Best USB-C monitors 2022: 4K, portable, ultrawide, & more

Mac Studio Display
(Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

Even if you have that large, lovely 16-inch MacBook Pro, that one monitor is not always enough for all the incredible things you'd like to do and see with your computer. If you're looking for the best monitor for Mac, you've come to the right place. Thanks to its versatility and price, your best 4K USB-C monitor option is the MSI Optix display. It's perfect for most people, though other monitors might better suit your different needs.

What to look for when buying a USB-C monitor

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When looking for a USB-C monitor, there are various factors to consider. For those not necessarily on a budget, you should look at 5K or 4K displays with a wide aspect ratio of 16:9. Many monitors are still LED, although (again), if you can afford it, consider those that use OLED technology. 

Is color accuracy important? Look for features like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a high contrast ratio. Finally, if you plan on using the monitor for gaming, be sure to find one with terrific refresh rates. 

Msi Optix Hero

(Image credit: MSI)

MSI Optix

Best bang for your buck

Reasons to buy

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High refresh rate
+
Wide curved screen
+
Blue-light filtering
+
Excellent price point

Reasons to avoid

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Color reproduction may need adjusting
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Exhibits slight motion blurs

Although it's not the most expensive or state-of-the-art USB-C monitor on this list, the MSI Optix brings the best bang for your buck. The wide curved screen delivers an immersive, beautiful gameplay experience, and the high refresh rate will produce gorgeous playback. This one also implements anti-flicker technology and blue-light filtering to reduce eye fatigue for those who spend hours in front of the monitor. In addition, the 27-inch MSI Optix features 2560x1440 WQHD resolution, a 165hz refresh rate, and AMD Freesync for beautiful playback and gameplay, no matter what you plan to use it for.

When you consider the range of advanced features and high quality that this monitor delivers, you can't beat its value for the price.

Apple Studio Display

(Image credit: Apple)
Mac Studio's BFF

Reasons to buy

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5K display
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Anti-reflective glass
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Spatial audio
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12MP camera

Reasons to avoid

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It's expensive

Designed specifically to complement Apple's Mac Studio desktop station, the Apple Studio Display is a 5K monitor intended to support all the productivity and creativity you can throw at it. The anti-reflective glass provides stunning graphics in any lighting, and the 12MP camera with Center Stage will make video conferences and recording more effective. When iMore reviewed the Studio Display, we loved the graphics and the camera with Center Stage, but the audio floored us. However, when you consider the six-speaker Spatial Audio sound system, this is an all-around groundbreaking display.

Apple's most advanced display is built to be a creative workhouse that can more than handle any task you perform on the Mac Studio or any mac computer.

LG UltraFine 5K

(Image credit: iMore)

LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 5K Display

Full 5K display plus support for USB-C

Reasons to buy

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Up to 5K resolution
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Designed for Apple
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Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
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Built-in speakers, camera, and mic

Reasons to avoid

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No Apple aesthetic
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No legacy ports

LG's UltraFine 5K monitor combines amazing color, crystal-clear picture, and high-quality speakers. According to an iMore review, the LG Ultrafine 5K monitor provides a lovely cinematic experience. Use it with your Mac or Apple TV to watch 5K videos and any other visual eye candy your heart desires. It's 27-inches big with a P3 wide color gamut with 500 nits. For full 5K resolution on a larger display, the UltraFine 5K is your perfect choice.

Its biggest downfall is that it doesn't quite have that Apple aesthetic. So, even though it could technically be considered a competitor to the Apple Studio Display, it's still lacking in some areas. On the plus side, though, LG has designed an attractive Edge-Arcline base for some of its monitors, which looks better with Apple products. The UltraFine 5K, unfortunately, still has that extensive, boxy black base.

If your workflow includes a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro, this is the monitor you want.

BenQ Entertainment Monitor

(Image credit: BenQ)
Full visual + sound experience

Reasons to buy

+
4K UHD resolution
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95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut
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True-tone treVolo audio with two speakers and a 5W subwoofer
+
HDRi imagery with intelligent brightness control

Reasons to avoid

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USB-C port does not support charging
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Expensive

Equipped with 4K UHD 3840x2160 resolution and 95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, the BenQ EW3280U Entertainment monitor is built for performance. Our review of the BenQ EW3280U concludes that sharp graphics, bright colors, and a unique built-in speaker system make this USB-C monitor a fantastic entertainment experience. So whether gaming, streaming, designing, or editing, this monitor has the visuals and sound you need to get the job done. The only downside to this monitor is that the USB-C port does not support charging, so you'll have to charge separately.

Combine eye and ear candy for a complete entertainment experience that looks and sounds amazing.

ASUS Zenscreen

As portable as it gets.

Reasons to buy

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Weighs less than two pounds
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Ultra-slim at only 8mm thick
+
Comes with its own cover
+
60Hz refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

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Does not charge your laptop
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No HDMI support

The ZenScreen is a favorite around the iMore office for its incredible portability, as seen in our review of the ZenScreen. It's a 14-inch screen with a USB-C connector. You can rotate between landscape and portrait mode, and it's compatible with Thunderbolt 3. So if you need a second screen when you're headed for the coffee shop, this takes up just the right amount of space without being a burden on your portability. This is one of the best USB-C monitors for Mac when it comes to portability.

The ZenScreen is ASUS's very portable monitor with a USB-C port, a great-looking IPS panel, and more.

Lg Ultrafine 27un850 W

(Image credit: LG)

LG 27UN850-W 27-inch 4K UHD IPS Monitor

Beautiful VESA DisplayHDR 400 graphics

Reasons to buy

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VESA DisplayHDR 400 technology
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Borderless design
+
Adjustable angle
+
USB Type-C connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Has a slight backlight bleed

If accurate color reproduction and brightness are important to you, then a good VESA DisplayHDR 400 monitor will be a good bet. This 27-inch monitor from LG has beautiful colors, contrast, and brightness due to VESA DisplayHDR 400 technology. Get the most out of 4K resolution with this well-designed monitor, and it also comes with USB-C compatibility.

Gorgeous color reproduction and brightness set this monitor apart from the pack. Its sleek, borderless design is also quite attractive.

Lg Monitor

(Image credit: LG)

LG 29UM69G-B 29-inch FreeSync IPS WFHD Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Expansive space

Reasons to buy

+
Extra-wide 21:9 aspect ration
+
Good resolution
+
1ms motion blur reduction
+
Screen Split 2.0 technology

Reasons to avoid

-
70Hz refresh rate

If you need expansive space to work with, the LG 29UM69G-B serves it up and then some. This extra-wide USB-C monitor has an aspect ratio of 21:9, so you probably won't even need a second monitor! In addition, the Screen Split 2.0 technology allows you to move effortlessly between desktops or even view several at once, which is when this monitor shines.

Alongside its wideness, you will also enjoy the 1080p resolution, graphics powered by AMD FreeSync, and continuous 1ms motion blur reduction. Overall it's a great choice at a very reasonable price.

It's wide enough to support multiple screens and desktops, so you'll love it for graphic or editing work. So save money on a second screen and buy this one instead.

The best USB-C monitors for you

Picking the best 4K USB-C monitor for Mac can be difficult. It's important to consider how much room you have on your desk, what you plan to use your Mac laptop for, and how much you can afford. That's why the MSI Optix is the perfect fit for most people. At 27-inches, it's big, but not too big. It has great resolution, a high refresh rate, and an excellent value for the price.

If the LG is just a bit out of your range, the ASUS ZenScreen truly is the next best thing, and it's portable! On the other end, consider the always impressive MSI Optix. The monitor is powerful and beautiful too!