Best monitor for MacBook Pro in 2021

The USB-C monitor market is expanding rapidly, and with that growth comes a massive benefit for MacBook Pro and even MacBook Air users as it gives them more options to pick and choose the monitor that best suits their needs. In the past, the lack of an HDMI port on the MacBook Pro limited options for users and added the expense of an external docking station with an HDMI port so users could use their old monitors. Now with Thunderbolt 3 ports available on the MacBook Pro (along with the MacBook Air), Mac users can simply connect to any monitor with a USB-C input and ditch the hub or dongle life.

Another advantage of using a USB-C monitor is that most come with additional ports and acts like a defacto docking station, saving you from purchasing another device. In theory, this lets you set up multiple monitors though there have been some issues reported with doing so, specifically on the MacBook Pro with M1. That’s why we’ve done your homework for you and have put together a list of the monitors that work best with the Mac ecosystem.

Why buy a USB-C monitor?

You may be wondering why I would need a USB-C monitor for my MacBook Pro. Yes, the display is fantastic but bigger is usually better when dealing with graphics, video, images, and definitely when gaming. The MacBook Pro’s native resolution is 3072 x 1920 and when you’re working on video edits or images, that 4K capability makes a huge difference in clarity especially when color grading. Another advantage to using a USB-C monitor with your MacBook Pro is higher refresh rates. The MacBook Pro’s refresh rate is 60Hz and you can find monitors that connect to your MacBook with refresh rates as high as 144Hz which comes in handy when you’re gaming or editing high frame rate video. 

I’m sure you’re still thinking, who are you to tell me what to buy? We are the crack staff at Laptop, along with our mad scientist in the lab who do all the due diligence in advance to help you select what best suits your needs. So let me break it down to you. 

Besides the advantage of a larger screen or 4K, one of the main advantages most USB-C monitors have is the ability to use one connection for video, data, and charging, which is a game-changer as it frees up space in your work area and ports on your MacBook Pro. The other advantage is that most USB-C monitors also act as docking hubs and tend to have multiple USB, HDMI, Display Port, and audio ports. Some even come with built-in cameras and speakers.

Sometimes, users have more peripherals than their laptops have ports to support. A good USB-C monitor will allow you to use one cable from your Mac to connect to your monitor, which will enable you to easily connect multiple devices through the monitor, freeing up desk space and extending the capabilities of your computer. Plus, the ability to charge your MacBook Pro once you’re connected is a huge bonus and means there’s no need to carry the laptop’s charger with you, which can often be bulky and cumbersome.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)1. HP E27d G4 monitor

Display: 21 inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Max Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms

Today’s best HP E27d G4 27″ deals

Bright, vivid matte screen

100W power delivery via USB-C

Plenty of ports

Flexible design

Slim bezels

Built-in IR camera

Pricey

Poor webcam quality

No internal speakers

The HP E27d G4 is a great monitor for mobile professionals looking to upgrade their home offices. What it lacks in top-tier specs is offset with enterprise features, like an anti-glare panel, IR camera for facial recognition and 100W power delivery. 

Those additions make the E27d a practical option. Just plug in your laptop with the included USB-C cable then use the IR webcam to instantly log in. From there, enjoy the bright and vivid reflection-free 27-inch screen all while your laptop is being charged. On top of that ease of use, the E27d has a built-in Ethernet port and the arm is extremely adjustable, allowing you to orient the display in portrait mode.

See our full HP E27d G4 monitor review

(Image credit: Dell)2. Dell Ultrasharp 27 4K U2720Q

Display: 27 Inches | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Max Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time : 5ms

Native 4K Resolution

Wide Color Gamut coverage

Good port Selection

Flexible design

Could be brighter

With a beautiful 4K panel focused on color accuracy, a very user-friendly amount of adjustability, and an ergonomically pleasing design, the fact that the Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Monitor (U2720Q) only costs $539 is shocking. Targeting creative professionals and people that place a high value on productivity, the monitor has a healthy amount of ports, which create a productivity-enhancing atmosphere for those working with high-end color graphics, photos, and video.

The Dell Ultrasharp 27 4K U2720Q is a business workflow beast. The monitor offers many connection options with its wide array of ports. It even has the ability to charge your laptops and devices as you move around the office. Its accurate color reproduction is a thing of beauty and makes the monitor a great option for any office, small business, or content creators seeking a leg up. 

See our full Dell Ultrasharp 27 U2720Q review

(Image credit: Future)3. Razer Raptor 27

The best overall gaming monitor you can buy

Display: 27-inch (2560 x 1440) | Max Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 1ms | Adaptive Sync: G-Sync, FreeSync | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Panel Type: IPS | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI

Vivid, bright 144-Hz display

HDR400 support

Sleek design

Clever cable management and port access

No VESA mount

The Razer Raptor 27 sports a 27-inch, 2560 x 1400 panel that covers 162.1% of the sRGB color gamut and emits 295 nits of brightness, which was vibrant and vivid in person. In terms of performance, it has a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a 1-millisecond response time. 

The IPS panel supports HDR400, and it comes with a few display presets, such as FPS Game, Racing Game, MMO Game, streaming and default. Razer packs bright green flat cables with the monitor, and those line up with grooves in the back that help with wire management. Top that off with its modern, sleek and glowing design with some subtle RGB flair, this is easily one of the best-looking monitors and among the best gaming monitors you can buy.

See our full Razer Raptor 27 review.

(Image credit: Asus)4. Asus Designo MX27UC 27-Inch Monitor

Display: 27 Inches | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Max Refresh Rate: 75Hz | Response Time: 5ms

ASUS Eye Care technology minimizes eye fatigue

Rich speaker system

Poor customer service

Pricey

You can stare at this screen all day — literally. Thanks to Asus Eye Care technology, which reduces eye strain, you can work for hours in relative comfort. Now, you can use those sweet peepers of yours to admire your uncluttered, single-cable setup. The USB Type-C port gives you power delivery, 4K video and data transmission. Dual 3-watt speakers paired with optimized sound will impress the average user and deliver the rich, spacious sound audiophiles crave. 

An elegant, icicle-gold finish encompasses the whole package and complements premium laptops such as a gold MacBook Pro. If you’re looking for a monitor with USB-C functionality, impressive external speakers and a slick aesthetic, look no further than Asus’ Designo. 

(Image credit: BenQ)5. BenQ EW3270U monitor

Display: 31.5 Inches | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Max Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms

Gaming-optimized monitor

No power provided from USB-C

Offering the ability to adjust brightness and color temperature based on the content on screen and ambient light conditions, the BenQ EW3270U will ensure that your games will always be optimized. FreeSync guarantees the smoothest graphics at all times. For games in which every detail is important and stutter must be avoided, BenQ provides a solid display that would be ranked even higher with the addition of power delivery.

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