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, I recommend 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 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’re shopping for a USB-C monitor, here are the best deals I see right now. The screen sizes range from 24 inches to a 34-inch ultrawide 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 ViewSonic 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 both HDMI and VGA connections. It’s far from a gaming monitor, but if you want to play the occasional game, it does feature AMD FreeSync to help eliminate screen tearing and stuttering. Integrated speakers are on board — not always a given — and it’s adjustable with both tilt and swivel (but no height adjustment). With a minimal 250-nit brightness rating, however, it’s best used under artificial light rather than a room that receives a ton of natural light.
This Lenovo model is a 24-inch display with a QHD resolution for a sharper picture than an FHD display provides. And it doesn’t cost much more than most 24-inch FHD displays at its current discounted price direct from Lenovo. It features USB-C connectivity along with both HDMI and DisplayPort. It’s rated for 300 nits of brightness and also supplies integrated speakers and a modern design with thin bezels and a funky stand.
This ViewSonic model bumps you up from a 24-inch, full HD panel to a 27-inch, Quad HD panel. And it also bumps up the brightness rating from 250 nits to 300 nits. It’s currently discounted by $62 to make it one of the most affordable 27-inch, QHD monitors you’ll find with USB-C connectivity. In addition, it also supplies HDMI and DisplayPort connections.
This 27-inch display from Asus boasts a QHD resolution and 350-nit brightness rating and also 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.
This 27-inch QHD display is $125 off right now at Dell and is rated for 350 nits of brightness, which makes it a good fit for well-lit environments. It features a pair of HDMI ports in addition to USB-C along with built-in speakers.
This BenQ model was selling for twice its current price when it was released in 2020. Its price has usually bounced between $400 and $500 this year, which makes it a great deal at its current $350. It’s a 32-inch, 4K display with USB-C connectivity and rated for 300 nits of brightness. It also features AMD FreeSync and both HDMI and DisplayPort connections.
It’s rare to find a 32-inch USB-C display with 4K resolution for less than $400, but this Samsung AM702 is well under that threshold even at its full price — and Best Buy occasionally discounts it by $40 to make it an even better deal. Predictably, it’s rated for only 250 nits of brightness, a drawback common to most low-cost panels. But if you want USB-C connectivity and 4K resolution in a 32-inch display, this Samsung unit is an inexpensive way to get there.
This ultrawide display acts like a two-monitor setup but without the break in the middle between the display. It features an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio and a 2,560×1,080-pixel resolution. In addition to being plenty wide, it should be plenty bright with a 400-nit rating. It also features AMD FreeSync and is occasionally discounted by $50 at Best Buy.