Top MacBook Pro Monitors 2024

Here are some free tips from a guy who has purchased several monitors during his life. And by much, I mean this. It might seem like a waste of money to add another expensive item to your MacBook Pro—a display that is among the finest. But believe me when I say that switching to some of the top MacBook Pro displays will significantly improve the quality of your image and your overall user experience.

More current Pro versions, including the bigger M3 MacBook Pro 2023 (16-inch) and the smaller M3 MacBook Pro 2023 (14-inch), aren't restricted to Thunderbolt or USC-C connections anymore, opening up additional A/V options. In addition, I'm talking about more vibrant colors and amazing compatibility for HDR video. These two potent new versions can be connected to both conventional PC displays and the greatest OLED TVs since they include HDMI connectors.

Continue reading to learn about a fantastic selection of monitors that fit a range of price points that you may match with your MacBook Pro. You may discover the greatest MacBook Pro monitor that your eyes genuinely deserve, regardless of whether your eyes are glued to the gorgeous Apple Studio Display or the 4K UltraSharp U2720Q from Dell.

Best MacBook Pro Monitor 2024

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Studio Display

Dimensions: 24.5 x 18.8 x 6.6 inches (with stand, height tops out at 23 inches w/ optional height-adjustable stand)

Screen Size: 27 inches

Resolution: 5,120 x 2,880

Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Ports: 3x USB-C, 1x Thunderbolt 3

Reasons to Buy

  • Beautiful, bright 5K display
  • Six-speaker array delivers remarkably good sound
  • 12MP ultrawide camera captures great images/video
  • Elegant design

Reasons to Avoid

  • No height adjustment by default
  • Center Stage not much use on a deskbound monitor

A fantastic 5K display, the 27-inch Studio Display ($1,599) offers many of the features of Apple's $5,000 Pro Display XDR in a far more economical (but still not inexpensive) form.

Similar to the Pro Display XDR, the Studio Display is equipped with helpful features for creative professionals, such as support for P3 wide color gamut and a variety of reference settings. However, it also boasts special features that any Mac user will find appealing, such as an incredible six-speaker sound system (ideal for a monitor) and a 12MP ultrawide camera that, thanks to an inbuilt A13 Bionic CPU, supports Apple's Center Stage function.

For MacBook Pro customers looking for an external display, this is undoubtedly one of the top monitors thanks to its ultrawide camera, amazing speaker arrangement, and stunning 27-inch 5K screen.

Top Affordable MacBook Pro Monitors

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)


Screen Size: 28 inches

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-A, USB-B, 3.5 mm audio

Reasons to Buy

  • Beautiful color palette
  • Sharp resolution and fast refresh rate
  • Ideal for both MacBooks and PCs

Reasons to Avoid

  • Slightly dark console HDR
  • No USB-C connectivity

It may seem odd to refer to the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A as a "budget" monitor given that its typical price range is between $530 and $750, depending on sales. However, we believe that a high-end 4K display with two HDMI 2.1 connections and a refresh rate of 144Hz offers excellent value for the money.

The VG28UQL1A is a truly stunning device, with some of the richest and most true colors of any game display we've examined, in addition to its affordable pricing. The HDR capabilities of the screen are nearly unparalleled, particularly in its handling of reds, oranges, and pinks. Not many gaming monitors can match this panel's impressive speakers.

Best 4K MacBook Pro Monitor

(Image credit: Dell)

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

Dimensions: 24.1 x 7.3 x 20.7 inches (with stand)

Screen Size: 27 inches

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C

Reasons to Buy

  • Good color accuracy
  • Doubles as a USB hub
  • Thin bezels

Reasons to Avoid

  • Underwhelming brightness
  • Meager 60Hz refresh rate

As a 4K workhorse that performs admirably in all areas, the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is our choice for the finest MacBook Pro display overall. With its 3840 x 2160 resolution, this 27-inch display provides excellent color reproduction, enabling 4K work and playback on your MacBook.

The thin-bezelled InfinityEdge display design of this monitor is another feature we like since it makes the content on screen appear more vivid. With its abundance of connections, including both USB-A and USB-C downstream ports, this UltraSharp allows you to use it as an impromptu USB hub for your MacBook by simply plugging USB peripherals into the monitor while your laptop is connected via USB.

The UltraSharp is fairly priced at little over $500. However, its main drawback is that it cannot match the Liquid Retina XDR display found in the 2021 MacBook Pros, which is billed as being as bright as 350 nits and with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. However, Dell's 27-inch UltraSharp is an excellent choice if all you need is a roomy 4K display to increase the amount of screen real estate on your MacBook and increase productivity.

Top Gaming MacBook Pro Monitors

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Raptor 27

Dimensions: 24.2 x 15.3 x 7.5 inches

Screen Size: 27 inches

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C

Reasons to Buy

  • Gorgeous display
  • Smart design
  • Straightforward menus

Reasons to Avoid

  • Very expensive compared to others on this list
  • Requires USB-C for customization

Right now, the Razer Raptor 27 is our choice for the top gaming display for the MacBook Pro. This 27-inch screen offers clear quad HD resolutions and outstanding color fidelity. The rapid refresh rate of the Raptor 27 allows you to play games at over 120 frames per second and see every frame.

The 144Hz refresh rate of the device we evaluated is not as fast as the 164HZ variant, which costs around $100 more. Additionally, even though the Liquid Retina XDR display on your MacBook Pro has more pixels per inch than this one (2560 x 1440), there is still more than enough detail on display to ensure that games function and look fantastic. Stated differently, it strikes a virtually ideal balance between accessibility and performance.

The Raptor 27's cost is its main drawback, particularly when weighed against other gaming monitors with comparable specifications. However, you also pay for the fantastic physical design of the display, which makes managing the cords and accessing the ports relatively straightforward.

Best Portable MacBook Pro Monitor

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lenovo ThinkVision M14t

Dimensions: 8.44 x 12.73 x 0.55 inches (with stand)

Screen Size: 14 inches

Resolution: 1,920x1,080

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

Inputs: USB-C

Reasons to Buy

  • Attractive screen with good color, brightness
  • Easy to carry and configure to your specific needs
  • Comes with several useful accessories

Reasons to Avoid

  • For this price you could get a bigger, better (but non-portable) monitor
  • Displayed some ghosting when playing fast video

Wherever you travel or what you need to do, the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t portable monitor is a simple solution to give your MacBook additional screen space. This 14-inch portable monitor with 1080p resolution and 10-point touch is a stylish, functional, and lightweight addition to your gadget collection that upholds Lenovo's well-established reputation for straightforward, uncomplicated design.

However, the M14t retails at $500, so you have to be truly interested in purchasing a fantastic portable display with touch controls. Other than that, a handful of the other monitors on our list have greater refresh rates and higher resolutions for less money. However, if you truly want a top-notch portable monitor for your MacBook, our top choice is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t. Lenovo offers a less expensive, non-touch model for $249 if you'd like one without touch capabilities.

Top Professional MacBook Pro Monitors

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Pro Display XDR

Dimensions: 28.3 x 16.2 x 9.3 inches (with stand)

Screen Size: 32 inches

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

Resolution: 6016 x 3384 pixels

Inputs: Thunderbolt 3/USB-C

Reasons to Buy

  • Gorgeous display
  • Remarkably high resolution/brightness
  • Reference modes ideal for editors
  • Intuitive and easy to use

Reasons to Avoid

  • Extremely high starting price makes this unreasonable for all but professionals and rich people

Apple's Pro Display XDR is a top-tier display for MacBook Pro owners who want to perform some professional editing if they can afford it.

Remarkably realistic colors are shown on this 32-inch screen at brightness levels of up to 1,000 nits, or 1,600 if some HDR material is included. Despite not being OLED, the Pro Display XDR is stunning to look at, simple to set up, and has rich contrast that makes blacks appear impossibly black next to brilliant whites.

A variant with nano-textured glass is also available; however, it will set you back an additional $1,000 over the already exorbitant $4,999 starting price. The model is said to minimize glare without compromising contrast. Additionally, it does not come with a stand by default; you will have to pay an additional $999 for one, though Apple's Pro Stand is an exceptionally well-designed stand nevertheless.

Naturally, Apple can charge these exorbitant amounts since the gear is top-notch and designed for photo/video pros employed by large corporations. The Pro Display XDR is a good option if you need the greatest display for editing photos and videos on your MacBook Pro and don't mind spending a lot of money.

How to Choose the Best MacBook Pro Monitor for You

It might be difficult to choose the ideal monitor for your MacBook, especially if you're not sure what you need. For each monitor, there are a few essential aspects to be aware of as well as some particular recommendations for certain specialized applications.

Size: Generally speaking, a larger monitor is preferable since it provides the greatest visual real estate, which is advantageous for split-screen multitasking as well as full-screen media viewing. Since it makes it possible to view more details and fit more information on the screen, higher resolution is also preferable. Here, the adage "bigger is better" holds true, therefore if feasible, we advise choosing bigger screens with higher quality. But remember that on 4K panels, you'll probably need to enlarge text on the screen (as well as macOS in general) because text at that resolution becomes difficult to see on all but the largest monitors.

Shape: The majority of monitors these days are just plain rectangles that you set up on a desk, but you can also get curved or even portable displays. A basic flat monitor will work well for most applications, but if you want a more immersive experience (particularly when gaming), you might want to choose a curved display since the curvature keeps all of the panel's sections within easy viewing distance. Similarly, if you want an external display that's convenient to use with your MacBook Pro while on the road, you might want to consider getting a portable monitor rather than a regular one.

Response time: You should seek for a display with a short response time if you're concerned about being able to play the newest games in ideal circumstances. This gauges how quickly the screen reacts to your actions and is commonly represented as the time it takes a display pixel to change from one color to another and back again, measured in milliseconds.

You actually don't need to worry about response time unless you intend to play games on your MacBook that need lightning-fast reflexes or precise precision. Anything under 10 ms is generally considered good, with 5 ms or less being ideal for gaming. Response speeds of as little as 1 ms are sometimes promised by gaming monitors, and that's about as good as it gets.

Refresh rate: This refers to the frequency at which your monitor can draw a fresh image in a second. Again, if you don't intend to play a lot of severe video games, you probably don't need to worry about this too much. It is measured in Hertz. The majority of monitors have refresh rates of 60 Hz or less, which is more than enough for working or viewing films. But since the Liquid Retina XDR screens on the new MacBook Pros can attain variable refresh rates of up to 120Hz, you'll need a monitor with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz if you want it to match the quality of the display on your MacBook.

You'll need a display with even higher refresh rates if you intend to work with video at framerates greater than 120 fps or if you want to play games at frames per second higher than 120. Most displays have a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, while some gaming monitors have refresh rates as high as 360Hz.

Our Monitor Testing Process Explained

In our search for the best displays, we use our Klein K 10-A colorimeter in conjunction with testing software to assess each display we examine. We assess the display's brightness levels, color gamut, and color accuracy with this excellent scope.

Nits, or candela per square meter, are used to assess brightness (cd/m2). Higher brightness, or more nits, corresponds to a sharper image, brighter colors, and typically a more realistic-looking picture. While HDR (high dynamic range) screens frequently surpass that with a greater maximum brightness, for basic monitors we anticipate a display backlight to provide between 2-300 nits of brightness. Brightness on its alone, however, is insufficient to provide a brilliant display since many monitors can blur colors or have uneven backlighting in specific areas of the display screen.

Since new standards and capabilities enable a monitor to give higher peak brightness than our traditional tests would record, HDR also poses testing issues of its own. When in doubt, study a specific product's review to learn about these problems and how they will be addressed.

The other major consideration for screens is color. According to the sRGB or P3 color standards, monitors with a higher color output have a wider color range. Higher percentages indicate more colors. This is shown as a percentage.

The third facet of color is color accuracy, which allows us to gauge how well a monitor can replicate a particular hue. The degree of departure from perfection is indicated by the Delta-E rating that is used to illustrate this. A score of zero denotes perfect precision, whereas higher values denote less accuracy.

We also use a Leo Bodnar input lag tester to measure the reaction time of a display. This gadget calculates the amount of time a signal takes to get from a source device to the monitor and appear on the screen. This value, which is expressed in milliseconds, is very helpful for Mac users who want instantaneous on-screen feedback for any action.

Lastly, in addition to being used for writing the review, every monitor we assess is also utilized for gaming, streaming video, and online surfing. Our anecdotal testing frequently enables us to identify display oddities that lab testing would overlook, such as problems with backlighting, color reproduction, or scaling content.

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