If you are a true Apple fan, you must already know that there isn't any dedicated Thunderbolt display, at least for now. 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 to work or watch content comfortably. That's why to make the best of the Thunderbolt 3 ports, the odds are that you will need supporting 4K monitors.
Thankfully, there are quite a few quality 4K monitors that you can hook to your MacBook display and enjoy the ultra-clear resolution and enjoy the good amount of screen real-estate.
Perhaps one of the advantages of Thunderbolt 3 is that you can link up to 6 devices. ApartThunderbolt 3 is not solely linked to displays. You can also connect hard drives and get the full advantage of the speed. Sounds exciting, right?
And that's not the end of the story, with some monitors, you will be able to charge your Mac as well, with some monitors delivering up to 90W of power.
So, if you are in the market looking for 4K monitors with Thunderbolt 3 ports, here are some of our recommendations.
The 23.7-inch UltraFine 4K Display from LG is one of the popular mainstream monitors for Mac users. This IPS panel delivers a refresh rate of 60Hz and a maximum screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 and brings an exciting tableau of features to the table.
For instance, the IPS panel brings a wide-viewing angle and the picture quality is spot on with near-perfect colors and contrast ratio. At the same time, it supports DCI-P3 wide color gamut.
Above all, the monitor has a sleek style and will greatly complement your MacBook. The inclusion of two Thunderbolt 3 ports and three USB-C ports gives you the flexibility of connecting additional accessories and devices. Though this 4K monitor also bundles built-in speakers, the performance is little less than impressive.
The best part about this monitor is that it provides up to 85W of power that's enough to connect the Mac. You just have to make sure to use the included cable and the right ports.
Interestingly, the UltraFine 4K doesn't come with any buttons. Yep, you read that right. This monitor doesn't even have a power button. Instead, everything is controlled via macOS. Now, that's something. It also ships with a VESA cover.
If you want more flexibility in terms of ports and color profile support, you should look at the PD2720U 4K monitor from BenQ. Similar to the monitor above, it sports an IPS panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz. And that's where the similarities end. The BenQ PD2720U comes with a duo of HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, two USB A 3.1 ports, a USB Type-B 3.1 Gen 2 port, apart from the USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Plus, there's a 3.5mm port to hook your favorite pair of headphones or speakers.
The display is bright and nice, with accurate color reproduction, and that's something that you will come to expect from a monitor that costs north of $1000. It's suitable mostly for content creators and hence it bundles a trio of different modes such as the Animation mode, Darkroom mode, and the CAD mode.
It supports a slew of color profiles. It displays 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB, and up to 96% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
Design-wise, the BenQ PD2720U doesn't pack much. Of course, the bezels are thin and the screen appears immersive. Plus the monitor in itself isn't too thick. But that's about it. Look-wise, it doesn't pack anything extraordinary.
Though it can reverse charge your laptop, the 65W of power might not be enough for your Mac. In the case of power-intensive tasks, you might see the battery slowly depleting.
So what makes the Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q stand out from the rest? What if I told you that this monitor includes a built-in colorimeter to calibrate the display? And needless to say, this is a helpful addition, especially if you are looking to do color-critical work such as photo editing and video editing. On top of the calorimeter, the UltraSharp UP2720Q also displays 100% of Adobe RGB, 80% BT.2020, and 98% of DCI-P3 color gamut.
Beyond that, it packs a dual HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2, apart from two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.2 ports, and a single DisplayPort 1.4.
And that's not the end of the story. This 4K monitor is known to produce excellent picture quality out of the box with accurate color renders. What's more, the calorimeter helps further this. As per the folks at PC Mag, you can also schedule the calibrations to take place at regular intervals.
This monitor doesn't have HDR, which is understandable considering it's meant for color-sensitive work and not for enjoying top-tier 4K HDR content.
Apart from the above, the UltraSharp UP2720Q also lets you take advantage of the Thunderbolt ports. For example, your Mac will be able to draw 90W power and daisy chain two 4K monitors. It also VESA compatible.
Another pro-grade monitor with a built-in hardware calibration tool is the Asus ProArt PA329C. Primarily designed for color-critical work, this monitor has a lot to offer. For example, this IPS panel has a max resolution of 3840 x 2160 with a refresh rate of 60Hz. Secondly, it can display 100% sRGB color space coverage, 99.5% Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3. As noted earlier, the color calibration tool helps in achieving the perfect color profiles.
Asus has furnished four HDMI 2.0 inputs, a DisplayPort 1.2, two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, and a single USB 3.0 hub with a duo of type-A ports and one USB-C port with this pro-grade display. However, at 60W, the power supply is less when compared to the 90W of the Dell monitor mentioned above. And well, there are two built-in 3W speakers as well. Though they are not loud, they good enough for alerts and notification.
When it comes to the overall output, it delivers a full-blown picture with great contrast ratio and brightness. And the cherry on top is that it implements an excellent HDR implementation as per the folks at TechSpot.
The ProArt PA329C is also beautiful to look at. The bezels are minimal and the solid stand adds to its looks. Apart from rotating and swiveling the panel, you can also prop it up in a vertical position. Now, that's something.
But for a $1000 pro-grade monitor, it isn't without its share of flaws. The combination of 60ms response time and the 60Hz refresh rate can feel sluggish at times, especially if you are planning to use this for something other than content creation.
5. LG 32UL950-W Class Ultrafine 4K UHD LED Monitor
It would be a shame if a list of Thunderbolt 3 compatible monitors goes without the mention of the LG 32UL950-W. This one carries the same 4K resolution at 60Hz and the Thunderbolt specifications like the LG UltraFine monitor. However, the similarities end at that. This monitor is beautiful and plenty of ports give you flexibility to connect a bunch of devices.
As for inputs, it bundles two Thunderbolt 3 ports and two 3 USB-C ports apart from the standard USB-A ports (x2), DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone port.
The flexibility doesn't just end there. You can rotate and swivel this monitor as per your preference. You can rotate it a full 180-degrees if you prefer a vertical display.
Speaking of the display, it reproduces 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. Plus, it delivers 60W power to juice up your connected Mac.
Also, if you are looking to mount it on monitor arms or to the wall, you can right away do so, thanks to the VESA mounts. And did we tell you that the stand is outright beautiful?
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As Fast as the Flash
It won't be news to you if I tell you that Thunderbolt 3 is fast. Yep, this proprietary tech is incredibly fast and can seamlessly transfer data and power at lightning-fast speed, and trust me, I am not kidding. The Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Apple MacBooks mean that you can use any of the ports to connect to a 4K monitor for ultra-clear resolution.
These monitors do not come cheap. Hence, you should take a deep look at each monitor's pros and cons and decide accordingly.
At the same time, if you can do with a low-res monitor, the Samsung CJ791 is worth checking out. It has a 100Hz refresh rate and 3440 x 1440 pixels maximum resolution along with other shebang.
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