One of the best USB-C monitors might just be what you need for that ultimate productivity. The fast and highly reliable USB Type-C port has finally become the standard for device connectivity, thanks to its impressive capability to speedily transfer large data and power using a single cable. That means that getting a USB-C monitor is the best way to future-proof your setup.
USB-C can support video, sound, and other data transmission while simultaneously delivering power using just a single cable and a port that's incredibly easy to plug into. That makes it the most ideal port for professionals who need a seamless workflow as well as general laptop users who crave a clean, minimalist setup. And, by investing in an excellent USB-C display, you're getting exactly that.
Choosing a highly covetable monitor that comes with USB-C connectivity takes careful planning, even though it's easy considering there are many excellent options on hand. You should take a look at picture quality, resolution, aspect ratio, contrast ratio, viewing angles, and brightness. If you're a content creator, you'll need to make sure it has the right colour coverage and high colour accuracy. Also, think about other features like power delivery wattage. While many USB-C ports come with 60W PD, some are only rated for 15W.
We've tested our share of USB-C displays, and lucky for you, we're here to narrow down the choices to make it even easier for you. Much like how we test other monitors, we put each one through rigorous testing before considering it a worthy addition to this list.
The best USB-C monitors available now
It might seem like a very stripped-down affair. But, the LG 32UN880-B UltraFine Display Ergo shouldn’t be discounted. After all, it might be lacking when it comes to all the bells and whistles that accompany a lot of USB-C monitors, but what it does, it does nearly flawlessly.
Take, for example, its ergonomic C-Clamp mount and stand. It does more than offer a distinctive aesthetic. It lets you adjust the display to your heart’s desire. Its ability to retract, extend, tilt, swivel, and pivot, not to mention its height adjustability, are unmatched. Along with the display’s excellent ergonomics is an equally stunning screen that offers a 95% DCI P3 colour gamut in 4K resolution and 350 nits of brightness. Additionally, it might be short on other features, but it does come with plenty of ports, including two HDMI, a DisplayPort, and a USB hub with two USB-A ports.
In short, the LG 32UN880-B is a fantastic choice for just about anyone looking for a USB-C monitor. It can handle graphic design, gaming, productivity work, and whatever else you need out of it. Even better, it’s among the less expensive options available.
Doing creative work is a breeze on the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue, thanks to that 4K resolution and larger 32-inch size screen, letting you see every detail of your work. It also comes with thoughtful features like an SD card reader, a boon for anyone working on an ultrabook or MacBook that’s missing one, and a picture-by-picture mode that displays the same image in two different colour modes.
Of course, colour support and accuracy are even more critical, and BenQ knows this. It has equipped the SW321C with 95% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RGB colour gamuts and excellent colour accuracy of Delta E ≤ 2. On test, it's proven to be one of the most colour-accurate monitors we've reviewed, and delivers on that colour coverage as promised. This monitor is more than enough if you do more broadcast quality editing.
This display also makes it easy for a minimalist setup. There’s its USB-C hub, which will let you connect your most essential peripherals to your laptop. And its USB-C connectivity means that you can take advantage of that full setup and all those peripherals with just a single cable to your computer. The OSD navigation buttons, as you'll read in our BenQ SW321C PhotoVue review, is a little inconvenient to use, but the included hotkey puck makes all the difference and helps make your workflow a lot more seamless.
Better than monitors with portrait modes are this new-ish breed of displays offering a squarish format. Such panels aren't as prevalent yet, but many professionals are starting to turn on to them. This new 16:18 productivity monitor from LG has come at the right time.
While we haven't done a full review of the LG DualUp Monitor 28MQ780 yet, we have been testing it for a couple of weeks now. And, honestly, we're enjoying the experience. Thanks to its squarish format, this 2560 x 2880 monitor is always wide enough to view windows, whether you've got it in landscape or portrait mode. In portrait mode, it never feels too tall (read: no more neck craning). Of course, the ergonomic and fully articulating stand lets you tilt, swivel, rotate, and move forward and backward until you've found the most comfortable position.
If you're starting to feel like you're losing control of the number of windows you've got open, don't worry. It helps you organise those windows by allowing you to snap them up into a stack of two or three. This also brilliantly lets you see all your important windows without taking the time to switch from one to the other. Do you want a seamless workflow, especially on a display with wide colour coverage? You'll want to take this one home.
From BenQ’s professional design line is the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U, an outstanding monitor whose features extend far beyond its USB-C capabilities. Not content with USB-C, it offers not one but two Thunderbolt 3 ports to keep creatives happy to allow daisy-chaining of multiple monitors and even connection of external GPUs.
Monitors for professional photo editors and graphic designers tend to be very expensive, but this screen strikes an incredible balance between price and specs. It boasts excellent colour coverage with 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, and 95% P3 colour gamuts as well as different colour modes including Animation and CAD/CAM.
When we tested the screen, we found colour gamut and accuracy lived up to BenQ's claims, although peak brightness was below that claimed. All in all, we found the big 32-inch 4K display delivered stacks of detail and great image quality, making this the best value professional screen we've tested. The HDR support is a nice bonus. See our full BenQ PD322OU review for more details.
The ViewSonic VP3268a-4K takes its predecessor, the ViewSonic VP3268-4K, ageing design to the 21st century with a couple of key additions. It now boasts a USB-C port for video input, which makes it another terrific option on this best USB-C monitors list, and has improved colour accuracy. Of course, it takes more than that to be creative pro-worthy. Luckily, it also features 100% Rec. 709 and 100% sRGB colour gamuts, Pantone validation, and 350 nits of brightness, which makes it a great option for photographers and broadcast video editors.
It also keeps its price down, so that while it isn’t a budget option, it’s certainly affordable to creative hobbyists looking to up their editing game. The contrast ratio is only a little above average and there’s no HDR support, unfortunately, but those aren’t deal-breakers for most people.
The Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ (opens in new tab) is a premium 4K display that Dell designed specifically with multitasking remote working professionals in mind. This impressive productivity monitor couldn't have come at a better time with the world back in full swing from the pandemic yet adopting that work-from-home practice reached its height during the lockdowns.
It comes with everything you need, minus a full desktop PC inside. That includes useful multitasking features, different creative colour modes, impressive colour coverage, and naturally, an intelligent webcam that delivers up to 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60fps video and comes with a SafeShutter feature. For your ultimate productivity, there's even an Auto KVM (Keyboard, Mouse, Video) feature and what Dell calls "Fast Wake," which allows you to use its power button to wake both the monitor itself and your computer.
Of course, its performance is top-notch as well, giving us rich, vibrant visuals whether we're getting through a busy Monday full of video calls or streaming the latest releases. Though we haven't done a full review of this monitor, we have utilised it in testing and put it through its paces. And, we're happy to report that it's just as impressive in practice as it is on paper.
The Asus ProArt PA32UC-K is for people who want a serious USB-C monitor for video editing, and it doesn’t get much more serious than this. It offers 4K resolution (at the Ultra HD standard) and huge HDR – it can reach a peak brightness higher than most TVs, so it’s one of the best ways to work with HDR footage.
This Asus monitor also offers colour coverage that includes 100% sRGB, 99.5% Adobe RGB and 97% DCI-P3 – not to mention, pro-grade calibration features and a hardware calibration tool in the box. Strong gamma tracking and consistency complete its credentials as a creative powerhouse. Like we said: serious.
As for connectivity, it's not just USB-C, but also Thunderbolt 3, which means you can daisy-chain it to other Thunderbolt 3 devices with colossal bandwidth between them. That includes monitors, or RAIDs with your uncompressed 4K, 6K or even 8K video on it, ready for you to work with live using your tools of choice. The Asus ProArt PA32UC comes with a high price tag, but if you need what it offers, it’s worth every penny.
The MSI MPG ARTYMIS 273CQRX-QD is one of those enthusiast-level creator displays dressed up as a gaming monitor. MSI indeed touts it as one, complete with gaming-focused features, many of which you'll find in pricier models. This 27-inch 1440p panel comes with a 1000R curvature, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and a 1ms response time. Oh, and it also delivers a blazing-fast 240Hz refresh rate to keep up with fast-paced games and during esports tournaments.
It's an impressive gaming monitor, to be sure, on paper and in practice. But, the one thing our MSI MPG ARTYMIS 273CQRX-QD review has proven is that it can moonlight as a creative enthusiast's editing display as well. With an average Delta E of 0.8, pre-calibration, as well as a wide color coverage of 100% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3, and 94% AdobeRGB on test, it has proven itself a capable tool for content creation. That's on top of its USB-C connectivity for plugging your MacBook or ultrabook in as a source.
Not all creative professionals want or need a $1,000/£1,000 monitor. Luckily, something like the BenQ EW3280U is on hand for such consumers. This 4K display is one of BenQ’s entertainment monitors, but it's also a great all-rounder that does more than seeing you through general media consumption.
When we tested the screen, we found it offered good colour accuracy after calibration as well as great sRGB and DCI-P3 colour coverage. Plus, its feature set is impressive for its affordable price. In fact, even though its 60Hz refresh rate isn't the best for fast-paced games, its 4K on a 32-inch panel combo is as much of a sweet spot for narrative-driven games as it is for productivity and creative workloads.
As we noted in our BenQ EW3280U review, we also found its built-in speakers and ergonomics to be a tad lacking – an articulating stand would have been especially handy – but there's already plenty to love and make you forget such limitations.
With the MSI PS341WU being tough to find, your options for a truly impressive ultrawide USB-C monitor for creative workloads have become considerably limited. Luckily, LG is here to save the day with the LG 38WN95C, a stunning 3840 x 1600 display that gives you plenty of room to spread out and have all your tools handy so you can immerse in your creative process. Content creators will also appreciate its 99% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 colour gamuts.
While it isn't a 5K2K display like the PS341WU, it comes with its own strengths including a fast refresh rate of 144Hz and a fast response time of 1ms, as well as AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync – all the good stuff esports and non-pro gamers need. A great all-rounder, it also boasts LG's ambient light sensor and an articulating stand, both of which productivity and creative professionals will appreciate.
Of course, its pixel-per-inch ratio of 110.93 is just the ticket for making those visuals sharp and those texts comfortably readable. Oh, and did we mention its VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification?
Are USB-C monitors better?
It’s hard to say that USB-C monitors are better than the competition. But, they do offer a few advantages. First, USB-C connectivity is quickly becoming the norm on all sorts of devices, from Windows Ultrabooks and MacBooks to tablets. And, many of those devices don’t come with other forms of connectivity. So, if you want a second screen for your laptop, you’re limited to one of these displays.
Additionally, many USB-C monitors offer power delivery. So, when you connect your Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Air, the same USB-C cable driving the monitor also provides power to that computer. And, typically it’s enough to keep the battery full even when running demanding tasks. This one-cable solution also helps create a more minimal, less cluttered setup.
Of course, those advantages just benefit laptop users. If you’re using a desktop PC, you’ll probably end up sticking with a DisplayPort or HDMI connection.
Do USB-C monitors work with MacBook Pros?
Not only do USB-C monitors work with MacBook Pros, but they’re often the only reasonable choice. You can, of course, use other monitors, but you’ll have to invest and keep track of the appropriate adapters every time you connect and disconnect. And, since all current MacBook Pros come with some kind of Thunderbolt connectivity, which uses the same connection as USB-C, they’ll be able to deliver their video signal and transfer data and receive power from the monitor (if the monitor supports power delivery).
Are USB-C monitors good for gaming?
The speeds at which USB-C connections transfer data is more than sufficient for gaming. It’s about on par with DisplayPort 1.4. The only real limitation is how it connects to your gaming computer. If your gaming desktop has a graphics card that supports DisplayPort 1.4, which just about all current GPUs do, then you’ll need to invest in an adapter and adjust some monitor and driver settings on your computer. But, if you’re using a gaming laptop sporting a USB-C port, you don’t even have to use an adapter. It’s essentially plug-and-play.
USB-C monitors aren’t just for creative professionals and masters of productivity. There are gaming options too, as the surprisingly affordable Gigabyte M32Q proves. With 94% DCI-P3 and 120% sRGB coverage, it doesn’t quite make it as a display for pro-level content creation. However, that’s more than good enough for most users and it’s certainly good enough for gaming, especially when combined with its VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, 1ms GTG response time, 165Hz refresh rate, and AMD FreeSync support.
There’s no doubt that gamers, especially those who play competitively or have a penchant for fast-paced titles, will love it. This is one terrific USB-C gaming monitor, and looks every bit the part, touting gaming-inspired aesthetics, a dashboard that displays your CPU usage, clock speed and cooling management, and small gaming-centric extras. It keeps its price competitive as well. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a 4K monitor, which means you’re not gaming in 4K – though unless you have an expensive high-end GPU like an RTX 3080, you couldn’t do so anyway so this 1440p is just the ticket for most gamers.