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The best monitor for the MacBook Pro

The displays on Apple’s MacBook Pros are great, but notebooks can never quite live up to the grandeur and functionality of working or watching media on a large-scale desktop display. After reviewing more than 100 of the top monitors from the best brands, we know a thing or two about what works well with Apple’s MacBook Pro. Our top recommendation is the stunning BenQ PD3200U, with its large display and 4K resolution.

While Apple has its own Pro Display XDR, it’s an ultra-high-end display meant for professionals and starts at a whopping $4,999 — not including its $999 stand. If you need something more down-to-earth that still offers fantastic performance without breaking the bank, these are the best monitors you can pair with your MacBook Pro.

The best monitor for the MacBook Pro at a glance

The best

BenQ PD3200U

BenQ PD3200U review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The BenQ PD3200U made our list of the top MacBook Pro accessories, so it’s no wonder it steals the top spot here. At 32 inches diagonally with a 4K resolution, it’s a huge display with tons of screen real estate. That gives you plenty of room for productivity, though working so close to a large screen may take some getting used to. Once you do, you’ll appreciate how gorgeous this display looks.

Built using an IPS panel for fantastic color accuracy, this BenQ monitor has a 4ms response time, so it can handle gaming sessions as well as high-detail work. It also features BenQ’s Eye-Care technology for reduced blue light and flickering, making it more comfortable to use over longer periods.

If the price tag is a little rich or you think the resolution is overkill, there is a substantially cheaper QHD (2,560 x 1,440) version also available, with all of the same specifications and features otherwise.

The rest

LG 27UD88-W

LG 27UD88 4K-monitor-back
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The LG 27UD68-W is an affordable option for those looking for sheer style with a lot of substance. Its 4K resolution in a 27-inch form factor means its pixels are dense and its colors are rich, with 99% coverage of the sRGB spectrum.

This monitor includes one USB-C upstream port supporting 4K video input, sending data to external drives connected to its other two USB-A ports (downstream) and charging mobile devices and laptops (60 watts). You’ll also find on-screen controls for manually splitting the screen or adjusting color and several preset modes, including a game mode and a black stabilizer.

For PC gamers, this monitor supports AMD’s FreeSync technology, which synchronizes the display’s refresh rate — 60Hz — with the framerate generated by an AMD Radeon graphics card. It provides one DisplayPort and two HDMI ports.

Overall, it’s a beautiful monitor with a lot of detail, a great pick if you want a more standard-sized monitor but still want excellent image features for work and entertainment. The price is also affordable for what you get.

Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW

Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW

If you’re looking for a larger, curved screen that can handle more projects or provide a more immersive gaming experience, this massive 38-inch curved monitor should be just what you need. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include sync technology like AMD’s FreeSync for tear-free and stutter-free visuals.

As we noted in our review, this IPS display packs a 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, a great warranty, and excellent display controls for adjusting the picture. It supports 99% of the sRGB color space, wide viewing angles, and a maximum brightness of 350 nits.

Tucked under the panel are two nine-watt speakers, though you can connect headphones to its built-in audio jack. Other ports include two HDMI, one DisplayPort, and a USB-C connection, as well as two upstream and two downstream USB ports.

Overall, for a monitor of this size, the pricing is very competitive.


Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

LG’s 27MD5KA-B is both stunning and the most expensive display on our list. It’s the only product listed here built specifically for the MacBook Pro, meaning it’s highly compatible and easy to use.

Not only does it start working straight away, but it also starts charging your laptop immediately. MacOS will automatically detect and configure the monitor as a second display. If you disconnect and reconnect it later, all your windows and apps jump back into place.

With a staggering 5,120 x 2,880 resolution, this monitor makes even 4K displays appear lacking in terms of pixel density — especially since these are crammed into a 27-inch. Other features include one USB-C upstream port (Thunderbolt 3), three USB-C downstream ports, two five-watt speakers, and a maximum brightness of 500 nits.

There are some issues with color accuracy and the design, however, that aren’t as attractive as the other LG entry on this list. Still, this display is sublime in appearance.

Acer H277HU

4K displays may now be more affordable than ever, but you’ll still find many great monitors at a lower resolution and price. The Acer H277HU is a great example: A 27-inch panel that looks great while packing a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution at 60Hz.

Featuring a response time of just 4ms, it’s surprisingly spry for an IPS panel. Its slimline bezel makes it an attractive addition to your home or office from any angle. It has a decent maximum brightness of 350 nits.

Packed into this affordable panel are two USB-A, one USB-C, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort connector. Mounted under the panel are two three-watt speakers with DTS sound technology, though it doesn’t include a headphone jack.

Editors' Recommendations