Adding an external monitor to your workflow can increase productivity and offer upgraded specs to leverage as you play games, edit footage and crack on with day-to-day work. You likely already have one of the best MacBook laptops that money can buy, so why not pair it with one of the best monitors for MacBooks too.
There are plenty of considerations to be made, such as how much you’d like to spend, what your main goals are and what screen size you’d like. Never fear, though; here at Gear Nuke, we’ve done our research and found some attractive picks for the best monitors for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
Here are the best MacBook Monitors for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air right now:
- Apple Studio Display
- Samsung M80B Smart Monitor
- Apple Pro Display XDR
- AOC Gaming Monitor CU34G2X/BK
- Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor
1. Apple Studio Display
If you’re looking to add a feature-rich monitor to your set-up whilst staying within the Apple ecosystem, you can’t do much better than the 27-inch Studio Display. Expect to pay $1,599 (£1,499).
The Studio Display benefits from its True Tone feature, which uses ambient light to adjust screen color temperature, and this combines with its Anti Reflective coating to make your viewing experience comfortable over long study sessions or workdays.
With a built-in 12MP webcam and three-mic array, you can also make calls, run meetings and take classes, all without having to invest in expensive external audio peripherals. Whether you’re listening to music or streaming video content, the Studio Display’s six built-in speakers boost the resonance of your audio, too, making effective use of Apple’s spatial audio systems.
The Studio Display also offers some additional customizable stand options, like a tilt-and-height adjustable stand that can add a lot of maneuverability, though this option comes at an additional cost. Bear in mind, though, if you already own a 3rd-party stand and want to use that with the monitor, you would need to verify whether it would work with Apple’s VESA mount adapter and make that additional purchase.
2. Samsung M80B Smart Monitor
Samsung’s M80B Smart Monitor marries the technology of a Smart TV with the additional functionality of a 32-inch display, providing users with a versatile screen at a reasonable price. Expect to pay $699 (£699).
The M80B comes in a range of four distinct colors, which is great if you’re seeking a more bespoke design without compromising on cost.
Once all the work is done, you can disconnect and kick back with inbuilt apps like YouTube, Netflix and more. Students seeking an all-rounder solution for living in dorms may find this an extremely handy way to make the most of smaller spaces. Its UHD screen makes sure that whatever mode you’re using the M80D in, the display will be bright and clear.
3. Apple Pro Display XDR
If you like the look of the Studio Display but are a power user looking for something even more professional and powerful, the Apple Pro Display XDR is the final boss of MacBook Air & Pro monitors. Expect to pay $4,999 (£4,599)
This incredible screen boasts an impressive 32-inch screen with a vibrant 6K resolution. Even with its lofty price tag, this is a beast that is worth considering if you don’t want to compromise.
Much like the Studio Display, this upgraded version includes True Tone technology and anti-reflective coating but is also nearly three times brighter. And, when you’re ready to share your work, Apple’s polarizer technology ensures that wherever your coworkers are sitting in relation to your screen, they’ll have a crisp, clean viewing angle free of distortion.
It’s important to note with the Pro Display XDR that the base version doesn’t come with a stand. You’ll have to purchase a VESA mount adapter, or Pro stand for an additional cost. If you were looking at investing in the XDR display but aren’t interested in paying for Apple’s own stand, you will still need to purchase the VESA mount adapter and check 3rd-party stands for compatibility within that system.
4. AOC Gaming Monitor CU34G2X/BK
Gaming, even on a MacBook Pro, may not be something you’re used to hearing about in a positive light but a new wave of support from developers has made running high-quality games more straightforward on silicon systems. Expect to pay $499 (£499).
As an example, Bloober Team’s psychological horror game Layers of Fear just announced that it would launch with Mac silicon support – so the tides are turning, albeit slowly.
The AOC Gaming Monitor CU34G2X/BK is one of the best MacBook monitors for those seeking a versatile display that can crossover between work and play. Notably, the AOC Monitor features Freesync technology, which works to prevent screen tearing and stuttering, so as you play high-intensity streaming content or video games, your screen can keep up.
Boasting an impressive 144 Hz refresh rate, this monitor is kind on the eyes and perfect for climbing the ranks in competitive online multiplayer games. On-screen content also benefits from the AOC Ultrawide aspect ratio, giving you an impressive field of view during gameplay as well as extra room for multitasking.
5. Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor
The Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor is committed to display quality first and foremost, boasting a huge range of technical features that make using its near-borderless screen a delightful experience. Expect to pay $779 (£620).
Coming in at an impressive 27 inches, the Dell UltraSharp touts the first IPS Black Technology, which utilizes a 2000:1 contrast ratio to make on-screen 4K content incredibly vibrant and crisp for the viewer.
These features are a boon for creatives who want to upgrade what the MacBook’s display has to offer whilst still engaging with Apple’s powerful operating system. ComfortView Plus is another nice touch that allows your monitor to adapt its temperature profile throughout the day to mitigate blue light emissions. Where traditional blue light filters may tinge your screen with warmer yellow tones, this clever tool keeps the screen cool while protecting your eyes.
Hopefully, our list of the best monitors for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air has helped you pick the right display to suit your needs. It’s worth considering as you pore over our list that not all monitors will come with connection cables. So, if you are buying any of these products online, you may need to purchase the appropriate wires or an external USB-C hub to connect your MacBook to your external display.