ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Mac Monitor for Macbook Pro and Mini 2017

Updated on November 14, 2017
Dell UltraSharp U2713HM IPS Monitor
Dell UltraSharp U2713HM IPS Monitor | Source

In 2017 all monitors are Mac compatible as long as they can be plugged in to the back of your Macbook Pro or Mini. That being said not all of them make a lot of sense for you to use. Understanding the difference between technical details and words like Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, HDMI, LCD, LED, TN, and IPS will help you make a good buying decision.

In this post, I'll give you a guide for what to look for in a monitor for your Mac as well as my picks for the best monitors for both the MacBook Pro and Mini.

First, let's go over the standard ports that each of these devices use so we can get a better understanding of what is easiest to use.

Mac Mini Ports
Mac Mini Ports | Source

Mac Mini Ports and Monitor Compatibility Guide

As you can see in the picture above a standard Mac Mini comes with a Thunderbolt Port and an HDMI port.

Is the Mini DisplayPort compatible or does it work in the Thunderbolt Display Port?

Yes, the Mini DisplayPort uses the same geometry as the Thunderbolt port.

Can I use a monitor which has a DVI or VGA Port?

Yes, to use the VGA port you'll need a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter. For DVI you'll need a Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter. Dual-Link DVI can be used if you have a Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter.

Compatibility for the MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and MacBook Air.

Since all of these products have a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port all of the adapters above can be used in the same way - including a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter in case you don't have an HDMI port.

Dell UltraSharp U3011 30" Monitor
Dell UltraSharp U3011 30" Monitor
Looking for something with a wide Color Gamut, DisplayPort, and Large screen? The U3011 has it all with support for 1.07 billion colors (30 bit).

Choosing a Monitor for your Mac

While Apple's Thunderbolt Display is certainly a great option for any Mac-user, it's pricey. There are many other affordable alternatives to consider for every day use. Here's a few things you should consider before deciding upon a mointor:

TN Vs. IPS Panel Monitors

Most current monitors are TN or twisted nematic panel monitors. These monitors are known for their quick response times, good pictures, and low price. While a TN panel monitor is ideal for someone doing daily work it's not quite as accurate as an IPS panel monitor.

IPS or in-plane-switching monitors are ideal for photo editing, graphic design, or anything else where color accuracy is important. These monitors are more accurate because they use 24, 30, 36, or even 48 bits compared to the 18-bits that a TN panel monitor can reproduce. Response times are generally slower with IPS monitors than TN panel monitors often producing some additional blur when watching video.

LED Vs. LCD Technology

LED monitors are in fact liquid crystal displays. What sets them apart is the way they are backlit. LED monitors tend to be thinner, can produce deeper blacks, and don't produce environmentally harmful mercury like you find on older flourescent lamp backlit LCDs.


1920 x 1080p is considered full high definition. This means that there are 1920 pixels horizontally on the screen by 1080 pixels vertically.Those use a Mac Mini or other Mac device for daily use will find that this resolution is crystal clear and more than good enough for their daily tasks.

Graphic designers and photo editors sometimes find that this simply isn't enough for what they're working with. While a monitor like the Apple Thunderbolt Display offers 2560 x 1440 Resolution for this very reason, it may not be the ideal solution for someone who needs a perfectly callibrated monitor with a perfect level of accuracy.

A Good and Cheap IPS Monitor Under $300

Dell UltraSharp U3014
Dell UltraSharp U3014 | Source

Dell U2713HM IPS LED Monitor Review

If you're looking for a monitor that will be save you money and be equal to the resolution and feel of the Apple Cinema Display, then this is probably your best bet. With a WQHD resolution of 2560 X 1440 and nearly perfect color accuracy out of the box it's a really good deal. While it's still a bit pricey it's still a good deal compared to other similar high resolution IPS monitors on the market.

A New Budget Dell IPS Display: Dell S2340M

Released in late 2012, the Dell S2340M has become one of the most popular monitors on the market because of its low price and reproduction of 82% of the color gamut. It has a 1920 x 1080 resolution and comes with VGA & DVI connectors. While this is a great budget monitor it certainly won't win any awards for versatility. If you need flexability, then consider spending a bit more and getting the Dell UltraSharp U2312HM which has a DisplayPort as well as VGA and DVI connectors.

Other Budget IPS Displays

If you want the benefits of having an IPS display without paying the IPS cost, then consider one of the budget IPS displays from Dell which I've listed above or the 4 I've listed below from Asus and Viewsonic. While there are certainly other good options on the market, these particular ones are well-rated and don't have as many problems as others I've seen.

Asus VS239H-P

This affordable monitor from Asus includes HDMI, D-Sub (VGA), and DVI-D inputs. With a 5ms response time it's still good for watching movies or playing games and it has a full high definition 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Dell U3011 Vs. U3014

Want something Bigger? The U3014 is the most recent version of this monitor; however I still like this previous generation model which gives you a similar resolution and size for $300 - $500 cheaper. Both are advertised as supporting 1.07 billion colors which means that they are both 30 bit as well. The U3011 comes with DVI, HDMI, USB, DisplayPort, and a USB port.


In this post on the best Mac alternative monitors I reviewed my favorite Mac compatible monitors of 2013 thus far. Photo editors or graphic designers should spend a little bit more and go with an IPS panel monitor with a reasonable high color gamut. Those who don't need color accuracy may find that saving money and going with a TN panel LED monitor or a budget IPS monitor is their best bet.

If you enjoyed this post, then please participate in the manufacturer poll below and leave me a comment with any feedback you have.

Which Brand or Manufacturer Makes the Best Alternative to the Mac LED Cinema Display?

Vote and leave a comment in the guestbook section below!

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What would you suggest if one prefers a matte screen similar to what Apple offered on their iMacs c2007? The above article is very useful . Thank you!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)