from that, it’s an enticing mid-range productivity monitor.

Plus, it offers surprisingly accurate color performance right out of the box, which makes it a reasonable option for creative work. That’s usually outside the purview of monitors in this price range.

Best Apple monitor: Apple Pro Display XDR

Why it made the cut: Expensive but one of a kind, Apple’s Pro Display XDR is tailored to those who want the best of the best.


  • Size: 32-inch
  • Resolution: 6016 x 3384 
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (3)
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 96W
  • Panel type: IPS


  • 6K resolution
  • 1600 nits of brightness
  • Exceptional color accuracy


  • Incredibly expensive
  • Stand costs an extra $1,000

Apple’s own Pro Display XDR is not for most people. It costs nearly $5,000 ($6,000 if you also want the stand). Unlike many products, the word “pro” in the name is literal: It is meant for artists and professionals who need the widest color gamut and the best pixel density you can get. If you can afford it, though, it is the absolute best image quality you can get in a monitor right now. The 6K resolution offers incredibly sharp images, and the monitor far outperforms any other on this list when it comes to brightness, contrast, or color accuracy. 

As expensive as it is, however, you’ll still have to factor in the cost of either a stand or VESA mount adapter. You can also inflate the price even further with an upgraded Nano-texture glass panel, which offers a more matte finish. It’s … a lot. And I’m not just talking about how much it costs.

There’s a little hope on the horizon if you’re interested in getting a display direct from Apple. Rumor has it the company may reveal a new, somewhat less expensive monitor in 2023. I personally wouldn’t factor the prospect of an unannounced future project into my monitor purchasing decision just yet, but it’s good to keep in mind.

What to consider before buying the best MacBook Pro monitor

You likely chose a MacBook Pro because it was the laptop that best fit your needs, and you’ll want to do the same with your monitor. For this list, we’re assuming the primary concerns for most MacBook Pro users will be general productivity and creative work, rather than, say, gaming. It’s not as if you can’t use these monitors for games, of course, but if that’s your top priority, we have you covered elsewhere. 

Also, certain features of the MacBook Pro create special needs that you’ll want to look for in your monitor, or at least give you a few extra ways to optimize your home office setup. Monitors that connect via USB-C for easy charging are a major plus, but you also don’t want to overlook the added importance of additional ports that can expand your connectivity options. We also put an added emphasis on technical features like color accuracy, which are especially important since you’ll be looking back and forth between your monitor and the MacBook Pro’s extraordinarily vivid display.


It’s easier than ever to use a laptop—and a MacBook Pro, specifically—with an external monitor. Apple’s recent laptops, including the current MacBook Pros, rely heavily on USB-C ports, which can charge a laptop and transmit data, including video, over a single cable. This means, in many cases, that connecting your laptop to a monitor also charges it. With the right USB hub, you can plug in a monitor and many peripherals all in one cable.

For a time, USB-C was the only way you could plug a monitor directly into an Apple laptop, but Apple’s most recent 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros also feature a built-in HDMI port, which gives you a simple way to connect your laptop to an external monitor without the need for dongles or adapters. HDMI will not charge your laptop but does open the door for a wider range of display options, as it is the primary connection used by TVs and modern PC monitors. For the purposes of this list, we’re leaning towards the convenience of using USB-C for both connecting a monitor and charging, as it reduces cable clutter with little downside for people.

What makes a good monitor?

Apart from USB-C, the specs to consider with a new monitor these days are largely the same ones that we’ve all had to consider for quite some time now. Size and resolution go hand-in-hand. A sprawling 32-inch (or larger) monitor may look impressive on your desk, but if the resolution isn’t high enough you may find the picture isn’t as clear as you expected because the pixel density is too low. It’s also important to keep in mind that resolution doesn’t just translate to sharpness—a higher resolution gives you more actual workspace to spread out windows and applications. 

A 2560 x 1440 (or 1440p) resolution on a 27-inch display is a good minimum to look for, in general. Keep in mind, however, 1440p falls well short of your MacBook Pro’s Retina display. A 4K (or higher) display will give you sharper text and crisper images. When it comes to movement on the screen, like video, you’ll want to pay attention to the monitor’s refresh rate, which dictates how many times a screen adjusts to reflect movement per second. A 60Hz refresh rate has long been the standard for non-gaming monitors, and will still be adequate for general web browsing and work. That said, a higher refresh rate can make on-screen movements look smoother and allow for more nuanced controls, especially in games and video editing.

Another important consideration is the actual type of display panel used in the monitor. Nowadays there are three main types used in monitors: IPS (in-plane switching), TN (twisted nematic), and VA (vertical alignment). In general, IPS monitors offer the best balance of features, while TN monitors can have an edge in response time and are usually more affordable. VA monitors are a bit less common but can offer better contrast and deeper black levels, albeit often at the expense of response time.

Consider using multiple monitors

While your inclination with a TV may be to simply buy the biggest one that can fit in your space, that isn’t always a good idea with a computer monitor. You may get more bang for your buck using two monitors. A dual monitor setup allows you to position your screens to best suit the task at hand—even use one or both vertically—and you’ll likely have a larger working area than a single monitor of a comparable cost would offer. That said, there are areas like gaming and movies where a large, single monitor is certainly preferable.

Apple’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max processors both offer native support for multi-display setups. It is technically possible to use two monitors with the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it requires a workaround. 


Q: What monitors does Apple recommend?

Apple doesn’t provide a ton of direct guidance on what monitor to buy. All things being equal, it would love to sell you its own display, the Pro Display XDR. Even it knows, however, that a $5,000+ monitor is a tough sell for most people. To fill in that rather significant gap, Apple singles out two LG displays that it says are ideal for use with any Mac: the 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K Display we included above, and a smaller 24-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display. Both are sold directly by Apple through its online store and some of its retail stores and are also available elsewhere.

That said, the LG Ultrafine monitors are also quite pricey and, recently, have become a tad hard to find. Realistically speaking, there are a ton of great monitors out there, though, so don’t let the lack of an Apple seal of approval stop you from buying an otherwise great monitor.

Q: Do all monitors work with MacBook Pro?

Any monitor will “work” with a MacBook Pro, but some will work more seamlessly than others. 

On a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a monitor will need to be connected to one of the two Thunderbolt ports, which can directly support monitors using the USB-C or DisplayPort standards (with the appropriate cable). The 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros also feature an HDMI port, greatly expanding the number of displays that you can plug in without a hub. If you’re using an older monitor that requires a lesser-used port like VGA or DVI, you’ll need an adapter to connect them to your MacBook, and you won’t be able to take advantage of display technologies like HDR. (That said, if you have to use DVI or VGA, chances are that isn’t a big concern. Also … you probably need a new monitor.)

Q: Is a 27-inch monitor too big?

It wasn’t all that long ago that a 27-inch monitor was considered something of a luxury, but it is now far from the biggest monitor you can buy. As we mentioned at the top, size and resolution are intertwined, but a 27-inch monitor is a good size monitor for most people. It’s big enough to get serious work (or play) done, but not overwhelming. 

Whatever monitor you choose, you will want to take note of its measurements to make sure it will fit in your space. Some 27-inch monitors can take up less space than others thanks to smaller bezels and streamlined stands, and you can always reduce your monitor’s desk footprint by using a monitor arm or mount.

Final thoughts on the best monitors for MacBook Pro

  • Best overall: ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV
  • Best 4K: Dell UltraSharp U2720Q
  • Best 5K: LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • Best 32-inch monitor: LG UltraFine 32UL950-W
  • Best ultrawide: Samsung CJ791
  • Best budget: ViewSonic VP2756-2K
  • Best Apple brand: Apple Pro Display XDR

Using a monitor makes a huge difference in your work, especially if you’re trying to make your home office feel like an office. You want one that makes your computer look great while making your space feel both comfortable and functional. With a bit of research, you can pick a fantastic monitor that will help you enjoy your computer to the fullest. Though there’s always a shiny new display around the corner—like that rumored Apple monitor—the best monitors for MacBook Pro have the specs you need, so they can be a fixture that follows you from computer to computer.

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Best 4K Monitors for Mac in 2023 Whether you have an M2 MacBook Pro or any of the other best MacBooks like the MacBook Air, or a desktop Mac including a Studio, Mac mini or Mac Pro.

There are many 4K monitors available, but many are designed specifically for use with a Mac. You’ll find that these 4K monitors typically feature USB-C and Thunderbolt connectivity, fantastic resolutions to get the most out of high-end Mac technology, color profiles for Mac, and more. Another good source is to check out Apple’s best Pro Display XDR alternatives if you can afford to spend the extra money, or take a look at the best monitor for Mac mini.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best 4K monitors for Mac with amazing options for your home office. Some of them are even portable, meaning you can carry them from home to work. To make sure you can adjust the height and angle of your new 4K monitor, read our guide to the best monitor stands so you can get the best experience and protect your posture.

Best 4K Monitors for Mac

BenQ PD3220U 4K 32″ 4K Monitor | IPS

BenQ PD3220U 4K 32″ 4K Monitor | IPS

I’m using a BenQ PD3220U and I really like it. It has incredible detail and resolution, a huge selection of color modes for any type of work, a Mac color mode for Apple users, a remote control for adjusting settings on the fly, and more. It also boasts a very large number of ports and excellent build quality, as well as a hefty stand.

LG Monitor 27UP850-W for Mac

LG 27UP850-W Monitor for Mac

This is a fantastic USB-C monitor with HDR support via two HDMI and DisplayPort ports, a headphone jack and two USB-A downstream ports. During our testing, we noted that it has excellent viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel, and the gray-to-gray response time is an incredibly fast five milliseconds.

Dell UltraSharp 27″ 4K Monitor U2720Q

Dell UltraSharp 27″ 4K Monitor U2720Q

Dell UltraSharp 27″ 4K Monitor could take first place after further testing as it features USB-C and DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort and HDMI. Its colors are flawlessly accurate and its sRGB color gamut is 99%, which means you can enjoy vibrant colors in both gaming and streaming from your Mac.

BenQ PD2700U 27″

BenQ PD2700U 27″

It may not be the cheapest monitor, but it’s an amazing panel with great features. There’s an adjustable kickstand on the back that changes the height and angle of the display, as well as the HDR color. It’s factory calibrated so you can be sure colors are crisp too, and it covers 100% of the sRGB color space.

LG 32UL950-W 32″ Ultrafine 4K Monitor

LG 32UL950-W 32″ Ultrafine 4K Monitor

LG 32UL950 Large 32″ Monitor is not only a Thunderbolt 3 monitor, which means you can daisy-chain monitors to each other to a friend, but also a set of ports. With one Thunderbolt 3, USB-A, HDMI, and multiple DisplayPort ports, you can connect all your favorite devices to this monitor. Plus, its ultra-thin 4K display and high color fidelity make this screen amazing right out of the box.

Philips 278B1

Philips 278B1

The Philips 27B1U7903 is a great monitor with 4K resolution, great mini LED backlighting, plenty of ports, and Thunderbolt 4/USB4 for docking. It received a whopping 4.5 stars in our review.

Which 4K monitor for Mac should I choose?

If we could only pick one, then the LG 27UK850-W would be our top pick for a 4K monitor for Mac because we love the flexibility of having so many different ports.

This top-of-the-line 4K monitor can charge your MacBook, MacBook Air, or 13-inch MacBook Pro, and features two USB-A ports, two HDMI ports, a display port, and a headphone jack. So it’s not only a fantastic monitor, but also a communications center.

When it comes to good 4K monitors, the BenQ EW3280U is also hard to beat as it offers excellent value for money. Its features and price make it a good choice.

What should I look for in a 4K monitor for Mac?

If you’re looking to upgrade your Mac and add a second screen, there are a few important things to think about when you’re shopping for the best 4K Mac monitor:

  • Connectivity – Apple is tight-lipped with ports. If you’re looking for a 4K monitor for your new MacBook, you’ll need a USB-C port if you don’t have a USB-C hub. Always be sure that any device you connect to your Mac is compatible.
  • Size . Most people believe that the bigger the monitor, the better, and we tend to agree. But the size you choose should be dictated by the space you have in your home office. With that in mind, a higher resolution is also almost always better, allowing you to see sharper details and fit more information on the screen.
  • Portability . People rarely need a second screen to move around, which is why we didn’t include a portable 4K option, but it’s worth considering if you need one before buying a bulky new monitor.
  • Response time . If you’re going to be using a new monitor for gaming, you’ll need a low response time. That’s how long it takes the display to react to what you’re doing. As a general rule, anything under 10ms is fine, although less is better if you’re serious about gaming.
  • Refresh rate is the number of times per second your display displays a new image, measured in Hz. You’ll find that many of the best 4K monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate, but the MacBook Pro has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, so if you want to make the most of the screen, look for higher specs.

If you’re looking for more ways to upgrade your technology and home office, we’ve got other guides you’ll want to read. If you need more comfort while you work, check out our guide to the best wireless mouse for Mac. Or, if you enjoy working to music, take a look at our list of the best over-ear headphones for iMac.

Want to add new hardware to your system? Then check out our best external hard drives for Mac or the best CD/DVD drive guides for Mac.

Best monitor for MacBook Pro, M1 Mac mini, New MacBook Air


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There are thousands of monitors on the market and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. We’ve rounded up the best monitors you should look out for when pairing with your M1-based Mac.

Apple’s Mac line covers a wide range of applications, from the desktop Mac mini to the mobile MacBook Air. To make the most of your Mac, you ideally want the best available display for it, and while some models include a screen, there’s nothing wrong with looking for alternatives.

For an item like a Mac mini, you obviously need a display. However, having an external display can also be useful for MacBook models as a second display for productivity or just for viewing the screen when the Mac is closed and stowed away.

If you’re looking for a new screen, here’s our selection of display types to consider.

Table of contents

  • 1 Best all-round monitor
  • 2 Best budget 4K monitor
  • 3 Best Value Powered 4K Monitor
  • 4 Best Thunderbolt Monitor
  • 5 Best Performance Monitor
  • 6 Best Ultra Wide Monitor
  • 7 Apple Monitor
  • 8 eGPU specs

Best all-round monitor

The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27-inch monitor is a long-time recommendation for anyone looking for a decent monitor, and it remains so. When we turned to revision AppleInsider for offers, this was the first of the open offers.

Although the monitor does not support Thunderbolt, it still offers many ways to connect a Mac to it, including HDMI and DisplayPort. The included USB-C port supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode for connecting to an M1-based Mac.

This USB-C cable not only controls video, but also processes data and power, including 90W of power. Add three built-in additional USB-A ports and it becomes a one-cable docking station for your mobile MacBook.

The biggest difference between this monitor and the more expensive ones from LG is the lack of Thunderbolt support. Data transferred over a USB-C connection will be at 10 GB/s, which is fine for peripherals and external drives, but you’ll want to connect your devices directly to your Mac if you need even more bandwidth.

This monitor features 4K resolution at 3,840×2,160, HDR 400, 95% P3 color gamut, and 60Hz refresh rate. The included stand allows you to use it vertically or horizontally, depending on your needs.

You can purchase the Dell U2720Q Ultrasharp 27″ Monitor on Amazon for $638.95.

Best Budget 4K Monitor

If you’re on a budget, you can choose a 1080p monitor, but not much more, you can choose the 4K version.

The BenQ EL2870U is a 28″ 4K monitor designed for gaming, but it’s also useful in many other areas. It basically has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and a refresh rate of 60Hz, two HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort inputs, 2-watt speakers and a headphone jack.

While this is a simpler monitor that doesn’t offer things like USB-C or power delivery, it still contains quite a few important or valuable items. Like its 1000:1 contrast ratio, 5ms response time and 10-bit color.

You also get features such as Low Blue Light Mode and Brightness Intelligence Plus, which dynamically changes brightness based on room lighting. This can help protect your vision over time by keeping your eyes from staring at an overly bright display for too long.

You can purchase the BenQ EL2870U 28″ 4K Monitor on Amazon for $249.99, $50 less than the list price.

Best Value Powered 4K Monitor

If you want a large 4K monitor but also want power delivery for your MacBook, consider the Monoprice CrystalPro 4K UHD monitors. Measuring 28 and 32 inches, they share the same set of specs but in two different sizes.

Both monitors have a resolution of 3.840×2.160 with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, use a vertical alignment panel rather than a TN panel, and have a headphone jack and speakers for sound.

Connections are an important part as they include a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2 connection and one USB Type-C port. This last port can send power, data, and video over a single cable to an attached MacBook.

In terms of power, it offers 65W of power, enough to recharge a 13-inch MacBook Pro while in use. A pair of USB-A ports on the monitor also allows you to connect other devices, expanding your host device connectivity with two more ports.

The monitors also come with a fully articulated stand with adjustable height, vertical tilt and swivel.

Monoprice sells both CrystalPro monitors through its website, with the 28-inch and 32-inch models priced at $359.99 and $399. 99 respectively.

Best Thunderbolt Monitor

LG UltraFine Thunderbolt monitors continue to be the best third-party monitor option for Mac users, combining great displays with Mac-friendly Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Using Thunderbolt 3, users can connect a single cable to their Mac or MacBook that manages power, data, and video. While it’s similar in principle to USB-C, you get certain Thunderbolt 3 benefits, including the monitor’s daisy chain connection to other devices, and up to 40Gbps of available bandwidth.

In the case of the 34″ UltraFine 4K UHD LED Monitor with Thunderbolt, model number 34BK95U-W, Thunderbolt provides video and data transmission and power up to 85W. Along with the Thunderbolt 3 port, you also have two USB-A, DisplayPort and two HDMI inputs, as well as a headphone output.

The almost borderless 21:9 ultra-wide display has a resolution of 5120 by 2160 pixels, making it wider than a 4K screen. Supporting VESA DisplayHDR 600 at up to 600 nits, the Nano IPS display offers 98% DCI-P3 color space, making it ideal for video content creators.

The LG UltraFine Nano IPS LED 5K 34″ Display sells for $1,499 and can be ordered from Amazon.

Best performance monitor

Gaming monitors often come with bright LED backlighting, aggressive designs and expensive price tags. The LG UltraGear 27″ gaming monitor is a powerful computer with all the features you need when connected to your Mac.

The monitor is comparable to the previously mentioned LG UltraFine 5K, but with some key differences. You won’t find Thunderbolt 3, of course, and its 4K 3840 x 2160 display is a bit smaller, along with its 27-inch size, but it does have an HDR10 and 9 color gamut.8% P3.

The 3840×2160 4K display also features a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, much faster than most other 4K monitors on the market. When using compatible PCs, it has AMD FeeSync and Nvidia G-Sync capabilities, although these features are more PC-focused than Mac-centric.

There is an RGB LED ring on the back of the monitor that will glow colors on a nearby wall depending on settings made with proprietary software or settings in the monitor. It can be turned off completely or display static colors as desired, but you’ll probably want it active for your eyes.

Connectivity is provided by DisplayPort, two HDMI inputs and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It can also act as a USB hub with a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 connections offered along with a Type B upstream connection.

Best Ultrawide Monitor

Ultrawide monitors have become popular as an alternative to multi-display setups, giving you two screen real estate in the footprint of one. This will be especially important for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro M1 users as you can only connect one external display.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is one such ultra-wide screen, consisting of a 49-inch curved gaming monitor. The gigantic curved screen offers the equivalent of two QHD monitors, but on one very wide panel.

QHD is a “2K” or 1440p resolution that fits between HD and 4K. The ultra-wide monitor’s 5120×1440 resolution gives it a 32:9 aspect ratio, making it extremely wide compared to its height.

In addition, it’s also a mini LED-backlit display that uses 2048 local dimming zones to offer what Samsung calls Quantum HDR2000, namely HDR support at up to 2000 nits of brightness. It also boasts a static contrast ratio of 1 million to 1 and 95% DCI color coverage.

Naturally, as a gaming monitor, it also has many additional gaming-related features, including 1ms response time, 240Hz refresh rate, Freesync Premium Pro support, and G-Sync compatibility. .

Connectivity is provided by two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 connection, as well as the ability to function as a two-port USB 3.0 hub and headphone jack. A wide range of connection options are convenient for another function, including the ability to use picture-in-picture to display video from two sources simultaneously on the same screen.

You can buy the 49-inch Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 for $2499.99 on Amazon.

Apple Monitor

Of course, the best display you can buy is the one sold by Apple itself. The Pro Display XDR is a monster of benchmark performance and a hefty price tag.

It’s really impossible to seriously recommend the Pro Display XDR, since anyone who really needs it has already bought their own. However, if you have a few thousand dollars to spend, this will complement any M1-based Mac with its 32-inch display and beautiful design.

Apple compares its Pro Display XDR to professional reference monitors that cost at least $40,000, which may still make it appealing to those entering the realm of creative vision. The 6016×3384 6K display has a contrast ratio of 1 million to 1 and a color depth of 10 bits.

The M1-based Mac can handle the display without issue, but it was originally designed for use with the Apple Mac Pro. Apple hasn’t provided any other real options for a standalone in-house manufactured display, meaning if you’re desperate for an Apple screen, this is your primary choice.

Standard Pro Display XDR discounted up to $4899 with coupon code APINSIDER at Adorama. The stand is not included and can be purchased for $959 ($40 off the $999 retail price).

eGPU Settings

As a warning, M1-based Macs do not currently support external graphics processing unit (eGPU) technology, and while there were initially encouraging signs that this might change, this has yet to happen.

But, if you have an Intel-based Mac, you might consider using an eGPU to improve performance, power your portable Mac, and in some cases provide legacy ports and networking.

DIY cases usually can’t speed up a monitor that connects via USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, so you should ideally look for HDMI or DisplayPort monitors if you’re going down that path. But Sonnet’s Breakaway Pucks eGPUs are capable of boosting the performance of USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 displays.

The Radeon RX 5500 XT Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck is available from B&H for $599.