Macs and MacBooks are powerful computing devices, and they deserve a display to match. These are the monitors you should consider getting for your Mac as we wind down 2023 and head into 2024.
Getting yourself a new Mac can feel great, but it's only part of your computing life. The display that you look at can have so much more of a bearing on what you do than you may think.
You obviously need a display for something like a Mac mini, but getting an external display for a MacBook Pro can be more useful. Having as much digital workspace as possible can be a productivity booster in the right hands, and going beyond the borders of the MacBook display onto a second screen can do just that.
Of course, matching the right display to your needs and budget can be tricky, since you have to consider things like the physical size of the screen, the resolution, and color quality. Luckily for you, AppleInsider has done a lot of the legwork already, with this list of the best MacBook Pro monitors you can buy.
Best overall monitor for MacBook Pro
Dell's UltraSharp U2723QE is probably one of the best monitors best monitors on the market to pair with a MacBook Pro. With 4K resolution off the bat, it offers excellent color coveraye, including 98% DCI-P3, 100% sRGB, and 100% REC 709.
At 27 inches, the display offers a lot to look at without feeling too unwieldy in size. The inclusion of an ergonomic stand is great, allowing you to tilt, pivot, and change the height of the screen to match your particular workspace needs.
Even better, it includes a USB-C port so you can recharge a connected MacBook Pro at the same time as using the display.
While the only complaint we can make is that it could be a little brighter, it's hard not to say no to this monitor, especially at a price that's under $630.
Best budget monitor for MacBook Pro
If price is a major concern, the Gigabyte M27Q could be one of the better budget options around. As a 27-inch display, this monitor is a fairly typical one at first blush, but its use of a 1440p IPS panel and a maximum refresh rate of 170Hz gives it a considerable edge over others at the value end of the pricing spectrum.
Of course, you're not going to see the extensive color support of higher-priced displays, but it's still capable of displaying a great picture. For example, it has a fantastic peak brightness and can handle reflections well, so it will certainly suit situations such as bright rooms without much glare to worry about.
With out-of-the-box image accuracy being fantastic and good picture quality overall, it could've been our pick for the best overall MacBook Pro monitor with a few other tweaks. For example, it does include a USB-C port, but it doesn't offer enough power to recharge a connected MacBook Pro.
Even so, it is still one of the best budget-focused display monitors around, and still earns a place on this list.
Best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro
Having two screens can be useful, but more for the digital workspace rather than having two physical devices to look at. The LG 34BK95U-W Ultrafine pretty much solves that problem, by being a very wide-screen monitor. Measuring 34 inches diagonally, it has a 5K WUHD resolution of 5,120 by 2,160 pixels, with its Nano IPS panel offering wide viewing angles, too.
Complete with HDR support, it also has 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, good brightness, and a 75Hz refresh rate.
As well as the display's capabilities, there's also a lot of ports on the rear, both for connecting computers and peripherals. As well as USB-C in the guise of Thunderbolt 3, there are also DispalyPort and two HDMI connections, as well as a number of USB-A 3.0 ports for accessories.
While it costs a little under $1,100 at Amazon, it does also sell with a three-year warranty for parts and labor, so theres less to worry about if something happens to it for a few years.
Apple's best monitor for MacBook Pro
If you absolutely need to stay within the Apple ecosystem for your hardware, then the best monitor you should consider is the Apple Studio Display. It's a 5K screen that includes many useful features, including a built-in 12MP ultra-wide webcam that benefits from the smarts of the onboard A13 chip for image processing.
As a display aimed at professionals, there are many elements that mirror its high-spec stablemate, the Pro Display XDR. This includes its nano-texture pattern that cuts down glare from reflecting, as well as its use of multiple reference modes and P3 Wide Color support.
Around the back are a few USB ports for expanded connectivity, as wells a Thunderbolt 3 port for actually connecting it to your Mac and proving 96W of power delivery.
Though you can certainly find other better displays on the market, the Studio Display is your best choice if you want to keep it all in the Apple family. Check out our full Apple Studio Display review.
Best Apple alternative monitor for MacBook Pro
While you may not necessarily want to buy an Apple monitor, you can still find some on the market that uses some of the same design language. The Alogic Clarity is quite a solid example of this, with it doing a lot while staying considerably cheaper than Apple's effort at a cheaper $799.99.
For a start, it's a 27-inch monitor that has a 4K resolution and an aesthetic reminiscent of Apple's screens. At 60Hz and with 350 nits of brightness, it can display up to 1.07 billion colors, and has a dynamic contrast ratio of 1 million to one.
Alogic does go one better than Apple in that it includes a lot more ports on the rear, including two HDMI ports, a USB-C connection ,two USB-A ports, a headphone jack and a USB-B port. It also ships with a stand that can rotate the display, as well as pivot, tilt, and swing around on your desk.
It may not match Apple's screens that closely, but at this price range, it does more than enough.
Best reference monitor for MacBook Pro
In some industries, such as film editing, there's a need to have a great display that is capable of being used for reference work. For this list, we're putting forward Apple's Pro Display XDR.
At 32 inches, it's a 6K-resolution display with HDR support that can put out up to 1,000 nits of brightness, complete with a million-to-one contrast ratio. Around the back, it has three USB-C ports and a single Thunderbolt port, while the front can either use standard glass or a nano-texture version.
It has a wide variety of reference modes available, including Digital Cinema P3-DCI, Design and Print P3-D50, NTSC Video BT.601 SMPTE-C, HDR Video P3-ST 2084, and a host of others that can help professionals do their job.
While the Pro Display XDR may be considered expensive as far as typical displays go, it's actually a lot cheaper than many other reference monitors on the market. Even so, it's still priced at a premium that will make many think more about the purchase before handing over the money.
The base price is $4,999, or $5,999 if you want the nano-texture glass.
Best smaller 4K monitor for MacBook Pro
At one point, the LG UltraFine 4K was known as a display that was approved by Apple, to a point that you could actually buy it from the Mac maker. At 23.7 inches, it's a more modestly-sized screen, but it still has a 4K resolution, can shine up to 500 nits of brightness, and has wide coverage of the P3 color gamut.
Connecting to a MacBook Pro with an 85W Thunderbolt 3 cable, it has a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and a trio of downstream ports using USB-C. There are even stereo speakers included, saving you from placing another thing on the desk if space is at a premium.
The price is also similarly compact, with the LG 4K UltraFine display selling for for $699 at B&H.
Best monitor with smart TV features for MacBook Pro
In rooms like a kid's bedroom, having a display that can pull double duty is really handy. The Samsung M8 is seemingly made just for that situation, with it acting both as a monitor and a smart TV.
Measuring 32 inches, it is a 4K screen that offers up to 400 nits of brightness, with support for HDR10+ and having 99% sRGB coverage. Main physical connectivity consists of an HDMI port and USB-C, while it also having 2.2 channel speakers with Adaptive Sound+ and a SlimFit camera.
Since it is also a smart TV, it can run apps in its own right over Wi-Fi, including various streaming services, and it also supports device mirroring. You can also use it to remotely connect to a PC, use Samsung DeX, and even run video calling through apps like Google Duo.
Best desktop companion to a MacBook Pro
A monitor connected to the MacBook Pro is one thing, but sometimes you don't want to take your notebook out of your bag and connect it up. If you want a Mac on your Desk that looks like a monitor, your best choice is going to be the 24-inch iMac.
Freshly updated to the M3 chip family, the 24-inch iMac offers practically all of the benefits of a MacBook Pro connected to a display, because it is a Mac in its own right.
That display has a 4.5-K 4,480 x 2,520 resolution, can display up to 500 nits of brightness, supports True Tone, and Wide Color range, and has a built-in 1080p FaceTime HD camera. Then there's the M3 chip with 8 CPU cores and up to 10 GPU cores, up to 24GB of unified memory, up to 2TB of storage, the Magic Keyboard, and a high-fidelity six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers.
Though it isn't a monitor in its own right, using macOS features like Continuity between the iMac and your MacBook Pro can present the benefits of dual-screen working, but across two Macs.
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.
Best MacBook Pro monitor for multitaskers
Mac users who juggle multiple windows around will probably want to use a larger screen than usual, and at 40 inches, this Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD Monitor U4021QW certainly fits the bill.
Though not necessarily as epic as other ultrawide displays on this list, Dell's offering more than makes up for it with features and its size. To go with its 40-inch frame, there's a resolution of 5,120 by 2,160, with 100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 coverage, along with fantastic picture quality.
For multitaskers, Dell's screen comes into its own with its various modes, including picture-in-picture, picture-by-picture, and KVM. That last one lets the display act as its own KVM switch so you can control and switch between two computers connected to it.
Whether you need to work side-by-side with a colleague on the same display or simply want to work on multiple Macs at the same time, the Dell UltraSharp U4021QW will help you reach your productivity dream. At $2,079.99 from Dell itself, it's well worth it.