Best Mac monitor gifts - 9to5Mac

Best Mac monitor gifts – 9to5Mac

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Thinking about gifting someone – or yourself – a monitor for their Mac? Whether you’re looking for a modern display at an affordable price or something in the prosumer realm, here are the top Mac monitor gifts with 4K resolutions, USB-C/Thunderbolt, and more.

While you can find cheaper monitors, all of the options below feature USB-C or Thunderbolt, 4K resolutions, and passthrough charging which makes them a good fit for Apple’s MacBooks and should also offer longevity.

We’ll kick things off with the affordable side of things and move toward the prosumer monitors. You can also find our full roundup of the best monitors for Mac for even more options:

Best Mac monitor gifts

Great value – Samsung 32-inch Smart Monitor M8

Samsung’s Smart Monitor M8 offers a compelling choice for those that want a 4K resolution, USB-C, and a large screen at an affordable price. It even features a very iMac-like design in four color choices.

  • USB-C with up to 65W charging
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 32-inch panel
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • HDR10 support
  • Included magnetic SlimFit webcam with face tracking
  • 400 nits brightness
  • 99% sRGB
  • 4ms response time
  • Built-in 2.2 channel speakers
  • Available in white, blue, green, and pink
  • Slim bezels and overall slim design
  • Doubles as a smart TV, with Apple TV+ built-in and AirPlay 2
  • Price: MSRP $699-$729, currently on sale for $449

The Smart Monitor M8 is available direct from Samsung and Amazon with a great holiday sale price of $449.

A similar option is the LG 32-inch Smart Monitor at $499 which includes features like AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, USB-C, 4K resolution, and more.

Thunderbolt monitor under $700 – LG 24″ UltraFine

Best Mac monitor gifts – LG UltraFine 24" 4K monitor

If you want the speed and flexibility of a Thunderbolt monitor (not just USB-C), the 24″ LG UltraFine is a solid choice with a $699 price point.

It’s a bit smaller screen compared to other modern options, but you get higher-end features like 98% DCI-P3, Thunderbolt connectivity that supports daisy chaining, native control with Mac for brightness, and a simple, clean design.

  • 23.7-inch panel with nano IPS
  • 4K – 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Brightness: 540 nits maximum
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 98% DCI-P3
  • 85W power delivery via Thunderbolt
  • 2x Thunderbolt (1 upstream, 1 downstream up to 40 Gbps)
  • 3x USB-C 3.1 gen 1 up to 5 Gbps
  • MSRP $699 – currently selling for less

The 24″ LG UltraFine display is available from AmazonAppleBH Photo, and more.

Affordable pro display – BenQ PD3220U

Best Thunderbolt monitors for Mac - BenQ

The 32-inch BenQ PD3220U features Thunderbolt, 4K resolution, 95% DCI-P3 color, 85W power delivery for MacBooks, a variety of professional modes, hotkey puck, solid metal stand, lots of I/O, and portrait orientation support.

It’s a strong contender to Apple’s Studio Display but with a larger panel and several hundred dollars cheaper.

  • 31.5-inch IPS panel
  • 4K – 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Brightness: 250 typical, 300 nits HDR peak
  • 95% DCI-P3
  • 100% sRGB
  • HDR10
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports – 85W and 15W power delivery
    • Daisy chain with Thunderbolt
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 3 x USB 3.1
  • 1 x USB C
  • 1 x USB B
  • Headphone jack
  • Slim bezels
  • Landscape and portrait orientation support
  • MSRP: $1,199 – available for less on Amazon

You can find the BenQ PD3220U at Amazon and BH Photo.

Apple Studio Display

Apple Studio Display

Starting at $1,599, the Studio Display is aimed at creative pros who value Apple’s refined (and metal) build.

While it has a range of benefits, the Studio Display doesn’t offer downstream Thunderbolt ports but has three USB 3.1 Gen 1 (10 Gbps) ports.

  • 27-inch panel
  • 5K 5120 x 2880 resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 600 nits brightness
  • P3 wide color support
  • True Tone support
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3 port with 96W power delivery
  • 3x USB-C ports (3.1 gen 2 up to 10 Gbps)
  • Built-in 12 MP ultra wide camera with Center Stage support
  • 6-speaker system with Spatial Audio support
  • Studio-quality 3-mic array
  • Aluminum build
  • Supports most reference modes as Pro Display XDR except HDR
  • Price: $1,599-$2,299 (depending on stand and screen finish), sometimes available for less

Studio Display is available from AppleAmazonBH PhotoBest Buy, and more.

Bonus idea – iPad or iPad Air + Sidecar

Download the new M2 iPad Pro and 10th generation iPad wallpapers right here

Another generous gift idea that can check the Mac monitor box and much more is an iPad or iPad Air.

With the free Sidecar capability, you can use the 10.9″ display as a secondary Mac monitor and of course, you get a lot more functionality since you’re getting Apple’s tablet too.

Check out more 9to5Mac gift guides:

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