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There are thousands of monitors on the market, and choosing the right one can be a difficult task. Together, we’ve put together the best monitors you should look at to pair with your M1-based Mac.
Apple’s Mac line covers many areas, from the desktop mini Mac mini to the mobile MacBook Air. To get the most out of your Mac, you ideally need the best available screen for it, and although some models include a screen, there’s no harm in looking for replacements.
For an item like a Mac mini, you obviously need a screen to use it. However, the external display can also be useful for MacBook models, as a second screen for productivity or simply for viewing the screen while the Mac is closed and saved.
If you are in the market for a new screen, here is our selection for the types of screens you should consider buying.
The best versatile monitor
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27-inch monitor is a long-term recommendation for anyone who needs a decent monitor, and it still is. Asked AppleInsider editorial team for proposals, was the first to be openly proposed.
Although the monitor is not capable of Thunderbolt, it still offers a number of ways to connect your Mac, including HDMI and DisplayPort. The included USB-C port supports DisplayPort alt mode to connect to your M1-based Mac.
This USB-C cable not only drives video, but also handles data and power, including 90-watt power delivery. Add three built-in additional USB-A ports and it will become a single-cable dock for your mobile MacBook.
The biggest difference between this monitor and the more expensive ones from LG is the lack of Thunderbolt support. Data transferred via USB-C will be 10 GB / s, which is suitable for peripherals and external drives, but if you want even more bandwidth, you’ll want to connect your devices directly to your Mac.
This monitor has 4K resolution at 3,840×2,160, HDR 400, 95% P3 color range and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The included stand allows use vertically or horizontally, depending on your needs.
You can get the Dell U2720Q Ultrasharp 27-inch monitor for $ 638.95 on Amazon.
The best budget 4K monitor
If you have a budget, you could opt for a monitor with 1080p resolution, but for not much more, instead, you could choose a 4K resolution version.
The BenQ EL2870U is a 28-inch 4K monitor designed for gaming, but is also useful in many other areas. It mainly has a resolution of 3,840×2,160 and a refresh rate of 60Hz, two HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort inputs, 2-watt speakers and a headphone jack.
While it’s a more simple monitor that doesn’t offer things like USB-C or power, it still provides a lot of essential or valuable elements. Like its 1,000: 1 contrast ratio, 5ms response time and 10-bit color.
You also get features such as low light mode and Brightness Intelligence Plus, which dynamically changes the brightness based on the light in the room. This can help protect your vision over time by minimizing the eye directly from staring at a screen that is too bright for too long.
You can buy BenQ’s 28-inch 4K monitor BenQ EL2870U for $ 249.99 from Amazon, $ 50 at retail price.
4K best value monitor with power delivery
If you want a large 4K resolution monitor, but you also need power to your MacBook, consider Monoprice CrystalPro 4K UHD monitors. Measuring 28 inches and 32 inches, these two offer the same list of specifications, but in two different sizes.
Both monitors have a resolution of 3,840×2,160 with a refresh rate of 60Hz, use a vertical alignment board instead of a TN board, and a headphone and speaker jack for sound.
Connections are an important part as they include a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2 connection and one USB Type-C port. This last port can offer power, data and video via a single cable to your connected MacBook.
It offers 65 W of power supply for power, enough to charge a 13-inch MacBook Pro while in use. A pair of USB-A ports on the monitor also allows other devices to be connected, extending the connection of the main device to two more ports.
The monitors also come with a fully articulated stand with height adjustment, vertical tilt and horizontal rotation.
Monoprice sells both CrystalPro monitors through its website, with 28-inch and 32-inch models priced at $ 359.99 and $ 399.99, respectively.
The best Thunderbolt monitor
LG UltraFine Thunderbolt monitors remain the best third-party monitor option for Mac users, combining great displays with connecting Thunderbolt 3 to custom Macs.
Using Thunderbolt 3, users can connect a single cable to their Mac or MacBook that handles power, data and video. While this is basically similar to USB-C, you get Thunderbolt 3-specific benefits, including connecting monitors to other devices and availability of up to 40 Gbps bandwidth.
In the case of the 34-inch UltraFine 4K UHD LED monitor with Thunderbolt, model number 34BK95U-W, Thunderbolt allows video and data transmission and up to 85 W power delivery. In addition to the Thunderbolt 3 port, you also have two USB-A ports, a DisplayPort and two HDMI inputs, as well as a headphone output.
Virtually edgeless, the 21: 9 UltraWide screen has a resolution of 5120 x 2160, making it wider in 4K screen resolution. With support for the VESA DisplayHDR 600 with up to 600 threads of brightness, the Nano IPS display offers 98% DCI-P3 color space, making it ideal for video creators.
The LG UltraFine 34-inch Nano IPS LED 5K display costs $ 1,499 and can be ordered from Amazon.
The monitor with the best performance
Game monitors often come with bright LED backlighting, an aggressive design and expensive prices. The LG UltraGear 27-inch gaming monitor is a powerful power with all the specs you want when connecting a Mac.
The monitor is comparable to the previously mentioned LG UltraFine 5K, but with a lot of key differences. Of course, you won’t find the Thunderbolt 3, and its 3840 x 2160 4K screen is a bit smaller, along with a size of 27 inches, but it has HDR10 and a 98% P3 color range.
The 3840×2160 4K display also has a refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of 1 ms, far faster than most other 4K monitors on the market. When using compatible PCs, it has AMD FeeSync and Nvidia G-Sync capabilities, although these are more PC-oriented than Mac-oriented.
The back of the monitor has an RGB LED ring that will glow with colors on a nearby wall depending on settings made using proprietary software or through settings inside the monitor. This can be turned off completely or display static colors as desired, but you’ll probably want it to be active for the sake of your eyes.
The connection offers a DisplayPort, two HDMI inputs and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It can also act as a USB hub, with a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 connections offered with a Type B upstream connection.
The best UltraWide monitor
Ultra-wide monitors have become popular as an alternative to multiple screen settings, giving you a screen of two screens with the imprint of one. This will be especially important for M1-based MacBook Air and MacBook Pro users because you can only connect one external display.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is one such ultra-wide screen consisting of a 49-inch curved gaming monitor. The giant curved screen offers the equivalent of two QHD monitors, but on one very wide panel.
QHD is “2K” or 1440p resolution that corresponds between HD and 4K. The resolution of the 5120×1440 ultra-wide monitor gives an image ratio of 32: 9, which makes it extremely wide in relation to its height.
Furthermore, it is also a mini screen with LED backlighting, which uses 2,048 local dimming zones to offer what Samsung calls the Quantum HDR2000, namely HDR support up to 2000 nits of brightness. It also boasts a static contrast ratio of 1 million to 1 and 95% coverage of the DCI color range.
Of course, as a gaming monitor, it also benefits from many gaming-related additions, including a 1ms response time, a refresh rate of 240 Hz, support for Freesync Premium Pro, and compatibility with G-Sync.
The connection is provided by 2 HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 connection, as well as options for operation as a dual-port USB 3.0 hub and a headphone jack. The range of connectivity options is useful for another feature, with the ability to use picture-in-picture for videos from two sources on top of each other on the same screen.
On Amazon, you can buy the Samsung 49-inch Odyssey Neo G9 for $ 2,499.99.
Of course, the best screen you can buy is the one sold by Apple itself. The Pro Display XDR is a monster monitor, with reference specifications and a huge price tag.
It is impossible to seriously recommend Pro Display XDR, realistically, because everyone who really needed it has already bought their own. However, if you have a few thousand dollars to spend, this will complete every Mac with the M1 with its 32-inch screen and beautiful design.
Apple compares its Pro Display XDR to professional reference monitors that cost at least $ 40,000, which could still make it appealing to those entering the visually creative realms. The 6016×3384 6K screen has a contrast of one million to 1 and a color depth of 10 bits.
M1-based Macs can run the screen without any problems, but it was originally designed for use with Apple’s Mac Pro. Apple has not given any other real options for a separately manufactured screen, which means that if you are desperately looking for an Apple brand screen, this is your main choice.
The standard Pro Display XDR has been reduced to $ 4,899 with a coupon code APINSIDER in Adorama. The stand is not included and can be purchased for $ 959 ($ 40 compared to its $ 999 retail price).
As a warning, Apple’s M1-based Macs do not currently support external GPU (eGPU) technology, and although there were initially hopes that this could change, this has not yet been done.
But if you have an Intel-based Mac, you can consider using an eGPU to increase performance, power your laptop, and in some cases, outdated ports and networking.
DIY enclosures generally can’t speed up a monitor that connects via USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, so ideally you should look for HDMI or DisplayPort monitors if you go that route. But eGPU Breakaway Pucks from Sonnet can increase the performance of USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 screens.
The Radeon RX 5500 XT model Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Puck is available in BiH for $ 599.99. Amazon also sells the 5500 XT.
If you’re confident enough to embark on a do-it-yourself series, consider Sonet’s 750 and 750ex eGPU storage cases. The two can accept a macOS-compatible graphics card and offer 85 W of power to the host Mac via Thunderbolt 3.
The EX edition makes the case more useful as a docking station, with four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
The Breakaway Box 750 and 750ex sonnets are available on Amazon for $ 299 and $ 349, respectively. These prices exclude the cost of the graphics card itself, which will vary greatly depending on the model and performance.
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