Best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays for MacBooks

USB-C/Thunderbolt display options have really expanded over the last couple of years. While Apple’s Pro Display XDR isn’t the best fit for most Mac users at $5,000+, it also offers the more affordable Studio Display. But there are also lots of solid choices from LG, Samsung, BenQ, and more. Let’s look at the best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays with many available in the $400-$1,600 range.

All the displays below work with a single-cable setup with your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and even PCs. The iPad Pro and 2020 iPad Air and later can also be used with any of these USB-C/Thunderbolt displays but with limitations.

Even though Apple’s 6K Pro Display XDR is a fantastic product (full review), the reality is that at $5,000+, it’s overkill for many MacBook owners’ needs, budgets, or both.

Fortunately, there are some solid 32-inch+ options from other companies in the $1,000 ballpark that offer a compelling experience. And we’ll also look at some 27-32-inch 4K USB-C displays in the $400-$800 range.

Best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays for Mac: Higher-end options

LG 34BK95U-W

LG’s 34-inch widescreen Thunderbolt 3/USB-C display offers a 5120 x 2160 resolution (in-between 4K and 5K). My colleague Jeff reviewed this display and found it to be a compelling option for creative pros.

But if you’re a creative professional who knows what you’re getting yourself into, this display is a significant real estate upgrade from 4K. Just make sure you understand that this is really a 4.5K display, and it doesn’t offer any resolution advantages over a true 5K display like the one found in the 5K iMac or iMac Pro.

Specs:

  • Nano IPS (In-Plane Switching) Panel
  • Thunderbolt 3 Interface
  • Power output: 85W
  • 5120 x 2160 Resolution
  • 21:9 Aspect Ratio
  • 60Hz Refresh Rate
  • Brightness: 450 (Typ), 360 (min) cd/m2
  • Support for VESA HDR 600
  • DCI-P3 98%
  • 2 x HDMI
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 3.5mm headphone input
  • Speakers: 5W x 2
  • Slim bezel design on all four sides
  • MSRP: $1,649, often available for less

The LG 34WK95U-W is usually in stock at Amazon and Adorama.

Samsung ViewFinity S9

Samsung ViewFinity 5K monitor

This is an interesting alternative to Apple’s Studio Display. The Samsung ViewFinity S9 features a 27-inch 5K panel, metal build, 99% DCI-P3, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, and more.

Specs:

  • Slim metal design (aluminum stand but silver plastic back panel)
  • 27-inch IPS 5K panel – 5120 x 2880
  • 99% DCI-P3
  • 600 nits brightness
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 5ms response time
  • 1000:1 contrast
  • Matte display finish
  • Built-in color calibration engine
  • Average Delta E ≦ 21 color accuracy
  • USB-C and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity
    • 1x Thunderbolt 4 port, 3x USB-C, 1x mini DisplayPort
    • 90W power delivery
  • Built-in SlimFit 4K webcam
  • Integrated speakers with Adaptive Sound+
  • Samsung Smart Hub for use as a TV (remote included)
  • Adjustable height, tilt, and pivot
  • 100 x 100mm VESA mountable
  • Price: $1,599

The ViewFinity S9 5K monitor is available now from samsung.com, Amazon, and Best Buy.

BenQ PD3220U

BenQ PD3220U 4K Thunderbolt Display

This is a nice alternative to the LG option above. The 32-inch BenQ PD3220U features Thunderbolt 3, 4K resolution, 95% DCI-P3 color, 85W power delivery for MacBooks, a variety of professional modes, hotkey puck, solid metal stand, and lots of I/O.

Specs:

  • 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Brightness: 250 typical, 300 nits HDR peak
  • 95% DCI-P3
  • HDR10
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 – 85W power delivery
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 – 15W power delivery
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 3 x USB 3.1
  • 1 x USB C
  • 1 x USB B
  • Headphone jack
  • Slim bezels
  • MSRP: $1,199 often available for less

You can usually find the BenQ PD3220U at Amazon and Adorama.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro

After originally starting to sell the 32-inch model priced at $3,999, the 27-inch model arrived at $2,999 but those prices have come down since.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro display launch date

The move to OLED is interesting. While there are some benefits like blacker blacks, and more, there may be concerns about display burn-in.

Specs:

  • 27 and 31.5-inch OLED screen options (27-inch still unavailable)
  • 3840 x 2160 4K resolution
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • USB-C with 90W pass-thru power
  • up to 500 nits brightness
  • Dolby HDR 400 True Black
  • 1 ms response time
  • 10-bit color depth
  • 2 x DisplayPort
  • 3 x USB
  • 1 x HDMI
  • DCI P3 at 99%
  • Adobe RGB 99%
  • Price: $1,999-$3,499

You can pick up the LG UltraFine OLED from Adorama and more.

Apple Studio Display and LG UltraFine displays

Studio Display

Best displays for Mac - Apple Studio Display

Apple’s Studio Display arrived alongside the new Mac Studio and marks the return to prosumer monitors after letting LG’s UltraFine series serve as its official recommendation since 2016.

Starting at $300 above the LG UltraFine 5K the Studio Display is aimed at those who value Apple’s refined (and metal) build quality.

Specs:

  • 27-inch panel
  • 5K 5120 x 2880 resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 218 PPI
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 600 nits brightness
  • P3 wide color support
  • True Tone support
  • 1 Thunderbolt 3 port with 96W power delivery plus 3 USB-C ports
  • Built-in 12 MP ultra wide camera with Center Stage support
  • 6-speaker system with Spatial Audio support
  • Studio-quality 3-mic array
  • Aluminum build
  • Supports most reference modes as Pro Display XDR except HDR
  • Price: $,1599-$2,299 (depending on stand and screen finish)

Studio Display is available from Apple, Amazon, Adorama, Best Buy, and more.

Check out our detailed comparison along with more perspective on the Studio Display:

LG UltraFine 24 & 27-inch Displays

Best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays for Mac - Apple endorsed displays

While the 27-inch UltraFine display (reviewed) is was really the only option on the market to support USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 at a full 5K resolution, the $1,300 price may make this a tough sell for some.

Another trade-off here is chunkier bezels for a built-in webcam. The current models are the 5K 27-inch and the 4K 24-inch UltraFine displays.

At almost half the price, the 24-inch 4K UltraFine is a compelling option for an Apple-endorsed display for those okay with the smaller size. The 24-inch version replaced the 21.5-inch 4K model in May 2019 and retails around $700. Check out our full review here.

Best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays for Macs on a budget

While there are some solid displays on the market that include USB-C with less than 4K resolutions, spending several hundred dollars on a new display with a lower picture quality than what you’re used to on your MacBook won’t be a good fit for many.

Here are some of the best USB-C displays that offer a 4K resolution at around $600 or less.

BenQ 27- or 32-inch Ergo Arm 4K

The new Ergo Arm 4K Designer Monitors from BenQ offer a strong feature set and specs with pricing ranging from $599-749.

Specs:

  • 27- or 32-inch panel at 4K resolution at 3840 x 2160 (anti-glare matte finish)
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • USB-C single cable connectivity with 90W power delivery (65W for PD2705UA)
    • 1 x USB-C input/output
    • 1 x USB-C output
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x DisplayPort 1.4
    • 2x USB-B (USB 3.0 / 3.1/3.2 Gen 1) Input
    • 3x USB-A (USB 3.0 / 3.1/3.2 Gen 1) Output
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
  • KVM switch to control two Macs or PCs with one keyboard/mouse
  • 250-350 nits brightness
  • 163 PPI
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • HDR10
  • 95% DCI P3/99% sRGB
  • 178-degree viewing angle
  • 5 ms response time
  • 2x 2.5W built-in speakers
  • Flexible Ergo Arm
  • Price: $599, $649, $749

The $599 PD2705UA has 65W power deliver instead of 90W like the PD2706UA and PD3205UA. Meanwhile, the PD2706UA is the only one of the three to offer DCI P3 support if that’s an important feature.

You can pick up the new BenQ Ergo Arm 4K Designer Monitors direct, Amazon, and Adorama. Check out our full review for all the fine details.

Samsung 32-inch Smart Monitor M8

Best displays for Mac - Samsung Smart Monitor M8

The successor to last year’s M7, the Smart Monitor M8 offers a compelling package for those that want a 4K resolution, USB-C, and a large screen while spending well under $1,000. It even features a very iMac-like design and four color choices too.

Specs:

  • USB-C with up to 65W charging
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 32-inch panel
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • HDR10 support
  • Included magnetic SlimFit webcam with face tracking
  • 400 nits brightness
  • 99% sRGB
  • 4ms response time
  • Built-in 2.2 channel speakers
  • Available in white, blue, green, and pink
  • Slim bezels and overall slim design
  • Doubles as a smart TV, with Apple TV+ built-in and AirPlay 2
  • Price: MSRP $699-$729, often available for less

The Smart Monitor M8 is available direct from Samsung and Amazon with the white version normally going for $699.99 and the colored variants selling for $729.99.

LG 32-inch Smart Monitor

Best USB-C/Thunderbolt monitors for Mac LG Smart Monitor

Arriving as a competitor to Samsung’s Smart Monitor M8 above, the new LG Smart Monitor features a compelling list of specs and features for its $500 price.

  • USB-C with up to 65W charging
    • Also includes 2x HDMI, 1x USB-A, 1x Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio jack
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 31.5-inch panel
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 65Hz refresh rate
  • Clamp-style adjustable stand
  • 250 nits brightness
  • 90% DCI P3
  • 5ms response time
  • Doubles as smart TV, with LG’s webOS, AirPlay 2, and HomeKit
  • Price: MSRP $499.99

You can find the LG Smart Monitor at Amazon, direct from LG, and Adorama.

LG 32-inch 32UP550-W

This budget option from LG is a more compelling choice than the older 27-inch 4K 27UK850. The 32UP550-W features a 32-inch screen, 4K resolution, USB-C, 96W power delivery, and more.

Specs:

  • 1 x USB-C with 96W power delivery
  • 2 x HDMI
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 350 nits brightness
  • 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • DCI-P3 at 90%
  • HDR10
  • Anti-glare finish
  • MSRP: $449 or less

This 32-inch affordable 4K USB-C display from LG is available to order on Amazon.

Holding Out?

Thinking of waiting? If you feel like you can’t compromise on a 4K resolution but are open to saving some cash by skipping the USB-C/Thunderbolt connectivity, Philips has a 27-inch 4K display for quite a bit less than the price of the other displays on this list. AOC also makes a comparable 27-inch 4K option.

Sidecar

Another option – make use of the great macOS Sidecar feature that lets you use an iPad as a secondary display.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Source link

About Tech News

Check Also

Best iPhone 15 cases available for purchase

Our 2023 roundup of the best iPhone 15 cases has now been updated once again …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *