Best Monitors for Macbook Pro in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Monitors for Macbook Pro

The Macbook Pro is one of Apple’s masterpieces. It’s a sophisticated piece of technology that can be great for many tasks like iOS or Mac OS X app development, photo and video editing, graphic designing, and music production.

However, the Macbook Pro’s sharp display could be somewhat restrictive due to its small size, which is why many people like to get a dedicated monitor for their Macbook Pro.

In this article, we will discover some of the best monitors for Macbook Pro and why you’d want to buy each of them. Let’s start!

Monitor
Price
Size
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Response Time
Panel Type
Speakers
Connectivity
BenQ PD3220U
32”
54K UHD (3840 x 2160)
Yes
60Hz
5ms
VA
Yes
USB Type-C, HDMI, USB 3.0, and DisplayPort
LG UltraFine 27MD5KB-B
27”
5K (5120 x 2880)
No
60Hz
14ms
IPS
Yes
USB Type-C and USB 3.0
Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW
38”
WQHD+(3840×1600)
No
60Hz
5ms
IPS
Yes
USB Type-C, HDMI, USB 3.0, and DisplayPort
ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO
32”
4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
Yes
60Hz
7ms
IPS
Yes
DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI inputs, and USB 3.0
Samsung U28E590D
28”
4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
No
60Hz
1ms
TN
Yes
DisplayPort and HDMI
Lenovo L24i-20
24”
FHD (1920×1080)
No
60Hz
7ms
IPS
No
HDMI and VGA
Best Value

Best Value

Samsung U28E590D

Samsung U28E590D

size 28 inch

resolution 3840×2160

hz 60 hz

responsetime 1ms

sync FreeSync

hdr No

panel TN

 PROS

  • 4K UHD display
  • One billion colors
  • Fast response time

 CONS

  • Thick bezels
  • No USB Type-C or other USB ports
+ Read More
Premium

Best Premium

BenQ PD3220U

BenQ PD3220U

size 32 inch

resolution 3840 x 2160

hz 60hz

responsetime 5ms

sync FreeSync

hdr Yes

panel VA

 PROS

  • 4K UHD display
  • P3 wide color gamut
  • Display Modes
  • USB Type-C

 CONS

  • A bit expensive

+ Read More

Best Budget

Best Budget

Lenovo L24i-20

Lenovo L24i 20

size 24 inch

resolution 1920×1080

hz 60hz

responsetime 7ms

sync FreeSync

hdr No

panel IPS

 PROS

  • Compact
  • Frameless display

 CONS

  • No HDR
  • Limited resolution
  • Limited ergonomic adjustments
  • No USB Type-C or DisplayPort

+ Read More

1. BenQ PD3220U – Best Overall Monitor for Macbook Pro

BenQ PD3220U

While Apple hasn’t contributed to the development of the BenQ PD3220U like the LG UltraFine, it’s still highly compatible with the Macbook Pro. 

The BenQ PD3220U features a 32″ 4K UHD IPS display with the P3 wide color gamut that ensures excellent color accuracy and super-wide viewing angles, making it ideal for creative tasks that people love to do on Macbooks, like graphic processing and photo editing.

The BenQ PD3220U also supports HDR, which significantly improves the display’s contrast. Moreover, the M-book Mode minimizes the visual differences between the monitor’s display and the Macbook’s display when you use both displays simultaneously, which makes it easier for you to do your tasks perfectly.

Furthermore, the BenQ PD3220U has several display modes that optimize the display settings relative to the content being displayed. There are four modes you can choose from: CAD/CAM mode, Darkroom mode, and Animation mode. Additionally, the blue light filter and Zero-Flicker Technology protect you from eye strain when using the monitor for a long time.

The BenQ PD3220U’s stand allows you to make ergonomic adjustments, including swivel, tilt, pivot, and height. You can also rotate the monitor and use it in portrait mode.

As for the connectivity compartment, the BenQ PD3220U has two USB Type-C ports that you can use to stream and transfer data at fast speeds. The port also charges your Macbook Pro while it’s connected to the monitor, so you don’t have to connect your Macbook Pro to a power outlet when it’s connected to the monitor. The monitor also supports USB 2.0, HDMI, and DisplayPort.

What We Like:

  • Wide color gamut for super-accurate colors color
  • Supports USB Type-C
  • Ergonomic stand with portrait mode
  • Has several display modes
  • Blue light filter and ZeroFlicker Technology
  • Supports HDR
  • Supports split screen

What We Don’t Like:

  • A bit expensive

Bottom Line

While The BenQ PD3220U is somewhat expensive, it makes an excellent monitor for Macbook Pro with its sharp and accurate display, USB Type-C, and display modes.

2. LG UltraFine 27MD5KB-B – 5K Monitor for Macbook Pro

LG UltraFine 27MD5KB B

The LG UltraFine 27MD5KB-B was designed by LG and Apple specifically for Mac users, which means it’d be more compatible with your Macbook Pro than any other monitor on the list. It has a stunning 27″ display with a whopping 5K resolution of 5120 x 2880p. Finding a monitor with the same level of sharpness is really challenging. 

Not only is the display super sharp, but it also features a P3 wide color gamut, which translates to over one billion colors for highly accurate color reproduction. 

Furthermore, the monitor has a built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers so you can use facetime without having to worry about connecting more hardware. Another small feature that we really like is the fact that you can control the display’s settings through Mac OS X, which is much more convenient than having to use physical buttons.

The LG UltraFine 27MD5KB-B handles multi-tasking efficiently with its own Multi-Function Screen Manager feature, which lets you divide the monitor into multiple windows so you can work on your tasks simultaneously. 

The monitor’s stand lets you make some basic ergonomic adjustments like tilt and height change. You can also use a VESA mount to mount your monitor on the wall, or one of the popular VESA stands.

As far as connectivity is concerned, the monitor has Thunderbolt 3 ports, allowing you to connect and charge your Macbook Pro with a single cable. It also allows you to transfer data and stream content at super-fast speeds. USB 3.0 is supported too.

What We Like:

  • Very sharp 5K display
  • Excellent color reproduction
  • Multi-Function Screen Manager
  • Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers
  • Universal VESA mounts support

What We Don’t Like:

  • Thick bezels
  • Slow response time
  • No HDR support
  • Somewhat overpriced

Bottom Line

While the LG UltraFine 27MD5KB-B looks a bit outdated with its thick bezels and lack of HDR support, it’s still one of the best monitors for Macbook Pro with its sharp 5K display, P3 color gamut, thunderbolt 3 ports, and built-in webcam and microphone.

3. Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW – Ultrawide Monitor for Macbook Pro

Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW

The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW goes out of the ordinary with a curved 38″ ultrawide 21:9 display that lets you do more on your monitor.

It features a borderless WQHD+ (3840 x 1600) IPS display with wide viewing angles and a tremendous amount of details. The expansive curved display, coupled with the wide viewing angles, produces a stunning visual panoramic view that allows you to focus. Whether you work or play, the Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW will provide you with a truly unique experience.

Moreover, the Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW handles multitasking like a champ with Dell’s Easy Arrange that allows you to divide the screen into multiple frames. You can even display and edit content from two Macbooks using the same keyboard, video, and mouse with the KVM feature.

The monitor’s stand has a cut out for convenient cable management. As for connectivity, the Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW supports USB Type-C so you can connect your Macbook Pro to the monitor and charge it at the same time. It’s also handy for fast data transferring and video streaming. 

Other connectivity ports include USB 3.0, DisplayPort, and HDMI. The monitor is also equipped with a set of powerful 9-watt speakers that further enhances your overall immersion into the display.

What We Like:

  • 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Supports USB Type-C
  • Has built-in speakers
  • Dell Easy Arrange (Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture)
  • Supports KVM

What We Don’t Like:

  • No HDR
  • Takes up a huge space on your desk

Bottom Line

If you want to maximize your productivity and multi-task conveniently with your Macbook Pro, the Dell UltraSharp U3818DW UltraWide monitor would be your best bet.

4. ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO – Graphics and Photography Monitor for Macbook Pro

ViewSonic VP3268 4K PRO

The ViewSonic VP3268-4K Pro is tailored for graphic designers and photographers who want to freely unleash their creativity. It’s definitely one of the best monitors for Macbook Pro for creating new digital masterpieces.

It has a borderless 32″ 4K UHD display that delivers a high level of detail and exceptional color accuracy and uniformity. With a Delta E<2 value and calibration reports for sRGB, EBU, SMPTE-C, Rec. 709, and DICOM-SIM color spaces, there’s no limit to what you can do on ViewSonic VP3268-4K Pro.

The IPS panel ensures 178° wide viewing angles to preserve color consistency. Another notable feature with the ViewSonic VP3268-4K Pro is HDR10, which drastically improves contrast by making colors richer, blacks deeper, and whites brighter.

When it comes to connectivity, the ViewSonic VP3268-4K Pro supports DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI inputs, and USB 3.0. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any USB Type-C ports, which is a bit disappointing.

What We Like:

  • Sharp, frameless 4K display
  • Extraordinary color accuracy
  • Wide viewing angles 
  • Supports HDR10
  • USB 3.0 support

What We Don’t Like:

  • No USB Type-C ports

Bottom Line

Designed for creative people, the ViewSonic VP3268-4K is nothing short of impressive with its fantastic color accuracy, sharp details, and thin bezels.

5. Samsung U28E590D – Best Cheap 4K Monitor for Macbook Pro

Samsung U28E590D

The Samsung U28590D offers great value for money. The 28″ 4K UHD display generates over one billion colors, making this monitor a good fit for artists, designers, and architects.

Moreover, The Samsung U28590D features a super-fast response time of 1ms, which eliminates input lag. This can be a huge advantage for gamers since it allows them to give commands to their character or vehicle faster.

It doesn’t just end there, the Samsung U28590D supports the Picture in Picture (PiP) feature that allows you to do several tasks at the same time by dividing the screen into multiple frames.

Additionally, the Eye Saver Mode filters out blue light and minimizes screen flicker to protect you from eye strain. As long as connectivity is concerned, the Samsung U28590D supports DisplayPort and HDMI.

What We Like:

  • Sharp 4K UHD display
  • One billion colors
  • Fast response time
  • Picture in Picture (PiP) feature
  • Eye Saver Mode

What We Don’t Like:

  • Thick bezels
  • No USB Type-C or other USB ports

Bottom Line

The Samsung U28590D is a great option for those looking for a 4K monitor for their Macbook Pro on a budget. 

6. Lenovo L24i-20 – Best Budget Monitor for Macbook Pro

Lenovo L24i 20

The Lenovo L24i-20 is not only very affordable but also quite compact, making it a good choice for those who have limited free space on their desk.

But don’t let the low price fool you, the Lenovo L24i-20 has many tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it features a modern frameless design with an ultra-slim profile and a thin stand. The display is a 24″ Full HD IPS panel that produces vivid colors and has super-wide viewing angles. 

Furthermore, at a response time of 4ms, input lag is kept to a minimum. The display is covered with a matte layer that reduces reflections so that nothing interrupts your view.

Moreover, the stand allows you to tilt the monitor so you can look at it comfortably. It also has a cut out for easy cable management and less clutter on your desk.

As for connectivity, the Lenovo L24i-20 only supports VGA and HDMI, which is somewhat limited, but it’s fair enough for the price.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Compact design with frameless display and thin profile
  • Wide viewing angles and matte protection
  • Tilt support

What We Don’t Like:

  • No HDR
  • Limited resolution
  • Limited ergonomic adjustments
  • No USB Type-C or DisplayPort

Bottom Line

While the Lenovo L24i-20 isn’t really a high-end monitor and it’s missing a few things, it makes a great monitor for Macbook Pro for those who want a compact monitor without breaking the bank.

How to Pick a Monitor for Macbook Pro

Here are a few factors to consider before choosing a new monitor for Macbook Pro.

1. Display Quality

There are many variables that determine a monitor’s display quality. A high-resolution display ( WQHD or higher) combined with an adequate screen size will give you sharp, detail-rich image quality. However, a display isn’t only measured by its sharpness. A high-quality monitor must have good color reproduction, especially if you intend to use it for tasks that require a high level of color accuracy.

Another essential factor to consider is color consistency when viewing the display from an angle. IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels have the best viewing angles and will provide a consistent image quality even at extreme angles.

2. Adjustability

Getting a monitor that has a flexible stand can really make a difference. Ergonomic adjustments like tilt, pivot, swivel, and height are essential for using the monitor comfortably. 

Moreover, Software adjustments, like display modes can further enhance your experience. These adjustments allow you to optimize the display parameters according to the task at hand. 

3. Connectivity

A monitor with USB Type-C ports would be the best fit for your Macbook Pro. USB Type-C allows you to transfer and stream content at lightning-fast speeds, in addition to charging your Macbook Pro and other Apple devices. Not to mention that you won’t need special adapters to connect your monitor if it has a USB Type-C port.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Use any Monitor with a Macbook Pro?

You can use any monitor with the Macbook Pro. While it’s preferable to get a monitor that has USB Type-C or HDMI ports, you can still connect a VGA monitor to your Macbook Pro using a Type-C to VGA adapter.

Can a MacBook Pro Run a 4K Monitor?

Yes, the Macbook Pro can easily run a 4K monitor provided that you have the required cable(s).

Is a 4K Display Better Than a Retina Display?

The “Retina Display” is a marketing term used by Apple to describe the displays on their devices as being so sharp that your eyes won’t be able to see individual pixels on the display. 

This is achieved by a combination of a high resolution and a display with a size that’s not so big relative to the resolution. The resolution varies depending on the device as long as the result is a high pixel density or PPI.

A 4K display is simply a display that has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 regardless of the display’s size or pixel density. 4K displays are usually very sharp, even those with big screen sizes.

Final Thoughts

Our favorite pick on the list as the best overall monitor for Macbook Pro is the BenQ PD2220. It has a beautiful display, vivid colors, and USB Type-C, making it hard not to recommend this monitor.

If you’re on a budget, the Lenovo would be a great option for you with its compact, frameless design. You could also spend some extra cash and go for the Samsung U28590D and enjoy a 4K display for your Macbook Pro without paying too much.