The best monitors for MacBook Pro in 2021 you'll find in T3's guide may not seem dramatically different from other monitor guides out there, but there are some displays that are particularly good partners for your MacBook Pro whether it's an Intel MacBook Pro, an M1 MacBook Pro, a MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max.
All the latest MacBook Pros include USB-C ports, which can be very useful: you can connect power, data and display over a single cable. That's particularly helpful with the M1 MacBook Pro, which only has twin USB-C ports: we've connected ours to a monitor with a built-in USB hub and USB-C power delivery, so a single cable turns our portable Mac into a very decent desktop one.
One of the things we've focused on here isn't just the image quality, but how the screen looks next to your MacBook Pro: your laptop has a very good display, and the best monitor for your MacBook Pro shouldn't be jarringly different when you move your eyes to it from your Mac.
So we want USB-C and we want a display that isn't distractingly different. Beyond that, though, there are lots of variations we'll consider. For example, if you're looking for the best 4K MacBook Pro monitor for serious design work, you'll probably want something considerably more impressive than a good all-rounder such as the best MacBook Pro monitor for home working; if you like to stretch out on screen, you'll want the best ultra-wide MacBook Pro monitor so there's room for all your tools. We'll also investigate monitors that you can use to connect the best external hard drives for Mac without taking up any of your laptop's precious ports.
If you've already narrowed down the specific kind of display or feature list you're looking for, we also have detailed, subject-specific guides to displays: check out our guides to the best 4K monitors, the best portable monitors, the best curved gaming monitors, and the best gaming monitors.
If you're thinking about a new monitor along with a brand new MacBook too, check out our MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review, and our MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review. We've also got our guide to the best MacBook Pro deals to save you money on your Mac.
Which is the best monitor for MacBook Pro?
Overall, our pick is the Dell U2720Q, which offers detailed 4K resolution, great colour accuracy (including support for the P3 colour gamut, just like the MacBook Pros), full ergonomic adjustments, and a 27-inch size that's manageable on just about any desk, from home office to business premises. It has a USB hub built in, and offers 90W power delivery over USB-C, which means it can charge even the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It checks basically every box that MacBook Pro users have, and though it's by no means cheap, it's still a very reasonable price for its features.
For a budget option, check out the ViewSonic VP2458, which doesn't include USB-C (no surprise for its price), but does deliver accurate colours on its 1920x1080 screen, is a compact 24-inch size, and offers full ergonomic adjustments so you can be totally comfortable and set up properly.
Best monitors for MacBook Pro
This monitor is a perfect pairing with your MacBook Pro. Its detailed 4K 27-inch display is beautifully sharp and offers P3 wide colour support, just like the MacBook's Retina display. 27 inches is a great size – it gives you a lot of space to have windows side by side, but will still fit on a small desk without looking ridiculous.
This excels in practical details as well as visual ones. It has height, tilt, pivot and swivel ergonomic adjustments, for example, so it's easy to make sure that you're working in a healthy way. You can connect to it over USB-C, providing all power, video and data needs – and it delivers up to 90W of power, which not all USB-C screens do. That's enough to keep a 16-inch MacBook Pro charged even while running at full pelt.
There are three more USB 3 ports on board, along with a second USB-C port, so it's great as a dock for accessories, as well as a display. The connectors we'd like it to have that it doesn't are ethernet and Thunderbolt, but there's a 27-inch Philips 4K monitor also in our list that offers ethernet – see our Dell U2720Q vs Philips 279P1 guide for how these screens compare.
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.
If you want a monitor with the same dazzle and ambition as an Apple screen, this is our pick. Its average brightness is close to the MacBook Pro's (450 nits to the MacBook's 500), and it can actually handle HDR video from compatible sources, peaking at 600 nits, which is better than most pro monitors. On top of that, it supports 98% of the P3 colour gamut, so is an ideal match for the MacBook Pro in that regard too.
Oh, and it's ultrawide – can't forget that. That means it offers better-than-4K resolution, and for productivity, this can't be beaten. It's almost like a two-monitor setup in a single screen, but with just the one stand taking up space on your desktop. 34 inches might sound imposing, but it's not quite as hefty as a 32-inch TV – it's more like a 27-inch screen that's been stretched sideways. However, it might still be a lot more screen than you really want (or can fit, in some compact home offices!).
You've got full ergonomic control with tilt, pivot, height and swivel, and USB-C connectivity makes it easy to dock and undock with – and further USB connectivity is great for using it as a hub. It's fairly expensive, though, and doesn't offer Thunderbolt hub connections, which would be welcome for this kind of money. But that's a very small flaw to be picking… If you're wondering exactly how this compares the Benq ultrawide monitor further down this list, here's our MSI Prestige PS341WU vs BenQ EX3501R guide.
This monitor really wants to be the centre of your working setup, and is seriously kitted out for it: USB-C means a single-cable connection to your MacBook Pro, and four USB ports mean you can use it a comprehensive hub for accessories. But it also has a KVM built in, meaning you could connect two different computers to it, and control them both from a single keyboard and mouse, switching which is displayed and controlled with a button press.
The colour quality is seriously impressive here, too: it comes calibrated (with a certificate and everything!), boasts 100% coverage for sRGB and Rec.709, and also offers 95% P3 coverage, which matches the what MacBook Pros give you – combine that with 'M-Book' mode which is a special configuration profile to make it look as close to a MacBook Pro's built-in display as possible, so work you do on the monitor looks just the same as on the Pro's screen.
It's also rated for HDR video playback, has 'Pantone Validated' certification, offers every kind of adjustment you could want for good ergonomics, and it even has a DisplayPort out connection, so you can chain it to another monitor easily. The lack of higher resolution at this size might disappoint some, but when it comes to a) accuracy and b) MacBook Pro friendliness, this is a serious well-specced screen, as our full Benq PD2705Q review attests.
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.
This might be the best screen for those looking for a simple and compact solution for a home office. At 24 inches, it's not too big, but obviously gives a lot more space than a laptop screen. It connects over a single USB-C cable, with 100W power delivery for even the beefiest laptops, and has a great connection hub on board for connecting other accessories seamlessly. And it even has a built-in webcam, so it can be truly a simple experience to be taking video calls.
The only downsides are that it's not especially high resolution – 1080p is fine, but won't wow anyone – and that at 250 nits, it's not especially bright. Neither is a dealbreaker – if you need something for non-creative work and want your monitor to handle all those awkward connections for you – including a cabled internet connection – this is just perfect. Here's our full Philips 243B1JH review.
A 49-inch display might sound ridiculous, but it might even save you space! This is effectively two 2560x1440 monitors merged into one double-width screen – it's for people who want a dual-screen setup, but who also want to streamline: one stand, one power cable, one connection to your MacBook (USB-C, conveniently). It's curved, so it's easy to see everything despite it being being very wide indeed.
This monitor also acts as a great connectivity hub – it not only does USB, but Ethernet too, and has a pop-up webcam built in. Plus, it can act as a KVM, so you can use one mouse and keyboard with two different computers connected to it. The screen can also show inputs from two different sources on the left and the right.
On top of that, it's great for colour reproduction, and the brightness of 450 nits is among the highest here, so it's nice and visible even in daylight. It does it all!
This is an excellent lower-price 4K monitor option. At 27 inches, you really make the most of the resolution, with the size of the monitor becoming unwieldy. The size and resolution between them give you a lot of space to work with, and everything looks beautifully sharp and clear.
Even better is that it's an excellent connectivity hub, with plenty of USB ports for accessories, and a single USB-C cable to your laptop. It's a shame the USB-C cable only delivers 65W of power – more than enough for most laptops, but it means that if you have a high-end machine running at full speed, it might struggle to keep it charged. That said, it will only be a problem for a handful of people – we just wish it was something we never had to worry about.
Image quality is really strong, though it doesn't mirror the wide P3 colour range of the MacBook Pro – it means that creators might need to consider how badly they'd like the two to match. Everyone else can trust they're getting a great screen anyway, and for a really good price considering its mix of features.
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 monitor for your MacBook Pro
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.