The best monitors for the Mac Mini

Apple shook up the computing world forever in November 2020 when it introduced the first line of Macs powered by its own Apple Silicon processors. Dubbed the M1, this processor wowed professionals and critics alike with its flawless performance and impressive benchmarks. The top dog of those new devices was the M1 Mac Mini. With Apple’s in-house processors, the Mac Mini is now one of the best desktops you can get, period. But a great computer will need great peripherals, which the Mac Mini lacks out of the box, including a great monitor.

But what monitors are supported, and what’s the best option for your Mac Mini setup? Apple used to make its own displays, but the last one was discontinued in 2016. While Apple recently released a new line of Pro displays, they’re out of reach for most consumers (price-wise, they start at $5,000 just for the monitor: no stand), so for now the best options are still other brands. One of our favorites is the LG ultra-slim 5K monitor. It has a beautiful 27-inch screen with an equally beautiful screen. There are plenty of other monitors out there, most of which have 4K resolution, so let’s run through the best options for you to consider.

Best Mac Mini Monitors

LG ultra slim 5K

the lg ultrafine 5k for mac mini.

 

The LG UltraFine 5K display is also a workhorse. It features a beautiful 27-inch display (5120 x 2880 resolution), which is also the size of Apple’s largest iMac, and has a P3-like wide color gamut with 500 nits brightness. The monitor comes with USB-C and Thunderbolt. The single Thunderbolt 3 port connects to Mac Mini, and three USB-C ports offer 5Gbps download for other external devices. The monitor can also be adjusted up and down to enhance your viewing experience.

The biggest downside to this display (apart from its not-quite-Apple aesthetic) is the price. The LG ultra slim 5K it’ll set you back around $1,300, but keep in mind this is a 5K display. Also, the newly released Apple Pro Display XDR will set you back $5,000 (without support), so it seems like a better deal.

BenQ PD3200U

the benq pd3200u monitor.

 

A 5K monitor is a stunning high-end option for extra detail, but many people would be fine with 4K for work and play. This BenQ steps up with a spacious 32-inch 4K design that’s great for editing or designing, especially if you want to use the DualView option that makes it easy to view photos or videos side-by-side on the screen. It also offers 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut and factory calibration to help with color accuracy when details matter most.

the 60hz BenQ PD3200U it also comes with a hotkey puck or a small multi-button wheel accessory to automatically switch between display modes. Those modes are specifically designed to help with certain types of work, including CAD/CAM, animation, and darkroom. Put it all together, and this monitor has great utility for a wide range of professional uses.

Asus Designo MX279HS

the asus designo mx279hs monitor.

 

Another benefit for designers, this 27-inch frameless monitor offers an extra-wide 178-degree viewing angle with its LED-backlit IPS panel, which is ideal for collaborating with others or working with clients. The Full HD monitor also includes virtual scaling so you can preview photos or a variety of documents with precise dimensions before printing, as well as a blue light filter and similar modes to help you through long work sessions.

The Design MX279HS it also has a brightness rating of up to 250 nits, built-in 32mm speakers for impressive audio while you work, and a variety of ports, including two HDMI, a VGA port for older connections, and more. Best of all, it’s very affordable, making it a good option for artists or others working within their budgets.

LG 34WK95U-W Ultra Wide Monitor

the lg 34wk95u-w ultrawide monitor on a wooden desk.
Riley Young/Clear Tips

 

LG offers this 34-inch model with 5K resolution for those looking for a clean design and top-notch image quality. The 5120 x 2160 resolution is backed by a 5ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate. USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB-C ports are included in this model, so You don’t have to worry about compatibility.

As we pointed out in our review, the menu options are very easy to use via the hidden joystick and allow for detailed adjustment of color and image quality. The price is high, but theLG 34WK95U-W monitor really has it all.

HP Z38c Curved Monitor

the hp z38c curved monitor.

 

Curved monitors are great for multimedia lovers who plan to play a lot of games or watch a lot of movies and TV shows on their computers. Now that the M1 has finally made the Mac a competent gaming solution, a curved monitor is a great option for your new Mac Mini setup. The HP Z38c Curved Monitor is one of the best curved monitors to come out recently, with a whopping 37-inch screen for the most complicated projects or immersive entertainment, plus UHD resolution to display all the details you need.

With a curved monitor of this size, you’ll need a lot of space to accommodate it. But HP Z38c The curved monitor offers some of the most realistic properties you can find on a single screen, which can be particularly useful for more detailed video or sound editing and many similar projects where you need to review a large amount of information at once. , preferably in high resolution. resolution detail.

Dell P3222QE 4K Hub Monitor

dell 32 4k usb-c hub monitor sitting on a desk next to plant and light.
Niels Broekhuijsen/Clear Tips

 

The Dell 32-inch USB-C Hub is an ideal monitor for a busy desk, making it a great companion for a Mac Mini mode, especially if you need to attach other accessories while you work. The rugged design is built to last with options to adjust height, tilt, swivel and more, while the 4K IPS panel covers 99% of the sRGB gamut.

In addition to easy-access USB-C ports, the Dell P3222QE Monitor it also comes with HDMI, DisplayPort, four USB-A 3.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. It’s a particularly good option if you tend to work with not only a desktop like the Mac Mini, but also a MacBook next to you that may need to charge while you’re busy.

Mac Mini Monitor Research and Buying FAQs

Does a Mac Mini need a monitor?

Yes. The Mac Mini doesn’t come with a monitor, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Can any monitor be used with a Mac Mini?

Yes, you can connect your Mac Mini to just about any monitor as long as it has the right ports or adapters. The Mac Mini is really flexible and comes with two display outputs. One is USB-C/Thunderbolt and the other is HDMI 2.0. You can get adapters and accessories to convert it to DVI or VGA monitors.

Does the Mac Mini support 4K resolution?

Yes. The HDMI supports 4K at up to 60Hz and the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port outputs up to 6K at 60Hz.

Can the Mac Mini support dual monitors?

Since the Mac Mini has two display ports, it supports two monitors. However, you cannot daisy chain with the Thunderbolt 3 connection. You are limited to one for each. M1 MacBooks are limited to a single external display.

Can I use a Mac Mini with my iMac monitor?

While previous Mac Mini models had some workarounds to get a Mac Mini to run on an iMac monitor, you’ll need to get a separate display.

Can you use a MacBook as a monitor for your Mac Mini?

Not reliably. You can use Mac screen sharing or a solution like Luna Display over Wi-Fi if you’re desperate, but most workarounds are hard to get started with. It’s best to stick with an external monitor whenever possible. Even options like using Sidecar with an iPad require you to first have a screen to set it up.

How do you connect a monitor to your Mac Mini?

Find the corresponding port on the back of your Mac mini, either USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 or HDMI 2.0. Plug in both devices (do not turn them on yet), and then connect those ports with the compatible cable. Then turn on your Mini and your monitor. You can also find USB-C adapter cables that will work with the Thunderbolt 3 port if you’re working with just DisplayPlay or other weirder connections.

Should I choose a curved monitor for my Mac?

Since the Mac Mini only supports two external displays and MacBooks with M1 technology can only connect to one monitor, a curved screen can be a good solution for more screen real estate. Curved monitors come in a variety of sizes and resolutions, but in general you’ll want to choose an ultrawide curved screen. These usually come in UWQHD resolution, and it’s like having two FHD panels stacked side by side. There are several benefits here. First, curved screens are more immersive, and the slight curvature can help you immerse yourself in the content you’re viewing or working on. Second, wide format means you essentially get the benefit of having two screens, but without the seams of connecting two monitors together. And third, cable clutter is reduced to a single cable connected to your Mac. If you’re short on desk space with a large ultra-wide panel, be sure to choose a monitor that comes with a VESA mount bracket so you can mount the display on a monitor arm or on the wall.

the best monitors for the mac mini
best monitors for the mac mini

What should you avoid when choosing a monitor for your Mac Mini?

The 2020 Mac Mini has a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port and an HDMI 2.0 port for video connections, so your monitor really needs one of those for a proper connection. Monitors that only have older connections will not be a good choice.

Otherwise, it mostly depends on how you’ll be using the Mac Mini, and this can vary a lot. Artists and photographers will want to look for high quality panels with a lot of color coverage. Those with additional accessories like MacBooks may want to look into additional USB-C hubs for multiple connections or charging. If you’ll be moving your Mini frequently, look for a monitor design with easily accessible ports so reconnecting it is less of a hassle.

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