There are many ways you can use your smart TV with your MacBook Pro.
If you are into multimedia design, having a smart TV as a monitor for your MacBook Pro lets you take advantage of the screen’s color accuracy, or you can use the TV as a screen during presentations. If you prefer to use your TV solely for entertainment, you can cast content from your laptop to your smart TV.
Regardless of how you use it, it would be best if you had an appropriate smart TV to pair with your MacBook Pro.
Here are our top picks for smart TVs that work well with the Macbook Pro.
1. Our Top Pick: Samsung Q80T
The Samsung Q80T wins by a narrow margin over other smart TVs listed here. But what made it win?
The advantage of the Q80T is its LED display.
Since it does not use OLED, the Q80T is not prone to burn-in, which is the curse of OLEDs. Burn-in has a higher likelihood of happening when you repeatedly use a smart TV as a monitor since there are parts of your desktop that are permanently on the screen, like the dock and the top bar. If you’re using the same program day after day on your OLED screen, burn-in will almost certainly occur.
What else does the Q80T offer?
- The Q80T has a high-contrast ratio and full-array local dimming.
- Black uniformity is remarkable, which lets you enjoy your TV regardless of light settings.
- Response time is excellent, and the Q80T can do a proper 4:4:4 chroma for text clarity.
- Viewing angles are above average.
- The Q80T also works with Airplay 2.
The downside to this TV is minor. You might notice some darker shades in the corner of the Q80T. But it does not affect the quality of the display.
The Q80T comes in 49, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models.
2. The Budget Pick: Vizio P Series
Vizio is known for its budget offerings that deliver exceptional results. And the P Series is no exception.
- The P Series has remarkable picture quality with a high contrast ratio and a VA panel for good, deep blacks.
- It also has full-array local dimming, which might result in excessive blooming for some images. If you are using this as a second monitor to edit photos or color correct, you may have to factor in this issue.
- The P Series has good response time.
- Lag is low, which means the cursor movement trails your mouse closely.
- It has a 120 Hz refresh rate for fast-paced scenes.
- The P Series also comes with AirPlay 2.
The downside to the P Series is its mediocre viewing angles. If you were using this smart TV during a meeting, your colleagues might not see an accurate image when seated in the corner.
The P-Series comes in 65 and 75-inch models.
3. LG CX OLED
The LG CX is an OLED panel that performs quite well, regardless of application.
- Thanks to the OLED screen, the CX can produce superb blacks and upscale 1080p content without problems. If you are a video editor, this feature comes in handy when checking video renderings.
- Response time is almost instantaneous, thanks to game mode.
- The CX also handles reflections well, so even if you are working in a well-lit room, glare won’t be much of a problem.
- Viewing angles are wide, which makes it ideal for wide seating settings, such as office meetings.
- The LG CX OLED also comes with AirPlay 2, which lets you transition from work to leisure instantly.
The downside to using this smart TV with your Mac is its OLED display—which, ironically enough, is also what makes its imaging so remarkable. The risk of burn-in is high, especially if you will be using one program all day.
The CX comes in 48, 55, 65, and 75-inch models.
4. Sony X900H
The Sony X900H is one of the few smart TVs Sony rolled out with Airplay 2 compatibility this year.
For the longest time, Sony smart TVs that ran Android TV did not have mirroring or casting abilities from the Apple system. It’s about time they added compatibility, and they finally have, starting with the X900H.
The X900H has quite a high contrast ratio and is supplemented by full-array local dimming. Its black uniformity and deepness look great in dark rooms.
As a monitor, the X900H works well. Text clarity is remarkable, and the X900H has a low input lag, making it responsive to keystrokes and movements of the mouse and cursor.
Reflections and glare are not an issue to be concerned with on this smart TV.
Viewing angles are a weakness, though. This means it’s not the best monitor to use for weekly meetings with wide seating.
The X900H comes in 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models.
How Much Should You Spend on a Smart TV Compatible with Macbook Pros?
If you are looking to add a smart TV as a supplementary monitor for your MacBook Pro, you are looking at spending around $1,500.
For this round-up, one of the biggest factors in choosing a smart TV is its ability to handle video games.
Its ability to handle video games is indicative of lag times, as you want something with the least lag possible when using peripherals, such as a keyboard or mouse.
Another consideration here is having AirPlay 2 installed.
Having AirPlay 2 installed means you get to use the native, easy Apple protocol for wirelessly connecting a display with your MacBook Pro.
However, if an optimal model is out of your budget, you can always go for any smart TV with HDMI that allows you to connect with your MacBook Pro through the Thunderbolt or USB-C dongle.
As long as you can plug in via HDMI, you are good to go.