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The best USB-C monitors in 2021: top screens that can charge your laptop

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Best USB-C monitors
(Image credit: BenQ)

The best USB-C monitors have proven themselves an indispensable tool, especially for laptop and Ultrabook users with limited port availability. USB-C is fast becoming the standard port of sorts for laptops. So, regardless of whether you're a Windows or MacBook user, you'll find a USB-C display the most convenient way to upgrade to bigger real estate when you need it.

Beyond necessity, these USB-C monitors hold their own against their HDMI and DisplayPort counterparts, capable of delivering fast transfer speeds thanks to that USB-C connectivity, incredible picture quality, versatility, and a terrific feature set. That's on top of the fact that they are able to transfer video, data, and power more efficiently over a single cable, which allows users to have a more minimalist, less cluttered setup.

Whether you’re a writer, a content creator or a graphic designer, you’ll benefit from one of the best USB-C monitors. And, there's now a huge range of screens that offer this useful connection, from 4K displays to gaming ones, so you’ll find an ideal match no matter your needs.

When you're ready to jump on the USB-C bandwagon, take a look at the top and most highly rated ones we've found to start you off on the right foot. Do make sure to check out our best Black Friday monitor deals as well since Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 should yield some pretty deep discounts. For more options, you'll also want to see our pick of the best 4K monitors or the best monitors for video editing and best monitors for MacBook Pro.

The best USB-C monitors available right now

LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo product shot

(Image credit: LG)

01. LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo

The best all-rounder USB-C monitor

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1
Screen size: 31.5 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Color support: 95% DCI P3
Weight: 10.3 kg
Reasons to buy
+Excellent picture quality+More accessibly-priced
Reasons to avoid
-Not a lot of premium features

Next to all the other options on here, the LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo takes a more back-to-basics approach. That isn’t to say it is lacking in features. On the contrary, there’s a lot to love here. The ergonomic C-Clamp stand, for one, lets you pivot, extend, retract, swivel and tilt the monitor every which way without fuss, the way a robust desk monitor arm would. It also comes with HDR10, which offers a bit of improvement in picture quality whether you’re in gaming, productivity or creative mode. And, there’s also a plethora of ports on hand; a DisplayPort, one USB-C, two HDMI and two USB-A ports are more than enough for most users.

As far as the more premium features, however, don’t expect a whole lot. Instead, what you’re getting is a brilliant 4K monitor with 350 nits of brightness and 95% DCI P3 colour gamut for most users' bright and accurately vibrant viewing pleasure (not to mention, for beginner photographers editing needs). What we’re saying is that it might not be rich in features, but it delivers where it counts, which to most people is really all that’s important. Especially when it’s one that’s more affordably priced than all the other top contenders.

BenQ SW321C PhotoVue product shotCB

(Image credit: BenQ)

02. BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

The best USB-C monitor for creatives

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1
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
Reasons to buy
+Improved brightness and colour uniformity+USB-C connectivity+Hardware calibration with 16-bit LUT precision
Reasons to avoid
-Main connection bay is hard to reach-‘Paper Color Sync’ needs refining to be truly useful

If you’re looking for the best USB-C monitor overall for creative work, especially photo editing, this is the one. You get a lovely big 32-inch 4K display so you can really dive into the detail of an image, while the impressive colour gamut support (99% Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3) means you can get the look of your pictures (or videos) exactly how you want it. 

The USB-C connectivity means you can bring your laptop back from a photoshoot and plug in a single cable to immediately get working on a bigger canvas. Similarly, you can just as quickly unplug the one cable when you need to head out the door to go to a job. 

There's also a useful connection hub – you can use its USB 3 ports for external storage and other peripherals, but perhaps the most useful feature is the built-in SD card reader since MacBook Pros don’t include them these days. The accuracy and detail are desirable for everyone, but the whole setup here is smartly designed for photography.

Best USB-C monitors: Dell U2720Q product shotCB endorsed

(Image credit: Dell)

03. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

A well-priced 4K USB-C monitor with great image quality

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 2
Screen size: 27 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,300:1
Color support: 99% sRGB color gamut, 99% Rec 709 color gamut, 95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, Delta E
Weight: 9.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Sharp 4K resolution+Great colour quality+Good connections and power
Reasons to avoid
-Average brightness

This is the best 4K USB-C monitor you’ll find before having to make the leap into the world of seriously expensive specialist screens. It’s not just about the quality of the pixels here; this monitor is also extremely well-equipped all around. It's a rare display that can actually deliver 90W of power over USB-C, which is enough for any laptop running at full power on intense tasks, including a 16-inch MacBook Pro. There are also three USB Type-A ports for connecting accessories, and is has full ergonomic adjustments and rock-solid build quality, as you expect from Dell’s office products.

On the screen side, the 27-inch 3840x2160 display is extremely sharp – and with 95% DCI-P3 coverage, 99% sRGB and 99% REC 709 support, you know that you’re seeing things accurately. The 350 nits of brightness is pretty average, but offers great uniformity, and it’s HDR 400 rated. As a screen for both creative and office use, this is extremely hard to beat.

MSI Prestige PS341 product shot

(Image credit: MSI)

04. MSI Prestige PS341WU

The best ultra wide USB-C monitor for creatives

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1
Screen size: 34 inches
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 5120 x 2160
Brightness: 450 nits
Response time: 8ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1200:1
Color support: 98% DCI-P3, 100% SRGB
Weight: 10.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Great colour support+Excellent resolution
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly plasticky build

The MSI PS341WU was made with creatives in mind, and that's evident from its feature list, which boasts things like 98% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB colour coverage, a 5K display in an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio and HDR 600 support – not to mention, a strong 450 nits of average brightness. It also offers full ergonomic adjustments, so it’s easy to make sure that you’re seeing the display clearly and working comfortably for long periods.

It’s also a USB-C monitor, of course, and features three regular USB 3.2 ports, so it acts as a useful connection hub. It’s the accurate, wide colours and high resolution that really draw us in, though. This is basically a 4K display with a bunch of extra working space, meaning you can view things in great detail and still have loads of room for tools.

Best USB-C monitors: BenQ EW3270U product shot

(Image credit: BenQ)

05. BenQ EW3270U

A beautiful 4K USB-C monitor

Specifications
USB-C: Yes x 1
Screen size: 31.5 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 300 nits
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Color support: 95% DCl P3
Weight: 7.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Blue light options+Wide port variety
Reasons to avoid
-Lackluster speakers-Weird headphone jack placement

This 4K USB-C monitor is another great-value all-rounder, with a few extra features that might tempt you in its direction. The 32-inch panel offers a bit more screen real estate while delivering all the detail of 4K plus HDR support. However, AMD FreeSync means it’s also a great choice for gaming, while BenQ’s Opt-Clarity technology also makes it easy to tweak the display profile and make it more visible in whatever conditions you’re in, such as in dim lighting. Flicker-Free and Low Blue Light features also keep it comfortable for users over long periods.

It doesn't just check these boxes, though. There’s also 95% DCI-P3 colour support, so you’re also getting the colour reproduction you want from a creative screen. The only thing really missing here is USB hub support, but given the excellent price, maybe you can live with that. This is another great option if you're looking to get one of the best USB-C monitors. 

Best USB-C monitors: Asus ProArt 24 product shot

(Image credit: Asus)

06. ASUS ProArt PA24AC

The best smaller, more affordable USB-C monitor for creative work

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1
Screen size: 24 inches
Resolution: 1920 x 1200
Aspect ratio: 16:10
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Color support: 100% sRGB
Weight: 6.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Excellent color accuracy+Small size, but pro quality
Reasons to avoid
-Not very high resolution-Not especially bright

This is a great smaller USB-C monitor with impeccable image quality. A lot of the competition starts at 27 inches, but this is made to bring pro-level picture quality to a home office or small desk. And, of course, if you’re going smaller, USB-C only makes sense, since it keeps everything even more minimalist.

The 1920 x 1200 screen may not be particularly high resolution, but it’s high enough for most people, and it's certainly fair for the price. We also really like that it’s 16:10, giving a bit more height for viewing photos and documents since they aren’t always ideal fits on 16:9 screen. Even more important is the 100% sRGB coverage, 14-bit internal LUT and special uniformity tech to make sure everything looks top quality. At 300 nits, it’s not massively bright, but it’s about average – and again, we’ll take that for this price, given the strong uniformity of the screen. Finally, a full set of ergonomic stand adjustments means it’s great for working in comfort. The ASUS ProArt PA24AC is ideal for the creative office on a budget.

Best USB-C monitors: BenQ DesignVue PD3220U product shot

(Image credit: BenQ)

07. BenQ DesignVue PD3220U

An outstanding USB-C monitor for professional creatives

Specifications
USB-C: Yes x 2
Screen size: 31.5 inches
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Brightness: 250 nits
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Color support: 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, 95% DCl P3
Weight: 10.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous design+Lovely IPS panel
Reasons to avoid
-Only good color accuracy-Not cheap

This is a USB-C monitor made with creative pros in mind, and that’s obvious from the outset. The biggest sell is the big 32-inch 4K panel delivering stacks of detail and an overall image quality from the IPS panel that's absolutely top-notch. The HDR support is a nice bonus.

One of the key features here is that its USB-C connection is not just USB-C – it’s also Thunderbolt 3. This is part of what pushes it up the price scale, but if you need ultra-fast connectivity then it’s essential. It means you’re able to daisy chain multiple monitors from one connection, store full-quality high-res video files on external storage and work with the live, and even connect external GPUs. It's the ultimate docking monitor for elite needs. BenQ really knows how to put together a great screen for creatives, and this is one of the best.

Best USB-C monitors: Gigabyte M32Q product shot

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

08. Gigabyte M32Q

The best USB-C monitor for gaming

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1
Screen size: 31.5 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Color support: 94% DCI-P3, 120% sRGB
Weight: 10.2 kg
Reasons to buy
+Wide enough colour gamut+Lots of features for the price
Reasons to avoid
-Contrast ratio could be better

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.

Best USB-C monitors: MSI Optix MAG272CQR product shot

(Image credit: MSI)

09. MSI Optix MAG272CQR

A brilliant compromise for small setups

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1
Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 2560x1440
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Color support: 100% sRGB, 90% DCI-P3
Weight: 9.8 kg
Reasons to buy
+Vivid colours and great contrast+Fast and smooth in a small VA package
Reasons to avoid
-Calibration might be necessary

VA panels are known for their high contrast ratios, higher brightness levels, and fast refresh rates, as well as great colour reproduction. And, MSI Optix MAG272CQR is proof. This brilliant offering gives the budget-conscious an option that delivers rich colours, a punchy contrast ratio of 3000:1, and a 100% sRGB, 90% DCI-P3 colour support that's more than enough for gamers looking for an affordable USB-C monitor for gaming.

It does have one advantage over other similar panels, however. At 27-inches won't tower over small desk setups like its bigger contemporaries, which makes it an ideal compromise when you're working with a limited desk or room space. Apartment-dwellers, take notice. Gamers, on the other hand, will appreciate that 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Alongside its adaptive sync technology, it's just the ticket for fast-paced games. Just bear in mind that there's no local dimming here and therefore, no true HDR support. But, if you're looking for a great all-rounder that ticks a lot off the list, this one's an ace.

Best USB-C monitors: Asus ProArt PA32UC-K USB-C monitor product shot

10. Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

The best pro-level USB-C monitor for video editing

Specifications
USB-C: Yes, 1x USB-C, 1x Thunderbolt 3
Screen size: 32 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Brightness: 350 cd/m²
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Color support: 100% sRGB, 99.5% Adobe RGB, 97% DCI-P3, and even 85% of Rec.2020
Weight: 14 kg
Reasons to buy
+Feature-packed+Stunning image quality
Reasons to avoid
-Extremely expensive-Not for gamers

If you want a serious USB-C monitor for video editing, 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. It 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.

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Matt Hanson

Matt has been a technology journalist for well over a decade, writing for publications such as T3, MacFormat and Creative Bloq. He's a senior editor of TechRadar, Creative Bloq's sister site, where he can be found writing about and reviewing laptops, computers, monitors and more. He often writes for Creative Bloq, helping creatives find their perfect laptop or PC.