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Best Monitor for MacBook Pro

Some of the monitors you should consider getting for your MacBook Pro

Apple’s computers are powerful tools with fantastic displays. If you need more real estate, though, we’ve rounded up the best monitor for your MacBook Pro, or any other Mac for that matter, updated in July 2024.

While many believe the Mac or MacBook you use is the biggest part of a person’s computing experience, the display is the main human interface surface for that computer. At least with a MacBook you get a built-in display — you don’t have that with a Mac mini, Mac Studio or Mac Pro.

Some people prefer larger displays so they can see everything they need to work on, or have one monitor for Mail and Safari, and another for photo and video editing. Others may want wider displays instead of having two monitors on their desk. And, like some of our staffers with a desktop Mac Studio, extra monitors in portrait orientation are great for feeds, coding, and more.

In some cases, color representation can be more important than the screen resolution. For others, the pixel density is a bigger element to consider.

Then there’s whether it is the primary display of the Mac, or an external display. MacBook Pro users may want that second display as an extra space for more windows, segmenting their digital workspace for clarity.

Having as much digital workspace as possible can be a productivity booster. Going beyond the borders of the MacBook display onto a second screen can do just that.

As you consider your display situation, consider your Mac’s limits on external displays. You’re probably good to go with an Intel Mac of recent vintage for three displays, but there are some limits on Apple Silicon, which are worth researching.

For instance, a M2 Mac mini can support up to two displays. A M2 Pro Mac mini can support up to three displays.

We’ve seen them all. Here are what AppleInsider staffers declare to be the best MacBook Pro monitors you can buy.

Best overall monitor for MacBook Pro

Dell’s UltraSharp U2723QE, in the opinion of the AppleInsider editorial team, is one of the best monitors on the market that you can use with a MacBook Pro. It has frequently cropped up as a top monitor pick within discussions, and quite frankly, it’s for good reason.

Dell's UltraSharp U2723QE is the best all-round MacBook Pro monitor.

Dell’s UltraSharp U2723QE is the best all-round MacBook Pro monitor.

Right off the bat, it’s a 27-inch monitor, which is a decent middleground in terms of size. It’s not unwieldy, and it’s not too small either. For 4K monitor resolution, that size is a good sweet spot for most users.

It’s also on a nice ergonomic stand that offers tilt, pivot, and height control. Comfort while working is highly important, so having this adjustability is great, without needing to buy a separate VESA mount.

Then there’s the color coverage, which includes 98% of the DCI-P3 gamut, 100% of sRGB, and 100% of REC709. That’s a lot of coverage, which will keep creative users very happy short of buying a monitor specifically for color grading.

The port selection is also extensive, with HDMI, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 upstream and downstream, four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and an ethernet connection. There’s even up to 90W of power delivery, so you can use this monitor as a recharging dock for a MacBook Pro too.

The only real complaint that could be offered is that it could be brighter. But even so, it’s a minor concern considering it’s a monitor you can buy for $499.99.

Unless you desperately need something bigger or brighter, or are picky about color gamuts, it’s hard to go wrong here.

Best budget monitor for MacBook Pro

Going toward the more budget-friendly end of the spectrum, the AOC Q27H4XN is a 27-inch gaming monitor that can tick many of the right boxes. All without destroying your computing budget.

For a start, it is a 27-inch display that has a 2K QHD screen resolution of 2,560 by 1,440. While you’re not getting a 4K monitor in this range for your Apple devices, but this resolution is still enough to be impressive at this price.

AOC gaming monitor displaying a warrior in a desert city, battling airborne enemies under a bright sky. Text indicates 27-inch size, QHD resolution, and 180Hz refresh rate.

The AOC Q27H4XN is a budget choice of MacBook Pro display

As a display more aimed at gaming, it has features that lean in that direction more than for typical work use. For example, it has a maximum 180Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time, Adaptive-Sync support to minimize screen tearing, and even 120Hz support for game consoles.

However, it also offers other benefits, including 127.8% sRGB color gamut coverage. Connectivity-wise, it has a HDMI 2.0 port and DisplayPort 1.4, as well as an audio port.

Styling-wise, it has an ergonomic monitor with height, swivel, tilt, and pivot adjustments. If you wanted to use your own monitor arm, you can, since it supports VESA mounts.

This is already good in its own right, but add in that it’s $199.99, and it becomes even more impressive as a budget purchase.

Best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro

There are benefits to having two screens on a desk, especially in segmenting your workspace for different tasks. But sometimes you’ll want to use the entire digital picture as one singular workspace.

The LG 34BK95U-W Ultrafine (on sale at Amazon) is one such example of a wide-screen monitor. At 34 inches diagonally, it offers a 5K WUHD resolution of 5,120 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels tall.

A flat-screen monitor on a wall displays a serene landscape with trees and a sunlit field of flowers.

The LG 34BK95U-W Ultrafine is one MacBook Pro display to watch out for.

To match its large width, it also offers very wide viewing angles at up to 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically.

It uses a Nano IPS panel to provide users color control, and HDR. It even has 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, with support for 1.07 billion colors.

Sporting a 75Hz refresh rate, it offers up to 600 nits of brightness, and is a VESA Certified HDR 600 display.

The port selection includes Thunderbolt 3 to the Mac, as well as a number of USB-A 3.0 ports for connecting accessories. It also has one DisplayPort and two HDMI ports for connecting video from multiple sources.

While you could once get it for $1,100, it’s come down in price over time, and is now available for $979.99 at Amazon.

Apple’s best value for MacBook Pro

Apple does sell two displays carrying its branding, but the absolute best specification monitor it sells isn’t the one you should consider buying first.

The best option for most users with a healthy budget within Apple’s ecosystem is the Apple Studio Display. For a start, it’s a 27-inch 5K Retina display, which runs at 5,120 by 2,880 pixels.

Computer monitor displaying colorful abstract shapes with a gradient background, mounted on a stand against a white brick wall.

The Apple Studio Display is a great pairing to a MacBook Pro

That screen also has wide color (P3) support and TrueTone. For professionals, there are also many reference modes, making it a good choice for video and image-based creatives.

The display also offers an option to have the nano-texture glass on the front, to minimize glare from environmental lights. Brightness maxes out at 600 nits.

Where the Apple Studio Display works best against its more pricey counterpart, the Pro Display XDR, is in its quality-of-life elements.

For a start, the Studio Display as a built-in 12MP ultra-wide webcam, which the Pro Display XDR simply doesn’t have. Using an onboard A13 chip, it has built-in image processing before the video feed from the webcam even reaches the Mac.

It also has sound, with a six-speaker system using force-cancelling woofers for wide stereo sound. There’s a trio of studio-quality mics in an array with a high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming, enabling “Hey, Siri” support.

Connectivity is based around Thunderbolt 3 to the host Mac, which also offers 96W of power delivery, so you can recharge your Mac. A trio of USB-C ports running at up to 10Gb/s each are also included for accessories.

Of course, price is a big factor here, and at $1,599 retail for its cheapest configuration, it’s considerably better value than the Pro Display XDR. AppleInsider readers can pick up the Studio Display at Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama for $1,489 with promo code APINSIDER. Amazon also regularly puts the monitor on sale.

Best Apple alternative monitor for MacBook Pro

Apple monitors are great, but still an expensive option compared to what you can get from the rest of the market. If you want something that leans on Apple monitor design language, the Alogic Clarity is probably your best bet.

As a 27-inch monitor, it offers 4K monitor resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate and 350 nits of brightness. Capable of displaying up to 1.07 billion colors, it has a million-to-one dynamic contrast ratio.

A wall-mounted screen displaying abstract pink and gray swirls with a metallic stand, set against a light gray brick wall background.

The Alogic Clarity is a decent Apple-like display.

Its use of an IPS panel gives it viewing angles of up to 178 degrees, making it great for use by multiple people simultaneously.

It also offers an Apple-like appearance, with its stand looking like something Apple’s in-house design team could’ve come up with. And, it also offers free tilting and portrait and landscape support.

Connectivity includes a pair of HDMI ports, as well as a USB-C connection, two USB-A ports, a USB-B port, DisplayPort support, and a headphone jack.

Best reference monitor for MacBook Pro

Depending on the industry, the reference capabilities of a display could be extremely important. With large budgets bandied about, it makes sense to spend big in these cases, and the Apple Pro Display XDR is a great choice (check prices).

Measuring 32 inches, the 6K Retina XDR display offers a resolution of 6,016 by 3,384 pixels. That gives it a pixel density of 218 pixels per inch.

A computer monitor displaying vibrant, abstract swirl patterns on a black background, mounted on a brick wall.

The Apple Pro Display XDR is an impressive reference monitor to use with your MacBook Pro

Thanks to its 3D backlighting system using 576 localized dimming zones, the Pro Display XDR offers great image reproduction and brightness. It can manage up to 1,000 nits of sustained full-screen brightness, raising to 1,600 nits for HDR content.

As for its reference modes, it can handle Digital Cinema P3-DCI, Design and Print P3-D50, NTSC Video BT.601 SMPTE-C, HDR Video P3-ST 2084, and numerous others.

To help picture quality more, you can add on the nano-texture glass to cut environmental reflections and create a more easily visible picture on the screen.

Around the back is a Thunderbolt 3 port, complete with 96W power delivery, so you can recharge a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air easily. There are also three USB-C ports for accessories.

The $4999 price tag may seem scary, $5,999 for nano-texture glass. However, reference monitors are traditionally costly items, which makes the Pro Display XDR a bit of a bargain. And with promo code APINSIDER that’s valid at Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama, you can pick up the Pro Display XDR for $4,699.

Best portable monitor for MacBook Pro

Portable displays have been around for a while, making it possible to have a dual-display setup while on the go. However, while you could use an iPad in Sidecar with your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you may want something bigger and more dedicated.

The Espresso 17 Pro is a 17-inch glossy 4K Retina-grade display that packs small enough for you to take with you on the move. Along with a high resolution in a small package, it’s also a touchscreen with added stylus support, so you can use it to draw on your Mac’s desktop.

Computer monitor with a purple geometric pattern on the screen, set against a white 3D tiled brick wall.

You can pack the Espresso 17 Pro with your MacBook Pro

While it is portable, it’s not hampered by its size. It has a peak brightness of 450 nits, 10-bit color, and 100% coverage of the P3 color gamut.

The main party piece is that it borrows some of its design ideas from iPad usage. It can be paired with a stand or a folio case, attaching magnetically without needing screws.

Since it’s magnetic, you could also feasibly operate it in portrait orientation, or leave it flat on a desk instead of propping it up.

USB-C connectivity is provided by a pair of ports on the side, used to connect to a Mac or even an iPad as a second display. The extra port can be used to supply power to your Apple devices, with the included USB-C cable.

The Espresso 17 Pro is $799 with the stand, and is available from Espresso directly. Accessories are also available, including a case and the Pen.

Best monitor with smart TV features for MacBook Pro

Small or furniture-filled rooms don’t always offer the opportunity for multiple displays. For example, you may have to choose a monitor or a TV to be the main and solitary screen in a bedroom.

The Samsung M80C is a smart monitor that can connect to a Mac as usual. However, it adds in smart TV functionality, allowing it to perform double duty as a television.

TV interface displaying streaming service icons and program previews, including Savage Mountain, Ice Road Truckers, Ion, Dateline 24/7, and CBS Sports HQ, against a tiled background.

The Samsung M80C can act both as a MacBook Pro monitor and as a smart TV.

At 32 inches, it’s a decent size for a television and large for a monitor. To match its size, it offers a 4K resolution with 400 nits of brightness, with Mac users able to benefit from its 99% sRGB coverage.

The screen also includes HDR10+ support, which benefits both the monitor and smart TV sides.

Connectivity is handled by HDMI, a pair of USB-A ports for accessories, and one USB-C port capable of 65W of power delivery. It also has built-in Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connectivity.

When not used as a monitor, it supports a variety of streaming services thanks to its built-in apps. A webcam can be used for calls, with it attaching magnetically to the back of the display.

There’s also Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, built-in microphones, multiview support, and the ability to mirror mobile devices with the M80C.

You can pick up the Samsung M80C from Amazon for $449.99.

Best MacBook Pro monitor for multitaskers

Multitaskers will prefer to use larger displays with very high resolutions, simply because they can fit a lot more onto the workspace at one time. Only a few monitors are 6K in 2024, and the Dell UltraSharp 32 6K Monitor U3224KB is one of them.

At 32 inches and with a resolution of 6,144 by 3,456, it offers a lot of digital workspace. That it also has 99% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and 100% of both Rec 709 and sRGB is also impressive, especially for creative users.

A monitor displaying 3D design software and a building image, set against a pastel-colored brick wall background.

The Dell UltraSharp 32 6K Monitor U3224KB’s resolution and size are great for multitaskers.

Its IPS Black panel gives it a contrast ratio of 2,000:1, while its ComfortView Plus tech helps reduce blue light and eye fatigue.

On the connectivity side, it works off a single Thunderbolt 4 cable, which includes DisplayPort 1.4 support and 140W of power delivery. There’s also HDMI, Mini DisplayPort 2.1, a Thunderbolt 4 downstream with daisy-chaining, two USB-C, four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet.

It’s also packed with other features, including a built-in 8-megapixel webcam with a 5x digital zoom and Windows Hello support. That camera also has AI Auto Framing 2.0, which acts like Apple’s Center Stage system.

On audio, there are built-in noise and echo cancellation for the microphone, as well as two 14W speakers. When using the ports for peripherals, you can also treat the display as a USB KVM switcher when moving between video sources.

At $2,329.99 from Dell, the UltraSharp 32 6K U3224KB is a little on the pricey side. However, you can also pick it up as a renewed-by-manufacturer unit for $1,499.99, which is a bargain considering its specifications and features.

Best desktop companion to a MacBook Pro

A lot of the discussion in this article is all about connecting the MacBook Pro to a display on your desk. However, in a cloud computing-based world, sometimes you could just leave the MacBook Pro in your bag and use another Mac.

Your best choice, if you want a clean appearance and some form of Apple monitor on your desk, would be the 24-inch iMac (view the best iMac deals going on today).

Computer monitor displaying abstract light blue and purple lines, with a brick wall background.

The 24-inch iMac is a great desktop counterpart to a MacBook Pro.

Currently using the M3 chip, you get a lot of performance in a device that offers all of the practicality of a MacBook Pro attached to a display. Except it’s a Mac already inside a display.

As the name indicates, there’s 24 inches of display, this time a 4.5K Retina display with a resolution of 4,480 x 2,520 resolution. It can display at up to 500 nits of brightness, with it also supporting wide color (P3) and True Tone.

At the top is a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, which benefits from an advanced image signal processor with computational video enhancements.

As a Mac in its own right, it has the M3 with the 8-core CPU and either an 8-core or 10-core GPU, complete with the Media Engine and 16-core Neural Engine. It includes 8GB of unified memory, with 16GB and 24GB options also available.

Storage starts with a 256GB SSD, though there are configurations up to 2TB. There’s also a six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers, a headphone jack, Gigabit Ethernet in some configurations, and a pair of Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports.

While it is technically a Mac and not a monitor, you can still kinda use it in that way with your MacBook Pro. Continuity allows you to copy and paste text and images between the two devices, and you can even control the cursor on the MacBook Pro from the iMac if you wanted to.

Check out our Mac Price Guides for the cheapest deals on the 24-inch iMac, including both the M3 and the earlier M1-equipped editions. Using coupon code APINSIDER at Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama, AppleInsider readers can save hundreds of dollars on current and closeout iMacs, with prices starting at just $949.