Best Monitor for Mac mini iMore 2021
If you're looking for a great large-screen display to go with your shiny new Mac mini (2020) with the incredible M1 chip or an older Intel Mac mini, you've come to the right place. Your best bet is the LG UltraFine 4K display, thanks to ultra-high-definition imagery, MacBook charging capabilities, and affordable price. LG's monitor is perfect for most people and is though there are other monitors you can also consider, depending on your situation or budget. Here is our guide to the best monitors for Mac mini.
- Best Overall: LG UltraFine 4K
- Best Image Quality: Apple Pro Display XDR
- Best 5K: LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K
- Best for Widescreen: LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine 34-inch
- Best Curved: LG 38WK95C-W 38-Inch Class 21:9 Curved UltraWide
- Best on a budget: ASUS ZenScreen
Best Overall: LG UltraFine 4K
Here's a workhorse 4K monitor that works perfectly with the Mac mini. Though it doesn't have the Apple design aesthetic, the good stuff is all on the inside. Just like an Apple brand monitor, all of the monitor's controls are available in the settings section of your Mac.
This 24-inch display fits right into the pocket of reasonably priced and excellent quality if you don't mind the boxy black look. As for the price, you can get two of them for almost the price of one LG UltraFine 5K Display. Plus, the UltraFine 4K is also great for MacBooks with its USB-C charging capabilities, making it one of our picks for best USB-C Monitors for Mac.
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Dual-screen full 4K display support
- Supports 85W charging for laptops
- Easy to set up
- No camera or mic
- No legacy ports
Best Image Quality: Apple Pro Display XDR
Apple's Pro Display XDR is the ultimate monitor for the latest M1 Apple Silicon Mac mini (2020) with ultra-high-definition 6K resolution. This massive 32-inch monitor has it all: P3 color, HDR, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, True Tone, Night Shift support, and it can reach up to a whopping 1,600 nits of peak brightness.
The Pro Display XDR has a single Thunderbolt 3 port that offers the best image possible with the Mac mini, as well as three USB-C ports that add additional flexibility to your desktop. The unique articulating stand (sold separately) makes adjustments a breeze, and a Nano-texture glass option reduces glare down to a minimum.
- Up to 6K resolution
- 32-inch display
- Nano-texture option
- Thunderbolt 3 and 3 USB-C ports
- No legacy ports
- Doesn't include a stand or mount
Best 5K: LG UltraFine 5K
This LG monitor supports USB-C and Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt 3 gives the Mac mini the best image quality possible, and the three USB-C ports offer 5Gbps downstream. It's 27 inches big, which is about the size of Apple's larger iMac, and has a similar P3 wide color gamut with 500 nits brightness. For full 5K resolution on a larger display, the UltraFine 5K is your perfect choice.
Its biggest downfall is that it doesn't quite have that Apple aesthetic. LG has designed an attractive Edge-Arcline base for some of its monitors, which looks better with Apple products. The UltraFine 5K, unfortunately, still has that big, boxy black base.
- Up to 5K resolution
- Designed for Apple
- Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
- Built-in speakers, camera, and mic
- No Apple aesthetic
- No legacy ports
Best for Widescreen: LG 34WK95U-W Nano-ISP UltraWide
Though we continued to be impressed with LG's UltraFine 5K, it's the 34WK95U-W that wons our hearts in our review. This 5K monitor has a 5120x2160 resolution, 34-inch display, a Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort port, and a couple of USB-A ports. It's more versatile than the UltraFine, and that's ultra-fine with us.
- Pro-quality technology
- Nano ISP color 5K display
- USB hub
- Versatile input options
- No built-in camera or microphone
- Poor built-in speaker quality
Best Curved: LG 38WK95C-W Curved UltraWide
The future is curved, and LG is the pioneer of bending the display rules. This 38-inch UltraWide monitor has a 21:9 ratio with split-screen support is perfect for graphic designers and professional photo and video editors. The display has a USB-C data transfer port, two USB-A ports, a couple of HDMI ports, and a DisplayPort port.
- Easy setup
- Versatile ports
- Good built-in audio
- Not 4K
- Plastic backside
Best on a budget: ASUS ZenScreen
The ZenScreen is a favorite for its incredible versatility and cheap price. It's a 15.6-inch screen with a USB-C connector. You can rotate between landscape and portrait mode, and it's compatible with Thunderbolt 3. If you need a second screen, this takes up just the right amount of space without being a burden on your desk.
- Weighs less than 2 pounds
- Ultra-slim at only 8mm thick
- Comes with a cover
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Smaller, 15-inch display
- No HDMI support
Picking the right second screen for your Mac mini is a difficult one. It's important to consider how much room you have on your desk, what you plan to use your Mac mini for, and how much you can afford. That's why the LG UltraFine 4K is our pick for best monitor for Mac mini since it's the perfect fit for most people. At 24-inches, it's big, but not too big. It's got an incredible 4K screen, charges your MacBook, and has various ports for connecting all manner of peripherals.
If the LG is just a bit out of your range, the ASUS ZenScreen truly is the next best thing, and it's portable! On the other end, if you need the absolute best image quality possible, then consider Apple's impressive Pro Display XDR. The monitor is powerful, bright, and of course, beautiful too!
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. Penn State (go Nittany Lions) graduate here, also a huge fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe
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