The best monitors for MacBook Pro allow you to create a dual-screen setup that will boost your productivity, comfort and viewing experience.
We all tend to hunch over our laptops, so a monitor can improve your posture and help reduce neck and shoulder pain. By giving you more screen space to move things around, they can also make you work faster and more efficiently. Plus if you're doing creative work, you'll be able to view it with extra precision.
If you're a creative pro, you'll need a fantastic-looking display that offers sharp colour accuracy and excellent colour coverage, which is why we've included some of the best 4k monitors and best monitors for video editing in our list. Alternatively, if you do a lot of multitasking at work, you'll find that one of the wide-screen options or USB-C monitors here is a better choice.
So read on to discover the best monitors for MacBook Pro users, based on features, picture quality, performance and price. Because having a display won't just make your life easier, it'll help you work faster too, essentially paying for itself over time.
The best monitors for MacBook Pro available today
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The Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q offers great performance and great features. Its ergonomic stand can swivel, pivot, and tilt, as well as adjust vertically, making it excellent for creative workflows. The 27-inch panel will give you plenty of room to spread out and the 4K resolution, giving you a high pixel density of 163ppi, will let you see everything in fine detail. The connectivity options will also be welcome for MacBook users, thanks to two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports and 90W power delivery.
At the centre of it all is excellent colour coverage. We yielded 99.8% of the sRGB gamut, 96.1% of the Adobe RGB space, and 95% of the DCI-P3 gamut during testing, but its built-in colourimeter should help you calibrate for even better picture quality.
Its design may not turn heads, and it is a little pricey. Despite that, it's our recommendation as the best external monitor for MacBook Pro overall for creative professionals today. See our full Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q review for more.
The ASUS ProArt PA278CV is an affordable yet still impressive option for creative professionals who do not have the budget for an expensive piece of kit. This 1440p display may not reach quite the heights of some of the other creator-oriented displays on this list. However, it comes pretty close and boasts some excellent yet useful features that give you a lot more value for your money.
To start, it delivers a colour accuracy of Delta E < 2 as well as 100% sRGB and Rec.709 colour coverage. It also comes pre-calibrated out of the box – something you rarely see on cheaper displays. And it allows for easy colour adjustments, from switching between various colour gamut modes to fine-tuning all sorts of parameters to get the screen looking the way you want.
There are compromises here, including the lack of 4K resolution. However, it largely makes up for that with features like USB-C connectivity with 65W power delivery, a USB hub, and an ergonomic stand.
If you're looking for the best monitor to edit photos on, the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is it. After testing this gorgeous and impressive monitor in-depth, we can truly say that if you're a photographer who works on a MacBook Pro, this is one of the best monitors you can buy right now.
It is specifically designed with creatives in mind, its sizable 32-inch screen and 4K resolution letting you really get deep into detail. The wide colour gamut of 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB, which the display delivers during testing, is essential for photographers. Meanwhile, videographers working in the DCI-P3 colour will appreciate its 95% coverage. And creative professionals of all types will appreciate how colour accurate it is out of the box, giving us an impressive Delta E of 0.9 on average during testing.
At this point, the other features are just icing on the cake. Still, they are worth mentioning, and our BenQ SW321C PhotoVue review tackles all the most important ones. For this guide, the biggest one might be the included Hotkey Puck G2 and Shaded Hood, which are there to help you keep the focus on your creative process.
BenQ stays true to its affordable yet solid nature with the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U. This 4K monitor from its professional design line may not be the cheapest of our roundup of best monitors for MacBook Pro. But considering its rivals, it's certainly among the most affordable in its class. That's while keeping things feature-rich and its picture quality looking fantastic.
Not content with USB-C, it offers not one but two Thunderbolt 3 ports to keep creatives happy, allowing daisy-chaining of multiple monitors and even connection of external GPUs. It also comes with different colour modes for different creative workflows.
Performance is excellent as well. The wide colour gamut of 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, and 95% P3 that BenQ promised is on point. In fact, during our testing, it even exceeded expectations in the DCI-P3 colour space, covering 98%. Our BenQ PD322OU review might show that its peak brightness didn't quite meet the 250-nit on paper. However, we found that its colour accuracy measures up, giving us an average Delta E of 0.92, pre-calibration.
Want an ultrawide monitor and don't need 4K resolution? The BenQ DesignVue PD3420Q is a terrific monitor for MacBook Pro owners – and all Mac users, for that matter. And, it should be, as it's designed by BenQ specifically for creative Mac users – especially those looking for an affordable, mid-range model with excellent colour coverage and accuracy.
Out of the box, the PD3420Q delivers, especially with its 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, and 98% P3 colour gamuts that come in handy for video editors and designers. Its aspect ratio of 21:9 means that this ultrawide display gives you plenty of space to spread out and multitask, streamlining your process as well as making up for the fact that it isn't 4K. Not that 1440p is obsolete, mind you. Helping you really focus on your creative process better are its KVM switch and a plethora of colour modes that include CAD/CAM, Darkroom, DCI-P3, and HDR.
Sometimes, the best workflows are those in which you can spread out, and that’s what this almost 40-inch 4K monitor offers: space. Regardless of whether you simply like to stream Netflix while working or you need all that screen real estate for a more seamless creative process when video editing, the Dell UltraSharp U4021QW delivers it for you. In 4K no less.
If you are a content creator, you’ll also be glad to know that this pick for the best monitors for MacBook Pro boasts 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709, and 98% DCI-P3 colour coverage. This display not only comes with gorgeous picture quality, but it does so with accurate and outstanding colours, which makes it even more ideal for photo editing, cinematic colour grading, and graphics design.
Of course, it’s a boon to multi-taskers as well, especially those dealing with massive spreadsheets or several different apps on a daily basis. And, its picture-in-picture, picture-by-picture, and KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) features will let such users connect two separate laptops or computers and view them on a single screen without switching peripherals. As for after-work entertainment, its 9W speakers should work nicely at a pinch.
When we say this is the best monitor for MacBook Pro video work, we're not claiming that it's the equivalent of a true reference monitor. But if you want to work in HDR and need something more reasonable in price and more desk-friendly, this is exactly what you need.
This is all about 4K HDR video – 32 inches of 3840x2160 Ultra HD resolution lets you see your work at full quality, and its HDR1000 rating means you can test HDR at a level that matches or exceeds the vast, vast majority of TVs, backed up by 95% DCI-P3 colour support (and 99.5% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB). The key thing here is its mini-LED full-array backlight: this enables highly localised dimming of the backlight in areas where your footage needs to show dark areas, but should also be good for even colour reproduction for still images.
There are 384 dimming zones, which will still mean a small amount of blooming when light and dark areas are next to each other, but in general enables true high contrast viewing far beyond what anything else in this list can dream of. If you need even more precision, the ASUS ProArt PA32UCX-K is the souped-up version of this, hitting 99% P3 coverage and featuring an astounding 1,152 local dimming zones in the mini-LED backlight.
It turns out that if you want the best of the best monitors for MacBook Pro, you'll need a big ol' budget – who knew? Ah, but it's so worth it. Who doesn't love essential equipment that self-calibrates?
Our Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review reveals it to be a star performer for high-end colour accurate work. its main draw is its self-calibrating nature. It comes with a built-in sensor, which will run regular checks to ensure what you’re seeing is what you should be seeing. And, that's with no extra effort required from you.
That's not all; Eizo’s specialist software also helps you choose the colour profile you want to work with. The resolution is also DCI Cinema 4K (4096x2160) on a 31.1-inch screen. This means that you’re not just getting a lot of real estate to work in here, but you're also getting that sweet spot in 4K viewing.
It also has HLG HDR support for video compositing and grading, with 10-bit colour support and 98% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RBG coverage. This would be at the top of our list if it weren't for the price and specific features that are overkill for a lot of people.
Fans of the iMac 24-inch line will appreciate the Samsung M8 smart monitor. Looking at this display's sleek, iMac-esque look, minimal port selection, and several colour options, it's obvious what Samsung is trying to do here – give consumers an affordable, non-all-in-one option that delivers on everything else. Or, that's the idea anyway.
This affordable 4K display is impressive in its own right, so much so most can look past the fact that it does feel flimsier than Apple's offerings and its image quality isn't as exceptional. Its USB-C connectivity with power delivery, magnetic clip-on SlimFit webcam, and IoT hub functionality that turns it into your SmartThings devices control center more than make up for those anyway. As do its 3,000:1 contrast ratio and its Smart TV functionality.
If you're looking for a feature-rich external monitor that works well with your MacBook Pro, the Samsung M8 is a terrific one to consider. That's especially since it's a heck of a lot cheaper than any display that Apple currently offers.
These days, portable monitors are becoming part of many MacBook Pro users' arsenal. They’re small and travel-friendly, keeping you mobile while giving you that extra screen real estate wherever you go. And, for that, the ProArt Display PA148CTV has our vote.
This 14-inch wonder might cost a bit more than you’d be willing to pay for a portable monitor, but trust us when we say that it’s worth the price and more and more than worthy of this list of the best monitors for MacBook Pro. That's especially if you're a content creator with very specific colour coverage needs, as it delivers 100% sRGB and 100% Rec. 709 colour spaces. It's also factory pre-calibrated to provide a Delta E < 2 colour difference and boasts Calman Verified certification.
For a more seamless creative workflow, it also offers professional creatives the Asus ProArt Palette so they can make their own specific display setting tweaks using the Asus Dial built-in, as well as its Control Panel feature, which allows it to function as an editing console. No expense has been spared in terms of its panel either, which comes with an anti-glare coating so you can work in full sunlight with very minimal colour shifts.
Is the MacBook Pro compatible with all monitors?
The short answer is yes, mostly. While most MacBook Pros come with a pretty limited port selection, typically a couple of USB-C ports, there are Mac-compatible dongles for just about every type of connectivity. Unfortunately, that does mean you’ll have to invest in an adapter to use those Apple laptops with monitors that don’t have USB-C connectivity. Of course, owners of the most recent 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros won’t have to worry about that since they come with HDMI ports.
With that said, a few monitors have had issues connecting to M1 MacBook Pros sporting the latest macOS. If you’re considering a monitor that doesn’t natively support Thunderbolt / USB-C connectivity, you’ll want to see if others have had software-related issues and if the manufacturer has updated the firmware to address the issue. For full details see our post on how to connect a monitor to MacBook Pro.
How do I choose a monitor for a MacBook Pro?
Though you can use just about any monitor with your MacBook Pro, there are a couple of considerations to consider if you want to make the most of your new display. USB-C connectivity is ideal. Only the newest 14- and 16-inch Macbook Pros come with HDMI ports while all other models are limited to USB-C ports for connecting to external displays. And, while it’s not necessary, most USB-C capable monitors can deliver power via that USB-C cable. If you prefer a one-cable solution, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting enough power from the monitor.
If you’re hoping to do any kind of content creation on your Apple laptop, then having a wide colour gamut coverage is crucial. Look for 97% DCI-P3 or higher. You’ll also want a resolution to match your portable’s. Using a 4K monitor between 24 and 32 inches will provide a viewing experience similar to that of your MacBook Pro’s retina display.
Can a MacBook Pro support a 4K monitor?
MacBook Pros are incredibly powerful for their thin and lightweight design. Not only are they more than capable of driving a 4K monitor, but more recent models can drive even higher resolution displays. The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, for example, can drive a 6K display at 60Hz while the 14- and 16-inch M1 Pro models can drive two.
What's the best monitor for MacBook Pro?
The best monitor for MacBook Pro depends on what your needs are. For more creative professional work, we'd recommend the Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q, number one on our list above. However, if you're a professional photo editor, we'd point you towards the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue (number 3) and for video editing, the Asus ProArt PA32UC-K (number 8). That said, all these monitors are pretty expensive, so money is tight, the best monitor for MacBook Pro we can recommend on a budget is ASUS ProArt PA278CV (number 2 on our list).
Can I use multiple monitors with my MacBook Pro?
Yes, you can use multiple monitors with some models of the MacBook Pro. For instance the MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2023) and MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023) models with the M2 Pro chip support up to two external displays simultaneously, based on the resolution (up to 8K) and refresh rate (up to 240 Hz) of each external display. For older models, check the tech specs here to see how many connections are supported.