Best Mac monitors and displays 2023

The monitor might be the most important part of your Mac’s setup–after all, you can’t use any computer without one. Because you’ll spend a lot of time looking at it, you’ll want to invest wisely. Not only will you want a monitor that provides a pleasing experience, but the quality of the images on the screen can also affect your work.

However, picking a new monitor can be daunting. Not only are there lots of manufacturers to choose from, but there are also lots of sizes, resolutions, and features to consider–and when we say lots, we mean lots. We’re here to help guide you while you shop, and we have some tips on what to look for in a monitor.

Apple sells displays for its Macs, and you could go with its offerings, but its displays are a quite bit more expensive than what third parties have. Buying from a different company may mean you may not get a feature that Apple offers, but then it may also be a feature that you don’t need, depending on how you use the monitor. Note there are compatibility issues for M1 Macs. We have a guide to monitors for M1 Macs and what you need to know before buying.

Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that have great monitors that you can use with your Mac, without having to take out a second mortgage. Our sister publications TechAdvisor and PCWorld have tested several displays, and we list their top-rated ones that we have been able to confirm work with Macs, alongside the monitors we have reviewed below. Here are our recommendations in alphabetical order.

If you are looking for a deal on a new display check out our best Mac monitor deals.

Updated 31 January 2023 to add Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.

Best Mac monitors: Recommendations

Apple Pro Display XDR – Apple’s top-end professional 6K display

Apple Pro Display XDR – Apple's top-end professional 6K display


  • Phenomenally well-specced
  • Peak brightness of 1,600 nits, stunning picture quality


  • Seriously expensive (but this isn’t a consumer display)
  • Stand not included

Size: 32-inch

Resolution: 6K (6016×3384 pixels)

Connections: Thunderbolt 3 (96W PD), 3x USB-C

Stand: Height, Tilt, Rotation stand extra $999/£949

Apple’s highly specced Pro Display XDR is a stunning piece of engineering, and we found it hard to find fault with the picture quality and colour output, but at that price and with these features this is a display for a very specific audience. 

The XDR is phenomenally well-specced: it’s 32in and 6K, offering 40 percent more screen space than Apple’s 5K displays, and offers a peak brightness of 1,600 nits (or 1,000 sustained). But it comes with a seriously eye-watering price tag, especially if you want to include the Pro Stand for adjustability and pivoting.

While this is an expensive monitor by consumer standards, but it really isn’t a consumer monitor. It’s intended for a professional audience.

Picture quality is maintained at ultrawide viewing angles, thanks to industry-leading polariser technology. This is so that a creative team can gather round a single monitor and evaluate a photo, video or design project without suffering a loss of consistency.

Connected via Thunderbolt, it can charge a MacBook at up to 96W.

Read our full Review Apple Pro Display XDR

Samsung M8 Smart Monitor – Best budget option for Mac users

Samsung M8 Smart Monitor - Best budget option for Mac users


  • Great price
  • Bright, colourful 32-inch display
  • Built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and AirPlay
  • Adjustable stand (tilt and height


  • Plastic casing feels a little flimsy
  • No Ethernet

Size: 32-inch

Resolution: 4K (3840×2160 pixels)

Connections: Micro-HDMI (with HDMI adaptor), 1x USB-C (video), 1x USB-C peripherals, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 5, AirPlay

Stand: Tilt and height adjustable (included)

Samsung cleverly unveiled its M8 smart monitor right after the launch of Apple’s 27-inch Studio Display, which was widely criticized for its high price tag. In contrast, the M8 provides a larger 32-inch display with 4K resolution for just £699/$699 – and, unlike the Studio Display, it also allows you to adjust the height of the screen without paying an extra £400/$400.

Admittedly, the M8 isn’t designed for professional users, as it doesn’t support the Adobe RGB colour standard for graphic design, or the DCI-P3 standard used for professional-level video-editing. However, it does support the sRGB standard and HDR10, and produces a bright, colourful image that will work well for general office work and web browsing, as well as streaming video and simple graphics and photo-editing work. It’s particularly well suited for entertainment as it uses Samsung’s Linux-based Tizen operating system to run a number of built-in apps for Netflix, YouTube – and even Apple TV+ too.

It’s well connected too, providing both USB-C and micro-HDMI for connecting to computers and other devices, such as an AppleTV box (with a full-size HDMI adaptor also included). The M8 also includes dual-band Wi-Fi 5 for connecting to the Internet and streaming services, along with Bluetooth so that you can control its built-in apps with a keyboard and mouse, or connect Bluetooth headphones or speakers. It even supports Apple’s AirPlay, so that you can use it with AirPlay speakers such as the new HomePod, and there’s a detachable 1080p webcam included too.

The original 32-inch version of the M8 had the model number M80B (and you may see some good deals on that model), but Samsung has just announced an update called the M80C, with an improved webcam and support for the new Matter standard for controlling smart devices such as lights and security cameras. There’s also a less expensive 27-inch model due for release early in 2023.

Apple Studio Display – Apple’s ‘affordable’ 5K production monitor

Apple Studio Display – Apple's 'affordable' 5K production monitor


  • Handsome design
  • Good image quality
  • Impressive spatial audio
  • 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage


  • High starting price and costly upgrades
  • No HDR or ProMotion
  • Changing stand after purchase requires a service call

Size: 27-inch

Resolution: 5K (5120×2880 pixels)

Connections: Thunderbolt 3 (96W PD), 3x USB-C

Stand: Tilt. Height-adjustable stand extra $400/£400

As a production display, the Studio Display is still expensive but is an affordable alternative to the Pro Display XDR. Buyers will enjoy its handsome design, good image quality, and impressive spatial audio, but you can save a lot of money by going with a non-Apple display.

Apple displays have always produced very good image quality, and the Studio Display continues that tradition. Colors are rich, contrast is good, and the brightness is suitable for most tasks.

The Studio Display has a tilt-adjustable stand, but it does not pivot between landscape and portrait modes, like the Pro Display XDR. You can get a stand that provides about four inches of height adjustment but it doesn’t come cheap. The price tag for the tilt- and height-adjustable stand is a whopping $400/£400 more.

The Studio Display has six speakers (four force-canceling woofers, and two high-performance tweeters) that sound better than any display we’ve used.

Connected via Thunderbolt, it can charge a MacBook at up to 96W.

Read our full Review Apple Studio Display

Alogic Clarity 27in UHD 4K Monitor – More affordable classy 4K display

Alogic Clarity 27in UHD 4K Monitor – More affordable classy 4K display


  • Impressive 4K 60Hz screen
  • Fantastic adjustable stand
  • Built-in USB hub


  • 4K not 5K
  • USB-C rather than Thunderbolt connection
  • Hub doesn’t daisy-chain extra displays

Size: 27-inch

Resolution: 4K (3840×2160 pixels)

Connections: USB-C (90W PD), USB-B, 2x HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt, Swivel, Rotation

The Alogic Clarity is a stunning looking 27-inch display with built-in hub and a fantastic height-adjustable, tilt and pivot stand. It will appeal to Mac users with its Apple looks and is even, in some ways, a superior monitor to Apple’s own Studio Display, although its 4K resolution isn’t as sharp as Apple’s 5K screen.

The stand is one of the best we’ve seen, and easily beats Apple’s standard monitor stand.

It features multiple display connections and can power your MacBook at up to 90W via either USB-C or USB-B.

Read our full Review Alogic Clarity 27in UHD 4K Monitor

Dell Ultrasharp U2421E — Stylish USB-C 24-inch HD screen

Dell Ultrasharp U2421E — Stylish USB-C 24-inch HD screen


  • USB docking station
  • Versatile design
  • Good quality display
  • USB-C hub with 90 watts of power 


  • Limited brightness
  • Weedy speakers

Size: 24.1-inch

Resolution: HD (1920×1200 pixels)

Connections: USB-C (90W PD), HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt, Swivel, Rotation

The sylish Dell Ultrasharp U2421E is a slick design perfect for those with a USB-C/Thunderbolt charged MacBook, as the docking station features are handy. The colour range is also good, and while the price is high for this resolution and size, there are cheaper prices available online—check the latest prices above.

It’s big enough for general office work and a nice option for those who use a laptop as their daily workhorse.

it looks professional and almost Apple-ish, and the support arm allows it to pivot and tilt extensively. It’s also got decent colour representation with close to 100% sRGB coverage and 83% of the P3 colour space.

Connected via USB-C, it can charge a MacBook at up to 90W.

Asus ProArt PA279CV – 4K for the budget-conscious

Asus ProArt PA279CV - 4K for the budget-conscious


  • Accurate image
  • High maximum brightness
  • Menu settings allow calibration
  • USB-C hub with 65 watts of power 
  • Competitive price


  • Unimpressive design
  • Luminance uniformity could be better
  • HDR is bright but otherwise falls short

Size: 27-inch

Resolution: 4K (3840×2160 pixels)

Connections: USB-C (65W PD), 2x HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt, Swivel, Rotation

The Asus ProArt PA279CV

The Asus ProArt PA279CV is a 4K monitor that offers accurate color and important “pro” features such as accurate gamma presets. It even has USB-C connectivity, making it an excellent choice for creators looking to upgrade from their laptop display.

It’s not a great-looking monitor, with larger than average display bevels on the plasticky chassis. It’s not luxurious but it’s fine for an office or workstation.

Asus’ ProArt PA279CV is a sensible choice for content creators who want a color accurate 4K monitor but don’t want to clean out their savings account.

Connected via USB-C, it can charge a MacBook at up to 65W—enough for a MacBook Air or 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Acer Nitro XV272 – Color-accurate HD on a budget

Acer Nitro XV272 - Color-accurate HD on a budget


  • Very accurate color  
  • Great out-of-box image quality 
  • Good range of image adjustments 
  • Smooth, clear motion performance


  • Expensive for a 1080p monitor 
  • Bland, basic design  
  • Modest SDR brightness
  • No USB-C Power Delivery

Size: 27-inch

Resolution: HD (1920×1080 pixels)

Connections: 2x HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt, Swivel, Rotation

Acer’s Nitro XV272 costs more than a lot of 1080p monitors, but the IPS, 165Hz screen provides above-average image quality, excellent color accuracy and motion performance, and a full range of monitor-stand adjustments and a generous array of ports make it worth the cost.

It also has three video inputs, four USB ports, and a stand that feels a bit cheap but offers numerous ergonomic adjustments. These features signal that the Nitro XV272, though not expensive, is a cut above entry-level 1080p monitors.

It lacks a USB-C with Power Delivery port, so won’t charge your MacBook.

Dell U3223QE – Large-screen with 4K resolution

Dell U3223QE - Large-screen with 4K resolution


  • IPS Black panel fulfils its promise 
  • Accurate color with wide gamut 
  • High brightness in SDR  
  • USB-C hub with 90 watts of power 


  • Edges of display are noticeably bright 
  • HDR performance disappoints 
  • Only a 60Hz panel

Size: 31.5inch

Resolution: 4K (3840×2160 pixels)

Connections: USB-C (90W PD), HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt, Swivel, Rotation

The Dell U3223QE uses LG’s IPS Black tech to deliver a top-notch, professional-level, 31.5-inch 4K display with a built-in USB-C hub. 

It retains the great color performance high-end IPS panel monitors are known for, and, to sweeten the deal, provides crisp 4K resolution.

But there’s more to the U3223QE than the panel. It’s also a fantastic business, productivity, and professional monitor loaded with image-quality options and a king’s buffet of connectivity.

The stand adjusts for height, tilt, and swivel—features that shoppers expect at this price. However, it throws in a bonus: It can pivot 90 degrees for use in portrait mode. This is rare for a 32-inch monitor, as most stands lack the height to allow it.

The USB-C hub is crammed to the gills with connectivity. This includes multiple USB-C ports, one of which can handle up to 90 watts of Power Delivery, five USB-A ports, and ethernet.

Connected via USB-C, it can charge a MacBook at up to 90W.

Alienware AW3423DW – Ultrawide with high refresh rate

Alienware AW3423DW - Ultrawide with high refresh rate


  • Class-leading contrast and black levels
  • Excellent color accuracy and wide color gamut
  • High refresh rate with crisp motion
  • Attractive and sturdy design
  • Fantastic warranty


  • Stand is too large
  • No USB-C Power Delivery
  • HDR performance is mixed
  • Text clarity could be better

Size: 34.18-inch

Resolution: HD (3440×1440 pixels)

Connections: USB-B, USB-A, 2x HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt, Swivel

The Alienware AW3423DW makes every other 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor obsolete. It’s also a somewhat flawed display that won’t be ideal for everyone.

PC gamers will love this monitor. SDR image quality is great straight out of the box, providing a sense of dimensionality and realism that’s a cut above the competition.

A massive stand keeps the monitor planted and adjusts for height, tilt, and swivel. It feels nice in-hand thanks to its heft and smooth, high-quality plastic cladding, but it’s less practical than it looks. The stand’s legs sweep forward, eating into desk space, and the stand’s neck is deep.

It lacks a USB-C with Power Delivery port, so won’t charge your MacBook.

Gigabyte M27Q X – Affordable 27-inch HD monitor

Gigabyte M27Q X - Affordable 27-inch HD monitor


  • Massive color gamut and great color accuracy 
  • Excellent motion clarity at 240Hz 
  • Value pricing for a 1440p 240Hz monitor


  • Unimpressive build quality 
  • Stand only adjusts for height and tilt 
  • KVM feature is not impressive
  • USB-C but weak power delivery

Size: 27-inch

Resolution: HD (2560×1440 pixels)

Connections: USB-C (18W PD), 2x HDMI, DisplayPort

Stand: Height, Tilt

Gigabyte’s M27Q X doesn’t look like much out of the box, but this 1440p/240Hz IPS panel delivers a superb media experience where it counts, with excellent motion clarity and stunning image quality for an HD screen.

The stand adjusts for height and tilt but doesn’t swivel and can’t pivot 90 degrees for use in portrait orientation. And the chassis isn’t much to look at either.

It delivers bright, vivid image quality, but while it includes a USB-C upstream port, the power delivery is a mere 18W, which is nowhere near enough to charge a laptop, so you’ll still need to charge your MacBook with a charging cable or Mac docking station.

How to choose a Mac monitor

Display technology is a bit of a movable feast, with a lot of confusing jargon and technical features to wade through, as well as a variety of different interfaces and cables that are used by Apple itself and the various monitor manufacturers. So it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the factors that you need to think about when buying a monitor for your Mac.

Screen size

Size isn’t everything, as the saying goes, but it’s a good place to start. Your decision will be influenced by how much desk space you have, and how comfortable you are while using the display. Some people think that a big screen is best, but then when they start to use it daily, they find that it’s too big. And the same goes for customers who think a small screen is best.

If you’re looking for a size to start with for your own personal research, we recommend 24 inches—just like with Apple’s iMac. That seems like a good size for most people, and it’s easy to go up or down from that point. Most people tend to go between 24 and 27 inches for home use.

For professionals—graphics, video, audio, even spreadsheets—a large screen will help you be more productive. Think 27 inches and higher. You’ll be able to fit more elements on the screen and not waste your time scrolling.

If on-screen real estate is valuable to you, consider a multi-display setup. A smaller screen can be used for things like chat, email, web, and more, while the bigger screen is your main workspace. Or get screens of the same size and maximize the space.

Screen resolution

Screen resolution can go hand-in-hand with screen size. Screen resolution refers to the number of pixels used to create what you see on the screen. The higher the resolution, the more detail you can see. Larger displays tend to have more resolution options, as well as the ability to support higher resolutions.

Often, when you find two displays that are the same size but have a wide price difference, it’s mostly because of the screen resolution. Monitors with high resolutions are more expensive. For example, Apple’s $1,599 Studio Display is 27 inches, and it has a high screen resolution of 5120×2880 (5K resolution). On the other hand, LG sells the 27-inch 27UK650-W, but it’s a 3840×2160 (4K) resolution display for content creators, and it’s $350–lower resolution, but $1,249 cheaper. (There actually aren’t other 27-inch 5K monitors available, except for the $1,449 LG UltraFine 27MD5KL-B.)

So what screen resolution should you get? Here are some suggestions; these are guidelines that you can adjust based on your preferences.

  • For general purpose use, such as web browsing, email, media viewing, small photo and video projects and viewing: 1920×1080 or 2560×1440 (HD)
  • For more-involved content creation, productivity, and media viewing: 3840×2160 (4K)
  • For pro-level content creation, productivity, and media viewing: 4K or higher

Connecting to a Mac

How a monitor connects to a Mac can be confusing. The traditional HDMI and DisplayPort connectors used by many monitors are being replaced–or complemented–by USB-C and Thunderbolt ports. And though USB-C and Thunderbolt cables may look the same, there are actually some important technical differences between them, so it’s important to check which ports your new monitor uses and make sure you buy the correct cables and adapters.

Most recent Mac models have Thunderbolt ports, so if you buy a monitor that has HDMI or DisplayPort interfaces only, then you’ll need an adapter to connect to the Mac. This can get a bit confusing, but Apple does provide a list of the ports included on most recent Mac models so that you can figure out what you need.

Apple also provides a guide to HDMI and DisplayPort technology, which covers Mac models going right back to 2008, so that should provide all the info you need for all the Macs you use at home or at work. Less expensive monitors still tend to use HDMI and DisplayPort, and while it’s not too costly to buy adapters that will allow you to connect your Mac, we reckon it’s worth future-proofing your new monitor by getting one that includes at least one USB-C or Thunderbolt port.

If a display uses Thunderbolt to connect to the Mac, it may have additional USB-C or Thunderbolt ports so the display can act as a hub. In this case, If you have a device you want to connect to your Mac, you can connect it to one of the ports on the monitor, which is already connected to the Mac and probably in an easier location for access.

Look for a USB-C or Thunderbolt connection with power delivery (PD) that can charge your MacBook. A 65W PD will be enough for a MacBook Air or 14-inch MacBook Pro, but you’ll need at least 90W for a 15-inch or 16-inch Pro.

Read our article on how to connect a second screen to a Mac which explains everything you need to know about how to identify which ports you have, the adapters you will require, and how to set things up.


If you’re going to spend a lot of time sitting at a desk looking at your lovely new display then you need to keep ergonomics in mind. The ability to tilt the angle of the monitor back and forth, swivel it around for easy viewing, and adjust the height of the monitor in order to avoid an aching back or neck.

Some monitors can pivot or rotate in either landscape or portrait mode.

As a rough guide, there is a point at about 2 to 3 inches from the top of the screen that should be at eye level. Obviously, eye level varies from one person to another, so it’s important that you can adjust the screen for your own personal comfort. You may also prefer a monitor that doesn’t suffer from glare, or you will be forever repositioning the monitor (or your head) to compensate for that.

Other considerations

There are other considerations you’ll want to make when shopping for a monitor. A lot of these come down to personal preference or what you need for the work you do. They include:

  • Color space (gamut): The number of colors a monitor can show. Professionals need specific color spaces.
  • Refresh rate: The frequency when a screen is refreshed. Higher rates produce smoother animations.
  • Webcam: Some displays have a built-in camera you can use for FaceTime and other video conferencing apps, or to record yourself.
  • Speakers: If you plan on frequently viewing or listening to media, a good set of speakers makes for a better experience.

Cliff Joseph contributed to this article.

Source : Macworld