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 195 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. Although it's marketed towards gamers, it has many features that make it great for productivity. Its 27 inch, 1440p screen gives you plenty of space to work with and delivers sharp images and text. It has wide viewing angles, gets very bright, and handles reflections decently well. The stand only allows for height and tilt adjustments, but you can VESA mount it should you need more adjustability.
It's great for content creators working in the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, with 100% and 97% coverage, respectively. Its DCI P3 coverage is excellent but not full, which might be disappointing for people working in HDR. Gradient handling is superb, and there's no color bleed. As it's a gaming monitor, it has a 170Hz refresh rate and an exceptional response time to provide a very responsive desktop experience. It also has VRR support to reduce screen tearing if you want to play some games on the side.
One thing you should know is that it uses a BGR subpixel layout. It has no effect on picture quality, but it may cause blurry text in some applications. Also, its USB-C input only supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, not Thunderbolt 3, and the power delivery is limited to 10W, which isn't enough to charge a MacBook Pro. On the upside, you get plenty of features, like a Picture-in-Picture mode, a blue light filter, and an integrated KVM switch that lets you control two devices with one set of peripherals. Last but not least, it has a budget-friendly price.
If you want a monitor with a better stand, then check out the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. It's very similar to the Gigabyte M27Q as it also has a 27 inch IPS screen and a 1440p resolution, but it comes with a much better stand that allows for swivel and rotation to portrait mode. It has wider DCI P3 coverage for those working with HDR content, but there's a small amount of color bleed that might be a dealbreaker for some. Unfortunately, its USB-C input is also limited to 15W charging, which is only enough for smaller devices like smartphones. Unlike the Gigabyte, it uses a standard RGB subpixel layout, so you don't have to worry about blurry text.
Overall, the Gigabyte and the MSI are very similar monitors, so it comes down to what you think is more important. Go with the Gigabyte if its sub-par ergonomics and BGR subpixel layout don't bother you. However, if you're willing to spend a bit more for a better stand, then go with the MSI.
The LG 38WN95C-W is the best display for MacBook Pro with an ultrawide screen that we've tested. It's a versatile 38 inch monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which gives you tons of screen real estate for multitasking. It has a slight 2300R curvature and a sleek design that should fit into most office settings. The viewing angles are good, which means that the image remains accurate when viewed from the side, and it gets more than bright enough to combat glare in a well-lit room.
It has full sRGB coverage, and it supports a wide color gamut for HDR. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is good, but content creators might still want to calibrate it as greens and reds appear over-saturated. Despite its professional look, it has a 144Hz refresh rate and exceptional response time to make the desktop experience feel incredibly responsive, and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing, which means it can also double as your gaming monitor.
There are two USB 3.0 inputs as well as a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support. You also get built-in speakers and a Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once, great for those working on two computers. It gets impressively bright in HDR to make highlights pop, but unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray in the dark, and its edge-lit local dimming is terrible. Nonetheless, it's a great ultrawide monitor that MacBook Pro users should be happy with.
If you need even more screen space for work, then check out the LG 49WL95C-W. Unlike the LG 38WN95C-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. While they have the same sleek design on the exterior, there are a few differences in performance. First, it has a basic 60Hz panel, and it doesn't support VRR, making it less ideal for gaming. Second, it handles reflection well but doesn't get very bright, so it's best suited for a moderately lit room as glare might be an issue. Third, it doesn't quite have full sRGB coverage, and it can't display a wide gamut for HDR despite supporting HDR. And lastly, its USB-C input only has DisplayPort Alt Mode and 85W of power delivery, not Thunderbolt 3.
Overall, the 38WN95C-W performs better and is more versatile. It has a wider color gamut, better gaming performance, and supports Thunderbolt 3. However, if you need an even bigger screen and don't mind a few compromises, the 49WL95C-W is a good option.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV is the best monitor for MacBook Pro in the budget category that we've tested. It's an older version of our top pick, the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV, but it's a bit more wallet-friendly. It also has a 27 inch screen with a 1440p resolution and a 75Hz refresh rate. It comes with a sturdy stand with superb ergonomics, including a 180-degree swivel range. It has wide viewing angles, good reflection handling, and gets bright enough to overcome glare, even in well-lit, sunny rooms.
While it's designed for content creation, it's actually better suited for general productivity because it doesn't quite have full sRGB coverage, and its Adobe RGB coverage is only decent. Also, it doesn't support HDR and is limited to an 8-bit color depth. The response times are good enough for some casual gaming on the side, and there's VRR support to reduce screen tearing.
The most notable difference with its successor is the lack of USB-C input, so it might be worth spending a bit more to get the PA278CV if you need it. Otherwise, you still get four USB 3.0 ports, built-in speakers, and ASUS's Virtual QuickFit Virtual Scale feature. All in all, go with this monitor if you're on a very tight budget or you already have a dock with DisplayPort or HDMI output, but if you want USB-C connectivity, then it's probably better to go with the newer version.
Jul 23, 2021: Replaced ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV with Gigabyte M27Q because it's out of stock. Added MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD as 'Alternative With Better Stand'.
Jun 25, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
May 26, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
Apr 29, 2021: Checked picks for accuracy; no change in recommendations.
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'.
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.