This article was last updated by Alex Blake, a Digital Trends employee, on June 2, 2020.
The displays on Apple's MacBook Pros are great, but notebooks can never quite do justice to the size and functionality of working or viewing media on a large desktop display. After reviewing over 100 of the top monitors from the best brands, we know a thing or two about what works well with Apple's MacBook Pro. Our top recommendation is the breathtaking BenQ PD3200U with a large display and 4K resolution.
While Apple has its own Pro Display XDR, it's an ultra-high-end display for professionals that starts at a whopping $ 4,999 – without the $ 999 level. If you need something more down-to-earth that still delivers fantastic performance without breaking the bank, these are the best monitors you can pair with your MacBook Pro.
The best monitor for the MacBook Pro at a glance
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
The BenQ PD3200U has created our list of the best MacBook Pro accessories. No wonder he takes first place here. With a diagonal of 32 inches and a 4K resolution, it is a huge display with tons of screen space. This gives you plenty of room for productivity, although working near a large screen can take some getting used to. Once you've done this, you'll appreciate how beautiful this display looks.
This BenQ monitor was built with an IPS panel for fantastic color accuracy and has a response time of 4 ms, so it can handle both gaming sessions and detailed work. BenQ's Eye Care technology ensures less blue light and flickering and makes use over longer periods of time more comfortable.
If the price is a little rich or you think the resolution is over the top, there is a much cheaper onealso available, with all the same specifications and functions otherwise.
Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q
If you are looking for a crisp 4K display, the Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q is one of our top rated options. It packs a 3840 x 2160 resolution into a 27-inch screen and gives you an incredibly sharp picture.
It also excels in other areas. The contrast ratio of 1,300: 1 is fantastic and gives you deep black that never feels dull or washed out. The panel uses IPS technology for first-class viewing angles and color rendering. Speaking of color: Dell's display achieves 99% of the sRGB color gamut and 95% of the P3 color gamut that Apple uses on its own screens.
You get two USB-C ports with a power of up to 90 W to charge your MacBook. There are also three USB-A ports, a DisplayPort slot and an HDMI port, giving you plenty of options for connecting your devices.
The best thing is that the Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q is available at a competitive price. So you don't have to break the bank to get a great 4K experience.
Dan Baker / Digital Trends
The Dell S2719DC is the absolute beauty of a monitor. Not only does it have slim bezels around the edges, it is – surprisingly – as thin as an iPhone. Wrapped in elegant aluminum and like an image of class and sophistication, it is an exciting monitor that causes a stir wherever you use it.
But it's not just a pretty face. The S2719DC has a USB-C port, which allows you to charge your device (up to 45 W) and transmit videos at the same time. The 1440p display is stunning with an astonishing 418 nits of brightness (one of the highest values we have ever tested on a monitor) and at the same time meets the VESA DisplayHDR 600 standard, making it perfect for HDR content. It does all of this while being incredibly light and portable.
The only downside is the 45W charging capacity – this isn't enough to handle the most powerful MacBook models at full tilt, so the battery can drain under certain circumstances. This isn't a problem with the MacBook Air or the low-end MacBook Pro 13, but it may be a problem with the high-end Pro 13, and it will definitely be a problem with the MacBook Pro 16.
Nevertheless, the Dell S2719DC gives your desk a touch of elegance and fits exactly with your other Apple kit. It's a sleek monitor that works well with Apple's thinnest laptops.
LG 27MD5KA – B.
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
LG's 27MD5KA-B is both stunning and the most expensive display on our list. It is the only product listed here that is designed specifically for the MacBook Pro. This means that it is highly compatible and easy to use.
It not only works immediately, but also charges your laptop immediately. MacOS automatically recognizes and configures the monitor as a second display. If you later disconnect and reconnect, all of your windows and apps will be reactivated.
With an astonishing resolution of 5,120 x 2,880, this monitor even makes 4K displays appear deficient in terms of pixel density – especially since they are housed in a 27-inch format. Additional functions include a USB-C upstream connection (Thunderbolt 3), three USB-C downstream connections, two five-watt speakers and a maximum brightness of 500 nits.
However, there are some color accuracy and design issues that are not as attractive as the other LG entry in this list. Nevertheless, this display is sublime in appearance.
4K displays may be cheaper than ever before, but you will still find many great monitors with a lower resolution and a lower price. The Acer H277HU is a good example: a 27-inch panel that looks great with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 at 60 Hz.
With a response time of only 4 ms, it is surprisingly lively for an IPS panel. The slim bezel makes it an attractive addition to your home or office from any angle. It has a decent maximum brightness of 350 nits.
This affordable panel includes two USB-A, one USB-C, one HDMI and one DisplayPort connector. Two three-watt speakers with DTS sound technology are mounted under the panel, but they do not contain a headphone jack.