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1. Best overall: Apple Pro Display
2. Best budget: ASUS PA278CV
3. Best colours: BenQ PD3220U
4. Video editing: ASUS PA32UC-K
5. Best 5K: Apple Studio Display
6. Best ultrawide: LG 38WN95C
7. Photography: BenQ SW321C
8. Best ergonomics: LG 32UN880-B
9. iMac-inspired: Samsung M8
The best monitors for Mac mini can unleash the power packed into Apple's super compact computer. The device really needs to be paired with a quality, robust Mac Mini monitor to shine, whether you have an older Intel Mac mini or one of the newer Apple-chipped models, including the Mac Mini M2.
We're big fans of the Mac mini and we've tested out a range of screens to pair with the device, many of them through hands-on reviews carried out over several weeks of testing and using the screens for creative work.
In other cases, we've compared user reviews and reviews from our sister sites. In all cases, we've compared the specs looking for good colour accuracy and colour coverage and, of course, USB-C connectivity. For monitors for specific tasks, you might want to also check our guides to the best monitors for photo editing and the best monitor for video editing.
If you're looking for the absolute best monitor to pair with your Mac mini, there's no beating the Apple Pro Display XDR. Although it first came out in 2019, it's still one hell of a monitor with great colour, brightness and features.
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For great quality without breaking the bank, the ASUS ProArt PA278CV is hard to better. It's a good-sized 27-inches, has amazing colour and top connectivity, but don't expect the best brightness with this monitor.
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The best monitors for Mac mini
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Best overall monitor for Mac mini
Apple's sleek Pro Display XDR is a beast of a monitor, and our pick of the best monitors for Mac mini M2 for those that have the need and budget for a display of this quality. Offering resolution of 6016 x 3384 – enough for many 6K formats though not quite the 6K full-frame recording of a RED camera, it provides an incredible HDR peak brightness of up to 1,600 nits, with a typical brightness of 1,000 nits. With 576 individual dimming zones for backlight control, contrast is colossal.
In terms of colours, there are specific reference modes for DCI P3, sRGB, NTSC, BT.709 and many more. That includes a reference mode for 'Apple display', which means you can also match a MacBook Pro's brightness for a consistent look if you also work on an Apple laptop as well as your Mac mini. There's the option of a nanotexture effect on the screen to reduce reflectivity too.
It comes with one Thunderbolt 3 port so it can go at the end of a Thunderbolt chain, but can't be a Thunderbolt hub, plus three are USB-C ports for connecting accessories. The downside? It costs almost $5,000 full price and the official stand costs a further $999 / £949 / AU$1,699 (although you can also get a VESA mount adapter, if you prefer). See our initial impressions in our Apple Pro Display XDR review.
Best budget monitor for Mac mini
The Asus ProArt PA278CV is an excellent, affordable pick as the best monitor for Mac mini list if you're on a budget and don't require a kitted-out display. You might not be getting 4K resolution here, but for those not regularly working with video, a 1440p display may be all they need.
And it delivers that well, with Calman Verified colour accuracy of Delta E <2 and 100% sRGB and 100% REC 709 colour gamuts making it a great display if you do need to edit photos and videos from time to time. Although its brightness level is nothing to write home about, 350 nits is fairly standard. Some nice bonuses are the on-screen scaling overlay, the ability to daisy-chain two screens via DisplayPort, and the decent array of ports, including a USB-C port with power delivery. We think the budget price makes this a great value buy.
Best colours for Mac mini
The BenQ DesignVue PD3220U is great for creative professionals and coders alike. It boasts plenty of impressive features, from its high colour accuracy out of the box to its impressive 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, and 95% P3 colour gamuts. Our test results also revealed that it covers 98% of the DCI-P3 colour space. Those, alongside a variety of colour modes that include Animation, Rec.709, Adobe RGB, and CAD/CAM, pretty much have graphic designers and content creators covered.
Our BenQ PD322OU review also reveals a handful of nifty features for other Mac mini users who aren't in the creative world as well. Among them are not just one but two Thunderbolt 3 ports for daisy-chaining multiple monitors. One of them even delivers 85W power delivery for charging MacBooks and other laptops as well. Meanwhile, things like Picture-in-Picture, Picture-by-Picture, and a 90-degree pivot capability for portrait mode are best for productivity.
All in all, we found the big 32-inch 4K display to deliver stacks of detail and great image quality. This is the best value professional screen we've tested for creative and non-creative professionals alike
Best video editing for Mac mini
For those who want to work with HDR video, the trouble with most monitors is the lack of brightness – you can't see what things would look like on a mid-range or better TV. That is not the case here. 1,000 nits of peak brightness puts this monitor up there with great TVs In fact, the use of Mini-LED means its localised dimming is actually more precise than a lot of TVs can manage for fantastic contrast, with hundreds of individual zones.
Its 4K resolution is also ideal, so you can really watch something at full quality here. Naturally, that means great DCI-P3 colour support (95% in this case), but 99.5% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB coverage make it great for other work too. There's Thunderbolt 3 connectivity on board, which is ideal if you'll have RAIDs full of raw high-res footage. This monitor strikes a balance, offering excellent features for video pros, without entering the seriously high pricing of a Hollywood video monitor, making it a great choice as the best monitor for Mac mini for video editing.
Best 5K for Mac mini
We didn't give the Apple Studio Display a fantastic rating when we carried out our initial Apple Studio Display review because we were a little underwhelmed by what it offered for the price. However, when it comes to choosing the best monitor for Mac mini, it's a solid option for gorgeous looks and a bright, crisp 5K resolution display.
With only a 60hz refresh rate, no HDR and no stand (you have to buy it separately), it lacks in some areas, but it has a built-in webcam, pairs well with a Mac mini, and the 5K screen offers great clarity and consistent colour and brightness. If you want an Apple monitor and the Pro Display XDR at number 1 on our list is beyond your need (or budget), this is the obvious choice.
Best ultrawide for Mac mini
A stunning 3840 x 1600 display, the LG 38WN95C gives you the real estate you need to spread out and have all your tools handy so you can immerse yourself in your creative process and save time as well. But, there are many more features to love here besides its ultrawide goodness.
Content creators will appreciate its 99% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 colour gamuts and VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification. Those who work from home and have the same setup for work and for play will also appreciate the fast refresh rate of 144Hz, 1ms fast response time, and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync support. Meanwhile, the LG's ambient light sensor and an articulating stand are most useful for professionals who love to multitask.
The LG 38WN95C is a great all-rounder that should fit most types of Mac mini users. It costs a bit more than other monitors, but it's worth every penny if you have the budget for it.
Best for photographers
The BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is one of the best displays for photographers, and it's designed to be that way as one of the manufacturer's photography monitors. Its 32-inch 4K screen lets you really get in and see every pixel if you need to, or simply provides a nice big and detailed canvas to view overall. Of course, you've got all the vital colour spaces covered as well, touting 99% Adobe RGB, 95% P3, 100% sRGB colour gamuts, and a 16-but 3D LUT helping to maintain realistic colour gradation.
During testing, we found that it delivers a bit more coverage than advertised, giving us a colourimeter reading of 100% Adobe RGB. Our BenQ SW321C PhotoVue review should also show that colour accuracy is top-notch on testing as well, delivering an average Delta E of 0.9 out of the box.
A clever PaperSync feature that enables you to choose from different paper types, and the display will attempt to mimic what your image would look like on that material. Gimmicky perhaps, but even without it, this is simply a phenomenal screen for photographers. The low brightness is a trade-off we can live with for total accuracy. It also offers some extra connections, though they're a bit recessed for our liking.
Best ergonomic monitor for Mac mini
The LG 32UN8800-B UltraFine Ergo is just as great for Mac minis as it is for Ultrabooks and MacBooks. This 4K panel offers video and photo editors 350 nits of brightness and HDR10 support, as well as 95% DCI-P3 colour coverage, without costing a lot. That means it delivers a great price-to-performance ratio, allowing it to be capable enough for creative workloads while keeping things accessible for most people, price-wise.
Of course, it's the ergonomic C-clamp and base that's the star here. Instead of the usual stand and base, it comes with a highly-articulating version that offers the kind of ergonomic adjustments that suit creative professionals. Not only will it let you effortlessly pivot the panel 90 degrees, tilt and swivel better than other displays, but it allows for height adjustments, as well as extensions and retractions.
Combining that impressive feature set with its ability to deliver great performance for the price, the LG 32UN8800-B UltraFine Ergo is one of the best value monitors on the market – and just the perfect match for your Mac mini.
Best iMac-inspired monitor for Mac mini
The Samsung M8 smart monitor makes it possible for the more budget-conscious consumers to enjoy that Apple display vibe without spending as much. It's clearly designed by Samsung to give pricey Apple displays a run for their money with its iMac-inspired design, minimal port selection and several colour options. At closer inspection, however, you'll come to realise that you're getting a Mac mini monitor that's more than a good-quality Apple knockoff.
Its slightly flimsy build aside, the M8 boasts a magnetic clip-on SlimFit webcam, IoT hub functionality that turns it into your SmartThings devices control center and Smart TV functionality. That's on top of USB-C connectivity with power delivery and 3,000:1 contrast ratio. If you're looking for an affordable Apple-esque display, this is definitely worth checking out, especially if you're looking for a versatile option that could also be your TV. See our full Samsung M8 Smart Monitor review for more details.
Can I use any monitor with a Mac mini?
Unless you plan on pulling out a monitor from the last century, you can use just about any display with the Mac mini. But, since Mac minis don’t come with a screen like a MacBook Pro or iMac, having versatile connectivity is much more crucial. The Mac mini M1, M2 and their Intel-powered predecessor come with an HDMI 2.0 port and multiple USB-C ports. And, you would be hard-pressed to find a monitor that doesn’t have at least HDMI connectivity. If your monitor has DisplayPort, you'll need an adapter.
How many monitors can the Mac mini M1 and M2 support?
The Mac mini M1 and M2 may be small, but it is quite the powerhouse, especially for its size. This little computer can drive two high-resolution monitors, since the M1 system that Apple introduced in late 2020. Specifically, it can connect and run a 6K display at 60Hz via one of its Thunderbolt ports and one 4K at 60 Hz via the HDMI 2.0 port. It might not be quite what the newest MacBook Pros can do, but it’s impressive nonetheless. The only caveat is that you can't daisy chain on the Thunderbolt 3 connection.
How do I choose the best monitor for Mac mini?
The Mac mini (both M1 and M2 model) is very flexible and any recent monitor with a USB-C or HDMI port will serve you, so the best monitor for Mac mini will really depend on what you're using it for. Anyone working in visual design will want a high-quality display with good colour coverage and uniform brightness. If you're going to want to hook up additional accessories, for example a MacBook, then you'll want a range of ports. It's also worth considering the location of those ports, especially if you'll be taking your Mac mini on the road with you and will need to plug it in and out regularly.
How do you connect a monitor to Mac mini?
It's very easy to connect a monitor to a Mac mini. Simply locate the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 or HDMI 2.0 ports (the former have a lightning symbol above them), plug in with a compatible cable, then turn on both devices.
Are Mac minis worth it?
We're big fans. The Mac mini – both M1 and M2 – are the most reasonably priced computers among Apple’s lineup. And, with the latest M2 chip on hand, it’s really powerful as well. Of course, you need to factor in the price of your peripherals, such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. But this diminutive little beast (especially at M2 Pro level) can handle just about anything you can throw at it, from working on high-resolution editing and design projects to powering through the latest games available to Mac users.
How we chose our pick of the best Mac mini monitors
We love the Mac mini, as you'll see in our Mac mini M2 Pro 2023 review, and we've tested it with a wide range of monitors to find the setups we like most. Our reviewers test monitors using a battery of lab tests including for colour coverage, accuracy and screen uniformity and we also take feedback from the creatives that regularly submit tutorials and features to Creative Bloq.