Great display quality is essential for the creative professional and the best monitors for the Mac Mini demonstrate why Apple computers have long been a cornerstone in the industry.
Designers and videographers flocked to the Mac because of its simple, beautiful design but these creative workers also need great monitors to make their projects possible. In the portable space, Macs have pioneered high-resolution retina displays with a wide color gamut.
The Mac Mini (opens in new tab) brings the Apple experience to users that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a MacBook (opens in new tab) or a Mac Pro (opens in new tab). Additionally, the latest Mac Mini features Apple's latest M1 silicon (opens in new tab), bringing superfast unified memory to boost overall performance, along with support for display connections using Thunderbolt and HDMI. If you are searching for a monitor for the Mac Mini, it makes sense then that the monitor would also be of the same impressive quality as the Mac it’s connected to.
In compiling this list, we've looked at a wide range of aspects that you'll need to consider when making your choice. In addition to keys specs like screen size and resolution, we've considered connectivity options, ergonomics, and general aesthetics.
The best monitors for the Mac Mini in 2022 in full
With the ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV, Mac Mini users will have a reliable workhorse on hand. Video and photo editing will be a breeze and the graphics are stunning. This 4K monitor is an upgrade from the PA278CV, which was a QHD monitor. Due to its perfect coverage of the sRGB color space, it provides a sharp image and accurate colors for content creators. In comparison with the PA278CV, it comes with twelve preset modes, making it a great option for photo editors using a Mac Mini.
In addition to thin bezels and a simple design, it has a metallic finish plastic stand and a clip on the back for cable management. Its power and OSD buttons are at the bottom of the device, where it sports a built-in ruler on the bottom bezel to assist content creators and photo editors. With its matte anti-reflective coating, it provides vibrant colors with 100% sRGB color accuracy, which is excellent for most work purposes, and it tops this with impressive 178-degree viewing angles.
In addition to DisplayPort over USB-C, it has two HDMI v2 ports, one DP, and four USB 3.1 type-A downstream ports. Its USB-C with Power Delivery comes handy if you plan to share your Mac Mini monitor also with a MacBook Pro as the monitor can deliver 65W of power.
With 27 inches and a great, polished design with a sturdy stand, this 4K monitor from Dell is an ideal size for an office desk and an almost perfect match for the Mac Mini. The display is bright enough for most types of work, and the colors look great out of the box. Display height, pivot, swivel, and tilt can be easily adjusted for optimum ergonomics and comfort, and its stand is removable in case you want to hook it up to a VESA wall mount or a monitor arm.
Its 30bit SDR mode yields amazing results for image reproduction. This means that each pixel can be constructed from more than one billion shades of color. It is possible to calibrate it to improve graphics work results, but suffice to say that the panel covers +99% of sRGB and +95% of DCI-P3 and its defaults just look great.
Connectivity options include two USB-C ports (one downstream, one upstream), three USB-A connectors to plug in peripherals, as well as one DisplayPort and one HDMI port. This is an ideal monitor to share with a MacBook Pro as well since it supports power delivery over USB-C. Though more advanced monitors are available, this one from Dell is the better choice for most Mac Mini users. Just make sure you use the cables provided by Dell when connecting it to your Mac Mini. It's just icing on the cake that Dell offers a three-year warranty.
For the Mac Mini owner, having a monitor of the same high quality and specs is essential. While you can technically connect a Mac Mini to a big screen TV via HDMI, if you plan on using your Mac Mini for work, you will need a monitor that will become the center of your workspace. Dell delivers just that with the P3222QE, which can be aptly named a "docking monitor".
To begin with, it comes with USB-C to easily connect to the Mac mini. Additionally, it includes a USB hub, so you will be able to plug a mouse, trackball, webcam, keyboard, and USB flash drives into the monitor and then only have to plug a single cable into your Mac Mini.
With a 31.5-inch 4K IPS display and a matte black chassis and silver metal stand, the Dell P3222QE boasts modern aesthetics. Using a single joystick, the OSD menus can be calibrated or switched between different display modes. Using the stand, you can adjust the display's height, tilt, swivel, pivot, and rotate to portrait. If you do not wish to be limited by the stand, you can attach the monitor to a wall mount or a monitor arm using the provided VESA mount (100x100).
For Mac Minis equipped with the latest M1 silicon, up to two displays can be connected: one up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via USB-C/Thunderbolt and one up to 4K over HDMI 2.0. You can use the Dell P3222QE as the main monitor or as a secondary monitor on your Mac Mini because it comes with three video inputs: DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and DP Alt mode via USB-C.
The monitor supports USB-C charging, so you can use it with a MacBook, if you have one and can charge it from the same cord as you use for video. Furthermore, the monitor includes four USB 3.0 ports as well as an RJ45 network port, ensuring that all fixed cabling, including high-speed Gigabit Ethernet networking, is routed to the monitor.
Note that Dell has taken the step of making speakers optional. The Dell mini soundbar is a separate purchase that attaches magnetically below the bottom bezel and there is no headphone jack on this model. As a result, if you decide not to purchase the Dell SB521A Slim Soundbar, you will be forced to either use speakers directly connected to your Mac Mini or Bluetooth-enabled speakers/headphones.
Read our full Dell P3222QE USB-C Hub Monitor review.
The ultrawide format is great for productivity as it gives extra horizontal workspace for your apps and creative work. You can also view videos and entertainment in a more immersive manner.
Be warned: this monitor certainly doesn't look Apple-ish and is marketed for gamers. It features a matte black finish with streaks of red in some discrete places, giving its design a gamer-like appeal. Once you get past its looks, you will discover a reliable workhorse with immersive visuals thanks to its 3440x1440 screen resolution and 110 pixel density on its 34" wide curved display.
Its screen has a matte antiglare coating that prevents reflections, 178° viewing angles and a 144Hz refresh rate that can go up to 160Hz. Moreover, it is equipped with a flicker-free backlight and low-blue light filter to minimize eye strain caused by prolonged use of the monitor. Its IPS panel has a peak brightness of 400-nits (standard 350), meaning the image has good brightness and contrast even in a well-lit room.
Its default mode is optimized for gaming. On non-gaming content like web browsing, you'd be better off using its emulated picture mode, as it delivers 100% sRGB. Using its gaming mode on non-gaming content would result in oversaturated colors. You can adjust that from the OSD menu found beneath the bottom bezel of the screen.
In terms of ergonomics, it features a height adjustment range of 110mm and a tilt range of -5 to 15 degrees. If you need more than that, you can remove the stand and use the provided 100x100mm hooks for a VESA mount.
The connectivity options include one DisplayPort 1.4 port, two HDMI 2.0 ports restricted to 85Hz refresh rate at 3440*1440, and a three port USB 3.0 hub (one upstream and two downstream).
Mac OS on the Mac Mini doesn't play well with the "strange" 3.5K resolution of ultrawide displays. You need to convince MacOS to use the 3440x1440 resolution. By navigating to the display settings and holding down the Option key while clicking "Scaled", you'll be shown a list of all custom resolutions, including this ultrawide's UWQHD (3440x1440).
This isn't liquid retina, but it's as close as you can get from a third-party monitor manufacturer. MSI's Prestige PS341WU delivers 5,120 by 2,160 resolution at 60Hz for stunning image quality featuring bright colors and high contrast. Its LG nano IPS panel delivers excellent image quality for content creation and design work.
The new segment of "5K2K" monitors combine the horizontal resolution of a 5K display with the vertical resolution of a 4K display. In the end, this produces a larger screen area, a higher pixel density, and, as a result, better image quality and sharpness. In addition, it has excellent connectivity, including a USB Type-C port with charging capability, a DisplayPort port as well as an HDMI port, the latter being restricted by the HDMI bandwidth limit to 3,840 by 2,160 at 60Hz.
Compared to what you are getting for the current market price, it is a remarkable bargain, making it the best value for the money as far as 5K displays go for the Mac Mini.
Read our full MSI Prestige PS341WU review.
In 2019, Apple made headlines for its release of the Pro Display XDR as it delivered the best resolution at the time, causing Mac users to raise eyebrows. Although Liquid Retina 6 held the throne for a long time, technology has moved on with some 8K monitors from Dell and ViewSonic on the product catalogues, but those are hard to find and still beyond the capabilities of the M1 Mac Mini.
Apple's new Mac Mini can support up to two displays (one with a resolution up to 6K at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt, and one with a resolution up to 4K at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0), so there is really no point in connecting a display that goes over 6K. Most PC monitors have skipped 6K in favour of 5K ultrawides and 8K, the expensive monitor from 2019 offers the best viewing experience in terms of display resolution.
Featuring futuristic aesthetics and brushed aluminum with large heat sink holes, the PRO Display XDR is a large, heavy monitor. In addition to the 6K resolution, the device can be turned 90 degrees so that it functions in portrait mode. When it comes to Apple products, if you stay within the brand ecosystem you don't have to mess with the OS at all. Since everything is controlled by Mac OS, you won't find any buttons on it for adjustments.
In terms of connectivity, it's modest: Thunderbolt 3.0 and three USB-C ports. Nothing more, nothing less. Despite Apple owning Beats, this monitor lacks speakers. The separately-sold stand commands a $999 price tag that has attracted scorn from competitors that quickly pointed out you're paying for a stand the same price others charge for a whole monitor.
You might want to consider the Apple Pro Display XDR if money is not your primary concern, or if it is but you need the highest resolution you can get on a M1 Mac Mini right now nonetheless.
How do you get a decent display for your Mac Mini at an affordable price if you can't afford to sell your motorcycle to buy an Apple monitor, or an Asus or Dell 4K monitor? Well, look no further than the Dell 2721D.
While it's not 4K and it doesn't support HDR, it's still good enough with a 27" screen size and a sober design that fits your Mac Mini nicely. Thanks to its large screen and 2K resolution, it's an ideal device for work thanks to its Quad-HD 2560 x 1440 workspace. Its IPS panel has a decent response time with a low input lag and a refresh rate of 75Hz.
The construction feels sturdy, with little details such as the small cutout for cable management. On the downside, this stand only allows for tilt adjustment. The Dell S2721DS is more ergonomic, adding swivel and rotation to portrait mode, but at a higher price. If you need USB connections or HDR mode, look for a higher priced monitor.
When using a Quad-HD display, you may need to convince Mac OS to enable HiDPI mode, otherwise you will end up with blurry text and small fonts. Just google “BetterDummy” and you'll find a free open source solution for Mac OS which lets you enable HiDPI mode on QHD, 4K and all monitors. That is, until Apple updates its OS for better monitor support.
Read our full Dell S2721D review.
How to choose the best monitors for the Mac Mini for you
Besides price and connectivity, ideally you want a monitor that supports USB-C, Thunderbolt or HDMI but you also need to consider other factors, like resolution and color accuracy if you are a creative professional, and display size too. You will want above-average display sizes if you frequently use your Mac Mini for entertainment or gaming as well.
There are no limitations to what you can choose, unless you have limited space. Monitors with a 27-inch or larger screen are an excellent choice for both work and entertainment. Monitors with a screen size under 24 inches usually do not offer 4K resolution. Therefore, if you wish to have great resolution and pixel density, a 24-inch monitor is the minimum these days for desk-based monitors. If you use your Mac Mini for office work you might go the extra mile or inches in this case and choose a 32-inch display size. For entertainment and gaming an ultra-wide might be your best option for a Mac Mini.
When it comes to resolution, a 4K monitor is the sweet spot these days. You can save money by going with a 2K also known as QuadHD which is a fair option but you won’t get the crisp text that your Mac Mini is capable of. With Mac OS, DPI is everything so HiDPI mode is essential. Luckily the Mac Mini supports most monitors. It’s just Mac OS which sometimes is finicky about enabling HiDPI mode on monitor resolutions that are not the Apple defaults. If you run into problems enabling HiDPI, we suggest you try BetterDummy, a free and open source application that allows all M1 based Macs to enable HiDPI modes on all displays.
Finally, on connectivity, Apple's Mac Mini with M1 silicon can connect one external display with a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port at up to 6K resolution and one external display with its HDMI 2.0 port to a maximum of 4K. You'll need an inexpensive Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C to DisplayPort (DP) adapter cable if your monitor has a DP connector.
The best monitors for the Mac Mini: How we test
The Mac Mini is capable of driving one monitor at 6K and a secondary monitor at 4K, meaning any monitor below 4K (UHD - Ultra High Definition) is a poor investment, because your monitor will get old very quickly and you won't be able to fully use the maximum resolution that your Mac Mini can deliver. We included a 2K Quad-HD option for thin wallets and small budgets, but keep in mind anything below 2K is already semi-obsolete.
Nowadays, a 27-inch screen is a good entry-level monitor size for all purposes. Above that, a size of 32” (technically 31.5 in some models) adds some extra screen real estate for increased clarity and productivity, particularly for those working with spreadsheets or complex applications. However, 34 inches is the current sweet spot for the ultrawide monitors where you can work in a generous 5:9 area and simultaneously watch a 16:9 video.
While there are monitors over 40 inches, we believe the best monitors for the Mac Mini require a large viewing distance and too much space, making them less than ideal. We included a 31.5 inch monitor for productivity, a 34-inch ultrawide for those who prefer a screen with the extra room of "5K2K" resolution (5120 x 2160) and those who use their Mac Mini for multimedia and entertainment.
Based on the requirements above, we researched the market options and selected the best monitors in a wide range of prices, from Apple’s own Pro Display XDR at the top with its 6K beauty and the same price as a motorcycle down to a decent yet workable QHD 2K workhorse that costs 20 times less yet delivers great results. All but one support USB-C and most support HDMI 2.0, allowing you to use them as your main or secondary display on the Mac Mini.