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The best monitors for Mac mini in 2021

The best monitors for Mac Mini
(Image credit: Unsplash)

When looking at the best monitors for Mac mini, you can really drill down and choose something that suits exactly what you need. Whether you're looking for the best monitor for Mac mini M1 or for the Intel version, we've got a great range of displays to help you pick the right one (or two).

Since the Mac mini has no display of its own, unlike the iMac M1 or iMac 27-inch, you can really drill down and focus on just getting a display that meets your specific needs, whether that's size, shape, resolution, colour support or budget. As our Mac mini M1 review points out, the mini is the lowest-priced way to get yourself a powerful new Mac, and that means you can be flexible – you could buy low-priced screens to keep your overall budget down, or you could put the saved money into a screen with even better performance.

In general, the main things we look for in our picks of the best monitors for Mac mini are great image accuracy and colour gamut support balanced with good value, regardless of where they come in the overall budget spectrum. Within that, we're then looking at monitors that fulfil different useful needs for creatives, perhaps by offering a higher resolution, or an ultrawide aspect ratio. We've also got our eye on connectivity, because extra ports are always welcome, even if they're not as badly needed on the Mac mini as they are on a MacBook Pro, say.

You may notice that a lot of the displays here are also in our guide to the best monitors for MacBook Pro – that's because we think they're ideal for working with Macs, and switching from laptop to desktop doesn't make that much of a difference. The main thing is that we don't prioritise a high-power USB-C connection when judging what's best for Mac mini. Of course, many people switch between MacBook and desktop, so rest assured that you'll be getting a monitor that we rate highly whatever machine you happen to powering the display from that day.

If you're looking for a monitor for a specific purpose, take a look at our best 4K monitors, best monitors for photo editing, and best monitors for video editing roundups.

The best monitors for Mac mini in 2021

Dell U2720Qcb badge

(Image credit: Dell)

01. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

The best monitor for Mac mini for creatives overall

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: DisplayPort, HDMI, 3x USB-A, 1x USB-C downstream, 1x USB-C upstream | Brightness (typical): 350 cd/m2

Sharp 4K resolution
Excellent colour support
No Thunderbolt passthrough

For creative work, the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q's combination of 4K resolution, broad colour support and reasonable price for a pro display make it such a winner. 99.9% sRGB, 99% REC 709 and 95% P3 coverage mean it's a winner for colour accuracy, and Dell always does great work with keeping the image consistent across the display. And 27 inches is a great size – it provides a lot of canvas for working, it's ideal for keeping the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution look sharp, and yet it's not ridiculous on your desk. The brightness is nothing to write home about, but we'll take accuracy offer needless dazzle any day.

As with all Dell displays, it's not exactly an aesthetic marvel, but the design is hard to fault in a practical sense. It's built solidly, and it offers height, tilt, pivot and swivel ergonomic adjustment options. It's a decent connectivity hub too, though there's no Thunderbolt 3 support.

ViewSonic VP2458

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

02. ViewSonic VP2458

The best budget monitor for Mac mini

Size: 23.8 inches | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Connections: DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, USB-A x2, USB-B | Brightness (typical): 250 cd/m2

Solid colour support
Full ergonomic adjustments
Only Full HD resolution

Despite coming in at a much lower price than most monitors that are focused on creative pros, the ViewSonic VP2458 aims to get the key things right, including 100% sRGB colour support, and out-of-the-box accuracy to Delta E <2 – exactly what you'd expect for more expensive options. What you're missing out on are wider colour gamuts, higher brightness levels and a higher resolution, but if you can be without those, this is just the ticket.

It's also ideal for smaller desks, as one of the few monitors around that wants to offer both strong accuracy and to be smaller than 27 inches. The inclusion of height, tilt, pivot and swivel control in the stand is a corner that ViewSonic very wisely didn't cut too, so it's easy to set it up comfortably. This is just a simple screen that does one thing and does it well, and that's give you a great display to work on. We love it.

Asus ProArt 27 PA278CVCB endorsed

(Image credit: Asus)

03. ASUS ProArt PA278CV

The best Mac mini monitor for balancing budget and pro features

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Connections: 1x USB-C, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI, USB hub, earphone jack | Brightness (maximum): 350 cd/m2

Amazing colour support for the price
Great connectivity
Average brightness

Look at the price of this screen just above, then look at this feature list: 100% sRGB and 100% REC 709 support, Calman Verified for accuracy out of the box (Delta E <2 promised, of course), 75Hz refresh rate, monitor daisy chaining built in, an on-screen scaling overlay to show actual size of paper over your work, and anti-blue-light tech.

You could get a Mac mini with two of these for the price of an iMac, which would be one hell of a pro setup. Especially with that daisy-chaining feature mentioned, which enables you to use DisplayPort to connect two of these to each other, with one connection to the Mac mini. They also offer HDMI and USB-C, of course, and act as a connection hub. They're just phenomenal value, with the only real downside being that they're not 4K.

MSI Prestige PS341cb badge

(Image credit: MSI)

04. MSI Prestige PS341WU

The best 5K monitor for Mac mini

Size: 34 inches | Resolution: 5,120 x 2,160 | Connections: DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C, 3x USB Type A | Brightness (typical): 450 cd/m2

Bright, with strong colour support
Ultrawide 4K resolution
Might be too big for some

MSI is best known for its gaming products, but it's made a strong push to win over creative pros in the last few years, and the Prestige PS341WU demonstrates why the company has been so successful at it. The 98% DCI-P3 colour support is very welcome, as is the brightness level, which is higher than the average monitor. It even supports HDR600, if you have something connected that can take advantage of it.

The 5,120 x 2,160 resolution is basically a 4K screen that's been stretched out to ultrawide, with a 21:9 aspect ratio. This is actually really useful, because it not only gives you more working space overall, but also means you can display Ultra HD or Cinema 4K video at full size, and still have space for some adjustment controls.

It's good for connectivity, it's good for ergonomic setups (with height, tilt, pivot and swivel adjustments), and image quality is top notch. What's not to like? Well, the build quality doesn't feel as pro as the likes of Dell's displays, but we're nitpicking really.

Philips 499P9H

(Image credit: Philips)

05. Philips Brilliance 499P9H

The best curved monitor for Mac mini

Size: 49 inches | Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440 | Connections: DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C, 3x USB Type A, Ethernet | Brightness (max): 450 cd/m2

Gigantic space to work
Great colour support
It's a LOT of screen

You want working space? Oh, the Philips Brilliant 499P9H has working space for ya'. This is effectively two 2,560 x 1,440 monitors fused side-by-side into one super-screen – for those who usually run a twin-display setup, its huge size might actually save you some space, since you'll only have the footprint of one screen.

And the screen is good, crucially. 450 nits brightness is above average, and colour coverage includes , 121% of sRGB, 91% of Adobe RGB, 103% of NTSC, 100% of BT 709 and 95% of P3 gamuts. And it's packed full of features while it's at it, including the ability to display from two different computers side by side and to switch between them as a KVM. There's a built-in webcam, and a ton of connectivity. The 1800R curve is a good level, and there's tilt, swivel and height adjustment.

Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q

(Image credit: Dell)

06. Dell UP2720Q

The best 4K monitor for Mac mini with impeccable accuracy

Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: Thunderbolt 3/USB-C x2, 2x HDMI, DisplayPort | Brightness (max): 250 cd/m2

Self-checking colour calibration
Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
It isn't cheap

Haven't we already recommended this screen at number one? No, no – please note the extra 'P' in the name, and the large price increase. This is the model Dell makes for those who didn't find the other one pro enough for their colour accuracy and connectivity needs. Here, you've got 100% Adobe RGB, 80% BT. 2020 and 98% DCI-P3 gamut support, but the crown jewel is the built-in colorimeter that's CalMAN ready. It checks its own screen regularly to make sure accuracy hasn't drifted, so you don't need to worry about it.

It also adds Thunderbolt 3 hub support into the mix, so if you want to daisy chain or just have several high-bandwidth accessories to connect, it's ready. That's on top of all the advantages the other screen had, including its razor-sharp 4K display and great ergonomics. Alas, you've still only got 250 nits of brightness, but that's no issue if you're focused on accuracy as the key thing

BenQ EX3501R

(Image credit: BenQ)

07. BenQ EX3501R

The best ultrawide monitor for Mac mini on a lower budget

Size: 35 inches | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Connections: USB-C, HDMI x2, DisplayPort, USB-A x2 | Brightness (typical): 300 cd/m2

Great size for multitasking
Useful connectivity
Average brightness

We've featured a couple of ultrawide monitors already, but they've both been quite high-end. If you want the working space of ultrawide and don't need as high-end features, then meet the BenQ EX3501R. Which is not to say it doesn't have some great features of its own, including 100% sRGB coverage and a refresh rate of up 100Hz if you want to also use it as a gaming display.

But the main draw here is definitely the 21:9 aspect ratio. Whereas the MSI above is like an expanded 4K display, this is an expanded Quad HD display. At 35 inches, that provides a wonderful amount of extra space to work, but it's not as sharp as the 4K options here, naturally. With a bit of extra connectivity on board as well if you need it, this is a great option for those who need a lot of windows open and just want the one screen.

BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

(Image credit: BenQ)

08. BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

The best 32-inch monitor for Mac mini for photographers

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB Type-C, 2x USB Type-A | Brightness: 250 cd/m2

Hardware calibrated accuracy
Large 4K display
Not bright
Connection bay is awkward to reach

This is one of the best displays for photographers no question, for various reasons. The 32-inch 4K screen lets you really get in and see every pixel if you need to, or just provides a nice big and detailed canvas to view overall. For colour support, you've got 99% Adobe RGB, 95% P3, 100% sRGB all factory calibrated, with a 16-but 3D LUT helping to maintain realistic colour gradation. And speaking of calibration, you can adjust colour profiles on the monitor's internal image processor, without changing it in your Mac's software at all.

This enables a clever PaperSync feature that enables you to choose from different paper types, and the display will attempt to mimic what you 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.

Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

(Image credit: Asus)

09. Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

The best video editing monitor for Mac mini

Size: 32 inches | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Connections: Thunderbolt 3 x2, USB-C, HDMI x4, DisplayPort, USB-A x2, USB-B x1 | Brightness (max): 1,000 cd/m2

1,000-nit peak brightness
Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
Overkill for non-video work

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 is right up there with great TVs, and 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 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 too, which is ideal if you'll have RAIDs full of raw high-res footage. This walks the line well between offering excellent features for video pros, with getting into the elite pricing waters of a real Hollywood video monitor.

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