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 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 below.
We've tested more than 130 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 that we've tested is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A. Although designed to be a gaming monitor, it offers great overall performance and has everything you need to connect your MacBook Pro. The 1440p resolution provides the optimal pixel density, and it also has a USB input.
It performs best in bright office environments as it gets bright enough to combat glare and has good reflection handling. The wide viewing angles and great ergonomics make it easy to share your screen with a coworker or client. If you're a photo editor, you should be happy to see it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, and the gradient handling is incredible, but it does exhibit some signs of color bleed. In terms of gaming, it has an excellent response time, incredibly low input lag, and FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing.
Unfortunately, it doesn't perform well in dark rooms due to the low contrast ratio and disappointing black uniformity, but that's expected from an IPS panel. It supports HDR10 and performs fairly well in that mode due to the wide color gamut and decent HDR peak brightness, but the local dimming feature performs terribly and is quite distracting. Besides these small issues, most people should be happy with it, making it the best external monitor for MacBook Pro that we've tested.
If you want a monitor that has support for Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture modes, allowing you to display two input sources at once, then look into the Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q. Its ergonomics are a bit worse than the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A, but overall, both monitors perform very similarly. The Gigabyte has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing, and excellent gray uniformity. It has very wide viewing angles, and if you choose to use it in a well-lit room, it has great peak brightness and decent reflection handling. Unfortunately, it has noticeable backlight bleed in dark scenes, but this may vary between units. It also has a bunch of gaming perks like FreeSync support, incredibly low input lag, and an amazing response time. It doesn't have a USB-C, but it does have two USB 3.0 inputs.
The ASUS is the best monitor for MacBook Pro as it's cheaper, but if you want something with PIP/PBP modes, then the Gigabyte is a great alternative.
The best display for MacBook Pro with an ultrawide screen is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This 34 inch monitor has a 21:9 aspect ratio and 3440x1440 resolution, so it's easy to open multiple windows at once, and it still provides the same pixel density as 27 inch, 1440p monitors. Mainly designed for gaming, it has a design that fits into any office environment.
It has good ergonomics with a round base that basically allows you to turn the screen 360 degrees. It has fairly wide viewing angles, which is typical of an IPS panel, and visibility in most office environments shouldn't be an issue as it has good reflection handling and okay peak brightness. It's a good choice for content creators as it displays a good amount of the Adobe RGB color space, has exceptional gradient handling, and no signs of color bleed. If you want to use it for gaming, it has an amazing response time that results in clear motion, FreeSync support, and incredibly low input lag.
It supports HDR10, but unfortunately, it doesn't add much. It fails to display a wide color gamut and has disappointing peak brightness in HDR. On top of that, it has a low contrast that makes blacks appear closer to gray. It has a few extra features, such as Picture-by-Picture/Picture-in-Picture modes and built-in speakers. If you want an ultrawide screen, this is one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro that we've tested.
If you want something with an even wider screen, then check out the LG 49WL95C-W. It doesn't have as many gaming features as the Acer Nitro XV340CK, but this shouldn't be a problem if you're just using it for work. It has a high 5120x1440 resolution with a 32:9 aspect ratio, which is the equivalent of placing two 27 inch, 1440p monitors side-by-side, so there's plenty of space to open multiple windows at once. It has a Picture-by-Picture mode that allows you to display images from two sources side-by-side. It also has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, so you can display an image from your MacBook Pro and charge it at the same time. It has wide viewing angles, but that comes at the cost of its contrast ratio, which is low. Sadly, its HDR support doesn't add much because it doesn't get very bright in that mode and doesn't display a wide color gamut. Fortunately, it has a quick response time and low input lag, delivering a responsive desktop experience.
If you want a versatile, ultrawide monitor, the Acer is the best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro, but if you want something even bigger, then check out the LG.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV is the best monitor for MacBook Pro available in the budget category that we've tested. It's well-built with simply incredible ergonomics, some of the best we've tested on any monitor, so you shouldn't have any issues placing it in an ideal viewing position.
It delivers great picture quality, especially for its price. Its IPS panel has wide viewing angles, it has impressive peak brightness, and the reflection handling is good if you want to use it in a bright room. Despite being limited to a 75Hz refresh rate, it has an impressive response time that makes fast-moving content look smooth, and there's a Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. Input lag is also incredibly low for a responsive gaming experience. The 1440p resolution delivers crisp images while the 27 inch screen helps maintain the 109 PPI that's ideal for connecting your MacBook Pro.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, which is somewhat expected for a monitor in this price range. It also has a low contrast ratio, which is typical of IPS panels, and blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. It also doesn't have a USB-C port, so you simply have to connect your MacBook using an HDMI connection. All things considered, this is the best monitor for MacBook Pro if you're on a budget.
11/20/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
10/22/2020: Removed the ASUS VG27AQ, LG 27GL850-B, and the LG 34GN850-B; added the with the ASUS VG27AQL1A, Gigabyte FI27Q, and the Acer Nitro XV340CK.
09/23/2020: Replaced the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD with the Asus ProArt Display PA278QV.
07/10/2020: Replaced the LG 34GK950F-B with the LG 34GN850-B.
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.