With one of the top monitors for your MacBook you can upgrade your home office and add a second screen to your set-up—the ultimate productivity hack—making everything you do on your Mac look bigger, clearer and brighter.
There are many monitors to choose from, but if you want to maintain the same level of definition as your current display, you'll want a 4K screen that really does your Mac justice.
In our guide below you'll find our selection of the best 4K monitors for your Mac and there's never been a better time to invest in new tech. Black Friday deals are already rolling in ahead of the big day on November 25. So be sure to keep checking back for all of the latest reductions.
Our pick of the best 4K monitors for Mac
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This is a fantastic USB-C monitor that features HDR support via two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, a headphone jack, and two down-stream USB-A ports. During our testing, we noted it has excellent viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel and its grey-to-grey response time is a blazing-fast five milliseconds.
When we reviewed the BenQ EW3280U we rated it for its high-quality visuals and next-level sound. One of our favorite USB-C monitors for Mac, it's equipped with 4K UHD resolution and 95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for a crystal clear picture and vibrant colors. It also comes with True Tone treVolo Audio, which includes multiple speakers and a built-in 5W subwoofer, so expect exceptional sound. It's truly one of the best 4K monitors for streaming video, gaming, and even video editing work on your Mac.
Dell's UltraSharp 27-inch 4K monitor may just take over the top spot after more testing since it features USB-C and DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, and HDMI. Its colors are immaculately accurate, and with a 99% sRGB color gamut, which means you can enjoy vibrant colors for both gaming and streaming from your Mac.
BenQ's 32-inch monitor is more expensive than many of the other options in our guide. However, it does offer excellent features for the creative pro, like several different modes (including Darkroom) for photo and video editing, a built-in SD card reader, as well as a five-port USB hub, HDMI ports, and mini and regular DisplayPorts. This is the best 4K monitor for professionals and photographers.
Thunderbolt 3 Monitor
LG's big 32-inch 32UL950 is not only a Thunderbolt 3 monitor, meaning you can daisy chain monitors together, but it also has a selection of ports. With one Thunderbolt 3 port, USB-A, an HDMI, and multiple DisplayPort ports, this monitor has tons of connectivity to attach all your favorite devices. Plus, its ultrafine 4K display and high color fidelity make this screen look amazing right out of the box.
There are some fantastic 4K monitors for Mac on this list, but none are as portable as this 1080p, 10point touch display from Lenovo. The M14t is a simple way to add a second screen to your set-up and because it's portable you can use it to work remotely if you need to as well. It's not cheap, but if you need a monitor for your Mac that you can easily move, it's the best choice on our list.
Which 4K monitor for your Mac should you choose?
The LG 27UK850-W is our top 4K monitor for Mac because we love the flexibility of having a variety of different ports. It can charge your MacBook, MacBook Air, or 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it also features two USB-A ports, two HDMI ports, a display port, and a headphone jack. So what we're saying is, it's not only a fantastic monitor but a whole hub for connectivity.
When it comes to excellent 4K monitors, the BenQ EW3280U is also hard to beat, with excellent bang for your buck. Its combined features and price make it a great choice.
What should I look for in a 4K monitor for Mac?
If you're looking to upgrade your Mac with a second screen, there are a few key things to consider with a new 4K display:
- Connectivity — Apple is sneaky with ports. If you're looking for a 4K monitor for a newer MacBook, like the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you're going to want it to come with a USB-C port unless you have a USB-C hub. Always be sure whatever device you're connecting to your Mac is compatible.
- Size — Most people think bigger is better with monitors and we tend to agree. But the size you go with should be dictated by the space you have available in your home office. With this in mind, higher resolution is almost always better, too, allowing you to see clearer details and fit more information on the screen.
- Portability — We only added one portable screen to our selection of the best 4K monitors for Mac, the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t Touch Portable Monitor. That's because people rarely need a second screen they'll move around, but it is worth thinking about before you buy a new, bulky monitor.
- Response time — If you'll be using your new monitor for gaming, you'll need a low response time. This is how long it takes for the display to respond to what you're doing. Generally, anything under 10ms is good, although the lower the better if you're serious about gaming.
- Refresh rate — This is how many times in a second your display draws a new image and it's measured in Hz. You'll find many of the best 4K monitors have 60 Hz refresh rates, but the MacBook Pro has refresh rates of up to 120 Hz so if you want to make the most of the screen, look for higher specs.
If you're upgrading your home office, we have a few more buying guides you might be interested in. If you're looking to add more comfort and ease to your desk, read our guide to the best wireless mouse for Mac. Or if you enjoy working to music, take a look at our best over-ear headphones for iMac list.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
- Jaclyn KilaniContributor
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