The monitor may be the most critical component of your Mac’s setup, given that no computer can function without one. Because you’ll be viewing it frequently, you’ll want to invest wisely. Not only will you need a monitor that provides a pleasant viewing experience, but the image quality on the screen can also affect your work.
Choosing a new monitor can be difficult. There are numerous manufacturers to choose from and numerous screen sizes, resolutions, and features – and we mean multiple. We’re here to assist you while you shop, and we’ve compiled a list of characteristics to look for in a monitor.
Apple sells displays for its Macs, and you could purchase one, but its collections are considerably more expensive than those offered by third parties. If you buy a monitor from a different company, you may not receive a feature that Apple provides, but depending on how you use the monitor, you may not need that feature. Note that M1 Macs have compatibility issues. We have a buyer’s guide for monitors for M1 Macs that details everything you need to know before making a purchase.
Fortunately, a variety of companies sell excellent monitors that are compatible with Macs without requiring a second mortgage. We evaluated several monitors and listed their highest-rated models that we can confirm are compatible with Macs below, along with our reviews. Here are our suggestions, listed in alphabetical order.
Top 10 Monitors for Mac Reviews
Not only can you use these monitors as part of a dual-monitor setup, but you can also connect them to your MacBook when you need a larger screen.
If high resolution and refresh rate are essential, examine all available options before deciding. Every monitor for Mac on this list delivers a seamless workflow and enables you to take photos or video editing to the next level.
1. Best Overall: Apple 32-inch Pro Display XDR
There is no better monitor than Apple’s 32-inch Pro Display XDR monitor if you’re looking for a monitor to satisfy your office and entertainment needs while remaining within the Apple ecosystem.
Consider each aspect that makes a monitor great. Apple has pushed all of these characteristics to its limits. In addition to its sleek appearance, the monitor features a 6K Retina Display that produces some of the sharpest images you’ve ever seen.
Additionally, instead of the standard High Dynamic Range (HDR) found in most monitors, Apple’s monitor offers Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR). This ensures precise color reproduction.
The monitor has a maximum brightness of 1600 nits and a sustained brightness of 1000 nits. Despite this brightness level, there are no inaccuracies or problems with contrast and saturation.
The Pro Stand allows you to adjust the monitor’s height, rotation, and tilt. Not only does it save space, but it also allows you to adjust the viewing angle.
However, the Pro Stand is overpriced. If you want to use this monitor in different environments, you will need to purchase the stand separately, despite the monitor’s adequate quality.
- 32-inch LCD display with Retina 6K resolution (6016 by 3384 pixels)
- Pro Stand and VESA Mount Adapter sold separately
- Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR)
- Brightness: 1000 nits sustained, 1600 nits peak
- Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
- P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit color depth
- Superwide viewing angle
- Reference modes
- One Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB-C ports
- 6K Retina Display
- Best color reproduction
- 1600 nits of brightness doesn’t disrupt picture quality
- Build quality is decent
- Pro Stand is sold separately
2. Best FHD monitor: SAMSUNG M5 Series 27-Inch Smart Monitor
While 4K may be the current trend, FHD monitors are still sufficient. Moreover, they are reasonably priced. The SAMSUNG M5 may be one of the best FHD monitors currently available.
In addition to the sleek design that would complement any Apple-centric setup, AirPlay 2 is also integrated. This means that you can wirelessly project the screen of your MacBook onto your television. The monitor is also capable of serving as an external display.
The Samsung Smart Hub also provides streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO for your entertainment needs. The 21:9 aspect ratio is advantageous for shooter gamers who desire a wider field of view. The built-in speakers are also adequate for most entertainment applications.
I wish that the manufacturers worked more on the build quality, though. They have sacrificed quality to reduce the price of this monitor.
- 27 Inches
- Resolution: 1080p
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Special Feature: Wall Mountable, Built-In Speakers
- Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth
- World’s First Airplay 2 Monitor
- Sleek looks adjust well with Apple setups
- AirPlay 2 provided
- Streaming services provided through Smart Hub
- 21:9 aspect ratio
- Build quality not satisfactory
3. Best 4K monitor: LG 27UN850-W Ultrafine UHD IPS Monitor
This LG monitor is the best available UHD monitor for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook mini, and MacBook Air. This is why: The Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160) provides highly accurate colors and excellent viewing angles. The monitor’s build quality is also satisfactory. Additionally, the stand included with the monitor can be used to adjust the monitor’s height and tilt to your liking.
There are advanced settings like Radeon’s FreeSync, Dynamic Action Sync, and a Game Mode for gamers. Gamers have no complaints, even when playing the most demanding racing or action games.
The monitor has multiple ports for connecting a Mac, including HDMI and USB-C. However, the built-in speakers leave much to be desired. LG could have done better here, although we cannot expect the best performance from monitor speakers. Connecting to external speakers is highly recommended.
- 27” UltraFine UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Display
- VESA DisplayHDR 400
- USB-C with 60W Power Delivery
- SRGB 99% Color Gamut
- 3-Side Virtually Borderless Display with Height / Pivot / Tilt Adjustable Stand
- Accurate color reproduction
- Good viewing angles
- Great for gaming
- Multiple ports provided
- Low quality speakers
4. Best for power users: Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD Monitor
This 4K monitor from Dell is an excellent alternative to other, more costly 4K monitors. It may not be a Thunderbolt-issued product, but it still has many features.
The USB-C port with the monitor can deliver up to 90 watts of power. This means that connecting your Mac to an external monitor also functions as a charger.
The monitor includes three USB-A ports and an HDMI port for docking and entertainment purposes. The supported refresh rate of 60Hz may not be the best in the industry, but it is sufficient for most applications.
The stand included with the monitor is adequate and allows for horizontal and vertical orientation adjustments. The monitor’s bezel and overall build quality are subpar, particularly for this price range.
- Create an efficient workspace with the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) LED Backlit LCD IPS USB-C Monitor (7GZ651)
- Sleek design – 27 inch diagonal 4K UHD IPS screen with vibrant 3840 x 2160 resolution and thin profile that supports virtually seamless multi-display setups
- Exceptional visuals – see consistent, vibrant colors across a wide viewing angle enabled by In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology
- Experience simple, convenient connectivity – work with your most frequently-used devices with DisplayPort, HDMI, USB ports, and Audio Line out
- Display Features: Tilt, Swivel, Pivot, Vesa Mount Compatible, Anti-glare, USB Hub, LED Backlights, In Plane Switching, Security Lock Slot, Energy Star Certified, 99% sRGB color gamut
- USB-C port provides 90W power supply
- 3 USB-A ports and HDMI port
- Provided monitor stand is satisfactory
- Build quality isn’t good for the price
- Doesn’t have a Thunderbolt port
5. Best for editing and gaming: BenQ PD3220U 32 inch 4K Monitor IPS
The BenQ PD3220U is currently one of the market’s most underappreciated 4K monitors. Try this out if you’re into video editing or gaming.
In addition to being Thunderbolt 3-capable, the monitor uses AQCOLOR technology to produce some of the sharpest and most color-accurate images. The screen is 32 inches, and the bezels are thin to maximize screen area.
The monitor is equipped with blue light and ZeroFlicker to eliminate screen tearing and eye strain, as many gamers spend hours playing video games. This monitor can be used for extended periods without any issues.
However, many users of this monitor have encountered firmware issues. Therefore, you should be cautious before purchasing.
- Screen Size: 32 Inches
- Display Resolution Maximum: 3839 x 2160 Pixels
- Brand: BenQ
- Special Feature: Blue Light Filter,Anti Glare Screen,Built-In Speakers,Tilt Adjustment,Swivel Adjustment,Height Adjustment,Flicker-Free,Pivot AdjustmentBlue Light Filter,Anti Glare Screen,Built-In Speakers,Tilt Adjustment,Swivel Adjustment,Height Adjustment,Flicker-Free,Pivot Adjustment See more
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Thunderbolt 3 capable
- Plenty of software to remove screen tearing and flickering
- Thin bezels for greater screen availability
- Users have faced a few firmware issues
6. Curved FHD monitor: Dell S3222HN 32-inch Curved Monitor
Although 4K monitors are becoming the norm, good FHD monitors can still provide excellent value. This Dell monitor is a sophisticated option for those who do not wish to spend a fortune on a monitor.
The screen is 31.5 inches, and the frame is elegantly curved to reduce distractions. The contrast ratio of 3000:1 produces accurate blacks and colors. AMD’s FreeSync technology is also responsible for the screen’s 75Hz refresh rate.
Concern yourself not with eye strain, as the monitor is equipped with ComfortView technology, which eliminates blue light emissions.
With a 75Hz refresh rate, the 1920 x 1080 resolution becomes a little grainy. I recommend sticking to video editing or official work with this monitor. On this screen, you may not have a satisfying gaming experience.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BEAUTY: An elegant 31.5-inch curved full HD monitor that completely immerses you in your entertainment with a 3000:1 contrast ratio and 99% sRGB coverage.
- IMMERSION AT ITS FINEST: With a 31.5″ curved screen, you’ll eliminate distractions and be more productive and more entranced with your content than ever before.
- A SUPERIOR SCREEN: Thanks to VA panel technology, you’ll experience a 3000:1 contrast ratio that delivers deep blacks and bright white so you can see detail in even the darks or brightest movie scenes. Plus, with 99% sRGB color you can enjoy a viewing experience that’s more realistic than ever.
- PERFECT PORTS: Switch seamlessly between streaming and gaming with dual HDMI ports, all while built-in audio automatically follows your source.
- LEISURE GAMING: Smooth, tear-free experience with AMD FreeSync technology, featuring up to 75Hz refresh rate.
- Elegant design
- Color reproduction is superior to competitors
- 75Hz refresh rate
- Ideal for office work
- The resolution quality decreases at the highest refresh rate
7. FHD gaming monitor: BenQ MOBIUZ EX2710S Gaming Monitor
The cost of 4K monitors for gaming can be exorbitant. Fortunately, a high-definition (HD) gaming monitor is not prohibitively expensive. You may wish to investigate the BenQ MOBIUZ EX2710S.
Not only is this monitor equipped with AMD’s FreeSync technology, but it also features a monstrous 165Hz refresh rate for a sharp and quick display, especially when playing the most recent games.
Other technological features, including BenQ HDRi, Black eQualizer, and Light Tuner, combine to provide an exceptional gaming experience. The monitor’s height and angle can also be adjusted using the stand.
However, the included speakers were not to my liking. The output of 2.5 watts is insufficient for gaming. A better gaming experience will require external speakers when paired with this monitor.
- 27-INCH GAMING MONITOR: 165Hz refresh rate 1ms MPRT IPS gaming monitor with 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution and FreeSync Premium for smooth gameplay
- IMAGE OPTIMIZATION: BenQ HDRi technology, Light Tuner and Black eQualizer help optimize image quality for a better gaming experience
- CONVENIENCE & CONTROL: 5-Way Navigator, Scenario Mapping, and Gaming Quick OSD for easy control
- COMFORT & CONNECTIVITY: Height/tilt adjustability and eye-care, HDMI and Display Port connectivity
- SUPERIOR SOUND: Two 2.5W built-in speakers plus DSP (digital signal processor) chip with three custom sound modes
- High refresh rate at 165Hz
- Very accurate color reproduction
- Included monitor stand is sturdy and adjusts well
- Poor quality speakers
8. Best looking monitor: SAMSUNG J791 Series 34-Inch Ultrawide Computer Monitor
Curved monitors have gained popularity in recent years. Recently, the SAMSUNG J791 curved monitor has been making waves.
The 34-inch screen is expansive, and the curved display enhances the immersion of your work. It also supports Thunderbolt 3, so data transfer between your Mac and the monitor will be four times faster than with a standard USB cable.
This monitor allows you to open as many tabs as desired without running out of screen space. In addition, the QLED display offers superior color reproduction.
However, the build quality could have been better; the monitor’s frame feels flimsy and cheap.
- First Curved monitor with Intel Thunderbolt 3 for single-source power and charging
- One cable to Link and dock monitor and laptop
- Tbt3 offers 40 Gaps processing speed – – 4x faster than USB – – and up to 85W laptop charging
- Connectivity available for docks, displays and peripherals including Macs, USB Type-C laptops, E storage drives and external Graphics cards
- Ultra wide WQHD resolution 3440 x 1440
- Great multi-tasking with intuitive screen split software PBP/PIP
- Qled technology provides a wide range of colors, darker blacks with a 3000: 1 contrast ratio
- Thunderbolt 3 technology provides compatibility with MacBook and PC
- 100 hertz
- Beautiful design
- Curved screen
- Thunderbolt 3 supported
- QLED screen
- Build quality should’ve been better at this price
9. Best 4K gaming monitor: LG 27'' Ultragear 4K UHD Nano Gaming Monitor
This LG monitor is an absolute beast for 4K gaming. If you have the funds available, you should check this out.
The ultra-high-definition (UHD) display provides vivid colors at the highest resolutions, especially when playing the most recent games. In addition, the 144Hz refresh rate combines with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync to eliminate all types of screen tearing.
The monitor’s bezels are so thin that they are practically nonexistent. Consequently, providing you with the most screen real estate possible.
It can be somewhat challenging to configure, especially since you must enable the 144Hz refresh rate via Nvidia’s G-Sync options.
- 27″ UHD (3840 x 2160) Nano IPS Display
- IPS 1ms (GtG) 144Hz with VESA DSC Technology
- NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
- DCI-P3 98% with VESA DisplayHDR 600
- 4-Side Virtually Borderless Display
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Crisp Display and accurate colors
- Thin bezels
- Difficult to set up
10. Best budget monitor: Lenovo L27M-28 27-Inch FHD LED Monitor
If you’re on a tight budget, you should strongly consider this Lenovo monitor. It is packed with features relative to its price.
The screen is a 27-inch IPS panel with sound color reproduction and wide viewing angles. Additionally, the screen is not marred by large bezels; three sides of the screen have skinny bezels for enhanced viewing pleasure.
The monitor features VGA, USB-C, and HDMI ports. Additionally, the USB-C port can be used to charge your devices.
The monitor features AMD’s FreeSync technology and a 75Hz refresh rate for an optimal gaming experience if you intend to use it for gaming.
However, the size of the monitor is quite large. If you intend to use a second monitor for a dual setup in the future, this monitor may not be for you.
- 27-inch IPS full HD panel offers excellent viewing angles, crisp images, and great color performance.
- Incredibly thin bezels help this 3-sided borderless Lenovo monitor provide a seamless viewing experience.
- Powered USB-C output lets you connect and charge peripheral devices directly through the monitor.
- Amd free sync technology allows every detail to be seen clearly, eliminating stuttering and image tearing. Brightness: 250 cd/m2
- Great connectivity with VGA, HDMI, and USB-C Input, and audio out ports.
- Superb viewing angles
- Thin bezels
- Multiple ports provided
- USB-C port can charge devices
- 75Hz refresh rate
- Bulky frame
- Not ideal for dual monitor setups
Factors to Consider to Find the Best Monitor for Your Mac
Are you trying to locate the ideal external monitor for your Mac? Here are the factors you must consider to find it.
Macs are high-quality computers; therefore, using them with a low-quality monitor is insufficient. Ensure that the external monitor you purchase matches or exceeds Apple’s Retina Display. Nonetheless, due to the plethora of monitors on the market, selecting the best one is a tiresome task.
We have simplified the situation for you. Before purchasing a monitor for your Mac, we have compiled a list of all the factors you should consider. From panel type to layout, we will discuss everything.
1. Multimedia (Speakers and Webcam)
As an accessory for a Mac mini, Mac Studio, or Mac Pro, you may require a monitor with an integrated webcam, speakers, and microphone. If you find such a monitor, you’ll save yourself a ton of clutter, additional purchases, and the headache of selecting those accessories.
However, if you want the best audio and video experience possible from your Mac, you’ll need to invest in an external setup. Although speakers and webcams integrated into external monitors are becoming more prevalent, they are still inferior to dedicated accessories.
Although neither speakers nor webcams are strictly required for an external monitor, they are worth considering if you want to save money or space and do not place a premium on quality.
2. Curved as opposed to Flat Screen
The debate between curved and flat monitors is lengthy, but to put it briefly, flat monitors are less expensive than curved ones but can cause eye strain after prolonged use. On the other hand, curved monitors are more immersive, reduce eye strain, and produce more lifelike images because the curve helps to fill your field of vision. However, they cost more and require more space.
A flat-monitor should suffice if you are a casual user who does not spend long hours in front of the screen. Professionals and gamers may wish to invest in a curved model due to its additional benefits.
3. Connectivity Options
There are two key points to consider here. How does the monitor connection to your Mac? What connectivity options does it provide?
Some monitors are only HDMI-to-HDMI, so you may need a USB-C hub to use them. However, if your Mac only has USB-C ports, you should prioritize USB-C to USB-C adapters. This can ensure a seamless experience and eliminate the need to purchase dongles or hubs.
Intriguingly, some monitors also function as docks. Their ports allow you to connect additional devices to your Mac while charging. This is an excellent choice if you require multiple monitors.
4. Refresh Rate
A monitor’s refresh rate describes how frequently the image on the screen is updated. You will need a higher refresh rate for videos to appear more fluid on your screen. Although higher refresh rates are generally preferable, users have varying requirements.
For instance, gamers and video editors favor monitors with high refresh rates (between 60 and 144Hz) to achieve a fluid and responsive experience. However, if the monitor is not required for gaming or professional use, resolution and connectivity may be more critical than the refresh rate.
5. Panel Type
Image quality is an essential factor to consider when selecting an external monitor panel type. Different types of panels offer varying levels of image quality and choosing the appropriate one is vital to optimizing your monitor’s performance. Numerous panel types exist, but TN, IPS, and VA are the most prevalent.
- TN panels have the quickest response time but the least accurate color reproduction.
- IPS panels provide more accurate color reproduction than TN panels but have slower response times.
- VA panels provide the most accurate color reproduction but have the slowest response times.
Apple’s Retina Display employs an IPS panel, so the panel type of your MacBook’s external monitor should likely also be a backlit IPS. This will provide the highest image quality and widest viewing angles. The LG 38WN95C-W and the BenQ PD3220U are two of the most effective monitors for a Mac.
Screen resolution refers to the number of pixels that can be displayed on a screen and significantly impact the display quality. In other words, the screen resolution dictates the clarity and sharpness of the images.
- If you’re using a monitor for general tasks, 1920×1080 resolution should be sufficient.
- For photo or video editing, a higher resolution is required, such as 2560×1440 or 4096×2160.
- You need the highest resolution a gaming monitor can support.
In addition to your use case, factors such as monitor distance and screen size determine the optimal screen resolution for you. Note that a higher screen resolution will improve image quality but necessitate a more powerful GPU for proper operation.
7. Screen Size
Most monitors on the market today have a width-to-height ratio of 16:9. If a monitor’s width is 16 inches, its height will be 9 inches. It will have a diagonal measurement of 18.4 inches, and since monitors are referred to by their diagonal size, it will be referred to as an 18-inch monitor.
Importantly, if you increase the diagonal size by three inches, you will end up with a monitor that is roughly 19 inches wide and 11 inches tall. Carefully select the appropriate size for your Mac. If you believe that a 22-inch monitor will be too small for you, you should reconsider and measure the size of your desk setup first.
8. Use Case
Your use case will determine the type of monitor you require. There are three primary categories of computer users: novices, professionals, and gamers.
- Casual Users: These users use their Macs for everyday tasks such as browsing the web, checking email, and writing documents. For these users, the monitor’s price and screen size are likely to be the most important considerations.
- Professionals: These individuals use their Macs for more complex tasks, such as photo and video editing. They are likely willing to pay more for a high-end monitor with features such as a high resolution and support for multiple input formats.
- Gamers:Gamers prioritize performance but also require a monitor with low input lag and high refresh rate support. Moreover, many gamers favor monitors with large screen sizes and ultra-wide aspect ratios.
Select Displays in System Preferences -> Displays. Select the tab ‘Arrangement.’ Click on the white bar at the top of the current primary display to access the navigation menu. The white bar can be dragged to the monitor, serving as the new primary display.
If you purchase a monitor with only HDMI or DisplayPort interfaces, you will need an adapter to connect it to a Mac with a Thunderbolt port. Apple provides a list of the ports included on the most recent Mac models so you can determine which ones you require.
Your MacBook Pro is compatible with an external display, such as the Apple Studio Display, a projector, or an HDTV. Your 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro’s HDMI and Thunderbolt ports support video output.
Connect an HDMI display or HDTV: Connect the HDTV to a Thunderbolt / USB 4 port on your MacBook Air using a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. Connect a USB-C display to your MacBook Air to a Thunderbolt / USB 4 port.
Monitors manufactured by HP are not supported in a Mac environment. However, newer Macs utilize graphics with VESA modes and can display to most HP LCD monitors. To accomplish this, connect the monitor to the Mac while it is off, and then turn on the Mac.
Yes, Dell Display Manager for Mac is currently available. The supported versions of macOS and Apple products include 10.14, 10.15, and 11.
You can connect four external displays to your Mac using the Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) and HDMI ports on MacBook Pro. Using the Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) and HDMI ports located on the rear of Mac Studio, you can connect up to five external displays to your Mac.
Since both types have advantages and disadvantages, everything depends on your needs.
Curved 5K monitors are more immersive and have a wider field of view. On the other hand, flat screens are more suitable for specialists who work on multiple screens and, by the way, they are cheaper.
This is an important consideration when searching for monitors compatible with MacBook Pro. Mac computers can connect to an HDTV, display, or other HDMI devices via an HDMI cable or adapter.
The iMac with Thunderbolt can be used as an external monitor. The iMac will play audio and video from the other Mac.
All you have to do is to connect the Thunderbolt cable to the Thunderbolt ports on both Macs. Both Macs should be powered on and awake—Press F2 on the external iMac display to conclude.
We now favor larger screens for both entertainment and work purposes. This list of the best monitors for M1 MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air attempts to cover all bases, whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or work with multiple tabs.
You should consider curved models if you are looking for the best display for a MacBook. Although curved 5K monitors have recently gained popularity, the best curved 5K monitor may offer technical advancements and a natural viewing experience. In addition, it is preferable to have a monitor cover to prevent scratches.
Do you utilize FHD, 4K, or 6K monitors for work or recreation? How have you found using external monitors with your Mac? Please indicate below in the comment section.