Best monitors for MacBook Pro 2020

Find the best MacBook Pro monitor for you, from USB-C screens to 4K displays to portable monitors, and more

Best monitors for MacBook Pro
(Image credit: LG, Getty)

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 colour accuracy and fidelity, but they all specialise 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.

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.

What's the best monitor MacBook Pro?

For our money, the LG UltraFine 4K is the best display choice for most people. It was design 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 colour 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

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: LG UltraFine 4KT3 Best Buy logo

(Image credit: LG)

1. LG UltraFine 4K

The best monitor for MacBook Pro overall, and the best USB-C display

Specifications
Size: 23.7 inches
Resolution: 3840x2160
Connectivity: Thunderbolt 3 x2, USB-C x3
Reasons to buy
+Sharp and bright 4K display+Power and connectivity through one cable+Thunderbolt 3 hub
Reasons to avoid
-Only USB-C ports and Thunderbolt ports

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. 

Crucially, it's a much better-than-average screen too: the brightness of 500 nits is better than most, it supports for the DCI-P3 wide colour gamut (just like the MacBook Pro's screen itself does, so they'll match well if you them together) and the 3840x2160 resolution is really 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.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: ViewSonic VP2458

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

3. ViewSonic VP2458

The best budget MacBook Pro monitor, with great ergonomics

Specifications
Size: 23.8 inches
Resolution: 1920x1080
Connections: DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, USB-A x2, USB-B
Reasons to buy
+Great ergonomic adjustments for working comfortably+Good colour accuracy for the price
Reasons to avoid
-Not very bright-Needs the right cables

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 colour accuracy, and 1080p is a perfectly serviceable resolution at this size.

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.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Dell U2718Q

(Image credit: Dell)

3. Dell U2718Q

The best MacBook Pro monitor for affordable 4K

Specifications
Size: 27 inches
Resolution: 3840x2160
Connections: DisplayPort, miniDisplayPort, HDMI, USB-A x4, USB-B
Reasons to buy
+Big, sharp display+Great ergonomics
Reasons to avoid
-Needs the right cables

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 3840x2160 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).

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: BenQ EX3501R

(Image credit: BenQ)

4. BenQ EX3501R

The best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro productivity fans

Specifications
Size: 35 inches
Resolution: 3440x1440
Connections: USB-C, HDMI x2, DisplayPort, USB-A x2
Reasons to buy
+Extra-wide display is ideal for multitasking+Great connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-Some may find the wideness too much

We love ultrawide monitors for productivity, because they're like have a dual-monitor setup, but with the footprint of just one screen on your desk. The 35 inches of this display sounds giant, but because of its 21:9 aspect ratio (compared to the 16:9 of those we've mentioned so far), it's no taller than a regular monitor. It just stretches out further at the sides.

It's the perfect shape to have two windows side-by-side, so you can work on a document on one half, and keep Slack/Teams/email/Zoom whatever else you need open on the other half. USB-C connectivity makes it an ideal fit with MacBook Pros too.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

(Image credit: Asus)

5. Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

The best monitor for image editing on MacBook Pro

Specifications
Size: 31.1 inches
Resolution: 4096x2160
Connections: DisplayPort x2, HDMI x2, USB-A x3, USB-B
Reasons to buy
+Impeccable colour reproduction+Big screen with Cinema 4K res
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive!-Needs the right cables

If you'll use your MacBook Pro for image-based creative pursuits, you need exacting colour reproduction, and that's what this offers, thanks to it being self-calibrating, believe it or not. It has a sensor built-in that checks the screen regularly to make sure the colour hasn't shifted, and that what you're seeing is what you're supposed to see.

You can choose which colour profile it should be be adapting to in Eizo's specialist software, so you don't need to be a colour pro to sort it out – just know what you want to work in, and let it do its thing. The slightly unusual 4096x2160 resolution is the DCI Cinema 4K standard – some cameras record in it, so it maybe handy if you have one, otherwise it's just a big, detailed screen that a little wider than a regular display. 

With 10-bit colour support, 98% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RBG coverage this is ideal for creative pros working in images. It's even compatible with HDR, though its brightness is pretty average, so it's not perfect for that.

Best monitors for MacBook Pro: Asus MB169C+

(Image credit: Asus)

6. Asus MB169C+

The best portable MacBook Pro monitor

Specifications
Size: 15.6 inches
Resolution: 1920x1080
Connections: USB-C/DisplayPort
Reasons to buy
+Very portable and light+Single USB-C cable for connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-15 inches a bit small if you're not travelling much

Portable monitors are great for road warriors: this folds down into a thin package weighing just 800g (and it has a nice protective sleeve), and when you settle to work somewhere, just set it up next to your MacBook Pro for a double-screen workspace. It connects to the MacBook Pro over USB-C for both its power and video, so it's really simple to work with.

It's a 15.6-inch 1080p screen, which makes it perfectly well detailed, and it's a great match overall with the 16-inch MacBook Pro due to its size, but obviously anything else will pair nicely too.

It's an IPS panel, so has great colour reproduction. The USB-C port also uses DisplayPort, so you can connect to computers without USB-C ports using the right cable, too.

The only real downside here is that if you'll do lots of work at home, we'd recommend something bigger, with better ergonomics. But if the way you work matches what this is designed for – being able to set up a bigger working space when staying hotels or visiting other offices – then there's no major flaws here at all.

How to choose the best MacBook Pro monitor for you

The first thing to consider is budget, because this will decide a lot of other factors for you. If you need to keep prices low, you'll need to consider a lower screen resolution than you might if money is no object.

If you simply must have a high-resolution screen for very detailed image work, for example, then you'll have to spend a bit more. But again, budget comes into play about which monitor you'll choose: some 4K displays have high-end additional features and stronger brightness, but you can get a monitor that focuses more on resolution and colour accuracy to give you just what you need for less.

If you'll spend a lot of time connecting and disconnecting your MacBook Pro to take elsewhere, you should look at USB-C monitors, because these can connect to the laptop over a single cable carrying power and the video stream, making it extra easy to plug and unplug for hitting the road.

In all cases, we recommend looking for monitors with adjustable height at least, so that you can make sure it's good to work at ergonomically. In a world where more and more people are working from home, this is one area you don't want to skimp on when you buy, because if you start getting back problems you'll just need to end up buying a better monitor anyway.