Best External Monitor for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

best monitor for macbook pro 2016

Do you need the best external monitor for MacBook Pro? Or perhaps for your MacBook Air? We’ve researched and compiled this useful buyer’s guide if you are looking for the best MacBook Pro display. You can also use a HD TV to be used with your Mac laptop or PC.

Here are the best external monitors for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, including the latest 2016 models.

TypeMonitorScreen SizeResolution 
Best Budget MacBook Pro DisplayASUS MX239H23-inch1920x1080
Best 1440p Monitor for MacBook Pro and AirBenQ GW2765HT27-inch2560x1440
Best 4K Display for MacBook Pro and MacBook AirSamsung U28E590D28-inch3840x2160
Best 4K Display for MacBook Pro 2016 Model (USB-C)LG UltraFine 4K Display21.5-inch4096x2304
Best Monitor for MacBook Pro 2016 Model (Thunderbolt 3)LG UltraFine 5K Display27-inch5120x2880

We hope the table above has helped you find the best monitor for your MacBook Pro laptop or MacBook Air laptop.

Best Budget MacBook Pro Display

monitor for macbook pro 2016

If you are looking for a cheap display for your MacBook Pro, our recommendation is that you buy the ASUS MX239H monitor. It is just an incredible 23-inch monitor with IPS panel, 1080p resolution and a great price attached to it as well, making this the best monitor for MacBook Pro and Air if you are on a budget.

Best 1440p Monitor for MacBook Pro and Air

cheap macbook pro monitor

You want to go even higher than 1080p (Full HD) and get a 1440p (WQHD) monitor? You can easily grab one of those without spending too much money on a high-quality 1440p monitor. We highly recommend that you buy the amazing BenQ GW2765HT display. It’s great value for the money you pay for it. The screen size of this great MacBook Pro display is 27-inches, which is perfect for a 1440p resolution. It also features speakers and an IPS panel.

Overall, this is a great monitor considering its price and the value it offers. 100% sRGB is supported and Low Blue Light along with a Flicker-Free backlight are supported as well. Connection options include DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI.

Best 4K Display for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

macbook pro display

Still pushing for a higher resolution? Many MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners want an Ultra HD (UHD) 4K display and for those of you who haven’t got a MacBook Pro from late 2016, we recommend that you get the Samsung U28E590D display. It’s an incredible price-competitive 4K monitor that suits very well for a MacBook Pro and Air.

Best 4K Display for MacBook Pro 2016 Model (USB-C)

best monitor for macbook pro 2016

If you have bought a MacBook Pro from late 2016, you can choose to get a 4K display that can be powered via the USB-C cable. The best USB-C monitor for MacBook Pro 2016 model is the LG UltraFine 4K Display, which Apple themselves helped create. It has a screen size of just 21.5-inches and is VESA compatible as well. The screen size combined with the very high resolution gives this an incredible PPI (pixels per inch). It also features stereo speakers and three USB-C ports capable of 480 Mbps. All video, data and power are delivered via the included USB-C cable.

The resolution is actually 4096×2304, which is unlike anything we have ever seen before. This is a greater resolution than standard 4K UHD (UltraHD) 2160p, which is 3840×2160. The USB-C cable provides up to 60W power to your MacBook or MacBook Pro. Panel type is of course IPS, which results in a great color quality with 9.4 million pixels and amazing viewing angles.

The brightness is specified at 500 cd/m2 and P3 wide color gamut support, which is quite high and incredible as well.

Best Monitor for MacBook Pro 2016 Model (Thunderbolt 3)

lg ultrafine 5k display

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2016 can power dual 5K displays, while the 13-inch can only power one 5K display. The best 5K display for MacBook Pro 2016 model (both 15-inch and 13-inch) is the LG UltraFine 5K Display. Apple also helped create this 27-inch beauty and it features an incredible 5120×2880 resolution (5K).

The LG UltraFine 5K Display is currently the ultimate monitor for MacBook Pro. It’s an incredible monitor for photo editing, graphics design and basically anything that requires a color sensitive display.

Mac Monitor Buyer’s Guide

We’ve compiled this buyer’s guide for you Mac users out there looking for the best monitor for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in 2016.

Can I use an external monitor for my MacBook

Generally, you can use an external monitor such as a 4K monitor or a 4K Ultra HD TV with the following Mac computers:

  • MacBook Pro – Retina 2013-2016
  • MacBook Air – 2015-2016
  • Mac Mini – 2014-2016
  • Mac Pro – 2013-2016
  • iMac (27-inch) – 2013-2016
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch) – 2015-2016

Can I use HDMI to connect my MacBook to an external monitor or 4K Ultra HD TV?

Yes, you can use an HDMI cable to connect your Mac computer to a monitor. The following refresh rates are supported:

  • 30Hz at 3840×2160 resolution
  • 24Hz at 4096×2160 resolution (no support for mirroring)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 12-inch) from early 2015 and late-2016 MacBook Pro laptops also support these refresh rates at these resolutions via HDMI 1.4b with a USB-C MultiPort adapter.

If you have a Macbook (Retina, 12-inch) from early 2016 and a late-2016 MacBook Pro, you can enjoy 60Hz on your monitor via HDMI if the display supports HDMI 2.0, you use a HDMI Premium Certified cable and a USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter.

Can I get 60Hz on my 4K display (SST – Single-Stream Transport) when used with a Mac computer or laptop?

Yes, if you have Yosemite 10.10.3 on so-called single-stream 4K displays, meaning that software is not used to render 60Hz.

60Hz refresh rate on a 4K (3840×2160) resolution is supported on:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch) – Retina 2015-2016
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch) – Retina 2014-2016
  • MacBook Air – 2015-2016
  • Mac Pro – 2013-2016
  • iMac (27-inch) – 2013-2016

60Hz refresh rate on a 4K (40962160) resolution is supported on:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch) – 2016-2016
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch)-  2016-2016
  • Mac Pro – 2013-2016
  • iMac (27-inch) – Retina 2014-2016

If you have a MacBook wtih Retina display and a 12-inch screen size from early 2015 and later from thereon, you can enjoy 4K at 60Hz if you use DisplayPort and you run macOS Sierra.

Can I get 60Hz on my 4K display (MST – Multi-Stream Transport) when used with a Mac computer or laptop?

MST, Multi-Stream Transport, means that software in the monitor is used to stitch two halves of a display together. You should ideally buy an SST monitor, since MST monitors can cause troubles in some areas.

You can enjoy 4K resolution at 60Hz with a 4K display using MST on the following Mac devices:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch) – Retina 2015-2016
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch) – Retina 2013-2016
  • iMac (27-inch) – Retina 2014-2016
  • Mac Pro – 2013-2016

Can I use a 5K display or monitor with my Mac product?

Yes, you can, but you need two DisplayPort cables to take advantage of the 5K resolution.

The Dell UP2715K, a 27-inch 5K display is supported by the following Mac products running OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 (or later).

  • iMac (27-inch) – Retina 5K 2014-2016
  • Mac Pro – 2013-2016

The HP Z27q, a 27-inch 5K monitor is supported by the following Mac products running macOS Sierra.

  • iMac (27-inch) – Retina 5K 2014-2016
  • Mac Pro – 2013-2016

What is the best monitor for MacBook Pro 2016 model?

The answer to this question depends if you want your MacBook Pro to connect via USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. If your MacBook must connect via USB C, you need to run something called DisplayPort Alt-Mode and that can’t reach 5K resolution. Your MacBook will also have a Touch Bar.

If you have a MacBook with USB-C, the LG UltraFine 4K display, a monitor specifically tailored for these amazing laptops, is the best pick.

If you have a MacBook with Thunderbolt 3, the LG UltraFine 5K display is certainly the best monitor.

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