Released in Mid 2011, Apple’s 27 inch Thunderbolt Display was the epitome of modern engineering and cutting-edge technology. Offering a resolution of 2560×1440, the Thunderbolt Display surpassed every monitor or screen in the world in terms of quality and technology. However, times change and now, almost 5 years later, the Thunderbolt Display isn’t the latest and greatest gadget around. With the launch of 4K and 8K screens and cellular devices sporting QHD resolutions, the market is now home to higher resolution products, or options that offer similar features at a cheaper price. In this article, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best monitors for Macbook Pro 2015/2016 that you can buy right now. Ranging from $400 to $800, these monitors offer you a variety of features, screen sizes and resolutions so you can choose the best one according to your needs.
When buying a new monitor, you should know what features you want in your device. Usually, the best product is the one that offers a balance between its spec sheet and its price. When buying a monitor, you should first determine what screen size and resolution you are most comfortable with. Once you’ve done that, choosing a monitor will become very easy.
Connecting your Monitor to your Macbook Pro
Before we start listing our choices, there are a couple of things we’d like you to know;
- All of these monitors can connect to your Macbook Pro via either the HDMI port or DisplayPort. (The DisplayPort on your Macbook Pro is the same as the Thunderbolt Port).
- The HDMI port can be used to drive your shiny new monitor but only at a refresh rate of 30Hz (normally the optimum refresh rate is 60Hz) at a resolution of 2560×1440. This is okay for text general use but not very good for video or games or any type of motion.
- You must have Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 or later. Prior to this, the Macbook Thunderbolt connectors weren’t capable of driving any resolution higher than 2560×1440.
- If you have OS X Mavericks 10.9.3, you’ll need to adjust a couple of settings to get the monitor to work at 4K resolution. All Macbooks released before 2015 sport the DisplayPort 1.2 standard which can’t do 4K resolution. To overcome this, a DisplayPort feature called Multi-Stream Transport (MST) is used.
- MST basically combines two DisplayPort signals onto one screen. To do this, you’ll need to connect your monitor to your Macbook Pro via the supplied DisplayPort Cable. Once that’s done, your laptop will automatically negotiate the best resolution possible for your monitor. If, in case, it doesn’t automatically switch to 3840×2160, you’ll need to manually switch on MST on your monitor.
Let’s Look at Top 10 Best Monitors for Macbook Pro Laptop 2015/2016
We’ll begin our list of the top 10 best monitors for the Macbook Pro by introducing the LG 34UM95-P. It’s a 34-inch professional desktop monitor which offers a native resolution of 3440×1440 at a refresh rate of 60Hz. It comes equipped with a multitude of ports including an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, Thunderbolt ports and USB 3.0 ports, which allow seamless integration of the device with your laptop or desktop computer.
With wide viewing angles, high resolution, built in speakers and a design boasting thin bezels, this monitor is perfect for people who use their Macbooks for entertainment and gaming, although with a price tag upwards of $700, this may not be the monitor for you if you’re on a budget.
If you’re an apple enthusiast, this may be the monitor for you. LG is one of the companies that is Apple’s LCD panel suppliers, and the 27MB85R has one of the most accurate color reproductions of any monitor. LG’s ColorPrime feature includes Scaler and True Color Pro software that works in tandem with an included calibrator for greater accuracy.
In terms of connectivity, it supports almost all the common I/O ports which include DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort and DisplayPort Mini. The only major con we found in this was a lack of USB ports and its native resolution of 2560×1440 at a strikingly high price of $500.
The 8th item on our list of the best monitors for Macbook Pro in 2016 is the BenQ BL2711U 4K monitor. Although, not a very famous company, BenQ makes good quality, feature rich devices aimed for the corporate market. The BL2711U is a monitor aimed at designers who work with CAD and animation software.
It supports a native resolution of 3840×2160 with a display panel size of 27-inches. With a plethora of features like CAD Mode, Animation Design etc and an excellent auto pivot feature, this is the best bargain for Macbook Pro users in terms of features and affordability.
The Asus PB278Q is an excellent monitor that offers a stunning WQHD display (native resolution of 2560×1440 and a screen size of 27-inches), wide variety of connectivity options, ergonomic design and an excellent PLS display panel.
The main selling point of this monitor is its excellent response time. With its stunning display, accurate color reproduction, and the fact that it’s available for less than $500, this device is perfect of young gamers and anyone who likes to watch videos/movies on his laptop.
Coming up on number 6 on our list as one of the best best monitor for Macbook Pro, we have the ViewSonic VP2770. It offers the same 2560×1440 resolution and has the same connectivity options which are offered by many others in this price range but it has some features that set it apart from the competition.
Sporting an IPS panel, the VP2770 boasts a crisp display, excellent 45-degree viewing angles and dedicated CAD/CAM engineering modes help justify its $600 price point. Although higher in price than some of its competitors its sturdy build quality and excellent ergonomic design make it perfect for offices and professional work
The Asus MX27AQ is probably the cheapest UHD monitor for MacBook Pro under 500 dollars you can buy at the moment. But that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch.
With a screen size of 27-inches and a display resolution of 2560×1440 pixels it does what the majority of other monitors offer but at a fraction of the cost. It has excellent 178-degree viewing angles, above average color reproduction and an eye catching and ergonomic design. All for under $500. So, if you want a budget UHD monitor for your Macbook Pro, go for the Asus MX27AQ.
The HP Z27i is a 27-inch professional monitor with a native resolution of 2560×1440. It features an IPS Gen 2 Panel, LED Backlighting and an anti-glare coating.
It has an excellent ergonomic design which allows flexibility in its height, tilt and also enables it to rotate into a portrait orientation, and with wide 178-degree viewing angles, colors seem vibrant from wherever you’re positioned.
It includes a wide variety of connectivity options which include USB 3.0, VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort and HDMI ports. It, however, does not offer the DisplayPort out connection necessary for that spec’s multi-streaming feature that lets you connect multiple monitors together.
The Samsung UE590 is another example of a high quality monitor available in the market. With its 4K resolution (3480x2160pixels) and amazing color reproduction, it is one of the best 4K models available.
But what makes the UE590 stand out from the competition is that it is one of the first models to support the HDMI 2.0 standard which is capable of delivering 4K video over a supported HDMI 2.0 cable. It also comes with AMD’s FreeSync technology built into it, which is extremely important for 4K gaming. FreeSync is designed to match refresh rates between your PC’s GPU and the monitor itself, causing the two to synchronize smoothly and prevent artifacts or stutter. All this under $550. Not a bad deal, eh?
If you’re looking for bigger monitors with screen sizes higher than 27-inches, then Seiki’s UHD Monitors are your best bet and that too under $500 to fit with your MacBook Pro laptop.
The Seiki SE42UMS has a refresh rate of 60 and has a backlit LED. According to few professionals, this is one of the very finest 4k UHD monitor for Macbook Pro which does not break your bank. Seiki SE42UMS has a 42-inch display with 4K resolution. All these things being considered, Seiki SE42UMS is one of the best available monitors for Macbook Pro.
The Number 1 item on our list of the top 10 best monitors for Macbook Pro Laptop is the Dell UP2715K UltraSharp 5K monitor. Dell’s UltraSharp Monitors are some of the best devices on the market and the UP2715K is probably the closest you’ll find to an Apple 5K Thunderbolt Display.
Using Multi Stream Transport, the P2715Q can deliver a mind blowing resolution of 5120×2880 at a refresh rate of 60Hz. This may not be supported by Macbook Pro laptops released before 2015, but is an admirable feat nonetheless. Older Macbooks can still connect to the monitor at an excellent 3840×2160 pixels at 60Hz.
Given its specifications, it’s no surprise that the UP2715K retails at a price upwards of $2000. If you’re the budget conscious individual, you may be better off with Dell’s P2715Q which offers an epic 4K resolution at an affordable $600.
But whatever model you buy, we can guarantee that Dell’s UltraSharp UHD Monitors are some of the best monitors available in the market for the Macbook Pro. There has been many Macbook Pro users who found Dell monitors to be exactly the same like the Apple’s monitor and give the sharpest of results. However, having such a monitor doesn’t come at a cheap price since these monitors hasn’t hit the mainstream market yet just like the 1080p monitors. Hope this review of best monitors for Macbook Pro would be helpful in listing and deciding the suitable monitor to select and buy in year 2016.