When it comes to finding the best MacBook Pro monitor, there are a couple of things that make the search more unique, and arguably more challenging.
Monitors for MacBook Pro have a slightly different check-list to 'regular monitors', and it comes down to connectivity, functionality, and display quality, in a similar vein to the best monitors for Mac Mini, given the Apple connection.
On the connectivity side, many of the best monitors for MacBook Pro have USB-C ports, so you can connect easily via one cable to the monitor for your data needs, but also charge your MacBook Pro at the same time.
This helps to reduce wire clutter and opens up options to use your monitor as a hub for other compatible devices too, depending on the charging output. Having less clutter also means you'll have a cleaner working setup too, which means you could fit more on your desk, such as any of the best laptop stands to put your MacBook Pro on.
When it comes to display quality, there's nothing more jarring than having a bigger display that lacks the colour range, brightness, and crispness compared to your MacBook Pro, but let's face it, the bar is certainly set sky-high.
We've selected a few monitors based on specs, general reviews, and features they offer, that we think make them worthy of consideration. We've answered some of your most frequently asked questions too, so you can make an informed decision on your next upgrade.
Let's get to it. These are the best monitors for MacBook Pro.
Best MacBook Pro Monitor
- Dell U2720Q UltraSharp
- BENQ PD2705Q
- ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV
- HP Z43
- MSI Prestige PS341WU
- LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34
Best MacBook Pro Monitor Dell - Dell U2720Q UltraSharp
Brand: Dell | Screen Size: 27" | Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: IPS | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Colour: 99% sRGB | Response Time: 8ms/ 5ms | Refresh Rate: 60hz | Other Features: USB Type A Hub, Anti-Glare Coating
The Dell U270Q UltraSharp may not look quite as flashy as you'd think, but it is almost universally considered to be one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro.
Asides from its impressive 99% sRGB colour gamut, 3500:1 contrast ratio (that rivals even the best HDR monitors), and solid 350 nit brightness, this monitor actually outputs charge at 90W via its USB-C port.
That means that you can keep your MacBook charged while it's connected to the display with no problem at all, even if you're pushing it with some of the more heavy-duty tasks, and given the MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for illustrators out there, for instance, it should definitely be able to handle them.
It's also sized to 26 inches, which makes the most out of the resolution and allows for it to fit nicely in most setups without it dominating all your desk real-estate.
A worthy contender if we ever saw one for the best MacBook Pro monitor, and typically quite reasonably priced also.
Best MacBook Pro Monitor BenQ - BenQ PD2705Q
Brand: BenQ | Screen Size: 27" | Resolution: QHD | Colour: 100% sRGB/ 95% P3 Coverage | Response Time: 4ms | Refresh Rate: 60hz | Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 | Panel Type: IPS
BenQ seems to have a knack for creating quality products even at lower price points, and the PD2705Q is another prime example of how well they do it.
Highlights for this monitor include its 100% sRGB colour, its brilliant IPS display for wider viewing angles, and a whole host of eye-care technology to help reduce strain for those long working days, which would work especially well in conjunction with any of the best monitor light bars, too.
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It's even got an M-Book mode which makes the monitor's display reflect your MacBook Pro's display as much as possible.
Add that to 60W USB-C charging and you've got a real winner, especially as this is also one of our top picks for the best monitor for working from home, too.
Best MacBook Pro Monitor ASUS - ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV
Brand: Asus | Screen Size: 27" | Resolution: 4K | Colour: 100% sRGB | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 75hz | Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Another winner when it comes to resolution, colour, and ergonomics is the Asus ProArt PA279CV.
As the name suggests, this is designed with creative professionals in mind and offers up 100% sRGB colour, plus it's Calman Verified, which means the colours will be true to life - vital if you're working in print design for instance.
Calman verification is quite a big deal for the Asus ProArt PA279CV as it refers to the fact the panel has been verified as being colour-accurate out of the box and tested against a wide range of industry-standard gamuts.
If you want more information on the importance of Calman verification, Portrait Displays, the devisors of the certification, has this handy guide on what it means, and how integral it is for professional monitors such as ones we've listed here.
Its USB-C connection has 65W power delivery, making it a solid pairing with your MacBook Pro, and it packs four USB 3.1 type-A downstream ports so you can use this monitor as a hub for numerous devices.
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It's certainly one of the more professional-looking monitors we've come across and it even boasts a seriously adjustable stand with tilt, pivot and swivel options.
Best Monitor For MacBook Pro HP - HP Z43
Brand: HP | Screen Size: 42.5" | Resolution: 4K | Colour: 96% sRGB | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60hz | Brightness: 350 cd/m2
If it's a particularly large monitor you're after to use with your MacBook Pro, the HP Z43 should definitely suffice.
What you'll be getting here is a 42.5 inch 4K panel that should provide you with some nicely detailed images, and with support for 10-bit colour, which should also give you some accurate colours too. This means you could use this monitor for colour-sensitive tasks such as graphic design if you so wished.
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The HP Z43's 350 nits of brightness should also allow those colours and overall images to be punchy, and you'll also find an excellent set of ports here, including not only 3 USB-As, but also HDMI, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort, too.
There is also USB-C connectivity here too, which delivers between 60 and 65W of charge, enough to power a 13-inch MacBook Pro while you're working, which is especially handy.
Best MacBook Pro Monitor MSI - MSI Prestige PS341WU
Brand: MSI | Screen Size: 34" | Resolution: 5K2K | Refresh Rate: 48 - 60hz | Colour: 100% sRGB | HDR: DisplayHDR 600 | Panel Type: IPS | Response Time: 8ms
Again, the key highlights here focus on the impressive DCI-P3 98% colour gamut and high-level Display HDR, making it a brilliant choice to match your current MacBook display.
The inclusion of 98% DCI-P3 colour accuracy is also significant given that it's a more professional and specialist colour gamut than the more standard sRGB. As MacBook Pros are traditionally devices used for colour-sensitive work such as video production where the DCI-P3 gamut is used, having an equally excellent monitor will be key in getting the most accurate work.
If you're looking for more information on the importance of DCI-P3, monitor manufacturer Viewsonic has a useful article on using DCI-P3 for video editing specifically and why it's a great gamut, given it allows for 10-bit colour, and offers a wider range of colours than the likes of sRGB.
In terms of ports, you're getting pretty much everything you need apart from Thunderbolt connectivity, but that's a tiny concession to make considering it has a USB-C port.
Perhaps one of the more unique points about this monitor is its resolution, which is 5,120 x 2,160. This is labelled as '5K2K' or the even more confusing WUHD, but it essentially means that you can watch or edit 4K content without needing to modify the image.
That's a big plus for those editing videos in 4K, and also helps to make this one of the best video editing monitors out there in our humble opinion.
A more premium option, but one worth considering if you're looking to take your creative work to the next level.
Best MacBook Pro Monitor LG - LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34
Brand: LG | Screen Size: 34" | Resolution: 5K2K | Refresh Rate: 60hz | Response Time: 5ms | Colour: DCI-P3 98% Color Gamut | Panel Type: IPS | Brightness: 600 cd/m² | HDR: DisplayHDR 600
Another premium option for MacBook Pro is the LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34, which boasts a similar resume to the MSI Prestige monitor.
Again, you're getting 5K2K here, which gives you enough room to watch 4K content, but also some extra space for any other tabs you need, as pictured.
Colour, again, is equally as impressive as most of the monitors on this list, boasting 98% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB.
For designers, it's another powerhouse monitor that'll produce accurate colour so you can produce and edit work with confidence.
As for connectivity, this actually has a Thunderbolt 3 port, meaning that some of the older MacBooks can be connected easily via one cable to the display. It also offers USB-C connection too.
Frequently Asked Questions
So when it comes to finding the best MacBook Pro monitor there are a few questions that can pop up time and time again, so we're here to answer them so you can make an informed decision on your next monitor.
Can MacBook Pro support a 4K monitor?
Yes it can! You can use either an HDMI, Thunderbolt, or USB-C connection for 4K.
The good news is also if you've got a MacBook Pro from 2016 onwards, it will support 4K output. In addition, the most recent ones are even more powerful thanks to the fact they can run two of Apple's powerful ProDisplayXDR displays at once.
If you're wanting more information on what type of monitors work with Macs, then Apple has a useful guide on compatibility and more detail on which monitors can connect to which Mac, including MacBook Pros
Is retina the same as 4K?
4K is typically defined by a 3840 x 2160 resolution, but interestingly retina displays work on a slightly different ratio.
The 2021 MacBook Pro line comes in at 3456 x 2234, for example, and while it will be visually as crisp as a 4K display, it's not 'technically' 4K in the traditional sense.
How much should I spend on a MacBook Pro monitor?
To get the best viewing experience possible with an immensely colour accurate monitor with a great resolution and brightness, for instance, you'll be needing to spend between $750 and $1500.
Spending more is likely to get you wider coverage of colour spaces, alongside potentially higher contrast ratios and brightness, and may also get you a wider array of ports, for instance.
Can I close my MacBook and use an external monitor?
In short, yes. When you've got a MacBook connected up to an external monitor, you can enable Clamshell mode which allows you to close the lid of your MacBook without it going to sleep so you can continue using it as if the lid were up.
Can I use any monitor with a MacBook Pro?
You can use a number of different monitors for MacBook Pro via an HDMI port. However, many prefer to opt for a USB-C monitor as it can charge their laptop by simply connecting it to their monitor.
This makes for a very clean-looking setup as it reduces wires, but it also allows for easy removal if you need to take your MacBook Pro on the go.
How many monitors can a MacBook Pro support?
This usually depends on what type of MacBook Pro you've got and also what ports it has.
If you've got a Mac with a base M1 chip, you'll be able to connect to a single display, whilst if you've got one with Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connectivity, it's one display per port.
For the newer M1 Pro and M1 Max ones with both HDMI and Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, it'll be up to four displays dependent on the model you've got.
If you're looking for more information on the number of monitors you can connect to a MacBook Pro, Apple has this handy guide on what monitors you can connect up, how to do it, and most pertinently, how many you can connect.
Can I use a MacBook Pro as a second monitor?
In short, no. This is because most MacBooks don't have an HDMI port for you to connect up to another laptop to, and even with the new MacBook Pros that have an HDMI port, it doesn't make sense to do so.
This is because you're connecting one device to another to use a similarly sized screen as a second screen.