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Are you a content creator, power gamer, business professional, or a tech enthusiast looking to streamline your 4K workspace? You should probably get a Thunderbolt 3 monitor.
The Thunderbolt 3 niche is slowly taking over the tech industry as most of the newly launched devices and gadgets are coming equipped with this game-changing technology. The latest gadgets to benefit from Thunderbolt 3 are monitors.
If you are looking to buy a monitor to use with your notebook or Mac, a Thunderbolt 3 monitor should be your ultimate choice.
While USB-C monitors have dominated the industry for a while now, the latest monitors with Thunderbolt 3 capability are changing the norm. With Thunderbolt monitors, you can unlock a new set of possibilities that you couldn’t achieve from your USB-C monitor.
In short, Thunderbolt 3 monitors provide more versatility and performance than USB-C monitors. Let’s see what makes Thunderbolt 3 superior to USB-C.
Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C
USB Type-C, commonly known as USB-C, is a specification for connectors and cables used in most laptops and devices including monitors and docks. Supporting the design of thinner and ultraportable notebooks, USB-C cables are slim, reversible, and provides power to charge your notebook.
Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt technology to USB-C as a single cable that supports ultra-clear video resolutions, fastest data transfers, and power at the same time. It is the fastest connector in the market with speeds up to 40Gbps, compared to 10Gbps of USB-C.
Thunderbolt 3 let you use thinner notebooks with fewer connectors and dual 4K displays while at the same time supporting:
- Daisy-chaining of up to 6 devices
- Power delivery up to 100 watts to charge your laptop
- Thunderbolt docking stations to connect multiple USB peripherals and devices
- External GPUs
What does this mean to your Monitor?
Are you wondering why all the capabilities of Thunderbolt 3 relate to your monitor? Well, the answer is here.
With a Thunderbolt 3 monitor, you can connect up to two 4K displays at 60Hz refresh rate or a single monitor at 5K resolution to see your photos and videos with amazing detail. Daisy-chaining lets you connect multiple TB3 devices to your monitor and declutter your workstation. You don’t have to worry about charging your notebook anymore if you are using a TB3 monitor, the power delivery of up to 100W is enough to charge your laptop.
There are different options available in the market for Thunderbolt 3 monitors. While this process might seem straightforward, beginners are often challenged when looking for an ideal TB3 monitor.
To help with your quest, here’s what to look for when buying a Thunderbolt 3 monitor:
The size of the monitor refers to the diagonal measurement of the screen. There are different monitor sizes in the market including 24-inch, 27-inch, ad 34-inch monitors. When selecting the ideal monitor for your needs, size should be a defining factor. Why?
The big and ultrawide monitors are perfectly poised for wider viewing angles and multitasking. For instance, the Samsung 34-Inch CJ791 Ultrawide Curved monitor provides a wider viewing angle excellent for gaming and running multiple programs for your professional use.
For users who prefer multiple displays, middle-sized monitors can be a perfect choice. With this, you can use multiple monitors without cluttering your desk. It’s important to evaluate your desk real estate before going out to buy your preferred monitor.
What resolution does the monitor support? The resolution is the number of pixels the monitor uses to display an image. If you are after crystal clear graphics and sharper images, a monitor with 4K resolution and impeccable color accuracy like the LG UltraFine Display 32UL950 should be your best pick.
However, it is worth noting that monitors with higher resolutions carry a huge price tag, albeit you will get good value from them.
There are lower budget options that provide quality graphics for pocket-friendly prices. You can get up to 2560 x 1440-pixel resolutions with a lower price range than the competitive 4K and 5K monitors. If you are an average computer user and a gamer with less interest in the world of 4K, lower resolutions monitors can suit your needs.
3. LCD Panel Types
Different LCD monitors feature different panel types. TN (Twisted Nematic) panel is the most common panel type and best option when under a strict budget. TN provides fast response times and the highest refresh rates up to 240 Hz compared to the other panel types. If you are using a laptop with excellent refresh rates then you will be in the running for smooth gameplay.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel is another type that’s regarded as the best overall LCD technology in terms of color accuracy and wider viewing angles. They are often used in high-end displays for excellent color reproduction, best viewing angles, and remarkable refresh rates. If you are a professional photographer or in for graphic-intense gaming, this should be your ideal.
The benefits of the IPS panel type come at a considerable huge price tag compared to the other types.
VA (Vertical Alignment) panels are the option for average people who are not ready to break the bank for an IPS monitor. They offer great color accuracy and good viewing angles but not as good as the IPS. The best-selling point of VA is the ability to block excess light from their backlight which leads to excellent blacks.
Selecting a monitor with a wide selection of ports is good for minimizing the cabling on your desk. In addition to the Thunderbolt 3 port, some monitors provide other options to allow you to hook up other peripherals and USB devices.
This is a roundup of the best monitors with Thunderbolt 3 currently in the market. We will continuously update the list as more exquisite and powerful monitors enter the market.
1. BenQ PD3220U 32-inch 4K UHD IPS Monitor – Best Thunderbolt 3 Monitor for MacBook Pro
With 100% sRGB and 95% P3 color space, BenQ provides impeccable color accuracy for design professionals and content creators.
The BenQ monitor is a huge relief for mac users who want a consistent apple display across their MacBook devices. The monitor comes with an aesthetic design that complements the look of your MacBook Pro and gives your workspace a professional touch.
With Thunderbolt 3, BenQ provides a power output of up to 85W to charge your laptop, daisy-chaining capabilities for more connectivity, and multiple displays with high-speed data transfers.
The design of the monitor features inbuilt speakers which may not be reliable but are ideal for starters. In the box, you also get a hotkey puck G2 that can be used to customize shortcuts for your favorite features such as changing display modes.
The quality of images and overall graphics performance is what makes BenQ the best apple thunderbolt monitor. Featuring an upgraded color gamut with the latest color standards, Display P3 and DC-P3, the monitor provides a consistent color application across all content creators. 300 nit brightness is decent for brighter displays.
The display is LED-lit LCD with an IPS panel type providing true 4K resolution and up to 1.07 billion display colors in a wider viewing angle. If you are a content creator, you can rely on BenQ to design products with laser-sharp colors and with great precision to guarantee maximum satisfaction to your customers.
Caring for your eyes should be at the forefront when using monitors. BenQ incorporates flicker-free capabilities that reduce eye strain and fatigue to safeguard your vision at all times.
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
The BenQ monitor ships with a good selection of ports. If you have too many peripherals and cables on our desk, this is a one-time opportunity to declutter your desk and give it a professional, yet appealing look.
The monitor comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one Display port, two HDMI ports, and 4 USB 3.1 ports to connect other USB peripherals. One Thunderbolt 3 port provides a power wattage of 85 to charge your laptop, while the other TB3 port can be used for daisy-chaining.
- Excellent color accuracy with 300 nit brightness
- A wide array of ports for more connectivity
- Daisy-chaining capabilities
- Comes with inbuilt speakers
- Hotkey puck G2 for easy access to favorite features
- Power delivery to charge your mac
- Plenty of display modes for designers and gamers
- Not VESA certified
- The stand is inflexible
2. Asus ProArt PA27AC 27-inch WQHD Monitor – Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 Monitor
The ASUS ProArt is the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 in our list with 2560 x 1440 resolution, alias 2K, and 400 nits of brightness to provide extreme clarity and high color accuracy.
ASUS did a phenomenal job to design an exquisite monitor with Wide Quad High Definition as well as Thunderbolt 3 and 100% of sRGB color gamut for a lower price tag compared to the other Thunderbolt 3 monitors. You don’t have to break the bank to experience the unrivaled performance of Thunderbolt 3 technology.
The ASUS ProArt Thunderbolt 3 monitor comes in three variations: 27-inch (WQHD), 32-inch (4K), and 34-inch (UWQHD). However, for this article, we will review the 27-inch model because it’s the cheaper option amongst the three. Feel free to check out the other models using the same product link on Amazon.
The ergonomic design of the ProArt sets it apart from the other TB3 monitors. The monitor guarantees comfortable viewing positions with its ergonomically versatile stand with tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments. You can adjust the monitor to whichever angle that suit your viewing position.
This monitor offers WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution, also known as 2K, for the razor-sharp picture quality that professional photographers desire. Also, it comes with an IPS panel type and a wide 100% sRGB color saturation to give your pictures extreme quality and high color accuracy. Content creators can leverage the 8-bit color graphics provided by the ProArt to display as many as 16.7 million colors.
In terms of brightness, the monitor ranks top with 400-nit brightness and HDR-10 to offer a lifelike experience like never before. It also incorporates ProArt calibration technology to provide uniformity in color accuracy across the whole screen.
The Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes let you achieve your multitasking process with ease. You can view and edit content from different sources at the same time by using any of the modes.
The ASUS ProArt does fall short in terms of ports. It ships with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, three HDMI ports and one Display ports for video connectivity. You also get four USB ports to connect your USB devices and a headset input jack.
In terms of connectivity, the ProArt does its job pretty well.
- Affordable option with great value
- Perfectly poised for photography and content creation
- Included two 2W stereo speakers for audio
- More ports for connectivity
- Sharp picture displays with high color accuracy
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Ergonomically designed stand for comfortable viewing positions
- Flicker-free technology to protect your eyes
- 45 power wattage is inefficient to charge powerful notebooks
- FreeSync not supported
3. LG UltraWide 5K2K Nano IPS LED Monitor – Best Value Thunderbolt 3 Monitor
The only monitor to feature a 34-inch ultra-wide Nano IPS display with 5K @60Hz resolution in our list, the LG UltraWide is second only to the BenQ monitor.
The LG UltraWide monitor is a real masterpiece from LG with support for Thunderbolt 3 and unparalleled performance for serious professionals and content creators.
Whether you are a programmer, video editor, or a gamer, the LG UltraWide perfectly fits your needs. With an excellent 21:9 widescreen, you can view a 4K video on a 16:9 window and still have a 5:9 area for your other productive work. Stunning, isn’t it?
You don’t need an extra monitor for multitasking purposes when using the LG UltraWide 5K monitor.
While this monitor is priced higher, it provides wider viewing angles, clear and brighter design with high color accuracy, and power delivery of up to 85W to charge your notebook.
The LG UtraWide features a 34-inch Nano IPS display with a 5K resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio. This is a very wide screen to view your content with ease and convenience. You can edit your content at 4K and remain with 33% space for your other productivity needs.
Onboard, you also get 600 nits of brightness from the DisplayHDR 600 for even clearer and brighter images just like you are experiencing in real life. This VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified monitor provides bolder contrast between the brighter and darker sections of the monitor. The quality of pictures in the monitor feels more like real life with the perfect display of saturation, brightness, and hues.
Onboard you also get the best color accuracy and controls thanks to HDR and Nano IPS. It offers up to 98% of the DCI-P3 color space and near-perfect color accuracy to view pictures with high-end quality and finer details from your content. A truly digital film standard in your workspace.
The selection of ports with the LG UltraWide is enough for even the most intense computer user. The monitor comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port, DisplayPort, 3 USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI ports, and a headphone slot. TB3 port provides a power output of up to 85W to charge your MacBook.
The monitor is compatible with the latest MacBook Pro and windows PC having a Thunderbolt 3 port.
- UltraWide display
- DisplayHDR 600 VESA certified for excellent brightness and contrasts
- A wide selection of ports
- 85W power delivery to charge PC
- Ships with built-in speakers for audio
- High resolutions of up to 5120 x 2880
- Pictures not as sharp as other monitors
- Comes with a single Thunderbolt 3 port
4. Samsung 34-Inch CJ791 Ultrawide Curved Monitor – Best Thunderbolt 3 Monitor for Business
An aesthetically curved monitor with less bezel and ultrawide viewing options, the Samsung CJ791 features Quantum Dot technology to provide crystal clear pictures to improve your workplace productivity.
The Samsung CJ791 curved ultrawide monitor is one of the best Thunderbolt 3 monitors for business professionals and general office use. The curved screen provides an excellent touch in design and the VA panel completes the sense of comfort, productivity, and style.
You can work for longer hours and with no negative effect on your eyes. This is very crucial in maintaining and improving workplace productivity. Besides, the wide viewing angles ensure the quality of the picture is maintained throughout the screen.
The outstanding feature that comes with this monitor is the Quantum Dot technology (QLED). Samsung ditched OLED in favor of the cutting-edge Quantum Dot technology combined with WQHD to deliver brilliant colors and ultra-clear details.
The monitor comes with a 34-inch display, 3440 x 1440 resolution, and 21:9 aspect ratio to provide a wider space to work for productivity. Utilizing WQHD with a 3:000:1 contract ratio, you rest assured to enjoy sharp and extremely clear pictures with amazing details.
Another feature that sets this monitor apart is the support for 125% sRGB color space and 95% of DCI-P3 to present bright and almost natural colors with seamless transitions. The QLED technology supports up to 1.08 billion colors to let you enjoy your graphics with astonishing clarity.
Picture-by-Picture (PBP) and Picture-in-Picture (PIP) let you view content from multiple sources simultaneously. The Samsung CJ791 makes the process easy by including a Samsung software to manage your multiwindow displays and multiple viewing.
The monitor comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports with one TB3 providing a power output of up to 100W to charge your laptop. This is the highest wattage in terms of power output out of all the monitors. The other TB3 port can be used for daisy-chaining a maximum of 6 devices.
The monitor also ships with other types of ports including an HDMI port, DisplayPort, 4 USB ports, and a headphone jack.
- Ultra-wide screen
- Inbuilt speakers for audio
- VESA mount compatibility
- Ergonomic adjustable stand
- Supports flicker-free and eye saver mode
- Supports FreeSync
- Excellent 100Hz refresh rates
- Compatible with both Mac and Windows PC
- WQHD is not as good as 4K resolution
- 4ms response time is still lower for competitive gaming
5. LG UltraFine Display 32UL950 – Best Thunderbolt 3 Monitor for Image and Video Editing
Combines DisplayHDR 600 and DCI-P3 98% to bring your professional photos and videos to life.
Another masterpiece from the list of LG Thunderbolt 3 monitors is the LG UltraFine Display 32UL950. It was made specifically for content creators who want an all-round tool to manage their professional photography career.
If you are looking for the best monitor for editing photos and videos with total precision, then the LG’s UltraFine is here for you. The monitor won the Technical Imaging Press Association (TIPA) World Awards 2019 as the Best Photo Monitor.
The monitor comes with a rich bass speaker for audio, an adjustable stand for ergonomics, and virtually borderless edges to give the monitor a professional yet sleek and elegant design.
The UltraFine Display 32UL950 works seamlessly with the latest MacBook Pro.
What makes the LG UltraFine Display 32UL950 the best photo monitor?
For starters, the monitor comes in a 4K UHD LED display and utilizes the IPS panel type. This means you are in the running of getting sharper images, vibrant color precision, and wider viewing angles.
With HDR and Nano IPS technologies, the monitor delivers high-end picture quality with finer details and impeccable color. The monitor can flawlessly display the brightest and darkest objects in the screen thanks to HDR, and leverage the 98% DCI-P3 color space to display digital color content with attention to shadow details, saturation, and brightness.
With 600 nits of brightness for brighter and clearer content, the UltraFine Display monitor cements its position as the best monitor for editing and all-around post-production works in the world of photography.
UltraFine’s dominance in photography extends to the selection of ports. While it may not provide as many ports as the Asus ProArt monitor, it packs the most useful ports to get you started without having to purchase a dock.
Onboard, you get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one with a power output of 60W to charge your mac, two USB ports for more connectivity, a headphone slot, and single HDMI and Display ports for extra display connection.
The monitor supports daisy-chaining Thunderbolt 3 enabled devices with its dual TB3 ports to help minimize the amount of cabling on your desk.
- The best monitor for photo and video editing
- DisplayHDR 600 VESA certified
- Ergonomically designed stand
- Provides clear and bright pictures
- Supports Split-screen and Picture-in-Picture modes
- Elegant design with borderless bezels
- Mac Compatibility
- Pre-calibrated monitor
- Freesync at the 40-61hz range is an amazing feature
- The inbuilt speakers aren’t the best for power users
- Color uniformity to be improved
Thunderbolt 3 monitors are gaining in popularity than USB-C monitors because of the former’s unparalleled performance in data transfers, multiple 4K displays, and daisy-chaining capabilities. In this article, we have handpicked the best monitors with thunderbolt port to help in your quest of finding the best monitor for your workplace.
While Thunderbolt 3 is still an emerging technology, many tech companies are rapidly embracing it and developing devices with TB3 support. The MacBook Pro 2019 comes with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports; therefore, getting yourself a thunderbolt 3 monitor should be next after purchasing the MacBook Pro.
Thunderbolt monitors provide an easy way to expand your laptop by providing extra ports for connectivity that are unavailable as most manufacturers are going for lightweight and thinner notebooks. If you are looking to expand your laptop, selecting a monitor having many ports like the Asus ProArt will be a good idea.
We hope that by using this guide, your search for a Thunderbolt 3 enabled monitor has come to an end.