The best USB-C and Thunderbolt displays for Mac [New for November]

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


Update 11/14/22: The LG Smart Monitor is a notable new launch with a 32-inch panel, 4K resolution, USB-C, AirPlay, and HomeKit, 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 at $400.


All of the displays below in a single cable setup work with 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.

While Apple’s 6K Pro Display XDR is a great product (full review), the truth is that, at over $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. We’ll also look at some 27-32-inch 4K USB-C monitors in the $400-$800 range.

Best USB-C / Thunderbolt Displays for Mac: 32 inches and larger

LG 32UL950-W

This is a 32-inch UltraFine monitor from LG that includes a powerful feature set like two Thunderbolt 3 ports plus two USB-A ports, slim bezels, support for use in portrait orientation, and more.

In his full 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″ UHD 4K Display (3840 x 2160)
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • Nano IPS with DCI-P3 98%
  • 600 nits peak brightness HDR, 450 nits standard
  • VESA DisplayHDR™ 600
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports (In x 1 (PD 60W) / Out x 1)
  • 4K Daisy Chain with Thunderbolt™ 3
  • 2 USB-A ports
  • DisplayPort 1.4 port
  • HDMI 2.0 port
  • 3.5 mm headphone output
  • MSRP: $1,300, often available for less

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

LG 34BK95U-W

The 34-inch widescreen LG Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C monitor offers a resolution of 5120 x 2160 (between 4K and 5K), just a few inches high. Jeff reviewed this offer and found it to be a compelling choice for creative professionals.

But if you’re a creative professional who knows what you’re getting, this screen is a significant real estate upgrade from 4K. Just make sure you understand that this is truly a 4.5K screen, and offers no resolution advantages over a true 5K screen like those in a 5K iMac or iMac Pro.

Specifications:

  • Nano IPS Panel (In-Plane Switching)
  • Thunderbolt 3 interface
  • Power output: 85 watts
  • 5120 x 2160 resolution
  • The aspect ratio is 21:9
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • Brightness: 450 (typical), 360 (min) cd/m²
  • VESA HDR 600 support
  • DCI-P3 98%
  • 2 HDMI ports
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Speakers: 5W x 2
  • Slim edge design on all four sides
  • MSRP: $1,649, often available for less

The LG 34WK95U-W Usually available on Amazon and B&H Photo.

BenQ PD3220U

BenQ PD3220U 4K Thunderbolt Monitor

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

Specifications:

  • 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • The aspect ratio is 16:9
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • Brightness: 250 typical, HDR peak 300 nits
  • 95% DCI-P3
  • HDR10
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 – 85W Power Delivery
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 – 15W Power Delivery
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 DisplayPort 1.4
  • 3 USB 3.1 ports
  • 1 x USB C
  • 1 x USB b
  • Headphone jack
  • Thin edges
  • MSRP: $1,199 Often available for less

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

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

Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor U3223QE

Best USB-C / Thunderbolt Displays for Macs - Dell UltraSharp 32 USB-C Hub Display

Notable features of this Dell UltraSharp model include 98% DCI-P3 color, 90W charging over USB-C for MacBooks, and an integrated hub compatible 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
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • The aspect ratio is 16:9
  • 8 ms response time
  • Anti-glare finish with 3H Hard Coating
  • Brightness: 400 lumens
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 hub
    • HDMI (HDCP 2.2)
    • DisplayPort 1.4 port
    • DisplayPort output
    • USB-C upstream port / DisplayPort 1.4 Alt mode with power delivery (up to 90W power, HDCP 2.2)
    • USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 for upload
    • USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 downstream (up to 15W power)
    • 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2 downstream ports
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2 for download with Battery Charge 1.2
    • Audio line out (mini jack)
    • LAN (RJ-45 Ethernet)
  • MSRP: $1,150

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

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

LG UltraFine OLED Pro

After starting the 32-inch model at $3,999 last year, BH Photo has subsequently listed the 27-inch model at $2,999.

LG UltraFine OLED Pro Release Date

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

BH Photo was the first retailer to sell the UltraFine OLED Pro at $3,999.

Specifications:

  • 27- and 31.5-inch OLED screen options (27-inch coming this fall, 32-inch available now)
  • 3840 x 2160 4K resolution
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • USB-C with 90 watts
  • Brightness up to 500 nits
  • Dolby HDR 400 True Black
  • 1ms response time
  • 10-bit color depth
  • 2 x DisplayPort
  • 3 x USB
  • 1 x HDMI
  • DCI P3 99%
  • Adobe RGB 99%

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

Apple Studio Display and LG UltraFine displays

studio show

Best Mac Displays - Apple Studio Display

Apple’s Studio Display arrived alongside the new Mac Studio and marks the return to consumer displays after leaving LG’s UltraFine series as its official recommendation since 2016.

Starting at $300 above the LG UltraFine 5K, the studio monitor is aimed at those who value Apple’s refined (and metallic) build quality.

Specifications:

  • 27 inch board
  • 5K resolution 5120 x 2880
  • The aspect ratio is 16:9
  • 218 pixels per inch
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • 600 lumens brightness
  • P3 wide color support
  • True Tone support
  • 1 Thunderbolt 3 port with 96W power plus 3 USB-C ports
  • Integrated 12MP Ultra Wide Camera with Center Stage support
  • 6-speaker system with spatial sound support
  • Studio-quality 3-mic array
  • Aluminum construction
  • Supports most reference modes such as Pro Display XDR Except for HDR
  • Price: $1,599 – $2,299 (depending on stand and monitor)

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

Check out our detailed comparison with more perspective on Studio Screen:

24- and 27-inch LG UltraFine monitors

Best USB-C / Thunderbolt Displays for Mac - Apple Certified Displays

While the 27-inch UltraFine (Reviewed) he is It was really the only option on the market that supports USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 at full 5K, and the $1,300 price tag might make that a tad difficult for some.

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

At about half the price, the 24-inch 4K UltraFine is a compelling option for an Apple-supported monitor for those who prefer smaller size. The 24-inch version replaced the 21.5-inch 4K model in May 2019 and sells for about $700. Check out our full review here.

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

While there are some solid monitors on the market that include USB-C with a resolution of less than 4K, spending several hundred dollars on a new monitor with lower picture quality than what you’re used to on your MacBook isn’t going to be a good fit for much.

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

Samsung Smart TV 32 inch M8

Best Monitors 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 big screen while spending less than $1,000. It even has an iMac-like design and four color options as well.

Specifications:

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

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

LG 32 inch smart screen

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

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

  • USB-C with up to 65W charging
    • Also includes 2x HDMI, 1x USB-A, 1x Ethernet and 3.5mm audio jack
  • 4K resolution 3840 x 2160
  • 31.5 inch panel
  • The aspect ratio is 16:9
  • The refresh rate is 65 Hz
  • Adjustable clip-on holder
  • 250 lumens brightness
  • 90% DCI P3
  • 5 ms response time
  • It doubles as a smart TV, with webOS, AirPlay 2, and LG’s HomeKit
  • Price: MSRP $499.99

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

Monoprice 32″ CrystalPro 4K Monitor

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

Specifications:

  • 32-inch 4K screen – 3840 x 2160
  • 1 x USB-C with 65W Power Delivery
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 DisplayPort 1.2 port
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 2 x USB-A ports
  • The aspect ratio is 16:9
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • 5 ms response time
  • Fully articulated stand
  • MSRP: $399.99

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

LG 32 inch 32UP550-W

This latest budget edition from LG is a more compelling option than its older 27-inch 4K 27UK850. The 32UP550-W features a 32-inch 4K display, USB-C port, 96W Power Delivery, and more.

Specifications:

  • 1 x USB-C with 96W Power Delivery
  • 2 HDMI ports
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • The aspect ratio is 16:9
  • The refresh rate is 60 Hz
  • Brightness up to 350 lumens
  • 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 from Amazon.

Steadfast?

Thinking of waiting? If you feel like you can’t compromise on 4K but are open to saving some cash by skipping the USB-C/Thunderbolt connection, Philips has a 27-inch 4K monitor for a little less than the other monitors on this list. AOC also offers a similar 27-inch 4K option.

sidecar

Another option – use the awesome Sidecar feature in macOS that allows you to use your iPad as a secondary display.

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