The 7 best MacBook monitors for the home office

Everyone who has to work on a MacBook all day in the current home office environment knows that small and compact is not always practical. External monitors are therefore currently in great demand to enlarge one’s digital workplace. We introduce you to the 7 Best portable monitors for MacBook pro for the home.


If you work on a notebook all day in the home office, some people will very soon miss their old office monitor: The entire Macbook lineup is equipped with excellent Retina screens, some even with a true tone function.

Nevertheless, the smaller Macbook models in 12- and 13-inch format are simply not ideal for long-term work: The display is small, and the leaning forward position when working with the small Macs causes back pain or smartphone necks in case of doubt.

Small display lowers productivity

Not to mention the small size of the monitor: Despite the small size, the 12-inch Macbook and the 13-inch model simply lack space on the display – a problem that can even affect the 16-inch model. Large Excel spreadsheets next to Word documents, perhaps an image processing window, and of course the browser?

And that in turn lowers productivity. Small windows are better in some areas – for writers, for example, who focus on an app like iAWriter want to write – but for everyone else, bigger is better – which is why no MacBook user should go without an external monitor, including a mouse and keyboard.

Use the iPad as a second monitor

If you have an iPad, you can easily turn it into a second screen. This is displayed possible by the feature called “SideCar” under iOS 13. How to set up the iPad as a “SideCar” is explained step by step in our guide. 

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 limit the choice – or not?

The problem is that currently all Macbook models, apart from the Air, only have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports. If you believe Apple’s marketing, (expensive) monitors with the appropriate connection technology, such as top models such as LG’s  UltraFine 5K, are therefore required. But that’s not true: the new interface is highly flexible – and with the right adapters, the may connect of halfway up-to-date ry screen.

It doesn’t alertnessether it is a model with an HDMI connection or a display port, which most computer monitors have been offering for a long time. Drivers are also not necessary on the MacKor, alertness the screen has unusual special features such as a webcam: under macOS, with the right adapter, every monitor – even those with a USB hub and speakers – is immediately ready for use.

External monitors for the Mac: It doesn’t have to be high-resolution

Another factor when choosing a monitor for macOS concerns the resolution: Many users believe that a 4Kor 5K display is mandatory.

However, this is not true, which has to do with the working distance on most external screens: While you are very close to the screen on mobile devices such as the Macbook, iPad, or iPhone and can therefore see pixels in non-retina resolutions, that is not the case with external monitors.

AppleThis is precisely why the Retina display was named: It is so high-resolution that pixels are under no circumstances recognizable at a typical viewing distance. With a working distance of approx.

Cropped shot of workspace with blank screen laptop, smartphone, office supplies and decorations

80 centimeters to an external screen, the human eye can hardly resolve the individual pixels of a 27 “WQHD monitor with 2560 × 1440 pixels: Such a monitor has around 109 pixels per inch, i.e. almost 43 pixels per centimeter.

This in turn means that there are 4.3 pixels per millimeter, which is just above the limit of the resolution of the average human eye. In short: If you work on the WQHD 27-inch device at a distance of around 80 centimeters, you should no longer recognize individual pixels with normal eyesight.

4K / 5K: More relevant for image workers than for office and gaming

However, this is not the whole truth, because four pixels are set for one in a high-resolution display, the distances between the pixels are significantly smaller. The image is sharper, even if no individual pixels can be seen in both cases at the working distance mentioned. In practice, the high-resolution 4K and 5K display are therefore much more relevant for image editors than, for example, for office users or gamers.

And 4K and 5K displays, despite all the optical advantages, still have a gigantic disadvantage: graphics cards of weaker or older Macs have to work to display the pixel masses, which significantly increases the thermal load on Macbooks. And the price for such monitors is currently still significantly higher than that for panels with regular resolution.

Other features besides the resolution

But whether high-resolution or not: screens often have other features that set them apart from the competition. Practical functions are, for example, a built-in USB hub or the option of daisy-chaining additional monitors to hang one behind the other to only use one port in the multi-monitor setup. Built-in speakers are also practical, although they are of mixed quality on most screens due to their small size.

And of course, a height-adjustable foot with the option of tilting the monitor by 90 ° using the so-called pivot function and thus operating it in portrait mode is useful, but not mandatory. A power supply unit built into the monitor housing is also practical, as this avoids unnecessary cable clutter.

The monitors at a glance

In the following, we have put together several monitor models that are ideal for the Mac. All models with standard resolution can usually be connected directly or via an adapter to any Mac over the past eight years.

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around: If a monitor only has Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C inputs, a current device with a corresponding connection is unfortunately required on the Mac side. Otherwise, you are free to decide which model is right for you.

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