Skip to main content

The best monitors for MacBook Pro in May 2020

Best monitors for MacBook Pro
(Image credit: LG)

Laptops will always be popular for creative work, because you never know where you’ll need to work or present ideas – but when you’re not moving around, you need a bigger display. That’s why we’ve collected the best monitors for MacBook Pros, the perennial laptop staple of all kinds of creatives.

What makes a great display for a MacBook Pro? The main things we’re looking at are: colour accuracy; resolution; brightness; ergonomics; connectivity; resolution; and budget. But the balance of these that best suits you will come down your own requirements.

We’ve looked at the best monitors for MacBook Pro options to fill a bunch of needs here, whatever your priority: from perfect colours, to affordable 4K, to pro-level HDR, to high-capacity connectivity, to ultrawide monitors with more space for tools… we’ve got it all (if you want to charge your laptop at the same time, be sure to check out our round-up of the best USB-C monitors too). 

But with all our picks, we’ve started from the assumption that you’re looking for reliable colour reproduction and that you want some extra connectivity, so that they’re more like docking stations for extra equipment you don’t take away with your MacBook Pro. Those are the minimum – from there, you can just see which of these best suits your working needs.

The best monitors for MacBook Pro

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: LG UltraFine 4K

(Image credit: LG)

01. LG UltraFine 4K

The best USB-C monitor for MacBook Pro

Size: 23.7 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Connections: Thunderbolt 3 x2, USB-C x3 | Brightness (typical): 500 cd/m2

Bright and detailed screen
Excellent hub for your MacBook Pro
Might need specific cables for it
No USB-A ports

This screen was developed by Apple and LG together, so it couldn’t be a better fit for a MacBook Pro. You can connect it over a single cable that delivers up to 85W of power to your laptop (enough for even the 16-inch MacBook Pro), plus sends video out from your MacBook to its 4K display, and can carry data to accessories too. 

The UltraFine 4K is more than a monitor – it’s also a Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C hub. The giant bandwidth of Thunderbolt means you can daisy chain this to a second 4K display still running off that single cable to your MacBook Pro – or plug in loads of external storage, connection hubs, cabled internet… whatever you need. It’s a 24-inch screen with a resolution of 3840x2160, so it’s highly detailed, and supports the DCI-P3 gamut. Its brightness of 500cd/m2 is strong as well. 

And if you need more space, there’s a 27-inch 5K version, with a resolution of 5120x2880 – enough to display a 4K video at full size and still have some control panels around it when video editing. Hands down, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro around. 

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

(Image credit: Asus)

02. Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

The best MacBook Pro monitor for immaculate accuracy and reproduction

Size: 31.1 inches | Resolution: 4096x2160 | Connections: DisplayPort x2, HDMI x2, USB-A x3, USB-B | Brightness (typical): 350 cd/m2

Fantastic colour accuracy
Huge cinema 4K resolution
Not cheap
Average brightness

It’s no surprise that the best monitor for creatives who need a screen to meet exacting standards is one that’s damn expensive. The big draw here is the self-calibrating nature of the screen – a built-in sensor will run regular checks to ensure what you’re seeing is what you should be seeing. 

Eizo’s specialist software helps you choose the colour profile you want to work to, as well. The resolution is DCI Cinema 4K (4096x2160), in a 31.1-inch screen – you’re getting a lot of real estate to work in here. It also has HLG HDR support for video compositing and grading (though the brightness isn't HDR rated), with 10-bit colour support and 98% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RBG coverage. Overkill? For some. For others, the exact correct amount of kill.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: ViewSonic VP2458

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

03. ViewSonic VP2458

A top MacBook Pro screen with great ergonomics and accuracy on a budget

Size: 23.8 inches | Resolution: 1920x1080 | Connections: DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, USB-A x2, USB-B | Brightness (typical): 250 cd/m2

Good colour accuracy
Ergonomic features
Not very bright
Some may need higher resolution

If you can’t spare the capital for the higher-end monitors here, this gives you a great screen to work on without busting the budget. This aims to be professional grade, delivering 100% sRGB colour gamut coverage and Delta E of less than 2 (so its colour accuracy should be indistinguishable from perfect to the human eye). 

Being a smaller 24-inch model with 1920x1080 resolution, it’s made for photographers or designers to focus on getting the looks perfect – you could see more detail from a 4K monitor, but something had to go for this price, and 1080p is still more than enough for a lot of people. It also has ergonomic features to adjust height, tilt, pivot and swivel. It’s a great package for the price.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Dell U2718Q

(Image credit: Dell)

04. Dell U2718Q

The best affordable 4K display for MacBook Pro, with great ergonomics

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Connections: DisplayPort, miniDisplayPort, HDMI, USB-A x4, USB-B | Brightness (typical): 350 cd/m2

Lots of detail for the money
Ergonomic features
No USB-C ports
Average brightness

Dell’s monitors tend to be practical, and we mean that in the best way. This gives you 99.9% sRGB coverage (at Delta E < 2 accuracy) and a 3840x2160 4K screen that’s a generous 27 inches in size – it’s a lot of workspace for the money. On top of that, you’ve got height, tilt, pivot and swivel adjustment options, so it’s easy to work ergonomically with it. 

It supports HDR, though its brightness rating of 350cd/m2 isn’t high enough to do professional justice there. But if you need something packed with detail that can be made to suit any physical working environment without being a ludicrous price, this is a great buy.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

(Image credit: Asus)

05. Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

The best MacBook Pro monitor for HDR video work

Size: 32 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Connections: Thunderbolt 3 x2, USB-C, HDMI x4, DisplayPort, USB-A x2, USB-B x1 | Brightness (max): 1000 cd/m2

HDR1000 rating
Excellent connectivity
Costly and may be overkill

We should say up front that we’re not claiming that this is a replacement for a reference monitor when we say it’s great for video pros – we’re looking at the more attainable end of things… emphasis on the ‘more’ rather than the ‘attainable’ there, we admit. 

One of the best monitors for MacBook Pro, this product is made for 4K HDR video – its resolution of 3840x2160 at 32 inches lets you see everything that’s up on screen, and its HDR1000 rating means it can show you HDR at full whack, backed up by 95% DCI-P3 colour support (and 99.5% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB). The really 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. If you need even more precision, the ASUS ProArt PA32UCX-K is the even more pro version of this, hitting 99% P3 coverage and an astounding 1,152 local dimming zones in the mini-LED backlight. This is, to be clear, over twice as many as you get in Samsung’s flagship 8K TVs – we're talking about the real good stuff here.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: BenQ EX3501R

(Image credit: BenQ)

06. BenQ EX3501R

The best MacBook Pro monitor for sheer productivity space

Size: 35 inches | Resolution: 3440x1440 | Connections: USB-C, HDMI x2, DisplayPort, USB-A x2 | Brightness (typical): 300 cd/m2

21:9 aspect ratio is great for multitasking
Good range of connections
Not the brightest
May just be too wide for some

Ultrawide monitors are great for productivity because they can basically be dual-monitor setups but take up less space. This screen is 35 inches diagonally, but is a pretty standard monitor height – it’s just wider. The resolution of 3440x1400 gives you much more space for keeping more tool palettes visible (or reference material, or email, or video conferencing, or anything else you need) right alongside your canvas. 

100% sRGB coverage means you can see colours just how you need them, and there’s even HDR support (though, again, the brightness is too low for meaningful use of it for video work). It also supports up to 100Hz refresh rates, so digital artists looking for minimal lag will find a friend here (or it doubles nicely as a gaming display).

Read more: