- 1 5 Best 4K Monitors with Thunderbolt 3 Ports for MacBook Users
- 1.1 1. LG UltraFine 4K Display
- 1.2 2. BenQ PD2720U 4K Monitor
- 1.3 3. Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q
- 1.4 4. Asus ProArt PA32UC 4K Monitor
- 1.5 5. LG 32UL950-W Class Ultrafine 4K UHD LED Monitor
- 1.6 As Fast as the Flash
5 Best 4K Monitors with Thunderbolt 3 Ports for MacBook Users
If you are an Apple fan, you already know that there isn’t a dedicated Thunderbolt display. The last one was discontinued over four years ago. While the display of your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro might be Retina, they aren’t large enough for comfortable work or content viewing. To make the most of the Thunderbolt 3 ports, you will likely need supporting 4K monitors.
Thankfully, there are many quality 4K monitors that you can connect to your MacBook display to enjoy the ultra-clear resolution and screen real-estate.
One advantage of Thunderbolt 3 is that you can link up to 6 devices, not just displays. You can also connect hard drives and take full advantage of the speed.
With some monitors, you can even charge your Mac with up to 90W of power.
If you’re in the market for 4K monitors with Thunderbolt 3 ports, here are our recommendations.
1. LG UltraFine 4K Display
Number of Thunderbolt 3 ports: 2
LG UltraFine 4K Display
The 23.7-inch UltraFine 4K Display from LG is a popular monitor for Mac users. This IPS panel has a refresh rate of 60Hz and a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160, with features like a wide-viewing angle and near-perfect colors and contrast ratio. It supports DCI-P3 wide color gamut. The monitor has a sleek style that complements your MacBook and offers flexibility with two Thunderbolt 3 ports and three USB-C ports for connecting accessories and devices. However, the built-in speakers have underwhelming performance.
The best part about this monitor is that it provides 85W of power to connect the Mac. Just use the included cable and the right ports. Interestingly, the UltraFine 4K doesn’t have any buttons. Yep, you read that right. This monitor doesn’t even have a power button. Everything is controlled via macOS. It also ships with a VESA cover.
2. BenQ PD2720U 4K Monitor
BenQ PD2720U 27 inch 4K Monitor
If you want more flexibility in terms of ports and color profile support, consider the PD2720U 4K monitor from BenQ. It features an IPS panel with a 60Hz refresh rate. The PD2720U includes HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, USB A 3.1 ports, a USB Type-B 3.1 Gen 2 port, and USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Additionally, it has a 3.5mm port for headphones or speakers.
The display is bright, with accurate color reproduction, which you would expect from a monitor at this price point. It’s ideal for content creators and offers different modes like Animation mode, Darkroom mode, and CAD mode.
The BenQ PD2720U supports various color profiles, including 100% sRGB, Adobe RGB, and up to 96% DCI-P3 color gamut. Its design is minimalistic, with thin bezels and a relatively slim screen. However, it lacks any standout features in terms of aesthetics. While it is capable of reverse charging a laptop, the 65W power output may not be sufficient for Macs during power-intensive tasks, leading to gradual battery depletion.
3. Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q
Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q
The Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q stands out with its built-in colorimeter for display calibration. This feature is especially useful for color-critical tasks like photo and video editing. Additionally, the UltraSharp UP2720Q supports 100% of Adobe RGB, 80% BT.2020, and 98% DCI-P3 color gamut. The monitor also offers dual HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.2 ports, and a single DisplayPort 1.4.
This 4K monitor produces excellent picture quality with accurate color renders. The calorimeter helps with this. You can schedule calibrations at regular intervals. It doesn’t have HDR, which is understandable because it’s designed for color-sensitive work, not for enjoying top-tier 4K HDR content. Additionally, the UltraSharp UP2720Q allows you to take advantage of Thunderbolt ports. Your Mac can draw 90W power and daisy chain two 4K monitors. It is also VESA compatible.
4. Asus ProArt PA32UC 4K Monitor
Review: Thunderbolt 3 ports: 2, Width: 32-inch
Asus ProArt PA329C 32-inch 4K Monitor
The Asus ProArt PA329C is a pro-grade monitor with a built-in hardware calibration tool. It is primarily designed for color-critical work and offers a lot. This IPS panel has a max resolution of 3840 x 2160 and a refresh rate of 60Hz. Additionally, it can display 100% sRGB color space coverage, 99.5% Adobe RGB, and 95% DCI-P3. The color calibration tool ensures perfect color profiles.
Asus has four HDMI 2.0 inputs, a DisplayPort 1.2, two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, and a USB 3.0 hub with type-A and USB-C ports. However, the power supply is only 60W, compared to the Dell monitor’s 90W. It also has two built-in 3W speakers, which are not very loud but sufficient for alerts and notifications.
In terms of output, the ProArt PA329C delivers a full picture with great contrast ratio and brightness. It also has excellent HDR implementation, according to TechSpot.
The ProArt PA329C is aesthetically pleasing with minimal bezels and a solid stand. You can rotate, swivel, and even prop it up in a vertical position.
But for a pro-grade monitor, it has flaws. The 60ms response time and the 60Hz refresh rate can feel sluggish, especially for tasks beyond content creation.
5. LG 32UL950-W Class Ultrafine 4K UHD LED Monitor
LG 32UL950-W 32-inch Class Ultrafine 4K UHD LED Monitor
It would be a shame if a list of Thunderbolt 3 compatible monitors didn’t mention the LG 32UL950-W. This monitor has the same 4K resolution at 60Hz and Thunderbolt specifications as the LG UltraFine monitor, but it also offers a beautiful design and plenty of ports for connecting multiple devices.
In terms of inputs, it includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-C ports, and standard USB-A ports (x2), DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone port.
But the flexibility doesn’t stop there. You can rotate and swivel the monitor to your preference, even rotating it a full 180 degrees for a vertical display.
Speaking of the display, it reproduces 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. It also delivers 60W power to juice up your Mac.
If you want to mount it on monitor arms or the wall, you can do so thanks to the VESA mounts. The stand is also beautiful.
As Fast as the Flash
Thunderbolt 3 is impressively fast, allowing for lightning-fast data and power transfer. The Thunderbolt 3 ports on Apple MacBooks can connect to a 4K monitor for ultra-clear resolution. However, these monitors can be expensive. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each monitor. If you don’t need a high-resolution monitor, you might want to check out the Samsung CJ791. It has a 100Hz refresh rate and a maximum resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels, among other features.
As Fred Humiston, the author behind Twothirds.us, I focus on providing practical and easy-to-follow guides and solutions for a variety of technical issues that people commonly face.
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