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Best MacBook Air monitors 2022

LG 27uk850
LG 27uk850 (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

LG 5K

LG 5K (Image credit: iMore)

When it comes time to purchase an external monitor for your MacBook Air, there are several things to consider, including display performance, size, and price. Each year at iMore, we look at the latest MacBook Air monitors and put them through the paces. Based on this, we consider the LG 27UN850-W to be one of the best monitors for MacBook Air that you can currently buy. In addition, we've gathered other noteworthy models to help you choose the one that fits the best Mac currently available.

Best overall: LG 27UN850-W

Lg Ultrafine 27un850 W

Lg Ultrafine 27un850 W (Image credit: Amazon)

Great computer monitors must offer full color, brightness, and sharpness. On these three points, the LG 27UN850-W blew us away, so it's considered the best MacBook Air monitor on the market. The color is spot on and didn't require additional fine-tuning during setup.

Speaking of setup, the entire process for the 27-inch monitor takes less than 10 minutes. The same speediness can't be said about other monitors on the market. We're also impressed with LG's decision to add multiple ports on this monitor. As a MacBook Air owner, you will stick with USB-C primarily. However, with two USB-A and two HDMI ports also available, you have the flexibility to use the monitor elsewhere. (The USB-C port also supports a 60W power transfer so that you can charge your laptop during use.)

Not everything about this monitor is positive. For one, the monitor's 5W speakers are lackluster. Of course, we live in a world where external speakers or headphones reign, so this probably won't matter. However, given the price point for this monitor, we were expecting more. However, this is the best MacBook Air monitor you can buy.

LG 27UN850-W 27 Inch Ultrafine UHD IPS Display with VESA

A great-looking monitor with a stunning display

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple ports, not just a USB-C 4K display
+
Great performance
+
Easy setup

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor speakers
-
Weird onboard controls

Your Macbook Air will love this monitor on nearly every crucial point. Look for discounts to bring the price down.

Best curved SAMSUNG J791 Series 34-Inch Ultrawide QHD

Samsung Ultrawide monitor

Samsung Ultrawide monitor (Image credit: Samsung)

With this impressive curved monitor, you can easily connect to the best Mac on the market through any of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports included in its design. What's excellent about Thunderbolt 3 ports is that they can transfer data at 40Gbps while charging your device simultaneously. There are also DisplayPorts, HDMI, and USB ports available.

This monitor also uses Samsung's Quantum Dot technology, making the colors bright and the images clear. With a 100Hz screen refresh rate, everything in your game or movie will look as clear as if you were looking out of the window with HD glasses on. This monitor also comes equipped with Freesync.

This monitor's design matches perfectly with anyone who enjoys the visual appeal of a Mac as it is sleek and straightforward.

SAMSUNG J791 Series 34-Inch Ultrawide QHD

Curved 34-inch screen with Thunderbolt 3 intel

Reasons to buy

+
Thunderbolt 3 intel
+
100Hz screen refresh rate
+
Great company support

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

This monitor is equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which allows you to transfer data and charge your device simultaneously.

Best premium : LG UltraFine 5K Display

LG 5K

Ideally, Apple would be making 5K monitors itself to go with its lineup of laptops. But, unfortunately, that isn't the case. So instead, the iPhone maker wants you to purchase a 5K monitor from LG. With a breathtaking 5120x2880 resolution and P3 wide color gamut, this 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K Display is an excellent choice — if you can afford it.

Featuring a Thunderbolt 3 cable and USB-C cable, the 27MD5KL contains one Thunderbolt 3 (input) port and three USB-C (USB 3.1, 5Gbps) ports.

This monitor is more than double the price of our overall pick, and that by itself shouldn't come as a surprise. In 2022, 5K monitors still aren't mainstream. Our biggest beef about the monitor isn't the price, but instead that it looks bland and boxy like dozens of other displays available. All you have to do is look at LG's OLED televisions to see that the company has design skills. Unfortunately, it's missing here. There's also the question of whether spending this amount of cash for only a 27-inch monitor is worth it. That's up to you to decide.

LG UltraFine 5K Display

Gorgeous display for a price

Reasons to buy

+
DCI-P3 wide color gamut
+
Single cable for display and charge
+
Lots of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey, obviously
-
Doesn't offer an Apple experience
-
Boring design

If a 27-inch display is your sweet spot and you want 5K, by all means, get this monitor. Otherwise, it's OK to keep looking!

Best portable : Gechic 1503H Portable Monitor

1503h

1503h (Image credit: GeChic)

Portable monitors get the job done for folks on the go, especially business travelers who might sometimes appreciate a larger display than the MacBook Air can provide. In addition, these types of monitors offer a good, but not great, display appearance.

The 15.6-inch Gechic portable monitor weighs less than two pounds and is only 1.1cm thick. It offers an IPS screen and full HD 1080p resolution and features a smart cover that protects it when not in use. You can use the cover as a screen holder in portrait or landscape orientation.

We love this monitor solely for its portability and price. The stand isn't the strongest, however.

Gechic 1503H 15.6 inch IPS 1080p Portable Monitor with HDMI

Travelers, take note

Reasons to buy

+
Includes speakers
+
Great price
+
Weighs just 1.75 pounds

Reasons to avoid

-
1080p resolution only
-
Somewhat wobbly stand

Offering a bright display for less, this portable monitor is great in a pinch when a lightweight, larger screen is needed.

Best gaming : BenQ EW3270U

benq

Benq Ew3270u monitor (Image credit: Benq)

Finally, there's this 32-inch 4K HDR monitor from BenQ. Featuring low blue light and flicker-free technology to reduce eye strain, this monitor is excellent for Mac gamers who need a bigger screen. Besides a USB-C port, the monitor offers two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, and a 3.5mm audio out.

With AMD Freesync technology, this monitor has done a great job of removing broken frames, image tearing, and choppy gameplay sometimes associated with external monitors. However, there are some drawbacks, starting with poorly designed speakers. We're also shaking our heads over the confusing control panel and missing power passthrough.

Despite these limitations, we like this monitor immensely. The EW3270U covers 100% of Rec. 709 and 95% of DCI-P3 standards. Yes, the colors are accurate, and the 4K content is wonderfully rendered.

BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K Monitor | With Eye-care Technology

Look at that color!

Reasons to buy

+
Offers USB-C, HDMI 2.0, and DP1.4
+
AMD FreeSync
+
95% DCI-P3

Reasons to avoid

-
No power supply passthrough
-
Poor built-in speakers
-
Onboard controls are challenging to use

This 4K monitor provides a nice balance between features and price. Though limitations remain, this one will work very nicely for most gamers.

Bottom line

If you're in the market for an external monitor for your MacBook Air, you'll quickly notice there's a wide selection from which to choose. Our favorite MacBook Air monitor, the LG 27UN850-W 27-inch 4K Ultrafine UHD IPS Monitor, is a terrific choice for anyone looking for a great performance monitor at a fair price. Yes, it has weird onboard controls and lackluster speakers. Most external monitors do, unfortunately. I appreciate the beautiful colors, brightness, and sharpness instead.

Besides offering superb features, this monitor is also reasonably priced, suitable for students and the budget-conscious alike. So look around and find the best deal for you!

Bryan M Wolfe
Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.