USB-C/Thunderbolt display options have really grown over the last couple of years. While Apple is making its own monitor again with the Pro Display XDR, it’s not the best fit for the majority of Mac users with a starting price of $5,000 (without a stand). Let’s take a look at some of the best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays available in the $400-$1,500 range.
Update October 11: We haven’t seen anything notable in the 4K+ resolution space with USB-C recently. But LG’s high-end UltraFine OLED Pro display launched in August. We also saw some affordable new options from LG and Samsung earlier this year. Check out all the details below.
Another thing to keep in mind, Apple is expected to launch its new 14- and 16-inch Apple Silicon MacBook Pro updates this month which will hopefully come with native dual-display support. Meanwhile, Apple is also testing a new external monitor that will feature a dedicated A13 chip.
All the displays below work great for a single-cable setup with your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and PCs. The iPad Pro and 2020 iPad Air can also be used with any of these USB-C/Thunderbolt displays but with limitations.
Related: Best portable USB-C displays for MacBooks: iPad, ASUS, AOC, more
Even though Apple’s 6K Pro Display XDR is a fantastic product (full review), the reality is that at $5,000+, it’s overkill for many MacBook owners’ needs, budgets, or both.
Notably, one trend we’re seeing — that Apple adopted with the Pro Display XDR — is a 32-inch screen size. Fortunately, there are some solid 32-inch options from other companies in the $1,000 ballpark that offer a compelling experience. And we’ll also look at some 27-32-inch 4K USB-C displays in the $400-$600 range.
Best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays for Mac: 32-inch and larger
This is LG’s UltraFine 32-inch display that includes a solid 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 he liked the design better than LG’s other UltraFine models with many of the same features.
- 31.5-inch UHD 4K display (3840 x 2160)
- Refresh rate 60Hz
- Nano IPS with DCI-P3 98%
- VESA DisplayHDR™ 600
- Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports (in x 1 (PD 60W) / out x 1)
- 4K Daisy Chain with Thunderbolt™ 3
- 2 x USB-A
- DisplayPort 1.4
- HDMI 2.0
- 3.5mm headphone output
- MSRP: $1,300
The LG 32UL950-W can be found on Amazon as well as other retailers like B&H Photo.
Moving up a couple of inches, LG’s 34-inch widescreen Thunderbolt 3/USB-C display offers a 5120 x 2160 resolution (in-between 4K and 5K). Jeff reviewed this display and found it to be a compelling option for creative pros.
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 really 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.
- Nano IPS (In-Plane Switching) Panel
- Thunderbolt 3 Interface
- Power output: 85W
- 5120 x 2160 Resolution
- 21:9 Aspect Ratio
- 60Hz Refresh Rate
- Brightness: 450 (Typ), 360 (min) cd/m2
- Support for VESA HDR 600
- DCI-P3 98%
- 2 x HDMI
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 3.5mm headphone input
- Speakers: 5W x 2
- Slim bezel design on all four sides
- MSRP: $1,649, but often available for less
The LG 34WK95U-W is usually in stock at Amazon and B&H Photo.
This is a nice 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 professional modes, hotkey puck, solid metal stand, and lots of I/O.
- 3840 x 2160 Resolution
- 16:9 Aspect Ratio
- 60Hz Refresh Rate
- Brightness: 250 typical, 300 nits HDR peak
- DCI-P3 98%
- 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
- Slim bezels
- MSRP: $1,199 but often available for less
You can usually find the BenQ PD3220U at Amazon and BH Photo.