During the lead up to WWDC there was some optimism Apple would finally release a new external Display, but that hope quickly disappeared. Apple quelled all rumors last night when it announced plans to discontinue the Thunderbolt Display and recommended prospective buyers check out 3rd party options. There’s a chance Apple could release an all-new monitor at some point down the road, but given Apple’s recent shift away from professional products, it wouldn’t be surprising if we never see another display come out of Cupertino.
To that end, we’ve rounded up the best monitors available right now across all budgets for Mac users…
Apple’s 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has been on its deathbed for years. It was last updated back in 2011 (well, 2012 but that was extremely minor) and its 2560×1440 resolution was no longer cutting it at a price of $999 when you can get the latest 5k iMac for as little as $799 more. Not only had Apple’s 1st party options eclipsed the Thunderbolt Display in terms of performance, but other manufacturers have also been pushing out powerful Mac-friendly monitors at much more aggressive price points. You can still buy the Thunderbolt Display, but once current supplies are exhausted, it’ll be gone for good.
Obviously, there are a ton of options when it comes to an external display for your Mac. You may be drawn to a gorgeous 5K screen, but depending on your use-case, a solid 1080p may be the smarter buy for you. Take into account how and where you’ll use your new monitor to help guide your decision making process. Some things to consider when comparing monitors are screen size/resolution, refresh rate, I/O, VESA compatibility, warranty, adjustability and added features like speakers and webcam. If you’re considering going with a UHD, 4K or 5K display, refer to Apple’s support page to make sure your Mac can power all those pixels.
- Acer 24-inch G-Series 1920 x 1080 (model G246HL): A top-notch budget monitor for anyone just looking to pick up some extra screen real estate on-the-cheap. Currently listed at $130 from Amazon.
- Dell 24-inch UltraSharp 1920 x 1200 (model U2415): This is a great option for everyday users looking for a little more out of their monitor. Its ultra-thin bezels make it ideal for multi-monitor setups, while HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort and USB offer versatile connectivity. Currently listed at $258 from Amazon.
- BenQ 27-inch GW Series 2560×1440 WQHD (model GW2765HT): Not only does this monitor offer a jump in number of pixels, but it also features built-in speakers and adjustable height. Currently listed at $350 from Amazon.
- LG 34-inch 21:9 UltraWide 3440 x 1440 QHD (model 34UM88-P): It includes a pair of Thunderbolt 2.0 ports so there’s no worries about Mac compatibility. We reviewed the curved model and came away impressed. Currently listed at $788 from Amazon.
- Dell 24-inch UHD 4K 3840 x 2160 (model P2415Q): This monitor delivers 4K resolution at 60Hz from a trusted brand without breaking the bank. Currently listed at $375 from Amazon.
- LG 27-inch UHD 4K 3840 x 2160 (model 27UD88-W): One of your only options if you’re looking to go 4K and desire USB-C connectivity. We hooked it up to Apple’s 12-inch MacBook and really liked it, but did note a few important limitations. Currently listed at $584 from Amazon.
- Dell 27-inch UHD 5K 5120 x 2880 (model UP2715K): If you have the latest 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, 27-inch iMac or Mac Pro, you can power a 5K display. This one from Dell comes with a swarm of features and is absolutely gorgeous. Currently listed at $1,540 from Amazon.
If your new external monitor is for a MacBook, we’d recommend buying a laptop stand to put your built-in display at an optimal viewing angle. This one by Rain Design is our top-pick. For an in-depth look at 4K monitors for Mac Pro, click here.
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