The MacBook Pro has a great screen, but sometimes, it's just too small. Preferably, you want a monitor 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. Also, macOS works best with monitors that have a pixel density close to either 110 or 220 PPI. So while our recommendations have the optimal pixel density for the best performance, they don't necessarily have a USB-C port.
Due to numerous complaints of compatibility issues and Dell's unwillingness to offer support to those affected, all Dell monitors have been removed from our list of recommendations for the time being and until the situation is resolved. At this time, we don't test for compatibility; 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 155 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best MacBook Pro monitors to purchase. Also, check out our recommendations for the best monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors for Mac Mini.
The best monitor for MacBook Pro we've tested is the Gigabyte M27Q. It's a 27 inch 1440p monitor that provides plenty of screen real estate so that you can work comfortably. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, which means you don't lose image accuracy when viewing from the side, great for sharing content or work with coworkers. It handles reflections decently and gets more than bright enough to overcome intense glare. The stand offers a limited amount of ergonomic adjustments, so it's best to VESA-mount it if you want greater adjustability.
It stands out for its superb color gamut. It covers the entire sRGB color space and has 97.3% Adobe RGB coverage, making it well-suited for photo editors working in that color gamut. It has exceptional gradient handling, outstanding color accuracy out of the box, and no signs of color bleed. It supports HDR as well and has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color space. One thing to note is that it uses a BGR subpixel layout. While this type of structure doesn't affect image quality, it can affect text clarity in some applications.
There are quite a few additional features that can help improve your workflow. There's a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once, and its integrated KVM switch lets you control two computers with one set of peripherals. It also has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode so that you can dock your MacBook Pro with a single cable. Overall, it's a feature-rich monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you want a monitor with better ergonomics, then check out the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It's very similar to the Gigabyte M27Q as it's also a 27 inch IPS monitor with a 1440p resolution. However, it has significantly better ergonomics, including a wide swivel and rotation to portrait mode. Unfortunately, its Adobe RGB coverage is only decent, and it can't display a wide color gamut for HDR content. Also, it doesn't have a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode or a USB-C port. On the bright side, it has a standard RGB subpixel layout, so you don't have to worry about blurry text.
Overall, the Gigabyte is a better choice, especially for content creators, and it has more features like a USB-C port and Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture. However, if you need better ergonomics or prefer a monitor with an RGB subpixel layout, go with the ASUS.
The best display for MacBook Pro with an ultrawide screen is the LG 38WN95C-W. It has a 38 inch screen that gives you more horizontal space than a standard 16:9 monitor, which is great for multitasking or laying out the timeline when editing videos. The screen is curved and has good viewing angles, so images remain accurate at the edges and when viewing from the side. It can't rotate to portrait mode due to its ultrawide format, but it does allow for height, tilt and swivel adjustments.
Content creators should be happy to hear it has full sRGB and excellent Adobe RGB coverage. Color accuracy is good out of the box, it handles gradients superbly, and there's no color bleed. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and incredibly low input lag to provide a responsive desktop experience. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, and there's also a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain. If you want to game on the side, it has exceptional response times, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to minimize screen tearing.
There are two USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port that support Thunderbolt 3. It has speakers built-in, great if you want to save some desk space, and its Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode lets you display images from two input signals simultaneously. All in all, it's a feature-rich and versatile ultrawide monitor that's suitable for work, gaming, and media consumption.
If you want an even larger monitor than the LG 38WN95C-W, then check out the LG 49WL95C-W. It has a 49 inch screen with a 32:9 aspect ratio, which is equivalent to two 27 inch, 16:9 monitors placed side-by-side. It also has built-in speakers, a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode, and a USB-C port, although the latter only supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, not Thunderbolt 3. Unfortunately, it has slower response times, and the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. Also, it doesn't get very bright and might not be able to fight intense glare, so it's best suited for a moderately-lit room.
Overall, the 38WN95C-W performs better due to its higher peak brightness, wider color gamut, and Thunderbolt 3 support. However, if you need more screen space and don't mind a few compromises, the 49WL95C-W is a good alternative.
The best monitor for MacBook Pro in the budget category that we've tested is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It's a versatile 1440p model designed as a low-cost option for content creators. It uses an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, which means that images remain accurate when viewed from the side, great for sharing content or work with your coworkers. Its superb ergonomics allow you to adjust the screen easily so that you can get the best viewing experience. It's well-built, and it provides good visibility in bright environments.
As expected for a monitor designed for content creators, it has an excellent SDR color gamut and good accuracy out of the box. However, it doesn't support HDR, can't display a wide color gamut, and has an 8-bit panel, so you might see some banding. It has a fast response time to deliver clear images in fast-moving scenes, a Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur, and a 75Hz refresh rate that makes everything feel a bit smoother than a typical 60Hz panel. It supports FreeSync to minimize screen tearing when gaming and is compatible with G-SYNC as well.
There are four USB 3.0 ports that you can use to charge your mobile devices, and it has a 3.5mm analog audio input that lets you play audio from an external device using its built-in speakers. ASUS' QuickFit Virtual Scale includes a virtual screen ruler and a grid alignment tool so that you can preview and align documents before printing. The backlight is flicker-free, great for reducing eye strain. So, if you're shopping on a tight budget, this monitor is worth a look.
Feb 18, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Removed Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q and Acer Nitro XV340CK. Added Gigabyte M27Q and LG 38WN95C-W.
Jan 19, 2021: Replaced ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A with ASUS TUF VG27AQ for consistency.
Dec 16, 2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
Oct 22, 2020: Removed the ASUS VG27AQ, LG 27GL850-B, and the LG 34GN850-B; added the with the ASUS VG27AQL1A, Gigabyte FI27Q, and the Acer Nitro XV340CK.
Sep 23, 2020: Replaced the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD with the Asus ProArt Display PA278QV.
Jul 13, 2020: Replaced the LG 34GK950F-B with the LG 34GN850-B.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best external monitors for a 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.