The 5 Best Monitors For MacBook Pro - Spring 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Monitors For MacBook Pro
175 Monitors Tested
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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 160 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.


  1. Best Monitor For MacBook Pro: ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV

    8.4
    Office
    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    75 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    Adaptive Sync

    The best monitor for MacBook Pro we've tested is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV. This is a newer version of our top budget pick, the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It largely performs the same as its predecessor, but it has a few additional features. It's well-built, with a stand that allows for an exceptional amount of ergonomic adjustments so that you can place the screen in an ideal viewing position. Its wide viewing angles make it great for sharing content, and it provides good visibility in well-lit settings.

    It's a good choice for content creators, especially those working in the sRGB color space. However, its Adobe RGB coverage might be too low for professional photo editors, and it doesn't support HDR at all. It has impressive gradient handling to minimize banding, and there are no signs of color bleed. It has a 75Hz refresh rate and great response times, resulting in a smoother and snappier desktop experience than on a typical 60Hz panel.

    The most notable change in this newer model is the addition of a USB-C input. It lets you dock your laptop, charge it, and access the monitor's USB 3.0 hub with a single USB-C cable, minimizing the number of cables in your setup. Like its predecessor, it has several on-screen overlays that let you preview and align documents in their actual sizes before printing. All in all, it's a feature-rich productivity monitor worth checking out.

    See our review

  2. HDR Alternative: Gigabyte M27Q

    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    170 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you need a monitor that supports HDR, then check out the Gigabyte M27Q. Like the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV, it's a 27 inch IPS model with a 1440p resolution. However, it has HDR10 support, with excellent DCI P3 coverage and decent peak brightness in HDR mode. It also has superb Adobe RGB coverage, making it well-suited for photo editors. It has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display input signals from two devices simultaneously, and you can control both of those devices with one set of mouse and keyboard using its KVM feature. There are two things to keep in mind before making your purchasing decision. The first is that this monitor uses a BGR subpixel layout. It can cause text to appear blurry in some applications, which might be a dealbreaker for some. Second, even though it has a USB-C port, the power delivery is limited to 10W, which is only enough to charge smaller devices like smartphones, not laptops.

    Overall, the ASUS and the Gigabyte are both great monitors for the MacBook Pro. If you want better ergonomics, go with the ASUS. However, if you want HDR support or want to use it for some gaming on the side, then the Gigabyte is a better choice.

    See our review

  3. Best Ultrawide For MacBook Pro: LG 38WN95C-W

    7.9
    Office
    Size 38"
    Resolution 3840x1600
    Max Refresh Rate
    144 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The LG 38WN95C-W is the best display for MacBook Pro with an ultrawide screen. At 38 inches, it gives you plenty of screen real estate for multitasking, and its 3840x1600 resolution delivers a crisp image. It has a curved screen and feels well-built, and while you can't rotate it into portrait mode due to its ultrawide size, it has tilt, swivel, and height adjustments.

    You get two USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, so it provides enough connectivity and power delivery for your MacBook and peripherals. It has a fantastic SDR color gamut, including excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. Unlike a lot of office monitors, it has a high 144Hz refresh rate that's suitable for gaming, as well as a low input lag that makes for a responsive desktop experience. It also has a remarkably fast response time and variable refresh rate (VRR) support.

    Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio, but that's typical of an IPS panel. The upside is that it has wide viewing angles, which is great for sharing content and ensures the image stays mostly accurate from the sides. On top of that, it also has built-in speakers and a Picture-by-Picture mode, allowing you to display from two input sources at once. All in all, this is the best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested.

    See our review

  4. Super Ultrawide Alternative: LG 49WL95C-W

    Size 49"
    Resolution 5120x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    If you need an even larger monitor, check out the LG 49WL95C-W. Unlike the LG 38WN95C-W, it has an incredible 32:9 aspect ratio and 49 inch screen—equivalent to two 27 inch, 16:9 monitors placed side by side. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't get as bright, but it has great reflection handling and wide viewing angles. It also has a lot of connectivity options, including four USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port with DisplayPort Alt mode and power delivery. Unfortunately, it has a poor contrast ratio, so blacks appear more like gray, especially when viewed in the dark.

    Overall, the 38WN95C-W is a better option if you need an ultrawide monitor with Thunderbolt 3 support and higher brightness, but the 49WL95C-W is a great larger alternative.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget MacBook Pro Monitor: ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV

    8.4
    Office
    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    75 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    Adaptive Sync

    The ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV is the best monitor for MacBook Pro in the budget category that we've tested. It sports a 27 inch screen with a 1440p resolution, and it comes with a stand for an incredible amount of ergonomic adjustments, including a full 180-degree swivel range. On top of that, it has wide viewing angles, making it a fantastic choice for those who need to share content or work with others regularly. It provides good visibility in bright settings thanks to its good reflection handling and high peak brightness.

    Color accuracy is good out of the box. It has near-full sRGB coverage, but its Adobe RGB coverage is only decent and might not be ideal for photo editors working in that color gamut. Response times are great, and it has a 75Hz refresh rate that results in smoother motion and a more responsive desktop experience. If you want to game a bit on the side, it has FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing.

    Unfortunately, while it includes four USB 3.0 inputs, there's no USB-C connectivity. Also, it doesn't support HDR. On the upside, there are speakers built-in if you don't have the space for dedicated ones, and it has a QuickFit Virtual Scale feature that adds an overlay on the screen so that you can preview and align documents in their actual sizes before printing. If you're shopping on a small budget, this is a great monitor that's worth considering.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Gigabyte G27Q: The Gigabyte G27Q is a good alternative to the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV if you want a monitor that provides a better gaming experience. See our review
  • ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD: The ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD is a good budget monitor, but it doesn't have as good ergonomics as the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. See our review
  • Samsung LC27G75TQSNXZA: The Samsung Odyssey G7 is a great 1440p monitor that's available in a 27 inch size, but it has narrow viewing angles and lacks USB-C input. See our review
  • MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD: The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a great alternative to the Gigabyte M27Q if the latter's BGR subpixel layout bothers you. However, it's more expensive, it has some color bleed, and its USB-C port can only deliver up to 15W of power. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 29, 2021: Checked picks for accuracy; no change in recommendations.

  2. Apr 01, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Added ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV as top pick, replaced ASUS TUF VG27AQ with Gigabyte M27Q as 'HDR Alternative'.

  3. Mar 05, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

  4. Feb 18, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Removed Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q and Acer Nitro XV340CK. Added Gigabyte M27Q and LG 38WN95C-W.

  5. Jan 19, 2021: Replaced ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A with ASUS TUF VG27AQ for consistency.

All Reviews

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.

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