Upgrading to one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro takes some careful thought. Although pretty much any modern display available will work with a MacBook Pro, choosing one that’s made or even optimized for these Apple notebooks – not to mention, ideal for your needs – is the secret to a better viewing experience.
There are two main things to look out for before hitting that buy button. The first is superb image quality with wide colour gamuts and high colour accuracy, preferably one that rivals your laptop’s display. This is even more important if you plan on using that display for media consumption or content creation. The second is USB-C connectivity, which is essential because all MacBook Pros that hit the shelves in the last few years only come with USB-C ports.
Naturally, the best monitors for MacBook Pro should also offer the same advantages as the laptops themselves. They should be easy to use, versatile, and reliable, with a build to match that of these laptops and excellent ergonomics to keep you working comfortably for hours. A nifty USB or Thunderbolt hub would be a nice little touch as well, but only if it doesn’t force you to blow your budget.
Fortunately, with so many monitors out there, satisfying all these metrics isn’t an impossible task. You just have to be a little more discerning, and you’ve got us to help you there. From some of the best 4k monitors or dazzling displays designed specifically for video and photo editors, we found the best monitors for MacBook Pro in 2021.
The best monitors for MacBook Pro available now
Dell’s displays are geared towards the practical, in the best possible way. This isn't much of a looker unless you're really into dark generic office chic, but gives you 99.9% sRGB coverage, 95% DCI-P3 and 99% REC 709, and a 3,840 x 2,160 4K screen with excellent levels of detail. It's also generous in size – at 27 inches, there's lots of space to work in. Height, tilt, pivot and swivel adjustment options make it easy to work ergonomically, too.
Having USB-C connectivity means that it's ideal for connecting to a MacBook Pro, and 100W of power means you can charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro that's running flat out – it really is a single-cable connection. There's a second USB-C port for other accessories, plus three USB A ports, making it a great connection hub.
If you need something packed with detail that can be made to suit any physical working environment, this is a great buy. You get excellent image quality, versatile screen modes and loads of features plus top connectivity. The flaw for some will be the average brightness levels, which are lower than the Pro's own screen manages.
This screen checks more boxes than an Amazon warehouse. 98% DCI P3 gamut support and a 450-nit typical brightness are both very close to the screen of the MacBook Pro itself, making them a perfect pairing. As an added bonus, there's HDR support, with peak brightness hitting 600 nits, which is enough to really make using HDR on it worthwhile.
The resolution of 5120x2160 means you could have a Cinema 4K resolution or Ultra HD resolution video at full size, and still have some space for panels, to make live tweaks to the look. You might have noticed that we're not talking the usual 16:9 or 16:10 screen here – this is 21:9, which means you get more space for documents, tool panes or anything else you need to fit on the screen. It does mean it's a hefty 34 inches – not an unreasonable size (especially if you're replacing a double-monitor setup!), but not for everyone either. Tilt, swivel and height adjustments mean it's easy to get it working just right for you, anyway.
Throw in strong connectivity (including that important USB-C connection), and you've got a screen we recommend highly. The only slight disappointment is that it lacks Thunderbolt 3/4 connectivity. Most people will be able to live without one, but on an expensive monitor, it's a glaring miss.
The ASUS ProArt PA278CV is a fantastic monitor that works well with the unique demands of pairing it with a MacBook Pro, and is the up-to-date, bigger version of the really good budget 24-inch ASUS ProArt PA24AC.
It offers 100% sRGB support, a 14-bit internal look-up table, uniformity tech for accurate images, and easy switching between calibration profiles. Its well-built stand has great ergonomic adjustments, so you can move it with ease to work with your MacBook Pro, whatever your set up. It also offers fantastic viewing angles, so sharing the screen is super easy, and details aren't lost in well-lit places.
Its simple connectivity means you can dock and charge your laptop and access the USB 3.0 hub with one USB-C cable, simplifying your setup. And, when you're at work, you'll make the most of the 75Hz refresh rate and solid response times, meaning a really smooth experience regardless of the task at hand.
If you want something that delivers strong image quality in a home office setting where space is at a premium, and don’t need Ultra HD resolutions, pick this.
If the top-end screens here break your budget limits, this ViewSonic is the no-nonsense, great-quality cheaper choice to go with. Despite the low price, it's still aiming 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 – this is what basically all the monitors we feature offer).
Being a smaller 24-inch model with 1920x1080 resolution, it’s made for photographers or designers to focus on getting the looks perfect rather than seeing every inch of detail, and that's just fine for this price – 1080p is still plenty. It also has ergonomic features to adjust height, tilt, pivot and swivel, so you can get it set up perfectly.
It's a shame there's no USB-C (meaning you'll need to add an adapter to the budget), but it's a sacrifice we can make especially for that price. Anyway, that's what USB-C hubs are for. Overall, it's an excellent package for creative pros.
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 it 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.
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. The huge 32-inch screen and 4K resolution let you really get deep into detail – this thing really shows off any kind of creative work in all its glory.
It features a wide colour gamut of 99% Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3, essential for photographers. You can also easily tweak its calibration to mimic the kind of paper you're planning to print on, so you can specifically target that as your end result when editing. And, it is compatible with HDR10 and HLG formats for your HDR work. The included Hotkey Puck G2 and Shaded Hood are just nifty extras to help keep the focus on your creative process.
It's expensive, but if you're a photographer who works on a MacBook Pro, this is the best monitor you can buy right now.
Ultrawide monitors are becoming more and more popular for work because they can basically be dual-monitor setups, but take up less space – great in this growing era of home offices.
This display is 35 inches diagonally, but don't be afraid that it's the size of a TV – it's 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 creative apps.
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).
It turns out that if you want the best of the best screens, you'll need a big ol' budget – who knew? Ah, but it's so worth it – in some ways, this could be top of our list, but the price and specific features are overkill for a lot of people.
The main draw of the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is its 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, with no extra effort required from you. Who doesn't love essential equipment that self-calibrates?
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.
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.
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 HP E14 G4 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. It looks incredible, first of all. Its thin and light form factor and sleek design don’t just make it the best portable monitor to carry with you everywhere. They make it look like the perfect companion to any MacBook Pro. And, despite its thin and ultra-lightweight nature, it also feels robust and made of premium materials.
No expense has been spared in terms of its panel as well, which is incredibly bright at 400 nits and comes with an anti-glare coating so you can work in full sunlight without issues. Of course, it isn’t going to be the most colour-accurate or have the best contrast for many creative tasks, but for productivity, writing, and media consumption while on the go, it’s hard to beat.