What is the best external monitor for a MacBook Pro?
MacBook is one of the best-selling laptops in the world. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best monitors for Mac after reviewing dozens of products based on a number of factors including the features of the monitor value for money and the reputation of the manufacturer.
You can not only use these monitors as a part of a dual-monitor setup but also connect them to your MacBook to work with a larger screen when necessary.
If high resolution and refresh rate matter, make sure to look through all the options carefully before making your choice. Every monitor for Mac on this list delivers a seamless workflow and enables you to take photos or videos editing to the next level.
Screen size: 32 - inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 px | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178° | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion colors
⊕ Expensive-looking design
⊕ A solid array of features
⊖ Average color accuracy
⊖ Thick cabinet
Whether you are a designer, a video editor, or a creative specialist, the PD3220U will capture your attention.
Not only does it cover almost all color gamuts needed for your daily work, with sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, Display P3 being among them, but also sports a powerful 10-bit IPS panel capable of displaying a stunning number of 1.07 billion colors.
The PD3220U combines many high-end features, starting from its easy-to-adjust stand, advanced connectivity options, decent pre-calibrated settings, and overall build quality.
To connect with other devices, it has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports enabling one to quickly transfer data, stream video or audio.
Screen size: 32 - inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 px | Brightness: 150 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178° | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion colors
⊕ Great color consistency
⊕ Impressive static contrast ratio
⊕ Allows creating customized settings profiles
⊖ Impossible to adjust the white point settings properly
⊖ Sufficient input lag
As it is quite expensive it has some advanced features that will be appreciated by top-notch professionals. Being a niche product, it is worth its price when it comes to high performance and stunning visuals.
To impress its customers, Asus has made sure to offer them a flagship-level device that has nearly all the features one can ever think of.
This monitor for MacBook Pro boasts a 32-inch IPS display with 3840x2160 resolution at 60 Hz refresh rate and Adaptive Sync support. Besides, it covers 100% of sRGB color space, 99.5% Adobe RGB, and 95% DCI-P3.
In addition to the amazing gamut coverage, it offers HDR and Thunderbolt 3 support. What is more, it has 384 FALD backlight zones and handy calibration features allowing one to achieve great results with little to no effort.
Screen size: 34 - inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 px | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178° | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion colors
⊕ Decent color accuracy
⊕ Solid gaming performance
⊕ Great out-of-box calibration
⊖ High price
⊖ Color accuracy is a bit off-point
It has a 34-inch display with 3440×1440 IPS panel and provides rich colors and seamless performance. It owes its good connectivity to the Thunderbolt 2 support allowing transferring data at 20 GB/s.
Just like many IPS monitors with curved displays, it can cover up to 99% of the sRGB color space thus achieving unprecedented color consistency.
As it comes pre-calibrated, you don’t need to waste your time adjusting settings. Another selling point is that it has 10-bit color support with frame rate control which enables it to display 1.07 billion colors.
As this screen for MacBook Pro can reach up to 300 nit brightness levels, you won’t get tired after working too long. 178-degree viewing angles allow for collaborative task solving if you enjoy working with your colleagues.
Screen size: 34 - inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 px | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 100 Hz | Response time: 4 ms | Viewing angle: 178° | Contrast ratio: 3000:1 | Color support: 16.7 million colors
⊕ Amazing design
⊕ Rich colors
⊕ AMD FreeSync support
⊕ Top-level gaming experience
⊖ Average dark-grayscale value
⊖ The green color is difficult to calibrate
If you are looking for a great curved widescreen display, take a closer look at this Samsung 34-inch monitor, which is perfect for gamers and designers alike.
Thanks to the Quantum Dot technology support, this curved monitor for Mac offers unprecedented color accuracy and black saturation.
Its large display has a VA panel. While it might seem that it takes too much space, it is a common trait shared by many high-end devices. Professional gamers will appreciate the fabulous gaming performance that it delivers.
If you still have some doubts, pay attention to AMD Free Sync support, decent response times of 4ms, and 100Hz refresh rate that accounts for the crispness of the videos and short lag time.
Screen size: 32 - inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 px | Brightness: 450 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 120 Hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178° | Contrast ratio: 1300:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion colors
⊕ Great viewing angles
⊕ Perfect for gaming thanks to FreeSync and low input lag
⊕ Optimized screen real estate
⊖ Bad performance under poor lighting conditions
⊖ PWM backlight flickering
The LG 32UL950-W boasts a 32-inch IPS-display with stunning viewing angles and 4K resolution. Thanks to HDR, this external monitor for Macbook Pro is capable of displaying a full-color gamut with perfect ease, however, its local dimming tool leaves much to be desired.
What gamers will enjoy most is its decent input lag, NVIDIA compatibility thanks to the recent Adaptive Sync driver, and FreeSync.
If you sometimes need to run videos and work on other tasks simultaneously on a dual-monitor setup, it will become even easier thanks to the Daisy Chain feature and a Thunderbolt 3 port.
Thanks to the Thunderbolt technology, a user can charge MacBook at 60W, process data at up to 40 GB/s, and connect several 4K monitors in one chain. Brightness and contrast levels will remain high due to VESA DisplayHDR 600 support.
Screen size: 34 - inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 px | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 100 Hz | Response time: 4 ms | Viewing angle: 178 | Contrast ratio: 3000:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion colors
⊕ Extremely low input lag
⊕ Exceptional resolution and size
⊖ Viewing angles aren't the best
⊖ Lack of HDR support
Featuring a VA panel, Samsung C34J791 offers a high contrast ratio and displays deep blacks. It is an ultra-wide monitor for MacBook Pro suitable for various needs.
However, this screen is not the best one for bright rooms and it’s better to place it somewhere without direct sunlight.
Thanks to its gray uniformity, this display is ideal to surf the net. But mind that it is not suitable for more than one user since the viewing angles are bad. C34J791 features a high refresh rate (100Hz), FreeSync technology and low input lag, making it an excellent gaming option.
Besides, thanks to Samsung's Quantum Dot technology, the colors are bright and clear. Therefore, if you are looking for a decent gaming monitor or the one to enjoy movies, this variant is a perfect one.
If an exterior look really matters to you, this screen is really a Mac-like one ‒ smart and straightforward. Although some clients were not satisfied because of manufacturing defects, all the issues were solved by the Samsung Company by means of sending replacements.
Screen size: 34 - inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 5120 x 2160 px | Brightness: 450 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178 | Contrast ratio: 1200:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion colors
⊕ Big size and high resolution
⊕ Wide viewing angles
⊖ Weak performance in dark places
⊖ Poor functional design
LG 34WK95U-W is a decent 5k IPS LED display providing nice quality. It shows great performance in SDR and HDR.
However, if you view it in a dark place, the blacks will be grayish. It is a result of an average contrast ratio and poor local dimming.
The model isn’t flicker-free and has no support for variable refresh rate so hardcore gamers will not choose it as their basic gaming screen.
The response time here is 5ms and it is enough for everyday use. But as it has been mentioned before, the monitor is not suitable for serious gamers because 3440×1440 at 120Hz is better for gaming purposes than 5120×2160 at 60Hz.
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For today, curved monitors are not frequently chosen by users. But they are becoming increasingly popular day by day.
It is a relatively new technology and many people doubt whether curved screens are superior to traditional ones. In the defense of curved monitors, I may say that they reduce eye strain and provide a better field of view.
When we speak about the best monitors for MacBook Pro or any other top-notch screens, we discuss such a characteristic as immersion. It is a golden standard in the world of viewable media and means the level of your engagement in the scene you view on the screen.
In other words, if while watching a movie or playing a game, you feel like its character, you are likely to be impressed by such an experience.
To create such an effect, the manufacturers use an ocular perception technology. It is engineered to replicate real life.
Although curved monitors are now more affordable than used to be earlier, they are still expensive. In other words, you may buy a flat screen with the same characteristics at a cheaper price. Speaking about TVs, curved monitors are more reasonable for the budget.
One more issue related to curved monitors is their mount-friendliness. A monitor is curved, and the wall is flat, so it may look unappealing when hung on the wall.
However, it’s mostly about when you don’t watch a movie or play a game but simply see the curved device on the wall. When you watch something, this defect is not visible. Finally, if it isn’t strange to your eyes and you may endure it, get this display. But if you want a customary flat look, choose traditional screens.
Curved monitors surpass flat ones in terms of immersion with a greater field of view.
The idea is that thanks to the curved shape, the light from all angles is directed towards the viewer’s eye and he/she takes everything without much ocular exertion. That is why if your eyes easily cover a larger field of view, curved screens will look larger.
If you are looking for the best screen for MacBook Pro and consider some curved ones, I suggest choosing among 30-inch ones and more. If the screen is smaller, you will not get the desired visual effect. But mind that 30 inches is more than most people want and, consequently, more than they can afford.
Of course, curved monitors are more expensive than flat ones. For instance, the cheapest 4K 32-inch curved Samsung monitor will cost around $500.
However, you will pay between $200 and $400 for a flat analog. In addition, don’t forget that the price differs according to the resolution, screen size, features, the number and type of ports the monitor features.
As it has been stated before, in case you want to benefit from the best curved monitor for Mac, you should consider the models starting from 30 inches.
The thing is that you are not likely to benefit from smaller variants. However, if you use the screen only to work on, perhaps, a flat panel is more suitable providing top resolution and great performance.
Moreover, if you have a flat monitor, you will move to a 16:9 ratio while it is 21:9 in case of curved models. So, if you have a curved display, you will be taken to the “ultrawide” area.
If you are currently searching for the best display for MacBook, pay attention to curved models. Although they are only gaining momentum now, curved screens may boast of technical improvements and natural way of viewing.
Since both types have their advantages and disadvantages, here everything depends on your requirements.
On the one hand, curved monitors are more immersive with a wide field of view. On the other hand, flat screens are more suitable for specialists who work on multiple screens and, by the way, they are cheaper.
This issue is quite an important one if you are looking for monitors compatible with MacBook Pro. Mac computers can use an HDMI cable or adapter to connect to an HDTV, display, or other HDMI devices.
You may use iMac with Thunderbolt as an external monitor. Sound and video will be played on iMac from the other Mac.
All you have to do is to connect the Thunderbolt cable to the Thunderbolt ports on both Macs. Both Mac devices should be on and awake. Finally, press F2 on the external iMac display.
If the screen features a DVI or VGA connection, it may be easily called a monitor for MacBook Pro. A display from your old PC also works!