The Mac Mini is Apple’s most affordable desktop computer, however because of its low price, it isn’t included with a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. To configure or perform other tasks on the Mac Mini, you must connect it to a monitor. You can even connect two computers to the Mac Mini at the same time. Considering the starting price of $599 for the Mac Mini, the two-display setup is less luxurious. Often, the cost of a monitor is comparable to, or even more than, that of a computer.
The Mac Mini is a valuable device for various businesses and home users, but its true potential is unlocked when paired with a monitor. While setting it up as a home server allows for the use of a TV or iPad, selecting the right monitor is crucial.
Although practically any monitor may be used with a Mac Mini via an HDMI connection, some monitors have USB-C ports that allow you to connect your Mac Mini and transfer data with just one cable. While most monitors support DisplayPort Alt Mode, which has less bandwidth than Thunderbolt but offers the same benefits, some of these ports support Thunderbolt 3 or 4, which enable quick data transfer. Choosing the ideal resolution and size is a matter of choice, even though macOS is optimized for use with displays that have pixel density of about 110 or 220 PPI.
In addition to its specifications, you should think about how well it performs for your needs. For example, high peak brightness is essential if you plan to use it in a bright room, and superb color accuracy is necessary for content creation.
4 Best Monitors for Mac Mini
The Apple Studio Display, with its 27-inch 5K display, stands out as the best monitor for the Mac Mini. While not as pricey as the Pro Display XDR, it offers excellent aesthetics and performance, providing a high-resolution screen at a fraction of the cost.
Designed to seamlessly integrate with the Mac Mini, it ensures a flawless experience without issues like flickering or stuttering. The built-in speakers deliver robust sound, and the aluminum body matches the Mac Mini’s aesthetic. Connectivity features include one Thunderbolt 3 port and three USB-C ports.
Although the 12MP webcam supports Center Stage, its video quality falls short, making it the only drawback in an otherwise top-notch companion for the Mac Mini.
- Impressive 5K display with excellent color accuracy.
- High-quality built-in speakers providing robust sound.
- Integrated 12-megapixel webcam supporting Center Stage functionality.
- High cost
- Average webcam picture quality
If you favor using curved displays for a more immersive computing experience, Samsung’s ViewFinity S65VC is the perfect Mac Mini monitor. While the display’s size may be imposing, especially for curved displays, the intention is to maximize your peripheral vision. This is beneficial if you work with multiple windows simultaneously, requiring additional space for efficient work.
This Mac Mini monitor boasts the highest refresh rate among our recommendations and supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), enhancing both gaming and video editing. With a pair of five-watt stereo speakers and a built-in five-megapixel camera, you can expect high-quality HD video. The camera’s separate enclosure, protruding from the top of the screen, ensures a clean desktop appearance.
For those valuing a clutter-free space, this all-in-one monitor offers a variety of inputs, including the unusual addition of an Ethernet jack. Connecting the Mac Mini to this monitor allows it to serve as a networking and accessories hub, streamlining cable organization. While the Mac Mini includes a built-in Ethernet port, consolidating cables at a single point is a unique advantage. With these features and the curved screen, this Mac Mini monitor stands out from the rest.
- Integrated webcam
- HDR 10 compatibility
- Possibly oversized
3. Dell S2722QC
Dell’s S2722QC brings the vision of a 4K USB-C monitor for the Mac Mini within reach for most users, with its competitive price around $300. Despite its plastic construction, both the display and stand feel robust, providing stability during adjustments.
The star feature is the USB-C port, offering seamless connectivity with a 13-inch MacBook Pro or a Mac Mini through a USB-C cable. HDMI is also an option for connection. The monitor includes two USB-A ports and a headphone jack, enhancing its versatility. While suitable for common tasks and providing good color accuracy for casual photo editing, professionals may opt for a display covering 100% of the sRGB color spectrum.
The 4K resolution ensures sharp visuals for photos, videos, and text. Dell’s S2722QC delivers impressive performance at a remarkable value, highlighting the company’s commitment to premium features in affordable hardware.
- Crisp screen
- Durable stand
- Does not encompass as much of the DCI-P3 color gamut
3. BenQ PD3420Q
If your workspace allows for its substantial dimensions, BenQ’s PD3420Q proves to be an outstanding ultrawide monitor for the Mac Mini. Recognized as Pantone Validated, it undergoes testing for precise color accuracy, crucial for photo and video editing. Covering 98% of the sRGB color spectrum, it faithfully reproduces colors, ensuring on-screen content aligns with printed results.
The Mac Mini can be connected to this monitor using either an HDMI or USB-C cable, as it features both inputs. Alongside these video inputs, USB-A ports are available for accessory connectivity. Opting for USB-C connection leaves the HDMI ports free for plugging in game consoles. Despite modest three-watt speakers, the PD3420Q offers stereo sound, albeit not exceptionally robust.
While the PD3420Q’s size is substantial, it aligns with the purpose of acquiring an ultrawide monitor. If your media-related tasks demand a large screen, this Mac Mini monitor is a fitting choice.
- Calman and Pantone validated
- Integrated speakers
- Diverse range of ports
- Considerable size
You can always find a more affordable monitor by compromising on size and specifications, but the ViewSonic VG2756-2K is a reasonably priced mid-tier option that provides what we suggest for maximizing everyday work and play with a Mac Mini.
The VG2756-2K is a 27-inch, 1440p monitor that connects to your computer via USB-C, with the alternative option of using an HDMI cable. It boasts a 5ms response time, 350 cd/m² brightness, built-in stereo speakers, a fully adjustable stand, and a three-year warranty. Overall, it presents an appealing mid-range productivity monitor.
During our tests, we were consistently impressed by its surprisingly accurate color reproduction. It performed well in this aspect right out of the box, without the need for adjustments or specific mode changes. This plug-and-play performance is typically not expected in monitors within this price range, making it a viable choice for creative work when paired with the Mac Mini.
- Solid color accuracy
- Adjustable and ergonomic stand
- Affordable pricing
- Mediocre design
Factors to Consider when Purchasing Monitor for Mac Mini
When searching for the ideal monitor for your Mac Mini, several factors should guide your decision-making process. We’ve outlined key considerations that influenced our testing and research, and we also factored in pricing to assess overall value.
1. Screen Size
Monitors vary in size, offering a diverse range of styles. While larger screens, such as those exceeding 30 inches, provide ample space, they can occupy more desk real estate. Consider your specific needs—photo and video editors benefit from larger screens, while individuals using one app at a time may find smaller screens sufficient. Additionally, note that larger monitors may exhibit more noticeable individual pixels due to maintaining similar resolutions as smaller counterparts.
2. Screen Resolution
Screen size impacts your immediate perception, but resolution determines image quality. Higher resolutions mean more pixels in a given monitor space. Resolution is denoted by numbers, with the first indicating horizontal pixels and the second denoting vertical pixels. Our Mac Mini monitor recommendations fall into QHD (2560 x 1440), 4K (3840 x 2160), and 5K (5120 × 2880) ranges, ensuring clear text, images, and videos.
A monitor’s ports, or inputs, dictate the cable needed for Mac Mini connectivity. While all our recommendations include HDMI ports, many also feature DisplayPort and USB-C inputs. Although Mac Mini has built-in HDMI and Thunderbolt 4 ports, opting for a USB-C connection offers a single cable solution for audio, video, and data transmission. Some picks include USB-A ports, serving as hubs for additional accessories.
4. Refresh Rate
The refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz), determines how quickly a monitor updates its display. While less crucial for common tasks, it becomes vital for gaming. Most displays refresh at 60Hz, but some go higher. If gaming is a priority, consider a monitor with a higher refresh rate for smoother gameplay.