What to Look for in a Mac Monitor in 2022
While the monitor market offers a ton of options, you have to keep a few things in mind before picking one up for your Mac.
Most importantly, you want a monitor that works seamlessly with your machine. Depending on which Mac you are using, you can connect to a monitor one of two ways—Thunderbolt via USB-C or an HDMI port.
As the Thunderbolt port is more versatile than the HDMI port, picking up a monitor with USB-C/ Thunderbolt input is better for reducing cable clutter. For MacBooks that only include a Thunderbolt port, monitors with Thunderbolt or USB-C support are your only option.
In an ideal world, you should be able to pick any monitor and expect it to work flawlessly with your Mac. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
So while buying a monitor, you also have to check if it’s compatible with Macs, particularly if you are using the new Apple Silicon-powered machines. Aside from asking the monitor manufacturer to confirm the support, you can check reviews and customer feedback on retail sites.
Besides compatibility and input support, your budget, available space, intended usage, and display size are also crucial. For example, creative professionals prefer color accuracy and better coverage of different color spaces, whereas gamers will want a high refresh rate panel and low input lag.
Screen resolution is another important part of a monitor. Although 4K has become quite common, QHD resolution provides an excellent middle ground between 4K and Full-HD resolutions. So you can choose the resolution that fits your budget.
For more helpful information about buying a monitor, you can check out our detailed explainer on how to pick the right monitor.
With the basics out of the way, now it’s time to jump into our recommendations.
RELATED: How to Pick the Right Monitor for Your PC
Best Mac Monitor Overall: Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q
- ✓ 4K native resolution
- ✓ Stand has good ergonomics
- ✓ Good color space coverage
- ✓ 90W power delivery via USB-C port
- ✗ No speakers
- ✗ Limited HDR performance
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q has long been a highly recommended monitor for PC users, but it wasn’t suggested for Macs due to compatibility issues. However, that changed in late 2021 when the company added official support for Mac computers. As a result, the U2720Q is now an equally excellent monitor for both operating systems.
Dell’s Ultrasharp monitor features an IPS-type panel that offers good viewing angles. Additionally, the 4K resolution ensures that text and images look sharp.
In other highlights, the Dell monitor provides 95% coverage of DCI-P3 color space and 99% of the sRGB color profile. It is, however, only rated for DisplayHDR 400—most basic level on VESA’s HDR specification. So while you’ll get to enjoy HDR content, don’t expect the most fantastic experience.
The monitor can accept display signals via HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C ports. The Type-C is particularly useful as it can also deliver up to 90W of power, enough to keep any MacBook charged. It also functions as a USB hub and adds three USB Type-A ports to your arsenal.
In terms of design, the U2720Q looks professional and has slim bezels. The bundled stand also offers many adjustment options, allowing you to set up the monitor as per your liking without an additional cost.
For those who might expect to see Apple’s Studio Display among our picks, the new Apple monitor certainly looks promising on paper, but reviews are still in the works. As a result, we couldn’t consider it for the current version of our buying guide.
Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is an excellent monitor for most use cases. It has 4K resolution, multiple input options, and HDR support.
Best Budget Mac Monitor: Gigabyte M27Q
- ✓ High refresh rate panel
- ✓ KVM switch present
- ✓ Excellent color accuracy
- ✗ USB-C port can only deliver 10W of power
- ✗ Limited HDR performance
You don’t need to spend big bucks to get a good monitor for your Mac. For example, the Gigabyte M27Q, our pick for the best budget Mac monitor, typically costs around $330 but is still feature-packed.
Although Gigabyte calls it a gaming monitor, it’s more of an all-rounder. Whether you are doing office tasks, watching Netflix, or gaming, it will offer a great experience. The M27Q has QHD resolution and features a 27-inch IPS panel. The monitor also supports HDR, but it’s only rated for DisplayHDR 400.
Other features include a 170Hz refresh rate, low input lag, and excellent response time. You also get support for a KVM switch, allowing you to use a single keyboard or mouse across multiple devices.
The monitor has outstanding color accuracy, and it offers 92% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and complete coverage of the sRGB. You also get nearly full coverage of the Adobe RGB color profile.
In terms of input ports, the Gigabyte monitor can receive display signals from HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C ports. However, the USB-C port can only deliver 10W of power. If you are using the M27Q with a MacBook, you’ll have to charge the laptop separately.
The M27Q also lacks swivel adjustment and can’t rotate to portrait mode. However, this is a common problem with budget monitors. If you need a monitor that’s easy to adjust, you’ll need to look at something a bit more pricey.
This may be a budget monitor, but Gigabyte doesn’t skimp on the features. It has a 170Hz screen, great color accuracy, and excellent coverage of color profiles.
Best Premium Mac Monitor for Professionals: Apple Pro Display XDR
- ✓ Sophisticated design
- ✓ Exceptionally color accurate
- ✓ Superior HDR performance
- ✓ High brightness
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Suffers from blooming
- ✗ Off-axis viewing is inaccurate
Apple’s stunning Pro Display XDR sits in a category of its own. This professional-grade monitor has several things going for it, and if you need reference monitor-level color accuracy and superior HDR capabilities, there is no better option than the Pro Display XDR.
The Pro Display XDR is 32-inches in size and has a 6,016×3,384-pixel native resolution, also known as 6K. In addition, it shares a lot of its design aesthetic with the 2019 Mac Pro, particularly the pattern of cooling vents on the back. All in all, the monitor looks sleek and sophisticated.
Although the company has packed an IPS-type panel in the monitor, the Pro Display XDR can offer a reasonable contrast ratio thanks to full-array local dimming. But it still falls short compared to many OLED screens. so this is something to keep in mind if the contrast is a concern.
Its color performance is impressive with 100% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, and 99% DCI-P3 coverage. With a Delta E of only 0.57, the color accuracy is also exceptional. Moreover, the monitor shines on the brightness front with 1000 nits of sustained full-screen brightness and 1600 nits peak brightness. The high brightness levels help the monitor bring out even the smallest highlights in high dynamic range content.
While the Apple monitor does many things right, it falls short in some areas. For example, it suffers from blooming and off-axis luminance fall-off. The lack of a stand or VESA mounting adapter from the package is also disappointing. But if you have the funds to spare, there is no beating the Pro Display XDR’s overall professional quality.
Apple Pro Display XDR
With a stunning design and pro-grade color accuracy, the Apple Pro Display XDR is an excellent monitor for creative professionals.
Best Mac Monitor for Creatives: BenQ SW271C
- ✓ Native 4K resolution with excellent color accuracy
- ✓ Can display 10-bit color
- ✓ Lots of connectivity options
- ✓ Fully ergonomic stand
- ✗ Poor HDR performance
- ✗ Low brightness
If the Apple Pro Display XDR is overkill for your requirements or you don’t have the budget to go for it, the BenQ SW271C is a fantastic 4K monitor that will satisfy the needs of many creatives.
A successor to the aging SW271, the SW271C brings many welcome upgrades, including 60W power delivery support via the Thunderbolt 3 port. As a result, you can use just one cable for everything with your MacBook.
At the heart of the monitor is an 8-bit + FRC (Frame Rate Control) IPS panel that BenQ claims can display 10-bit color. The monitor accomplishes this by quickly flashing the adjacent colors to the missing original colors. This results in the human eye perceiving the missing color.
Coming to the color spaces, the monitor offers almost complete coverage of AdobeRGB, 90% of DCI-P3, and full coverage of sRGB. In addition, you get top-notch color accuracy with a Delta E of less than 2. This is great because while doing creative work, you want the colors displayed by the monitor to match as closely as possible to how the human eye perceives them.
Among other highlights, there is support for third-party hardware calibration. For example, you can use hardware calibrators with Calman Studio or Light Illusion’s ColourSpace software to get the color perfectly balanced.
HDR is one area where the SW271C lacks a bit, however. Although it supports HDR10 and HLG, the monitor isn’t bright enough to meet the DisplayHDR 400 specification. For creative work, however, that’s far from a deal-breaker.
The BenQ SW271C has a lot going for it, from 4K resolution to outstanding color accuracy. In addition, it can display 10-bit color.
Best Ultrawide Mac Monitor: BenQ PD3420Q
- ✓ Superb color accuracy
- ✓ Wide 34-inch screen with 1440p resolution
- ✓ Anti-glare coating
- ✓ KVM switch available
- ✗ Missing AdobeRGB mode
- ✗ Pricey for a WQHD monitor
The BenQ PD3420Q is a multitasker’s dream. It’s a 34-inch WQHD monitor that uses an IPS-type panel. So you get enough screen real estate to open multiple programs simultaneously without worrying about minimizing them.
It is an excellent monitor for content creators, designers, and video editors. You get a rock-solid color accuracy out of the box with a Delta E of less than three. The monitor offers 98% of DCI-P3 and full coverage of the sRGB color space. Unfortunately, however, the PD3420Q lacks AdobeRGB mode.
HDR10 support is present, though, and the monitor meets DisplayHDR 400 specifications.
The PD3420Q also comes with ample input options. You can use HDMI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C. The last one can also be used to deliver power to your laptop at up to 65W. In addition, the monitor can function as a USB hub and includes three USB 3.1 Type-A ports.
Lastly, the BenQ monitor has a sturdy build quality, and it looks great. It also provides good ergonomics and features an anti-glare coating. It’s expensive, but if you want an ultrawide monitor, you can’t go wrong with
The BenQ PD3420Q is an excellent ultrawide monitor. It has a 34-inch screen, super color accuracy, and Thunderbolt 3 support.
Best Gaming Mac Monitor: Acer Predator XB273U
- ✓ 240Hz native refresh rate
- ✓ Adaptive-Sync support
- ✓ Very low input lag
- ✗ Average contrast ratio
- ✗ Limited HDR performance
Macs aren’t well known for gaming, but there are some great titles available on the platform. So if you occasionally fire up the likes of Shadow of Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, and Fortnite on your Mac, the Acer Predator XB273U is the right monitor for you.
Acer’s Predator monitor has a native refresh rate of 240Hz, which you can overclock to 270Hz, and supports Adaptive Sync. You also get exceptionally low input lag and excellent response time, resulting in a fantastic gaming experience.
Thanks to the IPS panel, the viewing angles are good, but the contrast ratio is average. The monitor also reaches high brightness levels in SDR. HDR brightness, on the other hand, isn’t very impressive, though the monitor gets bright enough to meet the DisplayHDR 400 certification.
The monitor has good ergonomics, as well. As a result, you can set it up as you like without any compatibility issues. Its slim bezels will be helpful in dual monitor setups.
The standard input options are present, including USB-C. The USB-C port can also deliver up to 65W of power to the connected laptop and supports upstream, allowing you to transfer data from storage devices plugged into the monitor.
Acer Predator XB273U GXbmiipruzx
With a 240Hz refresh rate, exceptionally low input lag, and Adaptive-Sync support, this Acer monitor is perfect for gaming.