Best monitors for MacBook Pro 2021

Finding the best MacBook Pro monitor is no small task when there are so many options out there, and so much to think about: do you want the best MacBook Pro USB-C monitor for easy connectivity; the best 4K MacBook Pro monitor for supreme detail; the best portable MacBook Pro monitor for getting a bigger workspace on the go; the best MacBook Pro monitor for working from home… or any number of other small needs depending on your situation?

We’ve made things simple by picking out just the monitors most worthy of your time covering the key bases. All have impressive color accuracy and fidelity, but they all specialize in different things beyond that, from lower-budget options that don’t sacrifice ergonomics, to 4K screens with powerful connection hub options, to ultrawide displays focused on productivity.

There’s nothing about a display that specifically makes it a better choice for MacBook Pro, though screens that connect over a single USB-C cable (carrying power and video in one) take advantage of the MacBook Pro better than others, no doubt. But Apple’s laptops are designed to connect to anything, so it’s best to focus on whether the screen fits your needs. 

(Find out more about the latest model in our Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review.)

High angle of businessperson working on laptop and smartphone

If you want to get into more specific display categories, be sure to check out our guides to the best 4K monitors, and the best gaming monitors. And, of course, all these monitors will work with more of the best laptops too – we’ve just made our picks with MacBook Pros in mind.

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WHAT’S THE BEST MACBOOK PRO MONITOR?

For our money, the LG UltraFine 4K is the best display choice for most people. It was designed by Apple and LG in unison specifically to match the latest laptops, so you know the pedigree is good. Its display is around the same brightness as the MacBook Pros, supporting the same wide color gamut, so they’re a perfect match. It can also connect to the Pro (or MacBook Air) over a single cable, delivering power and video all in one, so it’s a nice simple setup.

BEST MONITORS FOR MACBOOK PRO

Apple worked directly with LG to develop this screen, so it’s kind of a slam-dunk pick if it’s in your price range. Not only does it offer a full 4K screen in an easy-to-accommodate 24-inch size, but you can connect to your MacBook Pro with a single cable, which will send power from the display to your Pro, and will take both video and data the other way.

The reason it takes data is that it’s also a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 hub, you can connect any accessories you use regularly to the monitor, and still have just a single cable running to your laptop, so it’s easy to grab when you need to go mobile.

The only flaw to it being a connection hub is that it only has more USB-C/Thunderbolt connections (they use the same plug type) – some regular USB-A ports and even an Ethernet would be useful, but you’ll need to grab a separate hub for those. These connections do make it easy to chain more than one UltraFine 4K display together, though, for dual 4K, if you’re feeling extravagant. 

MacBook Pro’s screen

Crucially, it’s a much better-than-average screen too: the brightness of 500 nits is better than most, it supports the DCI-P3 wide color gamut (just like the MacBook Pro’s screen itself does, so they’ll match well if you them together) and the 3840×2160 resolution is detailed at this size.

There’s also a 27-inch 5K version of this screen (the same screen size and resolution as the 27-inch iMac) if you want more space and pixels.

If you just need a bigger working space than your MacBook Pro provides, and aren’t worried about fancy features, then have we got the monitor for you. This ViewSonic has it where it matters: you can adjust height and angle to get the perfect comfort level for working; it has good color accuracy, and 1080p is a perfectly serviceable resolution at this size.

HDMI and DisplayPort connections

You will need some kind of adapter cable for a newer MacBook Pro, because it has HDMI and DisplayPort connections, rather than USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. And it’s the same for if you want to use it as a USB hub – it has two USB-A (the regular kind) inputs, which is handy, but you’ll need the right cable to connect it to your Pro and get data flowing. It’s also much less bright than higher-end monitors, but it’s just fine for working. None of these things are dealbreakers – this remains the best MacBook Pro monitor for a less premium price.

If you like the idea of the ViewSonic above, but want more space and/or 4K resolution, then you’ll love this Dell, since it delivers both. The 27-inch screen has a crisp 3840×2160 of detail, and also has a full suite of ergonomic adjustments, including height, swivel, pivot, and tilt, just like the ViewSonic.

Colour accuracy is again great, and it’s a fair bit brighter than the ViewSonic, so is an improvement for photo or video editing in that regard, as well as by being more detailed. More brightness also just means more visibility in bright light, which is a plus for working during the day.

It has four USB inputs, so makes for a great hub, though again you’ll need the right cables for connecting video and data (which will need to be separate).