Sometimes you may find that using a laptop screen like on the MacBook Pro is too small. If you want to get a monitor for more screen space, you'll want one that supports USB-C with power delivery, which allows you to connect your MacBook Pro to the display and charge it using a single cable. In the past, MacBook Pros worked best with monitors that had a pixel density of around 110 or 220 PPI, but we've confirmed that they can still work with higher pixel densities, so our recommendations focus on USB-C support, as well as other factors like ergonomics, brightness, and viewing angles.
Due to numerous complaints of compatibility issues and Dell's unwillingness to offer support to those affected, we've removed all Dell monitors from our list of recommendations for the time being and until the situation is resolved. At this time, we don't officially test for compatibility, but we expect our picks to work with the MacBook Pro. If you run into any issues using a monitor when connected to a MacBook, please let us know in the discussions.
We've tested more than 225 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors for MacBook Pro to purchase. Also, check out our recommendations for the best monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors for Mac Mini.
The Apple Studio Display is the best MacBook Pro monitor for content creators we've tested. Its 5k native resolution delivers incredibly sharp text and images, and makes it easier to see more of your work at once. It has exceptional accuracy out of the box, with multiple presets depending on your usage, including an outstanding sRGB mode. It doesn't support HDR, but it still has incredible coverage of the HDR color spaces, including complete coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.
It has an impressive selection of additional features, including a built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers. It has one Thunderbolt 3 input that supports 96W of power delivery, so you can keep any MacBook fully charged while you work, with a single cable going to your MacBook and no need for adapters. It also has three other USB-C ports for your other accessories, like a drawing tablet or stream deck, keeping the few ports on your laptop free for other things.
There are multiple variants of the Studio Display, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs. The ones with a built-in stand can't be VESA mounted, so if you need better ergonomics make sure to get the model that's designed for use with Apple's VESA mount adapter. Although it has its flaws, it's an incredible display for content creators.
The Gigabyte M32U is the best monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested with a 4k resolution. It has many features to improve your workflow, and the picture quality is good. The large 32 inch screen makes it easy to open multiple windows side-by-side, and the 4k resolution helps deliver sharp text and crisp images.
Although mainly designed for gaming, it's also great for content creators. It has impressive out-of-the-box accuracy, so you won't need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, and it has a fantastic SDR color gamut for a wide range of colors. You can connect it to it via its USB-C input, and while you can use it to charge the laptop, it only has 15W of power. You can keep the laptop going during your workday, but it won't charge very fast.
Sadly, it's not good for use in dark rooms because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray, and the edge-lit local dimming feature causes blooming. Fortunately, it has a keyboard video mouse (KVM) switch, so you can control two devices with the same keyboard and mouse if you have something else connected alongside your MacBook Pro. All in all, it's the best 4k monitor to use with your MacBook Pro.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is the best 1440p monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested. A 1440p resolution doesn't require as much bandwidth from your MacBook as a 4k monitor, meaning you can achieve higher frame rates for a more responsive desktop experience. Despite the lower resolution, the text clarity is still decent, and the 27 inch screen is good enough to open a couple of windows next to each other.
It's designed with productivity in mind and has a great selection of inputs. You can connect to the monitor with its USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode. It has a power delivery of 65W, which isn't strong enough to charge your laptop while you're using it, but you won't have to worry about your battery running out during your workday. It also has two USB 3.0 ports, meaning you can connect your keyboard and mouse or charge your phone while working.
Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, which is disappointing if you need to edit your videos or photos in HDR. Still, it has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy and perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most web content, so colors appear as they should. All in all, it's the best external monitor for MacBook Pro with a 1440p resolution.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD offers the best value for MacBook Pro users, especially for content creators. It has an incredibly wide color gamut for content creators, but unlike the Apple Studio Display, it has just decent accuracy out of the box. It has great visibility in brighter rooms, with impressive peak brightness in SDR and decent reflection handling. The 27 inch, 1440p screen is okay for multitasking, and it results in good overall text clarity.
It's fully compatible with recent MacBook Pros, and everything from HDR to its variable refresh rate feature works perfectly. There are no issues with sleep, either, and windows go back to their original position when your computer wakes up. It has good viewing angles, so you can easily share your screen with someone else.
Unfortunately, although it supports USB-C, so you won't need any adapters, it has very limited power delivery, meaning you'll need to keep your MacBook plugged into a wall adapter to keep it charged. Other than that, it's an impressive monitor overall.
The Gigabyte M34WQ is the best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested. Ultrawide monitors offer something different than the typical monitors in this recommendation because they have a 21:9 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. It provides more horizontal screen space so you can open multiple windows side-by-side and has a 3440x1440 resolution that provides good text clarity.
It has many of the same office-oriented features as the Gigabyte M32U. There's one USB-C input with DisplayPort Alt Mode, and it has a KVM switch that allows you to control two sources with one set of a keyboard and mouse. It means you can connect your PC and your MacBook Pro to the monitor and control both with the same keyboard and mouse. It also has Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes in case you need to view both of those sources at once.
Unfortunately, while it supports HDR10 and displays a wide color gamut, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR. Also, it lacks a local dimming feature and has a low contrast ratio, so it doesn't perform well in dark rooms, but it's still a good choice for well-lit rooms because it gets bright and has great reflection handling. Overall, it's one of the best ultrawide monitors we've tested.
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is the best portable monitor for the MacBook Pro that we've tested if you're looking for a display to use on the go. Although you won't get a large screen, the 14 inch screen is small enough to carry around, almost like you're bringing a second laptop with you, just not as heavy.
The 1080p resolution results in a high pixel density, and the text looks very sharp. It has two USB-C inputs that you can use to power the monitor and display an image from it; you can connect it to a USB-C power source, and since it has a power passthrough, you can charge your MacBook Pro and display an image at the same time. The monitor comes with a kickstand that supports the screen and lets it tilt, but other than that, the ergonomics are limited. It's also fairly well-built, so you shouldn't have to worry about damaging it in your bag.
Sadly, the picture quality on most portable monitors isn't anything special. It doesn't support HDR, has limited Adobe RGB coverage, and has a slow response time that makes motion look blurry. Also, it doesn't get very bright, but it has decent reflection handling. If you're going to use it as a secondary display on the go, it's a great choice for the MacBook Pro.
If you're on a budget, the best display for MacBook Pro is the Gigabyte M27Q. It's a versatile monitor with very similar features to the Gigabyte M32U but with a smaller, lower-resolution screen. It supports USB-C, so you don't need to worry about adapters, but its power delivery feature is very limited, so it can't charge your MacBook while you're working.
It has great peak brightness in SDR and decent reflection handling, so you don't have to worry about the glare in a bright room. It delivers surprisingly good picture quality, with excellent gray uniformity, fantastic accuracy out of the box, and a superb color gamut, almost as wide as the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD.
Unfortunately, this monitor uses a less-optimal BGR sub-pixel layout. It's mainly an issue with Windows PCs, and as long as you're running a relatively recent version of macOS, you won't have any issues. Overall, it's a surprisingly good monitor for the price, and it's a great choice for MacBook Pro users on a limited budget.
May 06, 2022: Added the Apple Studio Display as the 'Best Monitor For Creators'. Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text throughout.
Apr 07, 2022: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text. Renamed the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD to 'Best Monitor For Content Creators', and removed a few out-of-date Notable Mentions.
Mar 10, 2022: Updated text for clarity and added the Acer Nitro XV282K to Notable Mentions.
Feb 10, 2022: Updated text for accuracy and verified picks for availability; added the Gigabyte M32Q to Notable Mentions.
Jan 12, 2022: Made multiple changes based on user needs; added the Gigabyte M32U as the 'Best 4k Monitor', removed both the LG 34GP83A-B and the Acer Nitro XV340CK and replaced them with the Gigabyte M34WQ as the 'Best Ultrawide', and added the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 as the 'Best Portable Monitor'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best external monitors for MacBook Pro that are currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price, and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews, except Dell monitors. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.