The best monitors for MacBook Pro in 2023

Best monitors for MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Justin Paget on Getty Images)

The best monitors for MacBook Pro are all about delivering a superb viewing experience. After all, these pro-level laptops are designed to see you through demanding workloads like photo editing, video editing, and graphic design, and you'll need to pair them with a monitor that can display your creations accurately.

But why invest in a monitor when MacBook Pro already have excellent displays built in? Even the 16-inch MacBook Pro's screen can feel cramped, especially when you're doing some major multitasking or editing a 4K video. Adding a 24-inch or larger display, however, will expand your screen real estate so you have enough space to spread out, streamlining and simplifying your workflow.

There are a number of great monitors for MacBook Pro, from budget ones like the ASUS ProArt PA278CV to premium ones like the Pro Display XDR. Some are better than others though, and the best one for you depends on what your daily workload looks like. 

If you're a creative professional, you'll need a fantastic-looking display that offers fantastic colour accuracy and excellent colour coverage, which is why we've included some of the best 4k monitor and best monitors for video editing in our list. If, on the other hand, 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.

We've used, tested, and reviewed our share of monitors over the years (see our how we test page for more details). So, we gathered the best monitors for MacBook Pro users, picking them based on their features, picture quality, overall performance, and of course, price. Because having a display that delivers excellent picture quality and more screen real estate for multitasking is vital.

If you are looking for accessories for your MacBook Pro, we recommend getting a MacBook stand to get that MacBook Pro display at a healthier and more comfortable eye level, and a dock for MacBook Pro if you need more ports. If you own a Mac Mini, check out the best monitors for Mac mini.

The best monitors for MacBook Pro: available now

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Dell UP2720Q monitorcb badge

(Image credit: Mike Jennings)
The best MacBook monitor overall for creative professionals

Specifications

Size: 27in
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Connections: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB 3.2, 2 x Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C, 1 x audio
Brightness (typical): 250 cd/m2

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp 4K images
+
Excellent connectivity
+
Strong colours

Reasons to avoid

-
Contrast and brightness could be better

The Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q is a terrific combination of great performance and great features. Its ergonomic stand that can swivel, pivot, and tilt, as well as adjust vertically, makes it excellent for creative workflows as well. And, of course, the 27-inch panel will give you plenty of room to spread out, especially when combined with its 4K resolution, giving you a high pixel density of 163ppi. The connectivity options will also be very welcome for MacBook users thanks to 2 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports and 90W power delivery.

At the centre of it all, however, are its 4K resolution and 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.

It might not turn any heads with the Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q on your desk, and it is a little on the pricier side. However, you won’t find a better display all-rounder for MacBook Pros on the market. See our full Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q review for more details.

Product shot of Asus ProArt 27 PA278CV, one of the best monitors for MacBook ProCB endorsed

(Image credit: Asus)

02. ASUS ProArt PA278CV

The best budget yet colour accurate monitor for MacBook Pro

Specifications

Size: 27in
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Connections: 1x USB-C, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI, USB hub, earphone jack
Brightness (maximum): 350 cd/m2

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent accuracy
+
Lots of features
+
100% sRGB

Reasons to avoid

-
Average contrast ratio

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. It also 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, naturally, including the lack of 4K resolution. However, it makes up for that with features like USB-C connectivity with 65W power delivery, a USB hub, and an ergonomic stand. You’ll be hard-pressed to find fault with its immaculate screen.

BenQ SW321C PhotoVue, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro, on a gaming desk

(Image credit: BenQ)
Excellent 4K MacBook Pro monitor with great colours

Specifications

Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Connections: SD card reader, 2x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C PD 60W, USB Type-B Upstream, 2x USB 3.1 downstream
Brightness: 250 cd/m2

Reasons to buy

+
Improved brightness and colour uniformity
+
USB-C connectivity
+
Hardware calibration with 16-bit LUT precision

Reasons to avoid

-
Main connection bay is hard to reach
-
‘Paper Color Sync’ needs refining to be truly useful

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. Of course, all creative professionals 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.

Product shot of BenQ DesignVue PD3420Q, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro

(Image credit: BenQ)

04. BenQ DesignVue PD3420Q

A 1440p display with great colour accuracy and coverage

Specifications

Screen size: 34in
Resolution: 3440x1440
Connections: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB-C with 65W PD, 1 x USB Type B (Upstream), 3 x USB 3.1 (Downstream)
Brightness: 400 nits (peak)

Reasons to buy

+
Great factory-calibrated colour accuracy
+
Excellent colour coverage
+
Plenty of editing modes for professionals

Reasons to avoid

-
Not 4K
-
No AdobeRGB mode

The BenQ DesignVue PD3420Q may not be the fanciest MacBook Pro display on the market. This 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. 

We're still in the process of testing this display, but early results already prove promising. 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. 

BenQ PD3220U, one of the best USB-C monitors, in portrait mode on a desk

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)
Reasonably-priced MacBook Pro monitor for graphic designers

Specifications

Size: 31.5 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Connections: 2x HDMI v2.0, 1x DisplayPort v1.4, 1x Thunderbolt 3 (85W PD + DisplayPort Alt Mode)
Brightness (max): 250 nits

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous design
+
Lovely IPS panel

Reasons to avoid

-
Only good color accuracy
-
Not cheap

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 in the monitor market, 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. 

Of course, its 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.

Product shot of Dell UltraSharp U4021QW, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Dell)

06. Dell UltraSharp U4021QW

The best big screen monitor for multitasking MacBook Pro users

Specifications

Size: 39.7 inches
Resolution: 4K (5K2K)
Connections: 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x Thunderbolt 3 PD 90W, 1x USB Type-B Upstream, 1x USB-C Downstream, 1x 4x USB-A ports, 1x USB-A with 2A charging
Brightness (max): 300 nits

Reasons to buy

+
Picture quality is stunning
+
More ports than you’ll ever need
+
Tons of features for multi-taskers

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

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.  After work entertainment? Its 9W speakers should work nicely in a pinch. 

Man using the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Eizo)
Premium MacBook Pro monitor for immaculate colour accuracy

Specifications

Size: 31.1 inches
Resolution: 4096x2160
Connections: 2x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 3x USB-A, USB-B
Brightness (typical): 350 cd/m2

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic colour accuracy
+
Huge cinema 4K resolution

Reasons to avoid

-
Eye-watering price

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.

Product shot of Asus ProArt PA32UC-K, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Asus)

08. Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

The best MacBook Pro monitor for HDR video work

Specifications

Size: 32 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Connections: 2x Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, 4x HDMI, DisplayPort, 2x USB-A, USB-B
Brightness (max): 1000 cd/m2

Reasons to buy

+
HDR1000 rating
+
Excellent connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Costly and may be overkill

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 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 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.

Samsung M8, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro, against a white background

(Image credit: Samsung )

09. Samsung M8

A smart monitor for both Apple MacBooks and PC laptops

Specifications

Size: 32in
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Connections: 2x USB-C, 1x MicroHDMI
Brightness (typical): 400 cd/m2

Reasons to buy

+
Comes in different shades
+
Rich in features

Reasons to avoid

-
Build quality isn't the best

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 display 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.

Product shot of Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV, one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Asus)

10. Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV

The best portable monitor for MacBook Pro

Specifications

Size: 14 inches
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Connections: 2x USB-C, 1x Micro HDMI
Brightness (typical): 300 nits

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent colour coverage
+
Intuitive OSD control via ASUS Dial

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest portable monitor

These days, portable monitors are becoming an inevitable part of a MacBook Pro user’s 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.

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Matt has been testing technology for over a decade, working in specialist Apple publications as well general technology and creative journalism. By day, you can find him covering TV, audio, smart home gear and more at T3.com, as Home Tech Editor. By night, he's probably updating or pairing or installing some new piece of technology in the quest for the perfect setup.

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