Many of the best laptops for photo editing now come with a USB-C port. It's an extremely versatile connection that is all the more useful now that it's the standard connection type for the latest Apple Macbooks.
• Best monitors for photo editing
Resolution, color, size, accuracy
• Best video editing monitors
4k monitors for filmmakers
• Best ultra-wide monitors
Great for gaming and general use
• How to calibrate a monitor
Get accurate colors for photography
• Best monitor calibrators
Hardware for screen calibration
Using a single USB-C cable, not only will the best USB-C monitors replicate (or extend) the screen of your laptop, they can also transmit data. This means they can act like a USB hub, so you can plug other USB devices – such as keyboards, mice and external hard drives – into the monitor, and your laptop will be able to use them.
Some of the best USB-C monitors for photo editing will also charge your laptop when it's plugged in via USB-C – so you won't need a separate power supply for your laptop. However, not every USB-C monitor supports this, so make sure you check out the features before you buy.
Here’s our pick of the best USB-C monitors for photo editing right now.
For professional photographers, we think the best USB-C monitor money can buy is the Dell U3818DW UltraSharp. Dell's UltraSharp line of monitors is well known for providing exceptional image quality, and the color accuracy on this screen makes it ideal for image editing. At 38-inches, this is a very large monitor, but its ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio means you get a huge amount of work space, so you can have numerous windows open at once without needing more than one monitor. It's curved, so it's comfortable to use, and its 'InfinityEdge' screen features incredibly thin bezels, which helps prevent this monitor from being too large.
Aimed at creative professionals, the Asus ProArt PA32UC is a brilliant 4K USB-C monitor for photographers, and it boasts HDR imaging capabilities, and comes in a sophisticated, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3-equipped package with nearly every feature a creative could want for SDR and HDR work. Best of all for professionals, you get a 100% sRGB color space coverage, 99.5% Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3; plus pro-grade calibration features and a hardware calibration tool in the box. You can do sRGB-accurate work, wide gamut-accurate work, and HDR work with the PA32UC. There's no getting away from the fact that it is expensive, but if you're serious about image quality, this is the USB-C monitor to go for.
This is another excellent USB-C for professional photographers, mainly thanks to its incredibly accurate colors, as it covers 100 per cent of the Rec.709 (HDTV) color gamut as well as 100 per cent of the sRGB color space, and will even remind you when it's due to be calibrated. It has a stand that allows it to be flipped into portrait mode, which can come in handy if you're editing photographs in that orientation. It also has a built-in USB-C doc that includes multiple standard USB ports, video outputs and even an Ethernet port for internet, making this a brilliant choice for people who have incredibly thin laptops that lack those ports.
The LG UltraFine 5K USB-C monitor is the best USB-C monitor for photographers looking for extremely high (above 4K) resolution. Its 5120 x 2880 resolution offers 14.7 million pixels across a 27-inch screen. Photos are breathtakingly rich in detail, vibrant and lifelike, with 218 pixels per inch and a 60Hz refresh rate. It’s aimed at Mac-users, with four Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C ports on the back. Of course, any laptop with a USB-C port is supported, but be warned that it doesn't have any other video inputs, so if your laptop doesn't have a USB-C port, this minimalist monitor won't be for you.
If you're after an ultra-wide USB-C monitor to make use of that wider screen size (so you don't need multiple monitors on a desk, for example), then the LG 34UM69G-B is definitely worth considering. It's more affordable than other 21:9 USB-C monitors on this page, mainly because it has a lower resolution. This means you don't get as much space to work on as higher resolution monitors, but you still get that ultrawide aspect ratio. Meanwhile, out-of-the-box color accuracy is good, with strong grayscale performance. This is a brilliant budget USB-C monitor for the price.
Usually top monitor specs will cost top money, but not here. Ok, you're not getting a 4K screen here, but for less than £/$400 this screen has quality IPS screen technology that translates to supreme image quality with reliably accurate color, contrast and viewing angles. There's also the all-important USB-C connectivity that can transmit video, sound and up to 60w of power over one cable, while regular HDMI and DisplayPort sockets are also present to maximize compatibility with non-USB-C computers. Just be sure to pick this VG2755-2K model with its 2560 x 1440 screen res. A plain VG2755 can also be had, but this version makes do with a lower Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, which we reckon is a little too low for a 27-inch screen, as it can make for a slightly pixelated image.
HP's Z-series monitors are designed for professional environments, but this 24-inch Z24N G2 is still a great choice for home use. You get uncompromising quality control, like factory color calibration, as well as HP's Zero Bright Dot Guarantee, where HP will replace the screen if even one pixel fails. The 1920 x 1080 Full HD screen resolution isn't exactly headline-grabbing, but it's enough to give you a crisp image on a screen this size. More important is the panel's IPS technology which makes for 99% sRGB colour space coverage, wide 178x178-degree viewing angles, and a real-world viewing experience that'll really display your photos at their best. Naturally, USB-C connectivity to your laptop is also present, though don't expect it in a hurry, as power over USB is limited to a paltry 15w.