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The best monitors for MacBook Pro in 2021

Best monitors for MacBook Pro
(Image credit: LG)

If you're looking for the best monitors for MacBook Pro, then you're probably someone who wants to use your Apple Mac for some serious work, either in an traditional office, other workspace or home office. 

So we've rounded up a batch of brilliant screens in this list, offering you a choice of large second displays that don't skimp on image quality.

The MacBook Pro is an incredibly popular laptop for creatives, and for good reason, as it combines powerful components with a sleek and portable design – and a stunning screen. 

There's now a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and we're expecting the 16-inch version to be refreshed in 2021 alongside it. The new 13-inch Pro runs on Apple's own M1 processor (though you can still get an Intel version) and we're expecting the 16-inch to be upgraded with new Apple Silicon, too. The current 16-inch also features in our  round up of the best laptops for graphic design

For the best monitors for a MacBook Pro, we're looking at screens that match or exceed the quality of the MacBook Pro's screen, while offering colour accuracy, high resolution, comfortable ergonomics, plenty of connectivity options and excellent value for money.

Today's top monitor for MacBook Pro deal

Viewsonic: £201 £179.99 at Novatech
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This is a 23.8-inch, full HD, WLED LCD monitor from Viewsonic. 100% sRGB colour coverage offers nice and vivid colours, and it also boasts ultra-wide viewing angles. All together, a great, affordable monitor.
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The best monitors for MacBook Pro available now

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: BenQ EX3501Rcb badge

(Image credit: BenQ)

01. 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

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).

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: ViewSonic VP2458

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

02. 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: LG UltraFine 4Kcb badge

(Image credit: Apple)

03. LG UltraFine 4K display

The best monitor for MacBook Pro overall

Size: 23.7 inches | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB-C | Brightness (typical) : 500 cd/m²

Affordable
Excellent quality
No USB-A ports

When it comes to the best monitors for MacBook Pro, you'd be hard pushed to find a better screen than this. So you're probably wondering why we've placed it at number three on this list, and the simple answer would be availability. The LG Ultrafine 4K display is getting harder and harder to come by, both because of its popularity and the fact that a newer (much more expensive) version has been released (see below). 

But when it comes to value and quality, the LG Ultrafine 4K display can't be beaten, so if you can get your hands on one, we highly recommend it. The screen connects to your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air via an included Thunderbolt 3 cable, which supports 4K video, audio and data simultaneously. The UltraFine 4K Display features a 23.7-inch IPS panel showcasing over 8 million pixels, that's four times more than a typical 1080p HD display.

A perfect complement to your MacBook Pro, this monitor offers plenty of room for a variety of applications, with razor-sharp clarity.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: LG UltraFine 5K

(Image credit: LG)

04. LG UltraFine 5K

The best monitor for MacBook Pro if money is no option

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 5,120 x 2,880 | Connections: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 3 x USB-C | 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

The younger sibling to our top option, this screen was developed by Apple and LG together, so when it comes to the best monitors for MacBook Pro overall, this is it – if your budget allows, that is. 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 5K display, and can carry data to accessories too. 

The UltraFine 5K is more than a monitor – it’s also a Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C hub.  The huge 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 5,120 x 2,880, so it’s highly detailed, and supports the DCI-P3 gamut. That's enough to display a 4K video at full size and still have some control panels around it when editing. 

BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

(Image credit: BenQ)

05. BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

The best MacBook monitor for photographers

Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 250 cd/m2 | Response time: 5ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: 99% AdobeRGB, 95% P3, 100% sRGB | Weight: 25.6kg

Improved brightness and colour uniformity
USB-C connectivity
Hardware calibration with 16-bit LUT precision
Main connection bay is hard to reach
‘Paper Color Sync’ needs refining to be truly useful

Many photographers use MacBooks to work on, so if you're looking for the best monitor for your Apple laptop to edit photos on, the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is the one to get. With a 32-inch screen size and 4K resolution, this is a gorgeous monitor that will show off your photos - or any creative work for that matter - in all their glory. 

It features a wide color gamut of 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 95% of DCI-P3, essential for photographers, and includes a load of ports as well. It's expensive, but if you're a photographer who works on a MacBook, this is the best monitor you can buy right now.

Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review

(Image credit: Eizo)

06. 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.

Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q

(Image credit: Dell)

07. Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q

A super quality 4K display for MacBook Pro, with great ergonomics

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: DisplayPort, USB-C, HDMI, 2x USB-A, 1 x USB-C downstream, 1 x USB-C upstream | Brightness (typical): 350 cd/m2

Crisp image quality
Excellent connectivity
Built-in colorimeter
Contrast could be better
No picture-in-picture

Dell’s monitors tend to be practical, and we mean that in the best way. This gives you 99.9% sRGB coverage and a 3,840 x 2,160 4K screen that’s a generous 27 inches in size – it’s a lot of 4K workspace but you are paying a lot for it. 

On top of that, you’ve got height, tilt, pivot and swivel adjustment options, so it’s easy to work ergonomically with it. 

Connectivity-wise, there's DisplayPort in addition to USB-C (upstream and downstream) plus USB-A connectivity so you can use it as a hub. 

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. You get excellent image quality, versatile screen modes and loads of features plus brilliant connectivity. 

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

(Image credit: Asus)

08. 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.

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