Best monitor for MacBook Pro in 2024: Top displays for every need

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
A MacBook connected to a monitor in a home office during our review process
Best Monitor for MacBook Pro (Image credit: Bryce Hyland / Future)

The best monitor for MacBook Pro laptops lets you add a second screen to your set-up, giving you higher resolutions and extra screen real estate for jobs that can't be performed on a laptop display. 

Our expert team of reviewers have tested the best monitors  and tackled the best monitors for the Mac mini. Now, we're reviewing the top monitors for your Apple laptop. 

In our experience, the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U is the best computer monitor for MacBook Pro overall - it's a stellar 32in 4K display with Thunderbolt connectivity, optimized for MacBooks, with the color accuracy content creators demand. We've also tested a range of other models from Dell, Apple, AOC, and Asus, for every budget and need.  

During our review process, we compare a broad range of specs, including resolutions, refresh rates, and response times. We also analyze screen size, construction, alongside color accuracy and color coverage for those who need a color-accurate monitor. Finally, we explore all features like eye-care technology, USB hubs, and ports for seamlessly connecting a second monitor to your MacBook. 

The quick list

Best monitor for MacBook Pro overall

Our top-rated pick

Specifications

Panel: 32-inch IPS
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 300 nits
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDR Support: HDR10
Connectivity: 1x Thunderbolt 3 upstream, 1x Thunderbolt 3 downstream, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C, 3x USB-A

Reasons to buy

+
32-inch 4K panel
+
Thunderbolt 3 with daisy chaining
+
Color-optimized for Apple Mac

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited HDR support
-
300 nit maximum brightness
Buy it if

✅ You want a great all-round premium monitor: BenQ has nailed it with this 32-inch 4K beauty. The image quality is super, the build quality and design are superb and the connectivity has you covered. It's the perfect panel for your MacBook Pro.

✅ You want single-cable docking capability: Thanks to Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery and plenty of ports, you can hook up your MacBook Pro with a single cable, keep it charged and connect peripherals like external storage.

✅ You want a great looking display: And we're not just talking about image quality. With its slim-bezel styling and Space Grey-style colourway, this is the perfect partner for your MacBook Pro.

Don't buy it if:

You need something seriously punchy: This monitor's main weakness is brightness. It only goes to 300 nits. To be clear, that's plenty for most workflows and needs. But if you need something seriously bright, this monitor isn't the best choice.

❌ You're after a true HDR monitor: The BenQ DesignVue PD3220U does have HDR10 support. But it's only the most basic kind that allows for correct HDR colour rendering. This monitor can't actually display HDR visuals.

❌ You're on a really tight budget: For what you get, the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U is reasonably priced. But it's still a lot of money and there are similar but cheaper models. 

Alternative: The Dell U2723QE - our pick for best budget MacBook Pro monitor - offers a similar solution in a smaller package for way less money.

The bottom line

🖥 The BenQ DesignVue PD3220U is a fabulous all-round monitor that makes for a perfect fit with the MacBook Pro. The 4K panel delivers sharp, accurate image quality, the connectivity is great and it's even styled sympathetically to suit Apple laptops.. ★★★★★

What you need to know

BenQ's DesignVue PD3220U is getting on a bit these days. In technical terms,  you could even argue it's a little dated. After all, it's not some fancy pants new OLED panel. It doesn't even support local dimming or true HDR capability. But it's still a damn fine display and one that suits the MacBook Pro perfectly, both in technical terms and aesthetically. 

Design and Build Quality: The BenQ DesignVue PD3220U is a perfect fit with your MacBook Pro when it comes to design and build quality. The minimalist slim-bezel design is very "Apple" with its Space Grey-style colourway. Moreover, the PD3220U is relatively unusual in having consistent bezel width on all four sides of its IPS panel. That makes for a pleasing premium look.

Connectivity is another strong point. Up front and centre is Thunderbolt 3 connectivity with 85W of power delivery, plus both USB-C and a trio of USB-A ports. That means you can hook up your MacBook, drive the display, keep everything charged and also dock peripherals like external storage, all with one cable.

But it gets better. Unlike the official Apple Studio Display, the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U makes full use of Thunderbolt 3's daisy chaining capability courtesy of a second Thunderbolt 3 downstream port. So you could buy two of these monitors and connect to them with a single cable. Yes that includes retaining all the other single-cable docking and charging functionality. That would be one awesome pro-level MacBook display solution.

Performance: First up is the PD3220U's 32-inch panel. It's a quality IPS item with full 4K resolution. At 140DPI, it doesn't offer true Retina-style pixel density. But it still serves up nice, crisp fonts and plenty of image detail. Likewise, the 32-inch diagonal makes for ample physical screen real estate.

There's plenty of precision on offer, too, with 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 digital cinema gamut. Granted, with no local dimming and only 300 nits peak brightness, this isn't remotely a true HDR display. But it can process an HDR10 signal and render HDR colours correctly. So there is basic HDR support, which can be handy for some workflows. Even better, the DesignVue PD3220U comes factory calibrated and there's a Mac-specific M-Book mode that synchronises colours profiles between the display and a connected MacBook Pro at the clock of a few buttons.

Value for money: As for what you miss out on for the price, well, there's no webcam or microphone array and the built-in stereo speakers are nothing on the Apple Studio Display's sextet of drivers. In truth, the  PD3220U's speakers are best viewed as backups only to be used in emergencies. But then the Apple Studio Display costs at least 50% more. It's over double the price if you spec Apple's pricey height-adjustable stand and the optional anti-glare coating. 

And, of course, the Apple's panel is much smaller. All told, the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U makes better compromises and offers superior value. It's a really slick and effective screen that suits the MacBook Pro perfectly.

Read our full BenQ DesignVue PD3220U review.

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BenQ DesignVue PD3220U monitor test results
AttributesNotesRating
PriceIt's not cheap but it is a very strong overall package★★★★☆
DesignThe features and design are a perfect match for MacBook★★★★★
PerformanceIt's not the brightest, but it is otherwise a peach of a panel★★★★☆

Best budget monitor for MacBook Pro

Monitor and hub designed to be your all-in-one workspace solution

Specifications

Panel: 27-inch IPS Black
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 400 nits
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDR support: HDR400
Connectivity: 1x USB-C upstream, 1x USB-C downstream, 1x DisplayPort upstream, 1x DisplayPort downstream, 1x HDMI, 4x USB-A, ethernet

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent 4K IPS black panel
+
Outstanding connectivity and features
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Entry-level HDR support 
-
Limiting 27-inch panel size
Buy it if

✅ You want a full-featured monitor: Dell's 4K 27 incher has it all. You get a superb 4K IPS panel, fantastic features including comprehensive connectivity, plus slick slim-bezel styling. It really is a great package.

✅ You appreciate single-cable connectivity: USB-C with power delivery enables not only standard single-cable connectivity but also next-level docking thanks to daisy chaining support, a KVM switch and an ethernet port.

✅ You want a high-DPI monitor: At 163DPI, this Dell doesn't quite achieve Retina levels of pixel density. But by any normal standard, it is extremely sharp and delivers very crisp fonts in MacOS and plenty of image detail. 

Don't buy it if:

You want a really big display: 27 inches isn't tiny. But it doesn't make for a huge amount of desktop real estate. A 32-inch 4K monitor would be a better choice if you appreciate the ergonomics of a larger screen. 

❌ You need true HDR support: The U2723QE does offer basic Vesa DisplayHDR 400 support. But there's no local dimming and the peak brightness is just 400 nits, so this monitor doesn't deliver a true HDR experience.

❌ You appreciate lush build quality: The slim-bezel design is fairly slick. Just don't expect lush Apple-style all-metal construction. This monitor is mostly made from plastic and it doesn't feel hugely high quality. 

Alternative: If you don't need 4K, see our Dell P2725HE USB-C Hub Monitor review for a great all-rounder display.

The bottom line

🖥 The Dell UltraSharp U2723QE Monitor is a fantastic all rounder. The 4K 27-inch panel is pin sharp, the connectivity options are utterly comprehensive and the silm-bezel design looks slick, too. It's a fantastic screen to use with a MacBook Pro. ★★★★½

What you need to know

Looking for a monitor that gives you most of the day-to-day viewing experience of Apple's pricey Studio Display for around one third the cost? Try the Dell UltraSharp U2723QE. It offers the same 27-inch form factor and single-cable connectivity for so much less cash.

Of course, with the huge savings come a few compromises. Most obviously, this is a 4K rather than 5K display. Consequently, the pixel density clocks in at around 163DPI, quite a bit lower than the Studio Display's 218DPI. The thing is, there's definitely a case to be made for diminishing returns when it comes to desktop display pixel density.

Design and Build Quality: As standard, you get not only a stand with tilt and height adjustment, but also swivel and even rotate into portrait mode. Apple charges you $400 /  £400 just to add height to the Studio display's standard tilt-only arrangement. The Dell's slim-bezel design is very slick, too, and compliments the MacBook Pro's sleek lines well.

Then there's the U2723QE's excellent connectivity. USB-C with a decent level of power delivery to keep your MacBook Pro charged is a given, we wouldn't recommend a monitor for the MacBook Pro without it. But the Dell UltraSharp U2723QE ups the ante with display daisy chaining support, enabling you to connect to dual monitors with a single cable. And, yes, that includes dual 4K monitors. What's more, the U2723QE also has an integrated KVM switch, making it quick and simple to share this monitor with your MacBook Pro and maybe a work PC, and also networking support thanks to the integrated LAN port.

Performance: For sure, the Dell UltraSharp U2723QE delivers very sharp font rendering in MacOS and oodles of image detail. Is the Studio Display sharper and even more detailed? Yup. But the gap isn't nearly enough to justify the yawning price premium. Indeed, this Dell can do things the Apple display can't, most notably it's Vesa DisplayHDR 400 certified. OK, that's only entry-level HDR support. But it can be handy in a pinch for some workflows to have at least rudimentary HDR capability. 

As if all that wasn't enough, this monitor stands out for its excellent image quality. It doesn't just offer any old IPS panel but LG's latest IPS Black technology with twice the contrast of most equivalent displays, including the Apple Studio Display. Dell also rates the panel at 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 digital cinema gamut, which is a very decent performance given the relatively reasonable price point.

Value for money: Ultimately it's an awfully close run thing between this display and the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U for overall honours as a MacBook Pro monitor. This Dell is clearly better value and offers a fantastic feature set. It's only really the BenQ's larger panel size, which makes for more day-to-day elbow room, and Mac-optimised colour profiles that swing it. But it's a marginal call and you could easily make the case for this not just being a great value option for the MacBook Pro, but the best choice, period.

Read our full Dell UltraSharp U2723QE review.

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BenQ DesignVue PD3220U Monitor test results
AttributesNotesRating
PriceFor the money, the feature set and performance is fantastic★★★★★
DesignThe build quality is mediocre but the styling is slick★★★★☆
PerformanceThe 4K panel delivers accurate, pin-sharp image quality★★★★★

Best 4K monitor for MacBook Pro

A 4K monitor at an affordable price

Specifications

Panel: 27-inch IPS
Resolutioñ: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 400nits
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDR Support: No
Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x2, HDMI 2.0 x2, USB-C with 96W power delivery

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 4K IPS panel
+
Nicely calibrated
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited HDR support
-
Slightly plasticky build
Buy it if

✅ You want a great 4K monitor: You can find loads of good 4K monitors, but the Asus ProArt PA279CRV nails that balance between price, performance, and panel quality.  

✅ You want wide color coverage: With 99% Adobe RGB and 99% DCI-P color space coverage, this monitor is ideal if you’re using your laptop to edit photos and videos.. 

✅ You’re on a budget: For a 4K MacBook Pro monitor, this is very reasonably priced, offering great value with a host of features and a wide range of uses.  

Don't buy it if

❌ You don’t need 4K: If you’re performing general office tasks or light content creation for social media, a FHD monitor should be a suitable second display, although we recommend 4K as a base.

❌ You need more brightness: We weren’t terribly impressed with the brightness - colors still pop, but at a fairly average 400nits, professionals and gamers may want higher specs here. 

❌ You want more contrast: As with brightness, contrast here is a basic 1000:1, which may be a deal-breaker. HDR and black levels are similarly basic, with no local dimming. 

Alternative: For around the same price, check out our BenQ PD3205U review for an excellent 4K screen tested on MacBook Pro. 

The bottom line

🖥The Asus ProArt PA279CRV is a 4K monitor that offers some surprising features and specs considering the reasonable price - and the color space coverage is great for content creators. Overall, a good value 4K MacBook Pro monitor. ★★★★½

What you need to know

If you want the best 4K monitor for MacBook Pro, you can’t really go wrong with any of our top picks here, but we’re singling out the Asus ProArt PA279CRV as a great balance of price, quality, and that all-important resolution. Like our other budget pick here, we found it’s an excellent 4K performer that doesn’t compromise on all the key features, whether you’re using it as a business monitor for office tasks or content creation. With 99% Adobe RGB and 99% DCI-P3, it’s one of our top choices for photo editing, video editing, and graphic design, too. 

Design and Build Quality: As a budget MacBook Pro monitor, the PA279CRV is mostly constructed from plastic, it’s robust and stable, but you won’t mistake this for premium build quality. The overall design is clean, modern, perfect for a variety of workspaces. A slim bezel frames three sides of that lovely 27-inch IPS panel, although the control buttons below the screen somewhat infringe on an otherwise sleek design. Mounted to the included stand, the display easily tilts, swivels, and rotates from landscape to portrait mode, and we had no trouble here. 

The Asus monitor also benefits from a good amount of connectivity. And this is what really seals the deal as a top 4K MacBook Pro monitor. Alongside two DisplayPorts and two HDMI 2.0 ports, It boasts a USB-C with 96W and a dual-port USB-A hub. So the upshot is that you can charge your MacBook and connect peripherals all through the PA279CRV. 

Performance: Frankly, there aren’t a lot of budget 4K monitors that feature a comprehensive set of factory-calibrated color spaces, including sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, Rec. 709, and Rec. 2020. Throw in the 163dpi pixel density, which helps make everything crisper and more detailed, and suddenly you have an almost pro-level monitor without the price-tag. It’s fair to say, we weren’t sure such a monitor could meet our expectations. Happily, it performs brilliantly. 

With 400nits brightness, colors look vibrant and accurate, and we have few issues overall. Best of all, we tested it with macOS and found the monitor plays well with the Apple operating system - unlike many we’ve tried. Here, you’ll find a full range of options for scaling and the fonts and very cleanly rendered. 

However, there are some trade-offs with a budget panel like this. Response times and refresh rates are standard-issue. And although the monitor has DisplayHDR 400 certification and 1000:1 contrast, you won’t find any local dimming, and generally HDR and black levels are basic. But then, this is a standard complaint with these types of panels. 

Value for money: In our view, the Asus ProArt PA279CRV offers great value for money. Considering this is a budget 27-inch 4K monitor, there are some great specs here that will serve most users in the office, at home, or in the studio. There are some trade-offs here, so expectations should be tempered slightly. Brightness and contrast are average, but won’t affect most day-to-day use. At this price, it’s not really like losing features, but rather not expecting the fastest refresh rates or the very best HDR support. 

Read our full Asus ProArt PA279CRV review

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Asus ProArt PA279CRV test results
AttributesNotesRating
PriceAn affordable 4K monitor with excellent screen performance for the money.★★★★★
DesignClassic monitor design that doesn’t use highest-grade materials but feels sturdy and stable.★★★☆☆
PerformanceImpressive performance with high color coverage, although brightness and contrast are average. ★★★★☆

Best monitor for MacBook Pro by Apple

Apple's Studio display is undeniably well optimised for the MacBook Pro, but it will cost you.

Specifications

Panel: 27-inch IPS
Resolutioñ: 5,120 x 2,880
Brightness: 600 nits
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDR Support: No
Connectivity: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 3x USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Crispy 5K panel
+
Gorgeous build quality
+
Good webcam and speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
No HDR support
-
No display daisy chaining
Buy it if

✅ You want an Apple-optimised monitor: Apple's Studio Display is unsurprisingly well optimised for the MacBook Pro, from the excellent pixel density to support for True Tone and the integrated 12MP webcam with Center Stage.

✅ You want sharp 5K visuals: Full 5K resolution on a 27-inch panel makes for very high DPI. That works so well with MacOS when it comes to rendering gorgeously clear text and providing oodles of image detail.

✅ You appreciate the extras: Along with the 5K panel you get an excellent 12MP webcam with outstanding audio quality from the triple-mic array, plus great sound from the Studio Display's speakers.

Don't buy it if:

You want great value for money: Even accounting for the strong feature set and 5K resolution, this is an expensive display, especially given the modest 27-inch panel size and lack of any HDR support.

❌ You need HDR support: Probably the most obvious omission from the Studio Display's spec list is HDR support. You don't even get basic HDR10 signal processing. That's a problem given the lofty price.

❌ You want lots of connectivity options: The Studio Display does have single-cable Thunderbolt connectivity. Beyond that you also get three USB-C ports. And that's it. Dell's 27-inch alternative costs one third as much and has way more ports.

Alternative: For professionals, check the Apple Pro Display XDR, our choice for best premium monitor for MacBook Pro

The bottom line

🖥 The Apple Studio Display is really nicely optimised for MacBooks Pros and boasts excellent pixel density and super-sharp font rendering. It's beautifully built, too, but it all comes at quite a price, especially considering the lack of any HDR support. ★★★½

What you need to know

It's not cheap, but the Apple Studio Display is simply so well optimised for the MacBook Pro. Up front and centre is the 27-inch 5K IPS panel packing no fewer than 5,120 by 2,880 pixels. 

That ensures Apple's signature Retina-style levels of pixel density (218 pixel per inch to be precise) and therefore fabulously crisp, clean fonts. Once you've experienced this level of pixel density on a desktop display, conventional low-DPI monitors seem awfully rough around the edges.

Design and Build Quality: Connectivity is a definite strong point for the Studio Display. There's Thunderbolt 3 with 96W of power delivery. That enables single-cable docking with the ability to keep your MacBook Pro charged. To that you can add a trio of USB-C ports for hooking up peripherals, including keyboard, mouse and external storage, all of which dock with your MacBook Pro via that nifty Thunderbolt interface.

The Thunderbolt port is also key to enabling the Studio Display's excellent 12MP webcam. Not only does it support Apple's clever Centre Stage head track tech, it also includes a three-mic array for capturing high quality sound. Speaking of which, you also get really high quality audio output thanks to four force-cancelling woofers, plus a pair of tweeters. The sound quality is far better than that on offer from pretty much any conventional PC monitor.

You can say the same of the Studio Display's build quality. As you'd expect from Apple, it's pretty much exquisite. The slight catch is that it comes with a til-only stand as standard. If you want to add height adjustability, you'll have to add yet another $400 / £400 to the already steep asking price. Ouch.

Performance: As an SDR monitor, the Studio Display delivers excellent performance, including over 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut. It also offers great viewing angles and strong peak brightness of 600 nits. But black levels and contrast are nowhere near what a monitor with local dimming or an OLED panel can achieve.

Arguably, the Studio Display's 60Hz refresh is also something of a limitation. Sure, this is not a gaming panel. But then the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models both offer 120Hz ProMotion technology, so Apple recognises the value of higher refresh rates for professional applications. It just hasn't seen fit to give the Studio Display that capability.

Value for money: You could argue there are a couple of obvious omissions from the Studio Display's spec list which are disappointing given the lofty price point. For starters, this is not an HDR display. By that we don't mean this is the kind of display that can't do true HDR visuals but can support an HDR signal, like a lot of PC monitors, but that there's no HDR support. At all. That also means no local dimming. But then if you want a 5K display with Retina-style pixel density and tight integration with your MacBook Pro, there are few other options.

Read our full Apple Studio Display review.

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Apple Studio Display test results
AttributesNotesRating
PriceThis is a pricey panel given the limited feature set★★☆☆☆
DesignAs beautifully built as you'd hope for from Apple★★★★★
PerformanceFabulous pixel density but conspicuously lacks HDR★★★★☆

Best 6K monitor for MacBook Pro

6K monitor sports integrated 4K camera, speakers, and Thunderbolt hub

Specifications

Panel: 32-inch IPS Black
Resolution: 6,144 x 3,456
Brightness: 450 nits (SDR)
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDR Support: DisplayHDR 600
Connectivity: 1x Thunderbolt 4 upstream, 1x Thunderbolt 4 downstream, 1x miniDisplayPort, 1x HDMI 2.1, 5x USB-A, 2x USB-C, ethernet