A MacBook Pro is a versatile, capable laptop built to handle a vast array of personal and professional tasks. However, even though the computers are sought after by many people and function at high levels for many situations, there are times where their screens are too small.
An external monitor is an easy way to add some extra versatility to your Macbook Pro. It also gives you a bigger screen when you need it. The options you’ll find outlined in this guide are some of the best external MacBook Pro monitors money can buy. They all come highly recommended due to their compatibility, functionality, and value.
- A top option for an external monitor is the Acer SB220Q IPS Ultra-Thin Monitor. This one stands out thanks to an affordable price, excellent resolution, and lightweight profile.
- The ASUS VS228H-P Full HD Monitor is another awesome option that’s available in several different sizes. It has a wide-screen LED display and SmartView Technology that makes the screen look great at any angle.
- If you’re looking for a large, extra wide external monitor, the LG 34GK950F-B Ultragear WQHD Monitor is a great choice. This option is good for gamers or anyone who needs more space.
Who Should Get This?
External monitors are nice when you’re performing a task on your MacBook Pro that requires a larger screen. That includes things like editing videos, playing games, or watching movies. Two monitors are also nice when you’re working as well. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time on their Macbook, whether you’re relaxing or working, it’s good to grab an affordable external monitor when possible.
If you don’t have a reason for a larger or multiple screens, you probably don’t have a need for an external monitor. In that same vein, you also don’t need one if you travel a lot for work or in your personal life. These are for your home or office and best left in place. If you do have a need for an external monitor, the options here are the best you’ll find for your MacBook Pro.
Best External Monitor for MacBook Pro: What to Consider
Monitors come in many different sizes. Some people will want something smaller and a bit more manageable, while other users will prefer a large screen. I personally recommend getting one that’s at least 20 inches. That may seem quite large, but external monitors are made to increase your original display. If you get one that’s too small, it will largely defeat that purpose.
Size and price are correlated when it comes to external monitors. If you’re on a strict budget, a smaller option might be more ideal. However, if you are looking for a monitor for entertainment purposes, bigger is always better. It’s possible to connect your MacBook Pro to just about any size of monitor. The one you pick is up to you.
It’s also important to consider resolution when getting an external monitor for your MacBook Pro. Most users expect excellent graphics on a display and want the colors/images to really pop. That’s especially true if you like Apple, which is known for some of the best displays and resolutions in the market.
It will always be tough to match the resolution of a Macbook Pro, but if you want a comparable device look for true high-definition monitors. The higher the number of pixels you can find, the better the resolution. Your images will be crisper and clearer as well.
There are additional features that you might want when looking for an external monitor. I always like a monitor to have a USB hub so I can plug in other devices. Contrast controls and other features that help you dial in the display exactly how you like it are nice as well. A tilt screen can also allow you to adjust the monitor angle for the best possible viewing.
Best External Monitor for MacBook Pro: Our Picks
The Acer SB220Q IPS Ultra-Thin Monitor is a solid choice for a MacBook Pro external monitor. This is a crisp, clear display that offers an easy and affordable solution to expanding your current display. The monitor is 21.5 inches and built with an extremely thin profile that will seamlessly blend in wherever you set it up.
This model has an 1920 X 1080 full HD widescreen IPS display that shows colors accurately and with great definition. It comes with both HDMI and VGA ports to easily connect your MacBook Pro or other compatible devices. Other features include a 5 to 15-degree tilt angle and a zero frame design that makes the display look quite large.
- Excellent display quality
- Full HD
- Both HDMI and VGA ports
- Tilt screen
- 75Hz refresh rate
- Slim profile
- Tilt function could be better
This is another high-quality external monitor. It’s available in several different sizes to match your needs ranging from 18 to 27 inches. It features a slim design to fit on your desk or tabletop without overtaking the area, as well as a full HD widescreen display for excellent color and contrast. The Smartview technology provides great picture quality no matter what angle you’re looking at and you can customize the aspect ratio for your desired purposes.
- Multiple size options
- Slim design
- Smartview technology
- Customizable aspect ratio
- Easy connection to MacBook Pro
- Not all sizes have the same inputs/ports
- Non-tilting screen
If you want an extra wide screen for movies or gaming, then this LG monitor is for you. It features a 34-inch WQHD Nano IPS ultra-widescreen display that’s truly awesome to look at and interact with. There is also a Radeon free sync 2 technology to connect with your computer at 144 hertz to make sure there’s no data loss while providing seriously excellent picture quality. It is expensive, but if you want the best, this is it.
- Large, ultra-widescreen
- Awesome picture quality
- Stunning graphics
- Radeon free sync 2 tech for quality connection
- Tilt screen
- Almost borderless design
Useful Tips & Resources
Connecting your MacBook Pro to an external monitor is an easy process, but you need to make sure you have the right cables to make this happen. Depending on the MacBook Pro model you have and your type of display, you may need to get adapters or cables to make the connection possible. Once you have the proper cables, everything else is easy. Take a look at this guide from Apple to help you connect your computer to your external monitor.
I’m a big fan of having an external monitor for my MacBook Pro. I don’t use it all of the time, but when I need or want to, it makes a big difference in both my workflow and my enjoyment of entertainment. External monitors are easy to use and the options listed here are some of the best you can find. If you’ve never used an external monitor before, I would suggest trying it out to see how it can improve your overall experience.
Do you use an external monitor for your MacBook Pro? What is the main reason for doing so? Let us know in the comments below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.