Best Thunderbolt Monitors

  • 26-Dec, 2020 12:10:00 AM

Announced at the CES 2020, Thunderbolt 4 is the next-generation technology with the capability to transfer data, carry video output to display, and power your PC and Mac M1 using a single USB-C cable. There are certain minimum specifications that Thunderbolt 4 is guaranteed to meet that makes it the most comprehensive solution available from USB-C connectors.

Thunderbolt 4 is a step up from USB4 and Thunderbolt 3 technologies. While it may be a little confusing to differentiate these technologies, Intel has created a chart to give a better understanding of the capabilities of Thunderbolt 4.

The maximum speed of 40Gb/s remains the same for Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3. However, the minimum PC and accessory requirements have increased for Thunderbolt 4 – including the requirement of Intel certification for all Thunderbolt 4 products.

This means that when you’re buying a Thunderbolt 4 product, you’re actually assured of the technical specifications and promised capabilities of the product. A good example is the requirement of Thunderbolt 4 cables up to 2 meters in length to support the full 40Gb/s speed.

Thunderbolt 4 promises docks with four Thunderbolt ports for improved connectivity, PC charging on at least one computer port (applicable for notebooks that require only less than 100W to charge), required wake from sleep when the computer is connected to a Thunderbolt port, improved minimum PC video requirements (two 4K displays), and improved minimum PC data requirements (PCIe 32 Gb/s).

Thunderbolt 4 simplifies your computer ports where one Thunderbolt 4 port can replace up to 12 other ports. It can support dual 4K monitors or a single 6K monitor at 60Hz. The port makes it easy to connect to multiple protocols including DisplayPort and PCI Express while supporting Intel VT-d based DMA protection. All these combined with 40Gb/s speed ensures a better user experience with reliable connectivity and maximum performance.

If you’re looking for a clutter-free and highly productive desktop setup, you can choose from the best Thunderbolt 4 monitors to connect to your dock to unleash the power of a smarter workspace.

Use Multiple Displays with Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C 4

Since Thunderbolt 4 bandwidth of 40Gb/s is per bus and not per port, you will need at least two Thunderbolt 4 busses on your computer for full performance with high-resolution displays and a high-performance SSD.

Thunderbolt 4 promises comfortable connectivity to two 4K displays or one 6K display at 60Hz resolution. With a dock that has four Thunderbolt 4 ports, you can connect the external displays and set up your perfect workspace.

You have to take note of the approximate video bandwidth requirements of the different display resolutions to arrive at the best combination of displays for you.

For a 10-bit color display at 60Hz, accounting for Thunderbolt 4 transfer efficiencies for video data, the approximate bandwidth requirements are mentioned below.

2.5K Display: ~8 Gbps (2560 X 1600~= 4.1MP)4K Display: ~14 to 15 Gbps (3840 X 2160 ~= 8.3MP or 4096 X 2160 ~= 8.85MP)5K Display: ~22 Gbps (5120 X 2880 ~= 14.7MP)6K Display: ~31 Gbps (6016 X 3384 ~= 20.3MP)

A dual 4K display will consume as much as 32 Gbps that leaves only 8 Gbps for regular data. Meanwhile, a 6K display will consume about 30 Gbps leaving 10 Gbps for regular data.

Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C Hub

If you want a portable connectivity expander for your Thunderbolt 4 enabled computer, then USB-C hubs can be the best addition to meet your needs. These hubs will draw power from your computer and their small size makes them easy to carry around. In addition to connecting to external displays, you can connect to external hard drives, a keyboard, and a mouse with these hubs.

USB-C hubs can also have SD and microSD card readers, HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-A ports for being compatible with your other peripherals.

You can buy USB-C hubs with multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect to the best Thunderbolt 4 monitor for your workspace. This is an essential accessory if you’re looking for an easy and portable extended connectivity option for your computer.

Best Thunderbolt Monitors

For the most productive workstation, you need high-resolution external monitors that can elevate your experience and let you take advantage of the significant upgrade to the display real estate.

We have researched various high-resolution monitors to pick the best Thunderbolt monitors that meet your needs.

1. LG 32UL950-W

LG 32UL950-W

SPECIFICATIONS

LG 32UL950-W

Resolution

4K 3840×2160

Size

32″

Max Refresh Rate

60 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

Thunderbolt, Displayport, HDMI x2, USB

Brightness

450 cd/m2

The LG UltraFine 32-inch display from LG 32UL950-W comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, sports slim bezels, supports use in portrait orientation, and has a refresh rate of 60Hz. The virtually borderless display is sharp and vivid with bright colors. The monitor is height, pivot, and tilt adjustable, and has a DCI-P3 98% color accuracy.

This is the best 4K monitor at 32 inches that will suit a majority of users looking for a good design and sharp display.

2. BenQ PD3220U 31.5 inch 4K

BenQ PD3220U 31.5-inch 4K

SPECIFICATIONS

BenQ PD3220U

Resolution

4K 3840×2160

Size

31.5″

Max Refresh Rate

60 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

Thunderbolt, USB C, Displayport, HDMI, USB 3.1

Brightness

300 nits

The PD3220U monitor from BenQ has a 32-inch display with 4K resolution and capable of displaying 1.07 billion colors. It has an IPS panel and produces stunning visuals that give an immersive experience. This is an excellent choice of a monitor for creative professionals including graphic designers, photographers, and videographers.

The display has a maximum brightness of 300 nits and a pixel density of 138 PPI. The monitor has good connectivity options including two Thunderbolt 3 ports that offer 85w of power delivery.

If you’re looking for an incredible monitor that displays excellent colors and comes with many features suitable for creative professionals, then the BenQ PD3220U monitor will be the right choice for you.

3. LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K Monitor

LG UltraFine 27MD5KL-B 27-inch 5K

SPECIFICATIONS

LG UltraFine 27

Resolution

5K 5120×2880

Size

27″

Max Refresh Rate

60 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

Thunderbolt, USB-C

Brightness

500 cd/m²

Built-in Webcam with Microphone, Built-in Stereo Speakers

The LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine monitor has a 5K display with a resolution of 5120 x 2880. The excellent precision offered by the monitor makes it suitable for editing photos and videos. The monitor has one Thunderbolt 3 port for connecting to your USB-C hub or dock to be used as an external display.

As a 5K display monitor with support for multiple USB-C ports, the LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine monitor is one of the best Thunderbolt 4 monitors for your computer.

4. LG 34BK95U-W 5K Monitor

LG 34BK95U-W

SPECIFICATIONS

LG 34BK95U-W

Resolution

5K 5120×2880

Size

34″

Max Refresh Rate

75 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

USB Type C (Thunderbolt), Displayport, HDMI x2

Brightness

400 cd/m²

Built-in Stereo Speakers

The LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine monitor with 5K display has a resolution of 5120 x 2160. The Thunderbolt 3 technology gives faster speeds for increased productivity. There are three standard USB ports and two in-built 5W speakers on the monitor.

Enjoy great levels of immersion with the ultrawide 5K display from the LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine monitor that has plenty of ports and in-built speakers.

5. Samsung Business TU87F 4K Monitor

Samsung Business TU87F 4K

SPECIFICATIONS

Samsung Business TU87F 4K

Resolution

4K 3840×2160

Size

31.5″

Max Refresh Rate

60 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

Thunderbolt, Displayport, HDMI x2

Brightness

250 cd/m²

The Samsung Business TU87F monitor that comes with 4K resolution is one of the most affordable 4K monitors in our selection. The 32-inch screen has a VA panel and a screen refresh rate of 60Hz. Considering its low price, the monitor has many connectivity options including USB 3.0, DisplayPort, and headphone jack.

For everyday computing needs including office work and entertainment, the Samsung TU87F Series Business Monitor can be your ideal selection for the best Thunderbolt 4 monitor that is affordable.

6. LG 38WN95C-W Ultrawide

LG 38WN95C-W

SPECIFICATIONS

LG 38WN95C-W

Resolution

4K 3840×2160

Size

38″

Max Refresh Rate

144 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

Thunderbolt, USB C, Displayport, HDMI x2

Brightness

250 cd/m²

The LG 38WN95C-W Ultrawide Curved Monitor is an aesthetically curved monitor with thin bezels that produces accurate colors and comes with a good set of features. The Screen Split feature on this ultrawide monitor makes multitasking effortless. The arc-shaped stand allows height, swivel, and tilt adjustments.

If you’re looking for an all-around home office monitor that lets you work, play games, and enjoy movies, then the LG 38WN95C-W Ultrawide Curved Monitor may be the right choice for you.

7. Dell UltraSharp 27 4K PremierColor

Dell UltraSharp 27 4K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dell UltraSharp 27

Resolution

4K 3840×2160

Size

27″

Max Refresh Rate

60 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

Thunderbolt, Displayport, HDMI x2

Brightness

250 cd/m²

The Dell UP2720Q UltraSharp 27-inch 4K PremierColor Monitor has an outstanding 4K resolution and has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. This monitor is a significant upgrade from the Dell UP2718Q and is targeted towards photographers and graphic designers.

The Dell UP2720Q UltraSharp 27-inch 4K PremierColor Monitor renders crystal-clear visuals with excellent color accuracy. The contrast on the monitor looks realistic with impressive color saturation.

8. HP Z38c 37.5 inch 4K

HP Z38c Monitor

SPECIFICATIONS

HP Z38c

Resolution

4K 3840×1600

Size

37.5″

Max Refresh Rate

60 Hz

Panel Type

IPS

Connectivity

USB-C, Thunderbolt, Displayport, HDMI

Brightness

300 cd/m²

The HP Z38c 37.5 inch Ultra Wide 4k Monitor comes with a Nano IPS display at 5K resolution. Whether you’re a programmer, content creator, video editor, or gamer, this monitor with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity can offer you unparalleled performance.

Even though the HP Z38c 37.5 inch Ultra Wide 4k Monitor has a large and wide display, it has comfortable viewing angles. The monitor is suited for both home and office use.

Since Thunderbolt 4 is a relatively new technology and there aren’t any external monitors with Thunderbolt 4 connectivity available yet, you can pick the best monitors with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity from our selection to use as external monitors to create a high-resolution and powerful desktop workstation that makes you more productive to get more done.