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 with 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.
We recently started testing monitors' compatibility with the 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip, so our recommendations reflect those results. While Dell monitors didn't work with MacBooks in the past, newer ones work with the laptop.
We've bought and tested more than 240 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 monitors for photo and video editing, and the best monitors for Mac Mini.
The Apple Studio Display is the best monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested. Considering it's an Apple monitor, it can take full advantage of your MacBook's features, but you also need a MacBook to take full advantage of the monitor. 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 exceptional accuracy out of the box thanks to its outstanding sRGB mode that you can only access with a macOS device, making it a fantastic choice for content creators. 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, meaning you can keep your MacBook fully charged. It also has three other USB-C ports to charge other devices, but you can't display images from those inputs.
This monitor is on the expensive side and isn't very versatile if you want to connect to other devices. If that's the case, something like the Dell U2723QE is cheaper, but it has a lower 4k resolution, and you lose some of the extra features the Studio Display has, like the built-in webcam and microphone. Ultimately, if you want to complete your Apple ecosystem, you'll be happy with the Studio Display.
Should you want something more simple and don't want to spend a ton of money, the Dell S2722QC is the best mid-range monitor for the MacBook Pro that we've tested. You still get a bunch of features you normally won't find on a budget monitor, so going for a mid-range option is better if you want those features. It has one USB-C port that supports 65 W of power delivery, which is enough to keep your laptop going while using it, and it has two USB-A ports if you want to charge other devices. It doesn't have any issues working with recent M1 MacBook Pros, except the default scaling is 1080p, so you just need to change it to 4k to take full advantage of the display.
The high 4k resolution helps deliver crisp images and has decent out-of-the-box accuracy if you want to use it for some casual photo editing. However, it isn't good enough for professionals like the Apple Studio Display. If that doesn't bother you, it's a great monitor to use with the MacBook.
The LG 32QN55T-B is the best monitor we've tested for the MacBook Pro if you're looking for something on a budget. It doesn't have the same features as the Apple Studio Display or even the Dell S2722QC, which is what you expect from a low-cost display, but it does its job and is good enough for work. Unlike the higher-end displays, it has a lower 1440p resolution, so images aren't as sharp, but its 32-inch screen is big enough to open multiple windows side-by-side. It doesn't have any USB-C ports either, so you need to connect to it via HDMI, and there aren't any issues with the MacBook.
It has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with someone sitting next to you, as the image remains the same from the sides as if you were sitting in front. It also gets bright enough to fight glare and has great reflection handling, meaning visibility isn't an issue in well-lit rooms, and it's a good choice if you're on a budget.
Considering you can take the MacBook Pro anywhere with you, it's also beneficial to look for a portable monitor if you often work on the go and not at your desk. In that case, the best portable monitor we've tested for the MacBook Pro is the Dell C1422H. It's a lightweight monitor with a 14-inch screen, which is perfect to go alongside the 14-inch MacBook Pro if you have it, as both screens will be the same size, and you can use them to open multiple windows. It has a 1080p resolution with excellent text clarity, and it has good out-of-the-box accuracy.
In terms of connectivity, it has two USB-C ports, and you either power it directly from the MacBook Pro or a power source if you're worried about the laptop's battery. Since it's a portable monitor, you're missing out on features you normally find in regular monitors, like the HDR support and an ergonomic stand. However, you can still tilt the screen to your liking or place it on other objects if you want the screen higher.
If you don't want the standard 16:9 aspect ratio found on most monitors, an ultrawide screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio offers more horizontal screen space with the same screen height. The Gigabyte M34WQ is the best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested, as it has a 3440x1440 resolution with good text clarity, and you can open multiple windows side-by-side. It has many office-oriented features with one USB-C input with DisplayPort Alt Mode and a KVM switch that allows you to control two sources with the same keyboard and mouse. It means you can connect your PC and MacBook Pro to the monitor and control both with the keyboard and mouse.
It works well with MacBooks, and when the monitor wakes up from sleep mode, windows return to their original position. However, there are some issues when enabling HDR and variable refresh rate (VRR) at the same time, so if you aren't gaming, it's best to disable VRR for the best experience possible. If that doesn't bother you, it's the best display for MacBook Pro in an ultrawide format.
Jul 13, 2022: Updated structure to reflect user needs; renamed the Apple Studio Display to 'Best Monitor', added the Dell S2722QC as the 'Best Mid-Range', and replaced the Gigabyte M27Q with the LG 32QN55T-B as the 'Best Budget' because it's cheaper. Replaced the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 with the Dell C1422H; removed the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD because they have a 1440p resolution and aren't budget monitors.
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.
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.