Monitors

7 Best Monitors for Mac Mini: Compatible Options Reviewed

The Mac Mini got a major upgrade by Apple in March 2020, boosting the storage by almost double so that Mini users never have to worry about running low on space. Before that, the device underwent an upgrade in 2018 with a refresh to both the look and features. Needless to say, the Mac Mini is stronger than ever.

For the Mini to be as effective and powerful as Apple intended, choosing the right monitor is key. The good news is that it works with just about any monitor, but the bad news is that not all monitors are up to Mac Mini’s high-performance standards. This guide to the best monitors for Mac Mini gives you everything you need to choose the right one.

Why You Need a Quality Monitor For a Mac Mini

The Mac Mini isn’t like other Apple devices you’ve come across before. It’s technically labeled as a desktop computer, but unlike traditional desktops, it’s a BYODKM - bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse - device. This makes it a great choice if you’re the type of user who prefers picking and choosing screens and accessories rather than all-in-one bundles. 

Although it’s important to pick a quality keyboard and mouse, choosing the right display (AKA monitor) is arguably the most crucial aspect of the BYODKM concept.

Whether you’re gaming, running small business operations, or just watching Netflix, choosing the wrong monitor has a massive impact on graphics quality and can even cause eye strain and headaches.


Buyer’s Guide for Choosing Mac Mini Compatible Monitors

Compatibility

Mac Mini works with most monitors, but some Mac Mini compatible monitors are more compatible than others. The level of compatibility is measured by how well the Mac Mini works with a monitor's connectors.

You can buy different adaptors to boost the number of connection options, but to save money and time, look for a monitor that’s compatible with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) and HDMI.

Screen Size

The standard monitor size for Mac Mini users is 27 inches. However, if you want to go bigger or smaller, it’s easy to do that. Monitors come in various sizing options, generally ranging from 21.5 inches all the way up to 43 inches. To decide on a size, think about the tasks you’ll be doing and whether portability is an essential feature to you. 

Resolution

Monitor resolution is a measurement of the visual dimensions of the display screen. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality. Most Mac Mini users look for 4K resolution monitors (which means 3840 x 2160 pixels), but the most advanced have 5K res (5120 × 2880 pixels).

The resolution you end up choosing should be based on what you’re doing and how long you’ll be doing it. An avid gamer who spends hours on end playing Xbox will want to go with a 4K gaming monitor or higher, but if you’re occasionally completing schoolwork, you won’t necessarily need such a high resolution.

Refresh Rate

A monitor’s refresh rate is the number of times your monitor updates with new images every second. A 60 Hz rate means the display updates 60 times per second. Similar to resolution, the higher, the better. A higher refresh rate results in faster response time and overall smoother image quality.

Monitor Panel Type

You have a few different options for your Mac Mini monitor panel type, including Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS). IPS is the most popular choice since it uses the newest technology for high performance in viewing angles, responsiveness, and color contrast.

Extra Features

Just like laptops, tablets, and even smartphones, monitors are all across the board when it comes to the features they offer. You could go with a super basic display that doesn’t offer much in terms of features but offers a lot when it comes to low price, or you could spend extra for cool additions like blue light filtering, an anti-glare screen, brightness adjustment, and an ergonomic stand.

Price & Warranty

The price you end up paying for your Mac Mini monitor depends on everything we’ve just covered, like resolution, screen size, refresh rate, and cool features. This means that the cost varies drastically from a few hundred to $1000+. Set your budget early on, and try to find a device with a warranty period of at least 1 year (but 3+ is ideal).


7 Best Monitors for Mac Minis Reviewed

1. LG 27UL850-W

On Sale Today
LG 27UL850-W 27 Inch UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS...
  • 27 inch UHD (3840 X 2160) IPS display
  • VESA displayHDR 400
  • USB type C connectivity
  • SRBG 99 percent color gamut

Our Top Pick

Screen Size

27”

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Viewing Angle

Wide

Resolution

3840 x 2160 pixels

Brightness

400 nits (maximum)

Mac Mini users have been raving about the LG 27UL850-W monitor, calling it everything from the best Mac Mini 4K monitor to the best 27-inch monitor for Mac Mini. The main thing that makes it the best option is the value for money.

It falls in the middle-of-the-road price range but comes with top of the range features, like 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.

The 27-inch screen is the perfect size for most people, but the thing that takes the display to the next level is the wide viewing angle IPS panel. The panel's design offers superior color control that covers over 99% of the RGB (red, green, blue) color range.

The display is approved by VESA, an organization that sets industry-wide standards for consumer electronics like monitors.

Aside from the high res and fast refresh rate, Mac Mini users love the bolder contrast between the screen's brightest and darkest areas. This is all thanks to the monitor's DisplayHDR 400 feature, which means that it can deliver a peak luminance of 400 nits for bright, bold highlights.

Enough about the screen, let’s talk about this monitor’s connectivity. The LG is all about connection convenience, which is why it comes with USB Type-C ports for 4K video display, data transfer, and even laptop charging. All of this can be done through one cable, letting you reduce cord clutter and keep your workstation clean.

The monitor sits on a tilt-adjustable stand, but unfortunately, it lacks a swivel feature. The audio isn’t spectacular, and the speaker could use some improvement, but overall, the LG monitor offers terrific value for Mac Mini users.

Good
  • Clear, bright HDR
  • Slim border
  • 4K resolution
  • Easy to set up
  • USB-C versatility
Bad
  • No swivel adjustment
  • Speakers could be better

2. LG 27UL650-W

On Sale Today
LG 27UL650-W 27 Inch 4K UHD LED Monitor with...
  • 27 inch UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS display
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • sRGB 99 percent Color Gamut
  • 3 Side Virtually Borderless Display

Best LED Monitor for Mac Mini

Screen Size

27”

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Viewing Angle

Wide

Resolution

3840 x 2160 pixels

Brightness

400 nits (maximum)

Another great choice from LG is the 27UL650-W monitor. It shares many similarities with the previous model, like the fact that it’s 27 inches, ultra high-def, and features 4K resolution. This is a slightly older model, so the cost is somewhat cheaper.

Even with the affordable price tag, the LED technology on this monitor for Mac Mini doesn’t disappoint.

 LG says that users can “discover a more lifelike picture with high dynamic range, which provides bolder contrast between the brightest and darkest areas of the screen. This VESA DisplayHDR 400 monitor has been rated to deliver impressive peak luminance of 400 nits for undeniably spectacular highlights…”

There’s a reason that LG has won the title of best Ultra High-Def monitor brands 3 years in a row. It features 99% coverage of the sRGB spectrum, making it an excellent solution for photographers, graphic designers, or anyone looking for highly accurate color.

The screen's side and top borders are virtually non-existent, allowing the picture to be even bigger and brighter.

Similar to the last LG, the main complaint of the 27UL650-W is the audio system. Although the color, brightness, clarity, and graphics are worth raving about, the speaker system is not. So if you’re gaming or streaming video, you might have to invest in a separate audio system to get the full effect.

Good
  • Ergonomic, versatile design
  • Slim display borders
  • Easy to set up
  • Plenty of ports
  • Radeon FreeSync technology
Bad
  • Mediocre audio system

3. LG 27MD5KL-B

LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K (5120 x...
  • 27 Inch 5K (5120 x 2880) IPS Display
  • DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut / 500nits Brightness
  • Thunderbolt 3 Port with up to 94W PD
  • 3 USB Type C Ports

Top of the Range

Screen Size

27”

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Viewing Angle

Wide

Resolution

5120 x 2880 pixels

Brightness

500 nits

LG manufactures some great options for Mac Mini users, and we haven’t even covered the best one yet. If you’re willing to break the bank, the 27MD5KL-B by LG can meet all of your display and graphics needs. Actually, this monitor exceeds them, so the high cost is justified (as long as your tech budget allows it). 

The main feature that makes this the “top of the range” option is the 5K resolution. Instead of the 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixel res, this monitor has an even more impressive 5K, 5120 x 2880 pixel count. That means even with the same IPS UHD panel and LED technology, the images and videos are crisper, clearer, and more accurate than with any other LG monitor.

Brightness is also improved, moving up to 500 nits from 400. Another feature that has clearly been improved with this LG is the audio. The upgraded built-in stereo speakers and microphone deliver a rich media experience whether you’re on a zoom call for work or watching the latest Netflix original.

The main question people ask about this monitor is whether or not the high price tag is justified. It’s safe to say that it is, but it’s also important to remember that the added resolution and improved audio isn’t 100% necessary for everyone.

If you’re OK with sticking to a lower-cost monitor that isn’t quite as impressive but still gets the job done, you might want to consider the other LGs instead.

Good
  • Ultra-fine display
  • 5K resolution
  • Ultra-bright with a wide color gamut
  • Impressive color accuracy
  • Improved audio system
Bad
  • High cost
  • Limited port selection for cost

4. Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q

Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 27-Inch 4K IPS Monitor
  • Exceptional details, ultimate efficiency —...
  • Hone in on every task with a multi-monitor...
  • Dell HDR combines greater depth of colors,...
  • Connect up to six compatible RF devices or...

Best for Multiple Monitor Setup

Screen Size

27”

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Viewing Angle

Wide

Resolution

3840 x 2160 pixels

Brightness

350 nits

There are many advantages of having multiple screens, especially if you have a lot to deal with at once and are looking for a boost in productivity. If you’re planning on a multiple-monitor setup, the Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q is a great choice. Set one Dell up next to another and start taking full advantage of the Mac Mini’s capabilities.

The feature that makes it best for multiple-monitor setup is the incredibly thin bezel. This is the area that surrounds the skin, and with the Dell, it’s virtually borderless. That means when you line one U2718Q up to another, the screens will flow together as if they’re one display.

The affordable price doesn’t hurt either, so you won't have to break the bank even with two of these. 

Whether you go with multiple monitors or a single Dell, this 27-inch device offers a flawless 4K display and supports over 1 billion colors that are sharp, crisp, and clear.

The product description is accurate when it says that the “Dell HDR imaging combines greater depth of colors, remarkable clarity and a high contrast range of shades to create strikingly realistic images.”

Each Dell monitor comes with various ports and slots, including an HDMI, DisplayPort, audio headphone jack, and several HDMIs. The main complaint is from gamers and has to do with the 60Hz response time and the low brightness compared to others. The 60Hz rate is perfectly acceptable for most people, but it’s slightly on the slow side for gaming.  

Good
  • Ultra-thin bezels
  • Seamless transition between screens
  • Over 1 billion colors supported
  • Good port variety
Bad
  • Slow response for gamers
  • Low 350 nit brightness

5. Asus Designo MX279HS

Asus Designo MX279HS Monitor - 27" Full HD...
  • 27” Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS monitor with...
  • Stereo 3W speakers co-developed by Asus...
  • Award-winning frameless design and...
  • Asus Eye Care technology with TUV...

Best Value for Money

Screen Size

27” (other sizes available)

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Viewing Angle

Wide

Resolution

1920 x 1080 pixels

Brightness

250 nits

The Asus Designo is an affordable monitor that offers the biggest bang for your buck. It’s another 27-inch IPS panel that delivers images in full HD and features a wide 178-degree viewing angle.

Unlike the other Mac Mini monitors, this one is just 1920 x1080 pixels, so it’s just a 2K resolution instead of 4K. That might be a turn-off for some, but it gets the job done as a basic monitor for simple tasks.

With the Designo, you’ve got options. It comes in a smaller 25” flat screen or a larger 37.5” curved screen with a few sizes in between, so you don’t have to go with the standard 27” display just because it’s the only option.

Each one features the award-winning frameless design and sundial-inspired base with a metallic and icicle gold finish, so it will look good on any desk.

Another aspect that makes this the best value for money option is the signature Asus Eye Care technology. It’s built with TUV Rhineland-certified flicker-free backlighting and blue light filtering to minimize eye strain. This is a vital feature to look for if you plan on spending a lot of time using your Mac Mini, and the Designo has got it.

Aside from the low-ish resolution, the main drawback of this monitor is its lack of connectivity options. It only comes with HDMI and VGA, so the fact that there are no USB ports is disheartening for some. However, it’s easy to get around that with all the adaptors available for connecting a Mac Mini to a monitor.

Good
  • Long 3-year warranty
  • Multiple screen sizes available
  • Affordable
  • Sleek display stand
  • Eye protection features
Bad
  • Lack of USB ports
  • Lower resolution and brightness

6. Dell UltraSharp U2913WM

On Sale Today
Dell UltraSharp U2913WM 29-Inch Ultra...
  • Panoramic clarity: Multitask on a panoramic...
  • Extreme color accuracy: Enjoy precise colors...
  • Easy manageability: Take control of...

Best Ultrawide Monitor for Mac Mini

Screen Size

29”

Aspect Ratio

21:9

Viewing Angle

UItrawide

Resolution

2560 x 1080 pixels

Brightness

300 nits

For a more panoramic experience with your Mac Mini, you’ll want to go with the UltraSharp U2913WM by Dell. This monitor is 29 inches wide and has an aspect ratio of 21:9, which is much larger than the standard 16:9 ratio. With the Dell, you get 29 inches of outstanding productivity features.

The vivid colors are what make the Dell stand out as the best ultrawide option. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in precise and accurate colors that are made possible by over 99% sRGB, which is basically the highest color variation you can get.

The U2913WM comes factory color-calibrated, so there’s no need to calibrate the monitor to enjoy color accuracy right out of the box.

The Dell offers extensive connectivity options, including a DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI. It rests on a highly adjustable stand, so tilt or swivel it to your ideal position.

The height can be adjusted up to 130 mm, and the VESA-compatible wall mounting lets you choose between setting the monitor on a desk or securely mounting it to a wall.

The resolution isn’t anything to write home about, but it's still pretty good at 2560 x 1080 pixels. If you’re performing design-heavy tasks or just a fan of a crisper, clearer image, you’re better off with a 4K monitor. Other than that, the lack of a speaker system is the only real flaw, but it’s easy enough to invest in separate speakers for your monitor.

Also Recommended: Best Ultrawide Monitor for Photo Editing

Good
  • Impressive port selection
  • Wider screen for a panoramic experience
  • Easy to manage display functions
  • Great color and grayscale
Bad
  • Lower resolution than others
  • No speaker system

7. HP Pavilion 22cwa

On Sale Today
HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-Inch Full HD 1080p IPS...
  • Resolution & panel — 21.5-inch full HD...
  • Response time — 7ms with overdrive and...
  • Adjustable viewing — Adjustable tilt (-5°...
  • Connectivity — Open wedge contemporary...

Best Budget Monitor for Mac Mini

Screen Size

21.5”

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Viewing Angle

Wide

Resolution

1920 x 1080 pixels

Brightness

250 nits

We’ve saved the best for last for budget-weary Mac Mini users. Even if you’ve established a less-than-$100 budget, it’s still possible to get a high-quality display, like the HP Pavilion 22cwa. This 21.5-inch monitor is smaller than most, but you won’t have to sacrifice image quality with the anti-glare IPS LED-backlit panel.

The 22cwa has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a response time of 60Hz with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Each of these specs is pretty standard, but that's expected from such an affordable device. One cool feature that you wouldn’t expect from a budget option is the -5° to 25° adjustable tilt and 178° positional viewing for the best image quality at any angle.

HP has always had a focus on creating devices that save on money as well as energy. The 22cwa is responsibly made with an Energy Star certification that meets strict energy-efficiency guidelines and helps reduce your carbon footprint as you use your Mac Mini.

Just realize that you won’t get the same high-end specs with the HP Pavilion as you would with a top of the range, more expensive monitor. Compared to a monitor that costs hundreds more, the features and specs (resolution, brightness, aspect ratio, etc.) are all fairly standard.

Also Recommended: Cheap Monitors with HDMI Input

Good
  • Amazingly affordable
  • Durable LED panel
  • Plug & play compatibility
  • Energy Star certified
Bad
  • Basic monitor with basic features
  • Screen too small for some

Connecting Your Mac Mini to an External Display

Now that you’ve got your Mac Mini monitor, it’s time to connect it. This can be a tricky step for non-techy Mac users, but it’s actually pretty simple. 

Apple says that to connect Mac Mini to monitor screens, “the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and HDMI 2.0 port on your Mac mini support video output. You can use an external display, a projector, or an HDTV with your Mac mini.”

The port you choose depends on the display you’re connecting (it mostly has to do with resolution). If you’re trying to connect 3 Mac Mini monitors that each has 4K resolution, you’d use 2 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and the HDMI 2.0 port. It may sound complicated now, but Apple gives thorough instructions and has a reliable support team you can reach at any time.


Monitor Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Taking care of your computer monitor is the best way to maintain its longevity and increase its lifespan. It’s a good idea to keep the monitor plugged into a surge protector rather than draw power directly from a wall outlet. This will prevent damage caused by electrical spikes and outages, which aren’t usually covered by monitor warranties.

Another thing you can do, according to Dummies, is “never cover the air vents on the top or sides of a monitor. Doing so may result in a dangerous buildup of heat that can damage components or shorten their lives.” 

Other than that, just have some common sense, like don’t drink a piping hot Starbucks beverage while leaning over the monitor or touch the screen with sticky fingers.


Common Monitor Problems & Fixes

The most likely problem you’ll encounter with a Mac Mini monitor is an undetected external display. You’ve got everything connected, but the Mac still isn't detecting the display. This usually happens because Apple doesn't make the adaptor you’re using, and it can be fixed in a few steps: 

  1. 1
    Connect your monitor and Mac and open System Preferences > Displays.
  2. 2
    Press the Alt/Option key. This should make the Detect Displays button appear.
  3. 3
    Click on Detect Displays. This should cause your Mac to see the external monitor.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you use any monitor with a Mac Mini?

A tech company called ScreenCloud says that "using the right adapter, you can connect the Mac Mini to any computer screen with a VGA port. The Mac Mini ships with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, but it's only really Apple monitors which use DVI, so for a regular monitor, you may need an HDMI-to-VGA or mini DisplayPort-to-VGA connector instead.”

How do I connect 3 monitors to my Mac Mini?

Mac Mini multiple monitors can be configured in a few different ways depending on each screen’s resolution. 

“With four Thunderbolt 3 ports built-in, Mac mini (2018) supports an HDMI display along with two 4K displays or one 5K display,” says Apple.

The trickiest part is figuring out the right adaptors to use, but Apple has laid it all out in this guide.

Can Mac Mini run a 4k monitor?

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Absolutely. You can even run two Mac Mini monitors with 4K resolution combined with an HDMI display.

Do Mac Minis have HDMI ports?

Yes, you can find a complete list of Mac Mini connectivity options here. In addition to an HDMI 2.0 port, this device has four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that support DisplayPort, standard Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, and more, as well as two USB-3 ports, a gigabit ethernet, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

How can I use an Apple laptop as a monitor to my Mac Mini?

Simple, just power on your Mac Mini and connect to the internet. Then power on your Apple laptop, visit “System Preferences" and click "Sharing." Choose "Screen Sharing," open "Finder," and choose the name of your Mac Mini computer.

What are the main differences between cheap vs. expensive monitors on our list?

Price determines a lot for a monitor. Cheaper options tend to be smaller, have lower resolution, and offer a slower response rate. More expensive monitors will have a high resolution of 4K or more, will have a refresh rate of at least 60Hz, and will usually come with extra features like blue light filtering.


Conclusion

All in all, you can’t go wrong with any of these monitors for your Mac Mini. The top pick is, without a doubt, the LG 27UL850-W, but the device you end up choosing depends on what you’re looking for in terms of size, resolution, refresh rate, and connectivity options.