Best monitor for MacBook Pro, M1 Mac mini, New MacBook Air

There are hundreds of monitors on the market and choosing the right one can be a difficult task. We’ve rounded up the best monitors to pair with your M1-based Mac.

The best complete monitor

Dell – U2720QM Ultrasharp

The 27-inch Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q monitor offers multiple display input options and great specs at a reasonable price. The monitor isn’t Thunderbolt compatible, but the included USB-C port supports DisplayPort Alt mode for connecting to your M1-based Mac.

This USB-C monitor will connect to the laptop via a single cable to provide display out, 90W of power and three additional USB-A ports. The biggest difference between this monitor and LG’s more expensive ones is the lack of Thunderbolt specs.

The data transferred via the USB-C connection will be 10GB / s, suitable for peripherals and external drives. For the fastest data transfer speeds, we recommend connecting your devices directly to the Mac.

Dell Ultrasharp also features a DisplayPort and HDMI connection for multiple inputs. The M1-based Mac will only be able to connect to an external monitor, so connecting via USB-C is ideal.

This monitor has 4K resolution at 3840×2160, HDR 400, 95% P3 color gamut and 60Hz refresh rate. The included stand allows for vertical or horizontal rotation.

You can get the 27 inch Dell U2720Q Ultrasharp monitor for $ 529.00 in B&H (currently overdue). Or you can pick it up now for $ 544.50 on Amazon.

Best budget monitor

Lenovo – Q24i-10

Choosing a budget-conscious monitor shouldn’t mean buying something you won’t like. The 24-inch Lenovo Q24i-10 HD Monitor has a unique design and slim form factor.

It is 1920 × 1080 Full HD with a refresh rate of up to 75Hz. Users can connect via HDMI or VGA depending on the use case.

It has built-in 3W speakers and a headphone jack for use with headphones or speakers.

This simple monitor will integrate with your desktop setup and its aluminum foot is the perfect place for a closed Mac mini or MacBook Air.

Best Thunderbolt monitor

LG UltraFine 27MD5KLB-B

LG UltraFine Thunderbolt monitors remain the best third-party monitor options for Mac users. The 27-inch 5K model is designed with macOS in mind with Thunderbolt 3, built-in brightness and volume control, and an integrated camera.

Thunderbolt 3 means that users can connect a Thunderbolt 3 compatible USB Type-C connector to their Mac and have access to the monitor, 94W power switch and USB-C hub on the back. Data is transmitted at 40GB / s and transmits data from the three USB 3.1 Type-C ports at a maximum speed of 10GB / s each.

When using an M1-based Mac, you’ll be able to take advantage of Thunderbolt 3, but you can’t chain monitors or connect external GPUs. However, Thunderbolt hubs and storage devices will work.

With a 5120 × 2880 5K resolution, 99% P3 color gamut, and 500 nits of brightness, you’ll have the most Apple-like experience possible on a third-party display.

Best performance monitor

LG 27GN95B-B

Gaming monitors often come with bright LED backlights, aggressive designs, and expensive price tags. The 27-inch LG UltraGear Gaming Monitor is a performance powerhouse with all the specs you want when plugging in a Mac.

The monitor is comparable to the LG UltraFine 5K mentioned earlier, but this display costs around $ 450 less. You won’t find Thunderbolt 3 but it has HDR10 and a 98% P3 color gamut.

The 4K 3840×2160 display has a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. When using compatible PCs, it has AMD FeeSync and Nvidia G-Sync capabilities.

While you may not be taking advantage of the gaming features, the bright display with wide color accuracy is as close to UltraFine as possible without breaking the bank.

The rear of the monitor has an RGB LED ring that will make the colors shine depending on the settings made with proprietary software or via the settings in the monitor. This can be turned off completely or show static colors as desired.

It can connect via HDMI or DisplayPort and has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type B input for access to two Type A ports.

The LG UltraGear 27GN95B-B can be ordered from B&H for $ 844.99.

Best UltraWide Monitor

Acer El342CKR Pbmiippx

Ultrawide monitors have become popular as an alternative to multiple display configurations. This will be especially important for M1-based Mac users as only one external display can be connected. The 34-inch Acer El342CKR Pbmiippx monitor is an ultrawide 21: 9 QHD display.

QHD is the “2K” or 1440p resolution which fits between HD and 4K. The ultrawide monitor has a resolution of 3440×1440 and a P3 color gamut of 93% with HDR 400 and a refresh rate of up to 144Hz.

It has a curved display for easier viewing when looking ahead. It has AMD FreeSync for spec compatible PCs.

There are two DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports. The 144Hz refresh rate is limited to the DisplayPort connection and HDMI supports up to 100Hz.

You can buy Acer 32-inch ultrawide monitor for $ 429.99 on B&H.

The Apple monitor

Apple Pro Display XDR

Of course, the best display you can buy is the one sold by Apple itself. Pro Display XDR is a monstrous monitor with reference specs and a huge price tag.

We cannot seriously recommend Pro Display XDR as people who need it will have already purchased it. If you have a few thousand dollars to spend, however, this will complement any M1-based Mac with its 32-inch display and beautiful design.

Apple compares its Pro Display XDR to professional reference monitors that cost at least $ 40,000. The 6K 6016 × 3384 display has 1 million to 1 contrast and 10-bit color depth.

M1-based Macs can run the display flawlessly, but it was originally designed to be used with Apple’s Mac Pro.

The Pro Display XDR standard is discounted to $ 4,799 with coupon code APINSIDER on Adorama. The stand is not included and can be purchased for $ 959 ($ 40 off the $ 999 retail price).

EGPU options

Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Pucks

Apple’s M1-based Macs do not support external GPU (eGPU) technology. However, if you have an Intel-based Mac, you can consider using an eGPU to boost performance, supply power to your portable Mac, and in some cases provide legacy ports and networks.

DIY enclosures generally can’t speed up a monitor that connects via USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, so look for HDMI or DisplayPort monitors if you’re going that route.

However, Sonnet’s latest Breakaway Pucks eGPUs are capable of boosting the performance of USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 displays.

Sonnet’s Breakaway Pucks eGPUs come in two variants depending on which integrated eGPU you want. The Radeon RX 5500 XT is available to order from B&H for $ 599.99. The Radeon RX 5700 model is available for $ 899.99 also in B&H.


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