The best monitors for the Mac Mini

Apple’s Mac Mini is one of the best miniature PCs out there, with incredible performance and connectivity in a tiny package. But you can only make the most of it with a great monitor, and there are a range of exciting displays to choose from.

Apple’s own Studio Display is our current favorite, but it’s not our only one. Here are the best monitors for the Mac Mini in 2023.

Apple Mac Studio desktop and Studio Display.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple Studio Display

Best Mac Mini display

Pros

  • 5K Retina display
  • Updated wide-angle cam
  • Six-speaker array
  • Great color accuracy
  • Automatically pairs with Mac Mini

Cons

  • Expensive, especially with the advanced configurations

Specifications
Size: 27-inch
Resolution: 5,120 x 2,880
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Color support: 100% sRGB, 98% DCI-P3
Brightness: 600 nits

Apple’s Studio Display is designed from the ground up to serve as an external display for Mac products, making it easily the best fit for the Mac Mini. The 27-inch monitor offers a 5K resolution with Apple’s Retina panel technology and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide cam (plus studio-quality mics) for easy web conferences. In a less usual move for Apple, the monitor also comes with an excellent six-speaker sound system that includes Apple’s Spatial Audio support for compatible audio files, making it a great monitor pick if you listen to a lot of music while working, but don’t really like external speakers.

The Studio Display has an option to add Nano-texture glass, which helps reduce glare when working in sunny or bright conditions, and offers several choices for the stand, including a height adjustment design, or a VESA mount. Brightness is on the high end for monitors at 600 nits, and color accuracy is excellent (Apple is using its own Display P3 color gamut to gauge support for a billion different colors). Three USB-C ports are included, and the display can automatically pair with your Mac Mini during setup.

Apple Studio Display

Apple Studio Display

Best Mac Mini display

Asus ProArt OLED monitor.

Asus / Asus

Asus ProArt Display OLED PA32DC

A true OLED beauty

Pros

  • Broad color gamut support
  • Bundled colorimeter
  • Infinite contrast of OLED
  • Strong brightness

Cons

  • Limited refresh rate
  • Needs calibration for best color accuracy

Specifications
Size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Color support: 100% sRGB, 98% DCI-P3
Brightness: 500 nits

The Asus ProArt PA32DC is a professional-grade monitor, with great color accuracy, impressive color gamut support, and a high brightness for an OLED panel. It has a very high contrast ratio, offering the blackest of blacks with some impressively stark whites thanks to its 500 nits of brightness. The color accuracy can be improved out of the box, so it’s good to see that Asus includes a colorimeter if you want to do it yourself — though professional calibration can be worth it on an expensive monitor like this.

It’s limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but this isn’t a display designed for gaming. Still, it’s 4K resolution, so more cinematic games will look great on it. HDR movies and TV shows will benefit from not only the vibrancy and clarity of OLED, but the PA32DC also supports multiple HDR formats, including Dolby Vision.

Although this monitor can’t stand up to Apple’s most premium displays for the Mac Mini, it does a good job at a much more affordable price.

ASUS ProArt Display 31.5” 4K OLED Professional Monitor (PA32DC) - Built-in Motorized Colorimeter, Color Accuracy ΔE

Asus ProArt Display OLED PA32DC

A true OLED beauty

benq pd3200u review

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

BenQ PD3200U

Best 4K monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Pitch-perfect color accuracy
  • Sharp visuals
  • Competitive price

Cons

  • Narrow AdobeRGB color gamut
  • Bulky design

Specifications
Size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Color support: 100% sRGB, 91% DCI-P3
Brightness: 250 nits sustained, 350 nits peak

A 5K monitor is a dazzling high-end option for extra detail, but many people would be just fine with 4K for their work and play. This BenQ steps up with a spacious 32-inch, 4K design that is excellent for editing or design, especially if you like to make use of the DualView option that makes it easy to view photos or videos side by side on the screen. It also offers 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut and factory calibration to help with color accuracy when the details are most important.

The 60Hz BenQ PD3200U also comes with a hotkey puck, or a little wheel accessory with several buttons to automatically switch between screen modes. Those modes are specifically designed to help with certain types of work, including CAD/CAM, Animation, and Darkroom. Put it all together, and this monitor has serious utility for a wide range of professional uses.

BenQ PD3220U

BenQ PD3200U

Best 4K monitor for Mac Mini

The Pixio PX275C Prime.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Pixio PX275C Prime

Best budget monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • HDR, G-Sync, and FreeSync
  • USB-C

Specifications
Size: 27-inch
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Color support: 123% sRGB, 91% DCI-P3
Brightness: 350 nits

You’ve already spent plenty of money on your Mac Mini — it’s understandable if you want to save on a compatible monitor. This 27-inch Pixio is an ideal pick for a budget monitor that can still provide plenty of visual capabilities. That includes a 1440p resolution, a 100Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR, plus both G-Sync and FreeSync.

The monitor also covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color space and offers USB-C for connecting and charging the latest accessories. The design isn’t exactly going to blow anyone away, but for these specs at this price, the Pixio gets the job done and can handle a variety of tasks, even gaming.

Pixio PX275C Prime 27 inch WQHD 1440p 100Hz Edge to Edge Bezel Less Design USB Type C Displayport Alt Mode and 65W Charging Laptop IPS HDR FreeSync 27 inch Productivity Gaming Monitor

Pixio PX275C Prime

Best budget monitor for Mac Mini

Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub monitor sitting on desk next to plant and light.

Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

Dell U3223QE 4K Hub Monitor

Best USB-C monitor for Mac Mini

Pros

  • Large, sharp 4K IPS panel
  • Excellent image quality
  • Truly useful USB-C hub and KVM switch
  • Outstanding build quality and design
  • Standout warranty and support

Cons

  • Expensive
  • HDR support is so-so

Specifications
Size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Color support: 100% sRGB, 98% DCI-P3
Brightness: 400 nits

Dell’s 32-inch USB-C hub is an ideal monitor for a busy desk, so makes an excellent companion for a Mac Mini model — especially if you need to dock some other accessories while you work. The sturdy design is made to last, with options for adjusting height, tilt, swivelling, and more, while the 4K IPS panel offers excellent image quality and great contrast. It covers 100% of the sRGB gamut and 100% of Rec 709.

In addition to the easily accessed USB-C ports, the Dell U3223QE monitor also comes with HDMI (HDCP 2.2), DisplayPort, four USB-A 3.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. It’s a particularly strong choice if you tend to work not only with a desktop computer like the Mac Mini but with a MacBook also by your side that may need charging while you are busy.

Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor U3223QE

Dell U3223QE 4K Hub Monitor

Best USB-C monitor for Mac Mini

Apple Pro Display XDR

The best premium Mac Mini display

Pros

  • 6K resolution looks incredibly crisp
  • Incredible brightness
  • High contrast for an LCD panel
  • Professional-grade color accuracy

Cons

  • Older ports
  • Lacks stand in base configuration

Specifications
Size: 32-inch
Resolution: 6,016 x 3,384
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Color support: 100% DCI-P3
Brightness: 1,600 nits peak

Apple’s Pro XDR display isn’t as cutting-edge as it once was, but it’s still one of the best displays you can buy for the Mac Mini if you want a big screen with incredible color accuracy. It has an impressive 6K resolution which few other displays can match, and with high color accuracy and wide color gamut support, including 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut. It offers impressive brightness at 1,000 nits all-screen sustained, or a peak HDR brightness of 1,600 nits. For an LCD displays, its contrast is impressively high, offering dark blacks and rich colors.

There’s no included stand, and the official Apple one is incredibly expensive (on top of the high-price of the display), but it is excellent if you opt for it. The overall build quality of the display is impressive, and though the bezels aren’t as trim as some of the latest models, they’re thin enough that the display looks modern and clean.

Bundled ports include Thunderbolt 3, which lacks the performance guarantees of newer Thunderbolt 4 ports, but it’s functionally as strong should you need to connect a range of accessories.

There are newer displays than this one, but not many that can match its incredible specifications, making the Pro XDR still one of the best Mac Mini monitors you can buy.

Apple Pro XDR Display

Apple Pro Display XDR

The best premium Mac Mini display

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Mac Mini need a monitor?

Yes. The Mac Mini does not come with a monitor included, so you will need to purchase one separately.

Can you use any monitor with a Mac Mini?

Yes, you can connect the Mac Mini to virtually any monitor as long as you have the proper ports or adapters. The Mac Mini really is flexible, and it comes with two display outputs. One is USB-C/Thunderbolt and the other is HDMI 2.0. You can get adapters and accessories to convert it to DVI or VGA monitors.

Does the Mac Mini support 4K resolution?

Yes. The HDMI supports 4K up to 60Hz, and the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port outputs up to 6K at 60Hz.

Can the Mac Mini support two monitors?

Since the Mac Mini has two display ports, it does support two monitors. However, you cannot daisy chain with the Thunderbolt 3 connection. You are limited to one for each. The M1 MacBooks are limited to only one external display.

Can I use a Mac Mini with my iMac monitor?

While prior Mac Mini models had some workarounds to get a Mac Mini running on an iMac monitor, you will have to obtain a separate display this time.

Can you use a MacBook as a monitor for your Mac Mini?

Not reliably. You could use Mac screen sharing or a solution like Luna Display over Wi-Fi if you are desperate, but most workarounds are a pain to get started. It’s best to stick with an external monitor whenever possible. Even options such as using Sidecar with an iPad require you to have a display first to set it up.

How do you connect a monitor to your Mac Mini?

Find the matching port in the back of the Mac mini, either USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 or HDMI 2.0. Plug in both devices (don’t turn them on yet), and then connect those ports with the compatible cable. Then turn your Mini and your monitor on. You also can find USB-C adapter cables that will work with the Thunderbolt 3 port if you are working only with DisplayPlay or other, rarer connections.

Should I choose a curved monitor for my Mac?

Given that the Mac Mini only supports two external displays and the M1-powered MacBooks can only connect to one monitor, a curved display can be a good solution to get more screen real estate. Curved monitors come in a variety of sizes and resolutions, but in general, you’ll want to choose an ultrawide curved display. These generally come in UWQHD resolution, and it’s like having two FHD panels stacked side-by-side. There are several benefits here.

First, curved displays are more immersive and the slight curvature can help immerse you into the content you’re looking at or working on. Second, the wide format means you essentially get the benefit of having two displays, but without the seams of connecting two monitors together. And third, cable clutter is reduced to a single cable running to your Mac. If you’re short on desk space with a large ultra-wide panel, be sure to choose a monitor that comes with a VESA mounting bracket so you can mount the display to a monitor arm or to the wall.

What should you avoid when choosing a monitor for your Mac Mini?

The 2020 Mac Mini has a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port and HDMI 2.0 port for video connections, so your monitor really needs one of those for a proper connection. Monitors that only have older connections will not be a good fit.

Otherwise, it’s mostly down to how you’ll be using the Mac Mini, and this can vary a lot. Artists and photographers will want to look for high-quality panels with plenty of color coverage. Those with additional accessories like MacBooks may want to check for extra USB-C hubs for multiple connections or charging. If you’ll be moving your Mini around frequently, look for a monitor design with easy-to-reach ports so re-connecting it will be less of a hassle.

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