Nothing is as astounding in Apple’s already impressive lineup as the Mac mini, whose tiny form factor only makes it all the more magnificent. Therefore, not just any monitor will do, especially if the model you have is the M1 Mac mini, or the more recent Mac Studio.
Up to six times faster than its predecessor, this mini PC is creative professional-approved and will see you through graphics-intensive and processor-intensive tasks. Not only that, but it can also be connected to one external display with up to 6K resolution and another with up to 4K resolution, thanks in part to its Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI 2.0 ports.
The best monitors for Mac mini, therefore, are those that take full advantage of its prowess. Anything less – especially with 4K fast becoming the standard – would be a disservice. A 1440p monitor can work as well if you’re on a tight budget, but bear in mind that the best 4K monitors can be just as inexpensive. Take a look at our guide to the best Dell monitors too.
Still, even with these ultra-high resolutions narrowing down your options, there’s still a lot to choose from, especially if you’re just looking in the 4K market. Additionally, a few other considerations come to mind, especially if you’re planning on using it for demanding creative projects like video editing and 3D design.
Screen size is important. Some folks choose the Mac mini for its size, which means that desk space might be a factor. If that’s the case, a monitor with a 27-inch panel should suffice as it will fit your small setup better. If size isn’t a factor, you’ll be better served with a 32-inch display as that is the sweet spot for 4K resolution. On the other hand, if you need an ultrawide monitor with generous screen real estate, a 34-inch is best.
There are a few other things to consider, of course, including color coverage and accuracy, contrast ratio, brightness levels, ergonomics, and availability of ports – all of which are of varying levels of importance depending on your daily workload. If you’re utilizing your Mac mini for productivity and after-work entertainment, for example, just about any display with a good brightness level, color gamut, and articulation will do. However, if you plan on using it for video editing, you’ll obviously need very specific features like the right color spaces and a higher contrast ratio.
To help you narrow your choices down further, we found the best monitors for Mac mini and every type of Mac mini user. Whatever type of monitor is ideal for your day-to-day, you’ll find the perfect monitor for you here.
UPDATE March 8 2022: Apple has announced an ideal new monitor for the Mac Mini in the shape of the stunning Apple Studio Display. This expansive 27-inch 5K Retina display features 600 nits of brightness, P3 wide color, a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Centre Stage, and a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system with spatial audio for immersive video conferencing. Se our full Apple Studio Display review for full details.
Best monitor for Mac mini in 2022
There are a lot of impressive professional monitors out there, but many of them are a bit too pricey for most people. Creative pros who are only starting out, therefore, don’t have that many reasonably priced options. Luckily, Asus gives us an affordable option: the ProArt Display PA279CV comes with 100% sRGB and 100% Rec. 709 color gamut, decent brightness level of 350 nits, Delta E < 2 color accuracy, and plenty of connectivity options including a USB-C port that offers power delivery – not to mention, adds four more USB 3.1 to your Mac mini, thanks to the USB hub built-in. There aren’t many premium features here, but at that price, you’re still getting a whole lot of value here.
Read our full review: ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV
One of the best ultrawide monitors out there, the MSI Prestige PS341WU is every creator’s dream, inside and out. This dazzling display comes with a 5K2K-resolution panel that has an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio so it has all the screen area you need to display a 4K video and still have all your tools within immediate reach. That’s within a gorgeous Western oil and Eastern ink painting-inspired package. Of course, this being a creator’s monitor, there’s more, including 98% DCI-P3 coverage, DisplayHDR 600, and the Creator OSD software that will let you accurately check how images will look in print before printing them. There’s a decent level of articulation here as well, so you can tilt, swivel and adjust the height to your most comfortable position.
For most people, the Apple Pro Display XDR is overkill, even to some creators who would not be able to justify its $4,999/£4,999 price especially with all other impressive options out there. But, if you happen to have the money or if you need the absolute best, this is the 6K monitor of your creative workload dreams, touting an eye-blasting 1,000-nit typical brightness, extremely high contrast ratio, and full DCI-P3 color space for your video editing pleasure. That’s not to mention the beautifully smart, ultramodern design and ideal 32-inch size. If you’re looking for the best 6K monitor out there and money is no object, you won’t regret this investment.
For a 32-inch display, the BenQ DesignVue PD3220U might be a tad pricey. However, it’s just the best monitor for Mac mini users who use their mini PC for photo editing, graphic design and engineering workloads. This 4K display comes with 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color gamut as well as different color modes for different graphical workloads – from photography and video editing to animation and illustration. On top of that, there are other features to simplify your workflow including a KVM switch, USB hub, and a hotkey puck for quick access to settings. Despite the middling brightness level and color accuracy, therefore, you’re still getting a bang for your buck.
If ergonomics is your priority over everything else, you will appreciate the LG 32UN880-B UltraFine Ergo’s impressive mount and stand, which together offers next-level flexibility unlike anything else we’ve seen. Thanks to this system, you can extend and retract, swivel, tilt, pivot, and adjust its height to your heart’s content – or at least to the position that feels most comfortable and productive to you. That’s whether you’re editing high resolution photos or writing your next novel. Of course, the 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, 350 nits of brightness, and a variety of input ports should be helpful to your creative process as well.
Not everyone needs a high-end monitor with all the right color spaces and premium features. If you’re only utilizing your Mac mini for emails, writing up contracts, and other productivity tasks, then the price on the Monoprice 28in CrystalPro 4K is just right. Setting you back below $500/£500, it still offers that coveted 4K resolution, 100% Adobe sRGB color space, and a USB-C port with 65W power delivery for charging that MacBook Pro you also own. There isn’t much here in terms of features, but it does try to be of great value. That fully articulating stand, for one, offers great ergonomics and gives you access to portrait mode when you need it while the 2-port USB hub gives you a couple of extra ports for your devices.
How we test monitors
We evaluate a monitor with particular attention given to its core image quality, including brightness, contrast, color vibrancy and accuracy. While this can - and will - be assessed by the experienced eye of our professional reviewer, some manufacturer screen specs can only be definitively judged by an 'electronic eye' - a monitor calibrator. Where possible, a calibration device will be placed on the screen to verify its advertised color space coverage, brightness output and consistency, and factory color calibration accuracy. Beyond image quality, we'll also scrutinise the monitor's display and data ports to ensure acceptable connectivity, and will give a thorough assessment of build quality, including the range of ergonomic adjustment in its stand. Only then will we determine if a screen is worthy of use by a discerning imaging or video enthusiast.
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