Investing in one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro doesn't necessarily mean you must choose from Apple's pricey offerings. On the contrary, there are excellent displays from other brands that work just as well with a MacBook laptop and for a fraction of the price of a Studio Display or a Pro Display XDR.
And, trust us: you'll need such a monitor soon enough. As amazing as MacBook displays are, they can feel cramped when you’re staring at them for hours at a time, doing some major multitasking, or in the middle of an involved creative project.
Having a dedicated monitor with a bigger screen real estate will help simplify your workflow, which in turn saves you a lot of time and effort. You also won’t need to invest in a MacBook stand to get that screen at eye level as such a monitor will be large enough for comfortable and healthier viewing since you won’t be hunched over a small laptop screen.
We've used, tested, and reviewed our share of monitors over the years (see our how we test page for more details), including the latest offerings from brands like Asus, Dell, and Samsung. And, we're here to lend our expertise, gathering the best monitors for MacBook Pro users and making sure that most of our picks have USB-C connectivity so you won’t have to spend extra on a dock for MacBook Pro.
Naturally, since many MacBook Pro owners are creative professionals, we've also included a few with fantastic-looking displays that offer fantastic colour accuracy and excellent colour coverage. We also consider picture quality, port selection, overall design, and feature set. From budget 1440p displays to the best 4k monitor and some of the best monitors for video editing, these are our top picks of the best monitors for MacBook Pro. If you’re sporting a Mac Mini instead, check out the best monitors for Mac mini.
The best monitors for MacBook Pro: available now
You might not turn any heads with the Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q on your desk. At least, while it’s off. But, as soon as you power it up, you’ll see why it’s so highly rated. Its 4K resolution and excellent colour coverage – we found 99.8% of the sRGB gamut, 96.1% of the Adobe RGB space and 95% of the DCI-P3 gamut when we tested it – means that images look sharp, vibrant, and, just as importantly, natural.
The 27-inch panel means that you’ll have plenty of screen without having to sacrifice too much desk space to get it. And, with an ergonomic stand that can swivel, pivot, and tilt, as well as adjust vertically, it’s easy to set it up just the way you like. The connectivity options will also be very welcome for MacBook users thanks to 2 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.
It can charge your MacBook Pro even when running at full steam, thanks to its 90W power delivery. Of course, it’s not a perfect monitor. Some creative professionals will be frustrated with its brightness, which is just average. However, if that’s not a concern, you won’t find a better all-around display for MacBook Pros on the market. See our full Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q review for more details.
You don’t have to empty your bank account to get a monitor that can satisfy the needs of a creative professional. The ASUS ProArt PA278CV may not reach quite the heights of some of the other creator-oriented displays on this list, but it comes close while setting you back much, much less. Add in some excellent features, and you’re looking at quite an impressive monitor.
Between its 100% sRGB and Rec.709 support, colour accuracy of Delta E < 2, and out-of-the-box calibration, you’ll be hard-pressed to find fault with its immaculate screen. 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. And, a fast 75Hz refresh rate and speedy response time mean that you'll have no trouble with motion blur when working on a video.
You are sacrificing UHD resolution for that more affordable price tag. But, if you’re willing to work in 1440p instead of 4K, the USB-C connectivity with 65W power delivery and USB 3.0 hub more than makes up for it with that single cable connection. It also comes with an ergonomic stand and a smaller desk footprint, ideal for cramped workspaces.
Apple's laptops are perennially popular with photographers, and if you're looking for the best monitor to edit photos on, the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is it. After all, as one of the monitors from the brand's photography monitor line, it is specifically designed with creatives in mind.
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. The wide colour gamut of 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB, which the display delivers on test, 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 ones might be the sizable 32-inch screen and 4K resolution, which lets you really get deep into detail, and the included Hotkey Puck G2 and Shaded Hood, which are there to help you keep the focus on your creative process.
Rec. 709 is still a widely-used colour space, especially among colourists and post-production editors developing broadcast and online content. Luckily, monitors like the ViewSonic VP3268a-4K allow them to work in that space without having to shell out a lot of money. This has disappointing AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 colour gamuts, but its 100% Rec. 709 and 100% sRGB colour coverage make it an ideal choice for those aforementioned professionals. That’s not to mention its high colour accuracy and Pantone validation.
Not to be confused with the ViewSonic VP3268-4K, which is its predecessor, this monitor comes with one key upgrade for MacBook Pro users – a USB-C port for video input. Other things to love here are its 350 nits of brightness and good factory calibration. The contrast ratio might be average and there’s no HDR support, but none of those are deal-breakers, especially for creatives who are only starting out and don’t want to spend more than $1,000/£1,000 on a monitor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.