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The 6 Best Monitors For MacBook Pro And MacBook Air - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best Monitors For MacBook Pro

Getting an external monitor is a good idea if your MacBook Pro doesn't give you enough screen space to work with. A monitor with a USB-C port allows you to display an image from your MacBook Pro and charge it using a single cable. While macOS works best with 5k displays, they're still limited in market availability, so you can also get a 4k monitor if you want sharp text. You'll also want to consider other things like the monitor's color accuracy and peak brightness to get the most out of your MacBook Pro.

We test monitors' compatibility with the 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip using USB-C or DisplayPort connections. The results are also valid for any MacBook, including the MacBook Air, or if your MacBook uses the newer M2 chip.

We've bought and tested more than 270 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best displays for MacBook Pro to purchase. Also, check out our recommendations for the best work monitors, the best monitors for photo editing, and the best monitors for Mac Mini.

  1. Best Monitor For MacBook Pro

    The Apple Studio Display is the best monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested. Considering it's an Apple monitor, it has features that you can only get with a macOS device. It has exceptional accuracy before calibration thanks to its outstanding sRGB mode that you can only access with a macOS device, making it a fantastic choice for content creators as you won't have to calibrate it. It has an impressive selection of additional features, including a built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers. Its 5k resolution delivers incredibly sharp text, and the 27-inch screen makes it easier to see more of your work at once.

    It has one Thunderbolt 3 input that supports 96W of power delivery, meaning you can keep your MacBook charged while working. It's available with different stand and screen finish options. You can either get the standard fixed stand, a height-adjustable stand, or one without a stand if you want to mount it. You can also choose between a glossy or matte screen finish, and combined with the high peak brightness, you won't have any issues using it in a well-lit room.

    See our review

  2. Best Ultrawide Monitor For MacBook Pro

    If you like working with multiple windows opened simultaneously, an ultrawide display like the LG 40WP95C-W can be a good alternative to the Apple Studio Display. It has a wider 40-inch screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio, so there's plenty of space to open multiple windows. However, it isn't as bright as the Apple monitor and has worse reflection handling, so it isn't as good to use in a well-lit room. It has a 5120x2160 resolution, so while its pixel density isn't as high as on the Apple monitor, text still looks very sharp, and you won't have issues reading fine text.

    What makes this great to use with the MacBook Pro is its impressive connectivity with two USB-C ports that each support Thunderbolt 4. They deliver 96W of power, enough to keep most MacBooks fully charged while you're working. It also has a Picture-by-Picture mode which is great if you want to connect multiple devices at once, like if you work on a Mac Mini and MacBook at the same time.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Monitor For MacBook Pro

    If you don't like ultrawide displays or prefer something cheaper, check out the Dell U2723QE. With a much smaller screen than the LG 40WP95C-W, it isn't as good for multitasking, but it also has a 4k resolution with a high pixel density and sharp text clarity. It has many features, like a massive USB hub with three USB-C ports. One of them supports DisplayPort Alt Mode with 90W of power delivery, which is enough to charge most MacBooks or at least keep the battery going while you're using it. Another USB-C port is used for the KVM switch, allowing you to control two sources with the same keyboard and mouse, which is helpful for productivity.

    It also has a dedicated sRGB mode that makes it excellent for content creators, and it displays a wide range of colors in the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, which is important if you work in those color spaces. If you find the 27-inch screen too small and want something even bigger, the Dell U3223QE is essentially a larger variant of this monitor, but colors in HDR look undersaturated.

    See our review

  4. Best Lower Mid-Range Monitor For MacBook Pro

    If you want something more simple and don't want to spend a ton of money on the Dell U2723QE, the Dell S2722QC is a great choice to get as a lower mid-range monitor for the MacBook Pro. It's a lower-end model than the U2723QE, so it has a smaller USB hub but still has one USB-C port that supports 65W of power delivery. It's enough to keep your laptop's battery going while using it, and it has two USB-A ports if you want to charge other devices. It doesn't have any issues with recent M1 MacBook Pros, except the default scaling is 1080p when you connect your MacBook, so you need to change it to 4k to take full advantage of the display.

    The high 4k resolution helps deliver crisp images, and the monitor has decent accuracy before calibration if you want to use it for casual photo editing. However, it doesn't have an sRGB mode, so some colors look oversaturated. It gets bright like the U2723QE and has even better reflection handling, so it's a great choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Monitor For MacBook Pro

    The Dell S2722QC doesn't cost much and can sometimes be found at budget-friendly prices, but if you're on a tighter budget or aren't a fan of 4k screens, check out the Gigabyte M27Q. It has a lower 1440p resolution compared to the 4k screen on the Dell, which means that text doesn't look as sharp. Its BGR subpixel layout also causes some text issues with programs that don't render well with it, but the text clarity is still decent on macOS. Besides that, it has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode to display an image from your MacBook. However, its power delivery is limited to 10W, which isn't enough to power your laptop.

    It has a few extra features usually found on higher-end models, like its KVM switch and Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture modes, making it a great choice for productivity and providing good value for a budget monitor. There aren't any issues using this monitor with a MacBook for the most part, but there are flicker issues in some picture modes. You won't have problems if you don't use those modes, and the most accurate modes don't have those problems anyway.

    See our review

  6. Best Cheap Monitor For MacBook Pro

    If you want something cheap and don't want to spend much money, consider a cheaper entry-level model like the ASUS VG246H. It has fewer features than the Gigabyte M27Q as it doesn't have a USB hub or Picture-by-Picture modes, but that's what to expect for a cheaper display. It also has a smaller screen and lower resolution, so it isn't ideal for multitasking, but the pixel density and text clarity are decent. Despite its price, it's still well-built with an incredibly ergonomic stand, making it easy to adjust to an ideal viewing position. It also has wide viewing angles that keep the image consistent from the sides.

    It doesn't have a USB-C port like the other monitors in this recommendation, but it still has an HDMI port you can use if you have the newer MacBooks with an HDMI slot, and there aren't any connectivity issues. Although it's limited in extra features, it has a flicker-free backlight that helps reduce eye strain during long usage sessions. It also has an sRGB mode that results in great accuracy, but it locks most picture settings, so it's only beneficial if you need accurate colors for content creation.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS is a step down from the Dell S2722QC as it doesn't have a USB-C input, so either you need an adapter or to connect via HDMI. If that isn't an issue, it's a great choice because it also costs less. See our review
  • LG 38WN95C-W: The LG 38WN95C-W is a lower-end model compared to the LG 40WP95C-W in terms of office features because it has a lower resolution and smaller USB hub, but it also costs less, so it's a great choice if you want to save a bit of money. See our review
  • ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV: The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is a budget-friendly monitor that costs just a bit more than the Gigabyte M27Q and doesn't have the same flicker or text issues. However, it doesn't support HDR at all, so the Gigabyte offers more for its value. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 21, 2023: Verified picks for availability and for consistency with other articles; added the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV to Notable Mentions.

  2. Feb 17, 2023: Renamed the LG 40WP95C-W to 'Best Ultrawide Monitor' because it's in-line with what people are looking for with a MacBook Pro; updated text throughout for clarity.

  3. Dec 20, 2022: Renamed the LG 40WP95C-W as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Monitor' from 'Best Ultrawide Monitor' to focus on its market placement and not its ultrawide format; added the LG 38WN95C-W and the Gigabyte M32U to Notable Mentions.

  4. Nov 16, 2022: Replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ with the LG 40WP95C-W because it has Thunderbolt 4 support, and added the ASUS VG246H as the 'Best Cheap Monitor' for consistency with other articles; updated the text for clarity and accuracy throughout.

  5. Oct 18, 2022: Added the Dell U2723QE as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Monitor'; replaced the LG 32QN55T-B with the Gigabyte M27Q because it's better overall; removed the Dell C1422H in the 'Best Portable' category; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best external monitors for MacBook Pro and the best MacBook Air monitors 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.