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The best monitors for MacBook Pro in 2021

Best monitors for MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Dhe haivan on Unsplash)

When looking for the best monitors for MacBook Pro, we're expecting two key things: superb colour accuracy and image quality for the price, to match the displays of Apple's laptops; and ideally they should also use USB-C so that you can plug and unplug easily, using just just a single cable for power, video and data. While pretty much any screen on the planet will work with MacBook Pros, to be one of the very best buys – and good enough for this list – we're expecting something that little bit extra.

The best monitors for MacBook Pro should offer the same advantages that the laptops themselves do: easy to use, reliable, flexible, and top quality. We're looking for wide colour gamuts, high resolution for the size, adjustable ergonomics for comfortable working, and great connectivity that means you can use the screen as an easy USB or Thunderbolt hub. Of course, all of that will be balanced with price – we've got options from the best budget MacBook Pro monitor up to more elite models.

The MacBook Pro is currently going through the biggest changes of its lifetime, with the 13-inch MacBook Pro now available with Apple’s incredibly fast M1 chip powering it, and a 16-inch version with even more speed expected to arrive soon. The current 16-inch MacBook Pro features in our guide to the best laptops for graphic design, so we can only imagine how great for creative pros an even more powerful version will be. However, the Intel versions are sticking around – for now, at least – and all the screens here will work with either flavour.

Whether you’re looking for a truly elite display or just something to give you a bit more working space, we’ll make sure you get a monitor you’ll love to use, whatever your budget. If you're looking for general monitors rather than those specific to Apple, don't forget our best monitors roundup or our best portable monitors guide.

The best monitors for MacBook Pro available now

Dell U2720Qcb badge

(Image credit: Dell)

01. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

The best monitor for MacBook Pro overall, with 4K resolution and great colours

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

Crisp 4K images
Excellent connectivity
Strong colours
Contrast could be better

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 chic0, but gives you 99.9% sRGB coverage, 95% DCI-P3 and 99% REC 709, and a 3,840 x 2,160 4K screen that’s a generous 27 inches in size – it's lots of space to work in, with excellent levels of detail. Height, tilt, pivot and swivel adjustment options make it easy to work ergonomically, too.

USB-C means its 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, even – 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.

MSI Prestige PS341cb badge

(Image credit: MSI)

02. MSI Prestige PS341WU

The best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro

Size: 34 inches | Resolution: 5,120 x 2,160 | Connections: DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C, 3x USB Type A | Brightness (typical): 450 cd/m2

Excellent colour accuracy and good brightness
Big canvas, and high resolution
Too large for some
No Thunderbolt connectivity

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 its a hefty 34 inches – it's not an unreasonable size (especially if you're replacing a double-monitor setup!), but it may not be for everyone. Tilt, swivel and height adjustments mean its 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, as a more expensive option, we wish it offered Thunderbolt 3/4 connectivity, but most people will be able to live without anyway.

ViewSonic VP2458

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

03. ViewSonic VP2458

The best budget MacBook Pro screen with great ergonomics and accuracy

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 or high-res
No USB-C

If the top-end screens here break your budget limits, this ViewSonic is the no-nonsense, great-quality cheaper buy to go for. 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 – overall, it's an excellent package for creative pros.

Philips 279P1CB endorsed

(Image credit: Philips)

04. Philips 279P1

The best cheap 4K display for MacBook Pro

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: 1x USB-C, 4x USB-A, 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Ethernet | Brightness (typical) : 350 cd/m²

Great price
Excellent connectivity
USB-C power output not enough for 16-inch MacBook Pro

If you need the pin-sharp details and additional space to work that 4K offers, but don't have a huge budget to spend, this is the best balance. 4K looks beautifully crisp at the 27-inch size, but it’s not so large as to be ridiculous – it'll work for just about any home office or commercial office. 

There's full ergonomic control thanks to tilt, pivot, swivel and height adjustment, and despite the thoroughly reasonable price, it's also an excellent connection hub: one USB-C carries data, 65W of power and video between your laptop and the screen, while four USB 3.2 ports plus Gigabit Ethernet mean you can connect all kinds of high-speed stuff to the screen as a dock.

Brightness is average at 350cd/m2 (though still higher than a lot of screens), and Philips lists colour support as 122% of sRGB with colour accuracy of Delta E <2, so things should look as intended. If what you want is a rock solid monitor with a high resolution for a great price, this is ideal.

Asus ProArt 24CB endorsed

(Image credit: Asus)

05. ASUS ProArt PA24AC

The best smaller, affordable, accurate monitor for MacBook Pro

Size: 24 inches | Resolution: 1,920 x1,200 | Connections: 1x USB-C, USB-A, 1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI | Brightness (maximum): 400 cd/m2

Excellent accuracy
Compact size, but lots of features
Only 60W charging power

Pro monitors tend to come in large sizes with equally large price tags. How about if one came in a compact 24-inch size with a compact price tag? And had 100% sRGB support, a 14-bit internal look-up table, uniformity tech for accurate images, and easy switching between calibration profiles? Maybe it even has HDR400 certification, as a nice bonus.

Yes, we’re talking about this monitor. It would be quite the bait and switch at this point if we weren’t. It also offers single-cable connection over USB-C, USB hub connectivity, and the full suite of ergonomic adjustments. The only downside is that the resolution of 1920x1200 isn’t particularly high (though we like the extra space that it gives by being 16:10), though it’s certainly high enough to use happily. 

If you want something to offer strong image quality in a home office where space is at a premium, and don’t need Ultra HD resolutions, pick this.

BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

(Image credit: BenQ)

06. 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

Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q

(Image credit: Dell)

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, and you can 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. 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.

07. Dell UP2720Q

The best 4K Dell monitor for MacBook Pro if you need serious accuracy

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Connections: Thunderbolt 3/USB-C x2, 2x HDMI, DisplayPort | Brightness (max): 250 cd/m2

Built-in colourimeter
Excellent colour range and accuracy
Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
Not very bright

Don't get this screen confused with the one featured at the top of our list… especially since it costs double the price. Note there's an extra 'P' at the end of the product name here – we don't know exactly what it stand for, but we'll assume 'precision', because that's exactly what you're paying the extra for here. 

On top of the detailed 4K resolution at 27 inches, you've got 100% Adobe RGB, 80% BT. 2020 and 98% DCI-P3 colour range support. And you can be sure you're seeing it right, because this has a built-in colorimeter that's CalMAN ready. You only get 250 cd/m2 of brightness, but Dell uniformity tech will make sure that it's spread evenly, which is what you're really here for.

Actually, the 'P' could stand for 'power', because there's lots of that here. It's the rare monitor that's a Thunderbolt 3 hub, giving you massive throughput to RAIDs and other accessories that need that level of bandwidth. And it delivers 90W of power over a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 cable, so MacBook Pro 16-inch models will stay juiced even when you're pushing them to their limit.

BenQ EX3501R

(Image credit: BenQ)

08. BenQ EX3501R

The best cheaper ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro

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 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).

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review

(Image credit: Eizo)

09. 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 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. You see, the 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, 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.

Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

(Image credit: Asus)

10. 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

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.

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