The best USB-C / Thunderbolt displays for MacBooks

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


Update 11/14/22: The LG Smart Monitor is a great recent launch with a 32-inch panel, 4K resolution, USB-C, AirPlay, and HomeKit connectivity all at an affordable price.

And last month we added the 32-inch Monoprice CrystalPro 4K Monitor to our list as a great budget option for $400.


All of the monitors below work with your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and even PCs with a one-cable setup. iPad Pro and 2020 iPad Air and later can be used with one of these USB-C/Thunderbolt displays but to a limited extent.

Although Apple’s 6K Pro Display XDR is a fantastic product (full review), the reality is that at $5,000+, it’s too much 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 decent experience. And we’ll also be looking at some 27-32-inch 4K USB-C displays in the $400-$800 range.

The best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays for Mac: 32-inch and larger

LG 32UL950-W

LG 32UL950 UltraFine 4K Display Display 01

This is LG’s 32-inch UltraFine display that includes a solid set of features such as two Thunderbolt 3 ports plus two USB-A ports, thin bezels, support for use in portrait orientation, and more.

In his comprehensive review, my colleague Jeff Benjamin found that he liked the design better than LG’s other UltraFine models with many of the same features.

Specifications:

  • 31.5-inch UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) display
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Nano IPS with DCI-P3 98%
  • 600 nits peak HDR brightness, standard 450 nits
  • VESA DisplayHDRâ„¢ 600
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports (in x 1 (PD 60W) / out x 1)
  • 4K Daisy Chain with Thunderboltâ„¢ 3
  • 2 x USB-A
  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone output
  • MSRP: $1,300, often available for less

The LG 32UL950-W can be found on Amazon as well as other retailers like B&H Photo.

LG 34BK95U-W

Moving up a few inches, LG’s 34-inch Thunderbolt 3/USB-C display offers a resolution of 5120 x 2160 (between 4K and 5K). Jeff reviewed this show and found it to be an excellent choice for creative professionals.

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 actually 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.

Specifications:

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

that one LG 34WK95U-W usually in stock at Amazon and B&H Photo.

BenQ PD3220U

BenQ PD3220U 4K Thunderbolt Display

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

Specifications:

  • 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
  • Thin bezels
  • MSRP: $1,199 Usually available for less

You can usually find the BenQ PD3220U on Amazon and BH Photo.

BenQ also has two other affordable 4K models, the $800 PD3205U and $600 PD2705U.

Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor U3223QE

Best USB-C/Thunderbolt Displays for Mac - Dell UltraSharp 32 USB-C Hub Monitor

Features of this Dell UltraSharp include 98% DCI-P3 color, 90W charging via USB-C for MacBooks, and a convenient integrated hub with USB-C, USB-A, Ethernet, DP 1.4, and HDMI.

Specifications:

  • 31.5-inch screen with IPS Black technology
  • 4K resolution 3840 x 2160
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 8ms response time
  • Anti-glare coating with 3H hard coating
  • Brightness: 400 nits
  • USB 3.2 gen 2 hub
    • HDMI (HDCP 2.2)
    • DisplayPort 1.4
    • DisplayPort output
    • USB-C upstream/DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode with Power Delivery (power up to 90W, HDCP 2.2)
    • USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 above
    • USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 below (power up to 15W)
    • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 below
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2 below with Battery Charging 1.2
    • Audio line (mini-jack)
    • LAN (RJ-45 Ethernet)
  • MSRP: $1,150

The UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor is available from Amazon and BH Photo.

Dell also makes more affordable UltraSharp models in 32-inch and 27-inch sizes.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro

After starting to sell the 32-inch model for $3,999 last year, BH Photo later listed the 27-inch model for $2,999.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro flagship launch date

OLED behavior is interesting. While there are some benefits like blacker blacks, and more, there may be concerns about screen burn.

BH Photo was the first vendor to sell the UltraFine OLED Pro at a price of $3,999.

Specifications:

  • 27- and 31.5-inch OLED screen options (27-inch coming this fall, 32-inch available now)
  • 3840 x 2160 A 4K version
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • USB-C with 90W transmission power
  • up to 500 nits of light
  • 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%

For a closer look, check out the full review first:

Apple Studio Display and LG UltraFine displays

Studio Display

Best displays for Mac - Apple Studio Display

Apple’s Studio Showcase arrived alongside the new Mac Studio and returns to prosumer monitors after letting LG’s UltraFine series serve as its official offering since 2016.

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

Specifications:

  • 27-inch panel
  • 5K resolution 5120 x 2880
  • 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 construction
  • Supports multiple reference modes such as Pro Display XDR except for HDR
  • Price: $1,599 – $2,299 (depending on stand and screen finish)

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

Check out our comprehensive comparison with more perspectives on Studio Display:

LG UltraFine 24 & 27-inch Displays

The best USB-C / Thunderbolt displays for Mac - Apple approved displays

While the 27-inch UltraFine screen (review) is Virtually the only option on the market to support USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 with a full 5K resolution, the $1,300 price tag may make this a tough sell for some.

Another trade-off here is the thinner bezels for the built-in webcam. Current models are 5K 27-inch and 4K 24-inch UltraFine screens.

At almost half the price, the 24-inch 4K UltraFine is a solid choice for an Apple-approved display for those who are fine with the smaller size. The 24-inch version replaced the 21.5-inch 4K model in May 2019 and sells for around $700. Check out our full review here.

The best USB-C / Thunderbolt displays for Mac on a budget

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

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

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 who want 4K resolution, USB-C and a large screen while spending under $1,000. It even features an iMac-like design and four color options.

Specifications:

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

The Smart Monitor M8 is available directly from Samsung and Amazon with the white version usually selling for $699.99 and the color versions for $729.99.

LG 32-inch Smart Monitor

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

Like Samsung’s Smart Monitor M8 competitor above, the new LG Smart Monitor packs an impressive list of specs and features for its $500 price tag.

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

You can find the LG Smart Monitor on Amazon, direct from LG, and soon on BH Photo.

Monoprice 32-inch CrystalPro 4K Monitor

This is a solid option if you’re looking to get 4K resolution with a USB-C connection but it’s good to skip the bells and whistles.

Specifications:

  • 32-inch screen with 4K resolution – 3840 x 2160
  • 1 x USB-C with 65W power delivery
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 2 x USB-A ports
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • response time 5 ms
  • Stand fully described
  • MSRP: $399.99

This affordable 32-inch 4K USB-C monitor is available from Monoprice on Amazon.

LG 32-inch 32UP550-W

This new budget release from LG is an upgrade from its older 27-inch 4K 27UK850. The 32UP550-W features a 32-inch screen, 4K resolution, USB-C, 96W power delivery, and more.

Specifications:

  • 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
  • With a brightness of 350 nits
  • 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • DCI-P3 at 90%
  • HDR10
  • Anti-glare finish
  • MSRP: $449 or less

This affordable 32-inch 4K USB-C monitor 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 money by ditching the USB-C/Thunderbolt connection, Philips has a 27-inch 4K monitor that costs a lot less than other monitors. on this list. AOC also makes a comparable 27-inch 4K option.

Sidecar

Another option – use the great macOS Sidecar feature that allows you to use the iPad as a second display.

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