Do you enjoy cable clutter? Is your idea of a good time hunting around for the right adapter to connect a laptop to a display? If the answer is a resounding “No!” to these questions, you ought to consider a USB-C monitor for your next display upgrade. A USB-C monitor offers the most streamlined setup and saves you from having various cables cluttering your desk or needing to dig around for adapters.
With a USB-C monitor, a single cable delivers audio, video and power to the display. No need for an HDMI or DisplayPort connection for audio and video and a separate USB cable to power the monitor’s USB ports. No need for an adapter or conversion cable to connect an HDMI or DisplayPort cable to your laptop. As laptops grow thinner, many have ditched the HDMI port and offer only USB-C connections. Most notably, Apple’s MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro lack HDMI ports. And a USB-C monitor pairs nicely with a USB-C laptop.
In terms of resolution, my recommendations are choosing at least Full HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) for a 24-inch display, Quad HD (2,560×1,440 pixels) for a 27-inch display and Ultra HD (3,840×2,160 pixels, aka 4K) for anything 32 inches or larger. The other spec to keep an eye on is the maximum brightness rating, which you’ll see range from 250 nits to 500 nits. Lower-end monitors are usually rated at 250 or 300 nits, which will likely suffice for a dark den or basement. For a sun-drenched office, however, you’ll want something that’s rated for 350 nits or higher. For more on that, I direct your attention to.
If you are shopping for a USB-C monitor, here are the best deals I see right now. The screen sizes range from 24 inches to a 35-inch curved display. What you won’t find here are professional-grade monitors with wide color gamut or gaming displays with fast refresh rates. These are general-purpose monitors for home, office and home office use.
This basic USB-C display from Asus is surprisingly well-rounded for the price. It serves up a Full HD resolution, which ought to provide a crisp image across the 23.8-inch panel. In addition to USB-C connectivity, it also features an HDMI port and both DisplayPort-in and -out ports. You also get four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. It’s rated for 300 nits of brightness, a notch above most budget displays that are rated for 250 nits. Integrated speakers are on board — not always a given — and it’s highly adjustable with height, tilt and swivel. Shipping adds $6 to the bill.
Available at a slight $10 discount right now (but with a $5 shipping charge), this 27-inch USB-C display from MSI features a QHD resolution, built-in speakers and HDMI and DisplayPort connections in addition to USB-C. It’s rated for an underwhelming 250 nits but is also one of the most inexpensive 27-inch monitors you’ll find with a QHD resolution and USB-C connectivity.
This 27-inch QHD display is $180 off right now at Dell and is brighter than the above MSI model. It’s rated for 350 nits of brightness, which makes it a better fit for well-lit environments. It features a pair of HDMI ports in addition to USB-C along with built-in speakers.
This 27-inch display from Asus offers the same QHD resolution and 350-nit brightness rating as the above Dell unit but offers an ability to daisy chain multiple monitors with its DisplayPort-in and -out ports. You can connect up to four displays together without needing to connect each one to your PC or laptop first.
It’s rare to find a 32-inch USB-C display with a UHD (4K) resolution for less than $400. With a brightness rating of 350 nits and HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity in addition to USB-C, this LG is a great deal. It also features a pair of 5-watt stereo speakers, which offer more audio oomph than the 2-watt speakers you usually get with a display.
We’ll wrap up with a curveball: You can think of this curved, ultrawide display as two monitors in one. Instead of staring at two monitors side by side, this display’s ultrawide 21:9 aspect provides the same screen real estate, but without a bezel break in the middle. It features an Ultrawide QHD resolution of 3,440×1,440 pixels and is rated for 300 nits of brightness. In addition to USB-C, you also get a pair of HDMI ports and a DisplayPort connection. It’s discounted by $100 right now at Best Buy, dropping the price to a very reasonable $500.