We're big fans of the Mac mini and we've tested out a wide range of screens to pair with the device, many of them through hands-on reviews carried out over several weeks of testing, using the screens for creative work as well as entertainment. We've also compiled a guides on the monitors for MacBook Pro, so we're aware of the smallest detail of all these screens. That is what has helped us pick out the best Mac mini monitor for different needs.
All the models below are USB-C monitors, but we've also picked out options that have colour coverage and brightness suitable for creative work. If you want to dial in even further for specific use cases, we have guides on monitors for photo editing, monitor for video editing, so have a look at them too.
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 came out in 2019, it's still one hell of a monitor with great colour, brightness and features.
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For decent quality at a very reasonable price, we think the ASUS ProArt PA278CV is a winner. We can't expect the brightest display at this budget price, but we found color and connectivity to be great for the price.
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If colour is of upmost importance, you should consider the BenQ PD3220U monitor. We love the design, but it's the IPS panel's wide colour coverage the really set it apart, and it's reasonably priced too.
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We think Apple's own Studio Display is a little pricey for the specs that it offers, but the 5K screen is gorgeous, and it's just made to fit the Mac mini. The inbuilt webcam can be handy too.
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It's marketed for gaming, but we think this gorgeous curved OLED monitor has other uses too, including creative tasks (if you don't mind the curve). The extra horizontal space can allow you see more of your work, speeding up your workflow.
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The best monitors for Mac mini in full
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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 a Mac mini M2 Pro for those that have the need and budget for a display of this standard. 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 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. When we reviewed it, we found nothing to complain about at all... other than the fact that it costs almost $5,000 full price. Oh, 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
We think BenQ DesignVue PD3220U is great option for creative professionals. We were impressed with the colour accuracy out of the box (100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB, and 95% P3 colour gamuts, and our test results revealed that it also covers 98% of the DCI-P3 colour space). Along with a variety of colour modes that include Animation, Rec.709, Adobe RGB, and CAD/CAM, this pretty much has graphic designers and content creators covered.
Our BenQ PD322OU review also reveals a handful of nifty features for Mac mini users who aren't in the creative world. 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. it's the best value professional screen for the Mac mini that we've tested.
Best 5K for Mac mini
We didn't give the Apple Studio Display a fantastic rating in our initial Apple Studio Display review because we thought it was a bit too expensive for the specs on offer. That said, when it comes to choosing the best monitor for Mac mini, this is 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 does lack in some areas, but it has a built-in webcam, pairs well with a Mac mini, and we found that 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
This gorgeous curved OLED monitor is primarily marketed as a gaming monitor, but we think the specs and capabilities make it a great option for playing immersive games for creative tasks such as video editing, photo editing or graphic design, although we know that some will argue against using a curved screen for some of those takes. Also, because it's an ultrawide, you'll also get extra horizontal space to see more of your work at once, speeding up your workflow.
Our reviewer found its gently curved, 34-inch OLED panel was great for gaming, with its fast refresh rate, impressive contrast, no response lag and a sharp image with smooth motion. And he also found it consistently fantastic to look at, whether working on photos or design-related tasks , writing or watching movies.
There are three brightness settings available ('Bright', 'Brighter' and 'Brightest') and maximum 1,000 nits of brightness. You can connect it to two devices at once, and there's a wide range of ports on the back. So although it's quite pricey, and we'd have liked a little more adjustibility, this is overall the best ultrawide monitor for Mac mini we've tested to date. For more, read our full Philips Evnia 34M2C8600 review.
Best ergonomic monitor for Mac mini
The Mac mini is a sleek minimalist device designed to save space on a desk, so it makes sense to pair it with a monitor that shares that objective. When we reviewed the BenQ DesignVue PD2706UA, we loved the convenience or the handy Ergo arm and C clamp, which can reduce clutter while allowing the monitor to be positioned where we wanted it.
As for the display itself, it's a professional 4K screen with that's fully Mac-compatible, to allow active colour syncing without calibration. Colour accuracy is up there with some of the best displays from BenQ, with 11 colour modes, including one to match the colour space of an Apple computer. In our tests, it асhіеvеd a Dеltа Е ≤ 3 score for truе-tо-lіfе соlоur and industry-standard 95% P3, 100% sRGB, and 100% Rec.709. This puts is very close to the more expensive SW321C above, and it's actually brighter than that screen, at 350 nits.
The built-in KVM switch will be welcomed by those who like to multitask on two machines using the same keyboards and mouse. We also found the hotkey puck really east to use and customise to navigate onscreen menus and settings. Unlike the DesignVue PD3220U at number 3 on this list, there's no Thunderbolt for faster transfers, which will disappoint some Apple users, but there is a USB hub with three USB-A and one USB-C hidden by a plastic panel and all these ports are neatly hidden away by a plastic panel that snaps on and a further USB-C and USB-A plus a 3.5mm headphone jack on one side.
See our full BenQ DesignVue PD2706UA review for more details.
Best for photographers
The BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is another professional screen from BenQ, but this one is targeted more specifically at photographers and videographers. It has the vital colour spaces covered, touting 99% Adobe RGB, 95% P3, 100% sRGB colour gamuts, and a 16-but 3D LUT for realistic colour grading in video work (during testing, we found that it actually delivers a bit more coverage than advertised, giving us a colourimeter reading of 100% Adobe RGB).
In our BenQ SW321C PhotoVue review, testing also revealed great colour accuracy, with 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. It also offers some extra connections, though they're a bit recessed for our liking. There is an HDR mode, but note that this monitor does sacrifice on brightness, with just 250 cd/m2, less than the cheaper BenQ monitor above.
How to choose the best monitors for Mac mini
The Mac mini (both M1 and M2 models) 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.
You'll also want to consider your budget. The Mac mini is quite reasonably priced for the performance it offers. So much so, that if you're looking for a professional display, you're likely to pay more for your monitor than for the Mac mini itself.
We've chosen Apple's Pro Display as the best Mac mini overall, but it's so expensive compared to the price of the Mac mini that many people will prefer a more modest option. BenQ has several excellent professional displays that work well with Macs and fit the bill as solid Mac mini displays for creatives, and they're quite reasonably priced for the specs they offer. In fact, we would say the offer better value than the Apple Studio Display, at number 4 in our list. But if you want the perfect combination of Apple looks to match your computer, and crisp 5K resolution, then the Apple Studio Display may be the obvious choice.
How we test the best monitors for Mac mini
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.
We also put monitors through their paces by subjecting them to real-life testing by using them for work over a period of several days. After that, we also take feedback from the creatives that regularly submit tutorials and features to us. For more details, see our article on how we test and review on Creative Bloq.
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.
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 may be small, but they're powerful. Since the introduction of the M1 chip in late 2020, this little computer can drive two high-resolution monitors. 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.