Best USB-C monitors 2022: 4K, portable, ultrawide, & more
USB-C Monitors for Macbooks
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. Your best 4K USB-C monitor option is the MSI Optix display, thanks to its versatility and price. It’s perfect for most people, though other monitors are better suited to different needs.
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. The 27-inch MSI Optix features 2560×1440 WQHD resolution, a 165hz refresh rate, and AMD Freesync for beautiful playback and gameplay, no matter what you plan to use it for.
- High refresh rate
- Wide curved screen
- Blue-light filtering
- Excellent price point
- Color reproduction may need adjusting
- Exhibits slight motion blurs
Premium option: Apple Studio Display
Designed specifically to complement Apple’s Mac Studio desktop station, the Apple Studio Display is a 5K monitor that is intended to support all the productivity and creativity you can throw at it. The anti-reflective glass provides stunning graphics that come through in any type of lighting, and the 12MP camera with Center Stage will make video conferences and video recording more effective. When iMore reviewed the Studio Display, we loved the graphics and the camera with Center Stage, but we were floored by the audio. When you consider the six-speaker Spatial Audio sound system, this is an all-around groundbreaking display.
- 5K display
- Anti-reflective glass
- Spatial audio
- 12MP camera
Best for movie night: LG UltraFine 5K
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, which is about the size of Apple’s larger iMac, and has a similar P3 wide color gamut with 500 nits brightness. 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 big, boxy black base.
- Up to 5K resolution
- Designed for Apple
- Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
- Built-in speakers, camera, and mic
- No Apple aesthetic
- No legacy ports
Equipped with 4K UHD 3840×2160 resolution and 95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, the BenQ EW3280U Entertainment monitor is built for performance. Our own review of the BenQ EW3280U concludes that sharp graphics, bright colors, and an impressive built-in speaker system combine to make this USB-C monitor a fantastic entertainment experience. Whether you’re 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.
- 4K UHD resolution
- 95% DCI-P3 wide color gamut
- True-tone treVolo audio with two speakers and a 5W subwoofer
- HDRi imagery with intelligent brightness control
- USB-C port does not support charging
Best on a budget: ASUS ZenScreen
The ZenScreen is a favorite around the iMore office for its incredible portability, as you can see 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. 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.
- Weighs less than two pounds
- Ultra-slim at only 8mm thick
- Comes with its own cover
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Does not charge your laptop
- No HDMI support
All the pretty colors: LG 27UN850-W 27-inch 4K Monitor with VESA DisplayHDR 400
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 comes with USB-C compatibility as well.
- VESA DisplayHDR 400 technology
- Borderless design
- Adjustable angle
- USB Type-C connectivity
- Has a slight backlight bleed
Widest of the wide: LG 29UM69G Ultrawide Monitor
If what you need is 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! The Screen Split 2.0 technology allows you to move effortlessly between desktops or even view several at once, which is when this monitor really 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.
- Extra-wide 21:9 aspect ration
- Good resolution
- 1ms motion blur reduction
- Screen Split 2.0 technology
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!
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Lory Gil is iMore’s former managing editor and spends more time in front of her monitors than she does anywhere else. She’s constantly switching between desktop and mobile for work and knows how important an easy setup is.
Luke Filipowicz is iMore’s gaming guru and knows how important a great monitor with zero lag is. If he had the room on his desk, he’d surround himself with 360 degrees of 4K displays.
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