Using one of the best USB-C monitors is a good way to streamline your work setup and reduce clutter. USB-C ports can transfer data from your laptop or desktop computer to a monitor like other types of connection can, but they also make it easy to connect and charge a range of devices with a single cable.
USB-C cables offer fast and reliable data and power transfer, and that means you can run your laptop from your monitor with USB-C rather than a mains charger. And if you have a monitor with USB-C, you can also connect other peripherals to the display. As with any display, when choosing the best USB-C monitor, it's necessary to consider picture quality, resolution, aspect ratio, contrast ratio, viewing angles, and brightness. But there are also some specifics to consider on connectivity, most notably wattage. Many USB-C ports come with around 60W PD, which should power a laptop, but some are rated only as low as 15W.
For more monitor options, see our pick of the best 4K monitors, the best monitor for video editing and the best monitor with a webcam. In the meantime, here's our pick of the best USB-C monitors.
The best USB-C monitors
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It's hard to find a better value for your money than the LG 32UN880-B UltraFine Display Ergo monitor. You're getting a lot here for the price. Its ergonomic C-Clamp mount and stand feature is the star of the show. More than offering you a unique and space-saving stand, it lets you adjust the display to your heart’s desire. Thanks to its impressive articulation, you can retract, extend, tilt, swivel, and pivot, not to mention height adjust, the monitor to the most ergonomic position for you, no matter what you're working on.
Of course, that panel is just as impressive, delivering 95% DCI P3 colour coverage in 4K resolution and 350 nits of brightness. Meanwhile, there's an impressive selection of ports as well – including two HDMI, a DisplayPort, and a USB hub with two USB-A ports.
So, while it might seem like a very stripped-down affair, with its minimal features – or at least the bells and whistles that accompany a lot of USB-C monitors, this display is impressive in its own right. The LG 32UN880-B is a fantastic choice for just about anyone looking for a USB-C monitor at an affordable price. For most people, this is the best USB-C monitor.
Doing creative work is a breeze on the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue. This is, first and foremost, a 4K resolution display with a larger 32-inch size screen, so it'll let you see every detail of your work.
Of course, when it comes to creative work, 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. 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. There’s also its USB-C hub, which will let you connect your most essential peripherals to your laptop. 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.
The MSI MPG ARTYMIS 273CQRX-QD is a good USB-C monitor to consider if you're looking for something affordable. This 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.
It's an impressive gaming monitor, to be sure, on paper and in practice. But when we did our full MSI MPG ARTYMIS 273CQRX-QD review, we found 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 colour 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 (note that it only provides 15W power delivery).
Gamers, on the other hand, will be impressed by that 27-inch 1440p panel, which 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.
In our full review, we described this excellent midrange USB-C monitor as the "ultimate multitasking tool with its unique aspect ratio, a fully-articulating monitor arm and KVM feature". It's one of a new-ish breed of displays offering a squarish format. Such panels aren't so prevalent yet, but many professionals are starting to turn to them, so this new 16:18 productivity monitor from LG has come at the right time.
When we reviewed it, we found that the squarish format makes this 2560 x 2880 monitor wide enough to view multiple windows, whether it's 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 backwards 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. A seamless workflow on a display with wide colour coverage? We've fallen in love with this USB-C monitor.
See our full LG DualUp Monitor 28MQ780 review for more details.
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 Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ 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 BenQ DesignVue PD3420Q is designed specifically for creative Mac users – especially those looking for an affordable, mid-range model with excellent colour coverage and accuracy. That, of course, means that it's a USB-C display with the capability to charge your laptops as well.
Video editors, photographers, and designers will appreciate 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, and 98% P3 colour gamuts as well as high colour accuracy out of the box and the plethora of colour modes that include CAD/CAM, Darkroom, DCI-P3, and HDR. Everyone, however, will get a lot of use out of its ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio as it will give them plenty of space to spread out, multitask, and focus more on their creative process as opposed to being distracted by technical stuff.
It is limited to a 1440p resolution. However, if you're looking for something that isn't too expensive, anything 4K with this panel size and features isn't going to be as affordable.
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.
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?
The P3222QE is part of Dell’s productivity monitor range, as opposed to the UltraSharps, which are aimed at creatives. This has features clearly targeted at the office, such as always-on low blue light feature for eye comfort. But when we reviewed it, we found it actually makes an interesting USB-C monitor for creative work too thanks to 99% sRGB colour space coverage and a 4K IPS LCD screen that provides excellent colour and contrast consistency.
It looks pretty sleek for a business screen too, with ultra-thin screen bezels, and the highly adjustable stand makes it super ergonomic. So what about the USB-C hub? In keeping with its productivity orientation, it has a USB-C hub with 65W power delivery – enough to supply a laptop, and 3 x USB 3.2 ports for attaching peripherals. It's a bit of an oddball, but if you're looking for a versatile USB-C hub monitor that can do a bit of everything, it's worth considering.
See our more detailed Dell P3222QE USB-C Hub Monitor review for more details.
Are USB-C monitors better?
It’s hard to say that USB-C monitors are necessarily better than those with other connectivity options, but they 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, phones and more. Many of those devices don’t come with other forms of connectivity. So, if you want a second screen for your laptop, for example, you’re limited to a USB-C or the fuss of using an adapter.
On top of that, the best USB-C monitors also 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.
This advantage benefits mainly laptop users. If you’re using a desktop PC, you’ll probably end up sticking with a DisplayPort or HDMI connection. But you can also turn your monitor into a USB hub (if it has enough other ports), attaching peripherals to the monitor instead of to your computer, which can be a neater solution, avoiding cables trailing over your desk.
Do USB-C monitors work with MacBook Pros?
Yes, USB-C monitors work with MacBook Pros. In fact, they’re really the only reasonable choice to go for. You can use non-USB-C 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.
How should I choose the best USB-C monitor?
One key detail to look out for with USB-C is the wattage. The more power provided to the USB-C connection, the better job it's going to do at keeping the device you connect to it charged. Power delivery can vary from as little as 15W to 100. To check whether a USB-C monitor can provide enough power for your laptop compare the USB-C power delivery with the rated wattage of your laptop’s power adapter. You'll want a monitor that can USB power delivery at least equal to the wattage supplied by the laptop power adapter.
You'll also need to make sure that the monitor and your PC have DisplayPort Alternate Mode. USB itself does not include a video standard, but this optional addition supports video. USB-C monitors should list the version of DisplayPort supported by their USB-C port in the monitor’s specifications. Don't worry too much about the version, just be sure that DisplayPort is included.
Beyond connectivity, you'll want to assess other features of the monitor the way that you would with any screen. This will depend on what you want to use the monitor for. If it's for visual creative work such as photo editing or graphic design, you'll want a monitor with broad colour coverage and good colour accuracy (and you'll want one of the best monitor calibrator tools too). If you're only planning to use your screen for general productivity and office work, such requirements won't be necessary, but you may benefit from other features, such as a good webcam.
Do I need Thunderbolt on my monitor?
So what about Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt has exactly the same connection port as USB-C and they can be used interchangeably, but Thunderbolt is a different standard with a superior minimum data rate.
Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 support a data rate of 40Gbps, compared to USB 3.1's minimum of 10Gbps. USB can go as high as Thunderbolt but often doesn't. You might want to go for a Thunderbolt monitor if you want to connect several high-speed storage devices or use external graphics.