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. Additionally, macOS works best with monitors that have a pixel density close to 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 below.
We've reviewed more than 100 monitors and below are our recommendations for the best MacBook Pro monitors to purchase. See also our recommendations for the best monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, the best monitors for Mac Mini, and our best 34 inch + monitors. If you're looking for a mouse, see our recommendations for the best mice for MacBook Pro.
The best monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested so far is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. This 27 inch monitor sports an IPS panel that has wide viewing angles, so images remain accurate even if you're not seated directly in front of the screen. It also has excellent ergonomics, allowing you to adjust the monitor to your optimal viewing position, and it's well-suited for bright rooms thanks to its good peak brightness and decent reflection handling. That said, dark room viewing isn't as good, as its contrast ratio and black uniformity are rather mediocre, resulting in blacks that look like gray when viewed in the dark.
With a 1440p resolution and a pixel density of 109 PPI, images look sharp and text clarity is decent. It has an acceptable coverage of the Adobe RGB color space if you need to do some light photo editing; however, it may need calibration if color accuracy is important to you. Unfortunately, while the monitor does support HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut and its HDR peak brightness isn't enough to make highlights pop. Input lag is outstanding, providing a responsive desktop experience, and if you work long hours, the flicker-free backlight can help with eye strain.
This monitor doesn't offer much in terms of extra features, but it does come with built-in speakers if you don't have space for dedicated ones. Although it doesn't have a USB-C input, its performance should satisfy most people nonetheless.
If you have a limited budget, then check out the LG 27GL83A-B, also a 27 inch monitor with a 1440p resolution. You won't get the sturdy build or the outstanding ergonomics of the ASUS TUF VG27AQ, but on the whole, it offers largely the same features. The main differences are that this monitor supports a wide color gamut, and it has better out-of-the-box color accuracy; however, it doesn't come with integrated speakers. Its response time, viewing angles, and reflection handling are a little bit better, although the improvements are fairly minor and not really noticeable. Another downside of this monitor is its poor contrast ratio and black uniformity, making it less ideal for dark room viewing.
The ASUS is a better monitor overall for most people, but if you don't mind a few compromises, the LG is a good alternative.
The LG 34GK950F-B is the best ultrawide monitor for the Macbook Pro that we've tested so far. This 34 inch ultrawide provides plenty of horizontal space to work efficiently and it has a 1440p resolution to deliver a great picture quality. It has an impressive color accuracy and excellent uniformity, with only the sides of the screen being slightly darker. Gradient performance is exceptional on this 10-bit panel and it has outstanding coverage of the sRGB and Adobe RGB color space.
This monitor has a slightly curved screen and an IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate on the sides. It's well-suited for bright rooms, but dark room performance is not good, as its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio and there's visible backlight bleeding that can be rather distracting in the dark. There's support for HDR; however, its performance is limited by the monitor's peak brightness in HDR mode.
Response time on this monitor is excellent and it has a black frame insertion feature, so motion blur should be minimal in fast-moving scenes. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and an extremely low input lag for a responsive desktop experience, and there's FreeSync support too if you want to use it for some gaming. Although it doesn't have a USB-C port, this is a feature-rich ultrawide monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you need an even bigger monitor than the LG 34GK950F-B, then check out the LG 49WL95C-W. This 49 inch super ultrawide has a 32:9 aspect ratio, which is the same as having two 27 inch 1440p monitors, but without distracting bezels in between. It comes with a fantastic Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two sources at once, as well as a USB-C input with support for DisplayPort Alt mode. If you're worried about visibility, this monitor also has an IPS panel and it can get decently bright, enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms. There are a few drawbacks, however, as its contrast ratio and black uniformity are quite poor, with severe clouding throughout the screen, and its color accuracy is just okay. Furthermore, while this monitor supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut and the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz.
Overall, the 34GK950F-B provides more than enough space for most people to work comfortably, but if your workload requires a super ultrawide monitor, then go with the 49WL95C-W.
The best budget monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested so far is the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD. Despite its low price, you won't be sacrificing resolution or screen real estate. It has a 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution, and its IPS panel has excellent wide viewing angles. It has outstanding coverage of both the sRGB and Adobe RGB color space, but sadly, it doesn't support a wide color gamut. Its build quality is decent; however, the stand has very limited adjustability; allowing for tilt only.
This monitor has a 144Hz panel, and its input lag remains low whether you're running at maximum refresh rate or at 60Hz. The backlight isn't flicker-free, but it flickers at such a high frequency that it shouldn't be bothersome to most people. There are integrated speakers, but connectivity options are pretty slim and there's no USB port for charging.
Overall, if your budget is limited, this monitor is a good option that won't cost a fortune.
05/01/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
04/01/2020: Replaced all recommendations, as macOS works best with monitors that have a pixel density around 110 or 220 PPI.
03/16/2020: Removed Dell U3818DW, Dell U4919DW, Dell U3219Q. Added BenQ EW3270, LG 34WK95U-W, LG 49WL95C-W.
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. 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.