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Best Monitors for MacBook Pro in 2022

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Updated June 27, 2022

What are the features that make for the best monitor for MacBook Pro? First and foremost, the monitor you purchase should offer seamless compatibility with the macOS operating system. This way, your monitor can also be the best second monitor for iMac that your money can buy.

Compatibility with Apple computers usually means your monitor will offer USB-C connectivity, a high resolution, a high pixel density of 110 to 220 PPI, excellent color accuracy, and a high level of adjustability for a comfortable viewing experience. Plus, throw in one of the high-end computer screen protectors for privacy and your new monitor setup is complete.

Finally, the best computer monitor for MacBook Pro should offer features and functionalities that fit your individual needs and preferences. These factors include features like built-in speakers, ultrawide monitors, gaming features, and flexible viewing angles.

Keep reading to learn more about the best monitors for MacBook Pro and how you can identify the best options to meet your needs.

Top Monitors for MacBook Pro

 #1  SideTrak Swivel 14-Inch Monitor

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: The monitor has a lightweight, compact profile that fits easily in backpacks. It has a swiveling design that offers flexibility, making it a good choice for use in transit and the office.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight construction
  • Multi-function kickstand simplifies attachment to the laptop
  • 14-inch design works well with MacBooks
Cons
  • The included cable is a bit weak

The SideTrak Swivel 14-inch monitor allows MacBook Pro users to add a second display to their device instantly. This portable monitor features a high-quality panel that provides wide viewing angles. It’s lightweight and fits easily in a laptop bag for hassle-free transportation. With its ultra-thin bezels, this monitor delivers an immersive viewing experience. It has vivid colors that offer a pleasant appearance. However, the included USB-C cable is weak. So, watch out for any common monitor issues, and be sure to check the cable before you try and fix any monitor display problems.

We love the fact that this SideTrak Swivel 14-inch monitor swivels 360 degrees, allowing unlimited customization. The monitor has a kickstand, which gives it a freestanding orientation. In addition to compatibility with MacBook Pro laptops, the device connects to Windows computers, mobile devices, and various consoles. It connects to the monitor via a USB cable. Users can also connect it to external devices with an HDMI cable.

 #2  Cocopar Y156FH7S 15.6-Inch Monitor

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like that the monitor has a built-in kickstand that enables a self-standing posture. It also has High Dynamic Range and advanced gaming tech, which unlocks superior gaming and multimedia features.

Pros
  • Amazing High Dynamic Range picture quality
  • FreeSync provides good gaming performance
  • Power delivery USB Type-C port
Cons
  • The stand is a bit finicky

The Cocopar Y156FH7S 15.6-inch monitor has a sleek design to add aesthetic appeal to any desk. This monitor has a Full HD resolution that delivers vibrant text and graphics. This can be an amazing monitor for content creators and other creative professionals thanks to the color coverage, sharp picture, and strong image quality. Covering 72% of the NTSC Sync color gamut, this monitor is suitable for some photo and video editing. With low blue light tech, this monitor enables users to work or play at night without worrying about harmful rays. It also has HDR and built-in FreeSync, delivering outstanding picture quality. However, its stand is a bit weak.

This Cocopar Y156FH7S 15.6-inch monitor has dual USB Type-C ports for connecting a wide variety of devices. It requires just one cable to connect to a computer. Its USB-C ports support power delivery for charging. Ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angles allow comfortably viewing of the display from the sides. This Cocopar monitor is compatible with various devices including MacBook Pro, video consoles, and Windows devices. This is great, considering that Windows vs Apple computer monitors tend to be very incompatible most times. It measures just 0.2-inches thick and weighs just 1.59 pounds, so carrying it is easy.

 #3  Arzopa 15.6-Inch Monitor

Award: BEST FOR TRAVEL

WHY WE LIKE IT: This monitor has incredibly vibrant colors and has a sound system that supports music playback and video calls. The device is designed for portability and easily fits into backpacks for transportation.

Pros
  • Awesome High Dynamic Range tech
  • Sleek design
  • Advanced eye care features
Cons
  • Poor quality cables

The Arzopa 15.6-inch monitor boasts several MacBook-friendly features. This 15.6-inch monitor has a big screen with thin bezels to provide an immersive experience. Featuring a peak brightness of 300 nits of brightness, this monitor is ideal for brightly lit spaces. It has HDR tech, so it works with compatible HDR devices to deliver high-quality content. The monitor also has eye care functionality. However, the cables included with this monitor are not reliable.

This Arzopa 15.6-inch monitor has wide viewing angles suitable for dual-screen setups. It also works with Mac, Windows, and mobile devices. The monitor has a USB-C port and works with devices that support Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 3.1. With a very thin design that’s reminiscent of a tablet computer, the monitor is easy to carry around. It has built-in dual speakers that provide decent sound output. Its PU leather case doubles as a kickstand for easy placement.

 #4  HP 24mh 24-Inch Monitor

Award: BEST FOR OFFICE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 24-inch monitor has considerable screen real estate, so it’s suitable for professionals who want to preview graphic content and databases. It has an integrated sound system for hassle-free video calls and music playback.

Pros
  • Amazing screen size
  • Built-in speakers
  • Low blue light functionality
Cons
  • It’s not portable

Although not designed specifically for mobile devices, the HP 24mh 24-inch monitor has powerful features ideal for some MacBook Pro users. It has wide viewing angles, so the picture quality remains good when viewed from the sides. MacBook users who need a large second screen will love this monitor’s gigantic screen. With a resolution of 1080p, this monitor provides sharp text and imagery. Gaming enthusiasts will appreciate this device’s 75Hz refresh rate. Though it’s not a 100hz refresh rate on this 24-inch display, this still gets the job done for gamers. However, this monitor is not portable and takes up considerable desk space.

The monitor has a VESA interface for wall mounting. It has a sleek metallic grey finish on the front bottom bezel that will complement MacBook Pro devices. The three other bezels are very thin, providing an immersive experience. Featuring low blue light features, this monitor is quite comfortable. This excellent display also has built-in 2W speakers for sound output. Equipped with a huge variety of ports, including DisplayPort and HDMI, the display connects various devices. If you’re looking for the best 1080p monitor and are an avid gamer, consider this quality screen.

 #5  Mobile Pixels Trio Max 14-Inch Monitor

Award: BEST FOR MULTIMEDIA CONTENT

WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has clips that attach to MacBook Pro for great side-by-side views. It has an ergonomic design that lets users change the orientation easily. It also has enough ports for various devices.

Pros
  • Impressive lightweight, portable design
  • Detachable kickstand
  • Rugged metal housing
Cons
  • Weak laptop attachment clips

The Mobile Pixels Trio Max 14-inch monitor is a portable display designed for office and on-the-go use. This monitor has an ultra-wide form factor that is a good fit for MacBooks. It has a Full HD resolution that enhances the workflows of users who work with graphics and text. This monitor has a mount that attaches to laptops ranging in screen size from 13 inches to 17 inches. However, the included clips that attach to the laptop are weak.

This Mobile Pixels Trio Max 14-inch laptop has a USB Type-C port for connecting to MacBooks. It also has a USB-A port for plugging into Windows computers and mobile devices. The monitor has sensitive buttons on the right bezel for adjusting settings. With a rigid metallic chassis, this display stands up to rough handling. A blue light filter reduces eye strain. It has many energy-saving certifications, so it won’t create a big burden on laptop batteries. A detachable kickstand enables stand-alone placement.

 #6  LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27-Inch Monitor

Award: BEST FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This LG monitor has an ultra-high-definition screen and fantastic colors that are suitable for graphic design professionals. The large screen will appeal to office dwellers.

Pros
  • Powerful 94W USB-C charging port
  • Fantastic DCI-PW color gamut
  • 5K resolution
Cons
  • Not portable

MacBook users who want a UHD monitor should consider the LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27-inch monitor. This device offers an expansive screen that is especially suitable for office use. With a 5K 5120 x 2880 resolution, this device showcases intricate details. It covers a whopping 99% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, making it a good choice for graphic design professionals. Even content creators can get a lot out of this 27-inch display with a great color profile as an ideal choice for their studio display. MacBook Pro owners can connect to this monitor easily via the Thunderbolt 3 port. Unless you already have a compatible, high-end Thunderbolt monitor. However, the large size of this display rules out its use on the go.

This LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27-inch monitor supports up to 94W power delivery via its USB-C port, making it easy to charge connected laptops. It has built-in stereo speakers that provide fine sounds. This display also features a built-in microphone and camera, delivering high-quality video calls. Its sturdy stand provides stability. This device’s screen is very bright and reaches a peak brightness of 500 nits, making it a good choice for placement near bright windows.

Beginner’s Guide to Monitors for MacBook Pro

What Are Monitors for MacBook Pro?

If you want to extend or expand your MacBook Pro’s built-in display, then you’ll need an external monitor. These monitors connect directly to your laptop and either mirror your MacBook’s display or extend the display to act as a dual monitor setup.

Once connected, your MacBook Pro’s external monitor will display data like text, applications, and images from your laptop.

In general, monitors for MacBook Pro and other Apple computers are branded as such. If you purchase a monitor branded as made for Apple, then you can rest assured that you’ll get seamless compatibility with Apple products.

Monitors for MacBook Pro vs. Traditional Monitors

A monitor for MacBook Pro differs from traditional monitors only in the sense that they tend to be branded specifically for use with Apple products. However, there are some other broader trends to consider when looking at the category as a whole.

For example, most computer monitors for Apple products are USB-C monitors. They use a single USB-C cable for display and power functionality. A Mac monitor also tends to be as close as possible to your MacBook’s Retina display screen resolution.

How Monitors for MacBook Pro Work

Your monitor for MacBook Pro works in the same manner as most traditional computer displays. It connects to your MacBook using a display cable like a USB-C cable, HDMI cable, or DisplayPort cable. After the two devices are connected, your MacBook will begin to transmit data to your monitor for display.

In most cases, your Mac monitor will be either an LCD or LED display. Let’s take a quick look at these monitor types:

  • LCD Monitor: Also known as a liquid crystal display, an LCD monitor utilizes two panes of glass with the liquid crystal in between them. These liquid crystals then respond to the backlighting, which tends to be made from fluorescent lamps on LCD monitors.
  • LED Monitor: Also known as a light-emitting diode monitor, an LED monitor utilizes the same LCD panel and liquid crystal technology. The only difference here is the backlighting. An LED monitor uses individual lights instead of fluorescent panels for backlights.

Do You Really Need a Monitor for MacBook Pro?

If you own a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac, then one of these monitors is an excellent choice. This is especially true if you want to match the high quality of Apple’s Retina display. These are also great monitors to use if you want something extra convenient to set up.

Since the best monitor for iMac and MacBook uses a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connection, you’ll also get a level of seamless compatibility that is hard to find in other types of monitors.

Is a Monitor for MacBook Pro Worth Buying?

  • You Own a MacBook Pro or iMac: One of the best parts about Apple’s device ecosystem is how well everything works together. If you own a MacBook or iMac, then you have likely gotten used to that seamless compatibility and want it for your computer monitor. These displays connect to your MacBook Pro in the simplest way possible.
  • You Want a High Image Quality: Most monitors for MacBook Pro laptops offer the highest image quality possible, especially when compared to other monitors on the market. Their crisp visuals exist thanks to high screen resolution, fast refresh rates, rich color, and premium design.
  • You Want Easy Setup: Since most MacBook Pro monitors use a single cable to connect to your laptop, they offer one of the easiest setup processes for computer monitors. Simply plug the USB-C cable into the monitor into your laptop and you’ll be good to go.

Why a Monitor for Macbook Pro May Not Be For You

  • You Don’t Have an Apple Computer: If you don’t have an Apple computer, then purchasing a monitor specifically for Apple computers probably isn’t the best idea. While these monitors certainly can work with non-Apple computers, they do best when paired together. Alternatively, you can get the best frameless monitor, which offers almost similar image quality and performance.
  • You’re On a Tight Budget: Since computer displays for MacBook Pro offer the best in terms of image quality, durability, and design, you can expect to pay a pretty penny for them. If you’re looking for a cheap monitor or a slightly affordable option, you may not find it in this category.

How Long Will a Monitor for MacBook Pro Last?

Since most monitors for MacBook Pro are either LCD or LED, we’ll focus on the lifespan of these two display types.

According to TechiExpert, an LCD screen will last you anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 hours of total use. An LED screen will last you anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 hours of total use. This usually equates to 10-20 years if you use your monitor for an average of eight hours a day.

Of course, the specific lifespan of your monitor ultimately depends on the way you treat it. If you constantly use it on maximum brightness for long, continuous hours, you can expect its lifespan to diminish a bit. The opposite is also true.

We recommend keeping your monitor out of dirty situations. Regularly clean and dust your monitor so external debris doesn’t make its way inside. Also, make sure it’s on a sturdy stand on a sturdy desk so it doesn’t accidentally tip over and get damaged.

How to Choose the Best Monitor for MacBook Pro

When it comes time to choose the specific model of MacBook Pro monitor to use in your home office, we always recommend taking some time to figure out exactly what you need first. Once you’ve identified your needs and wants in the monitor’s features and functionality, you can start to narrow down your choices to ensure you get the right one for you.

Monitor for MacBook Pro Key Factors to Consider

You can use the following questions to determine which features are most important for your monitor to offer. Ask yourself the questions, note your answers, and keep them in mind as you start to look at the monitors available today.

1. Should you get a USB-C monitor for MacBook Pro?

One of the first decisions you’ll face when purchasing a new MacBook Pro monitor is whether you want a USB-C monitor or not. Simply put, a USB-C monitor is an option that offers a single cable connection between your monitor and your laptop for audio, video, and charging. In this way, a USB-C monitor acts as a connection hub.

These types of monitors offer the best when it comes to seamless connectivity and setup. Plus, you won’t lose out on screen resolution or quality. These monitors are just as good, if not better than monitors with conventional video connections. Plus, you’ll still often get those same conventional video connections on your USB-C monitor, including HDMI and DisplayPort.

A USB-C monitor is especially helpful for MacBook Pros since Apple has moved to only including USB-C ports on their laptops. With a USB-C display, you won’t have to purchase any kind of adapter or external connection hub just to make the monitor work with your MacBook.

2. What level of screen resolution and image quality do you need?

The display quality on a MacBook Pro is already one of the best available on the market, thanks to Apple’s revolutionary Retina display. As such, you’ll likely want to mirror that same quality in whatever external monitor you purchase.

Consider these factors when looking at image quality:

  • Screen size: First, you’ll want to determine how much screen real estate you want to purchase. Most monitors range anywhere from 24 inches to 27 inches, but there are sizing options on either end of that range, like a 34-inch display or even a 40-inch monitor. Consider how much desk space you have, any potential cable clutter, and the type of work you plan on doing with your widescreen monitor alongside a maximum 16-inch Macbook Pro. In general, we recommend purchasing a larger monitor like a 27-inch screen with more real estate for creative work, professional work, and gaming.
  • Resolution: The latest Macbook Pro’s screen resolution is 3072×1920. You’ll want to mirror this HD resolution as closely as possible with your external monitor. We recommend considering 4K monitors as much as possible, as long as you have the budget to pay the price for them. You get what you pay for though, so despite a 4K model not usually being an affordable monitor, the price gets you the quality of a professional monitor The best 4K monitor for Mac will take your viewing experience to the next level. A 4K resolution makes a fantastic monitor, but a budget monitor at a reasonable price with the right specs can still be great too.
  • Color accuracy: One of the best things about the Retina display is its ability to reproduce accurate colors thanks to its wide color gamut. You’ll want your external display to do the same and produce that vibrant color quality.
  • Brightness: While you don’t necessarily need a monitor with extreme brightness levels, you’ll want one that offers a wide range of brightness levels. This way, you can set your brightness to your own preference or match the work that you are performing.
  • Flicker-free technology: Many of the best monitors for MacBook Pro offer flicker-free technology, meaning they won’t skip or stutter, even when working on graphically intense processes. This helps reduce eye strain and creates a consistent and accurate color and image quality.

3. Do you want to use your monitor for gaming?

If you’re considering gaming monitors for MacBook Pro, then you’ll need to consider some individual specifications more than others:

  • Refresh rate: Your monitor’s refresh rate refers to the speed at which the screen can update with a new image every second. Most monitors offer a 60Hz refresh rate or 75Hz refresh rate, but you’ll really want to secure a 120Hz refresh rate for gaming monitors.
  • Input lag: Your monitor’s input lag refers to the speed at which your monitor responds to input from your keyboard and mouse. For competitive gaming, you’ll want to target a 1ms response time, but anything under a 5ms response time is good for casual gaming.
  • Adaptive sync compatibility: If your monitor offers Nvidia G-Sync compatibility or AMD FreeSync, then it can sync its refresh rate to your MacBook’s graphics card. This way, you’ll be able to get the best image quality possible without skipping or stuttering. This is a must for fast-paced, competitive video games. A good option is to get the best gaming monitor for Nintendo switch if you are an avid gamer.

4. Do you want an ultrawide monitor or curved screen?

One of the new additions to display technology comes in the form of ultrawide configurations and curved screens. The best ultrawide monitor for MacBook Pro offers a 21:9 aspect ratio and provides you with a ton of screen real estate for creative and professional work.

A curved screen is exactly as it sounds. The curved monitor curves toward you and creates a truly immersive viewing experience. You can also choose an ultrawide curved monitor to combine the two features.

These aren’t cheap monitors, but they can increase productivity and immersion, especially if you’re a gamer or a creative professional.

5. What additional features and functionality do you want?

Now that we’ve covered the must-haves for MacBook Pro external monitors, you’ll want to consider what additional features you want. These don’t drastically change the way the monitor works, but they can provide more convenience or efficiency.

Consider options that have built-in speakers, ergonomic adjustments, and different display modes if you want additional customizability. You can also purchase monitors with a built-in webcam, an audio jack for external speakers, and USB ports to connect additional peripherals directly to the monitor.

Monitor for MacBook Pro FAQs

How to choose a MacBook Pro monitor for graphic design.

When looking for a monitor for graphic design work and compatibility with your MacBook Pro, your focus should mostly fall on image quality. Consider a wide color gamut for better color accuracy. You’ll also want a good range of adjustable brightness. You may also want to consider a larger screen size so you can always see everything going on with your project at the same time.

Can you use any monitor with a MacBook Pro?

Even though the latest MacBook Pro only has USB-C ports available, you can still use any external monitor with it. If you don’t purchase a USB-C monitor, you can still use traditional connections like HDMI and DisplayPort with the proper USB-C adapter.

What monitor does Apple recommend using with my MacBook Pro?

Apple does offer its own Pro Display XDR, but this is a reference monitor meant specifically for professionals. This high-end monitor is very expensive, so you might want to consider something more affordable. That being said, Apple typically doesn’t make specific recommendations unless it is one of its own products.

Do you need a 4K monitor for MacBook Pro?

No, you don’t need a 4K monitor to use with your MacBook Pro. The laptop works perfectly fine with full HD displays. However, if you can afford a 4K monitor, it makes for an excellent combination with the Retina display.

Is USB-C the same as Thunderbolt 3?

In most regards, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are the same things. They offer the same form factor and connection type. The only difference lies in data transfer speeds. Thunderbolt 3 ports offer a much higher transfer speed than USB-C.
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