Best monitor for Mac mini iMore 2021
If you're looking for the best monitor 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 27UN850-W 27 Inch Ultrafine, thanks to ultra-high-definition imagery, MacBook charging capabilities, and affordable price. LG's monitor is perfect for most people, but 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 UHD Display Monitor - 27-inch
- Best image: Apple Pro XDR Display - 32-inch
- Best 5K: LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 5K IPS Display - 27-inch
- Best ultrawide: LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine LED UltraWide Monitor - 34-inch
- Best curved: LG UltraWide Curved WQHD+ IPS HDR10 Monitor - 38-inch
- Best on a budget: ASUS ZenScreen 1080P Portable Monitor - 15.6-inch
Best overall: LG Ultrafine UHD Display Monitor - 27-inch
Here's a workhorse 27-inch 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. The LG27UN850-W fits right into the pocket of reasonably priced and excellent quality if you don't mind the boxy two-tone look and large stand.
As for the price, you can get four of the LG27WN850-W's for the price of just one LG UltraFine 5K Display. Plus, the UltraFine 4K is also great for MacBooks with its USB-C charging capabilities, so you only need one cable to manage. Other highlights include two USB-A 3.0 ports, two HDMI, and a single DisplayPort.
- Two USB-A ports
- 4K image quality
- Supports 60W charging for laptops
- Easy to set up
- No camera or mic
- Only one USB-C port
Best image: Apple Pro XDR Display - 32-inch
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. In addition, 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 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 5K IPS Display - 27-inch
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, 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 dated, boxy black base and thick bezels.
- 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 ultrawide: LG 34BK95U-W UltraFine LED UltraWide Monitor - 34-inch
Though we continued to be impressed with LG's UltraFine 5K, it's the LG 34WK95U-W that won our hearts with its massive ultrawide display. This 34-inch 5K HDR monitor has a resolution of 5120x2160 and sports a Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort port, and a couple of USB-A ports.
The ultra-wide screen aspect ratio is excellent for multi-taskers and content creators, with ample room for plenty of windows and lengthy timelines. The extra real estate makes it more versatile than LG's UltraFine 4K and 5K models, and the thinner bezels give it a modern look that matches the Mac mini perfectly.
- 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 UltraWide Curved WQHD+ IPS HDR10 Monitor - 38-inch
If you like the idea of having an ultrawide display but want to keep everything within your field of view, then the LG 38WN75C-B 38-Inch Class 21:9 Curved UltraWide may be the one for you. This 38-inch WQHD UltraWide monitor has a 21:9 aspect ratio with sRGB 99% Color Gamut and HDR 10, perfect for graphic designers and professional photo, video editors, and gamers.
Although it lacks a built-in speaker, the display has two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and one headphone out, allowing for plenty of accessory options. Other highlights include a slick split-screen mode, 75-hertz refresh rate, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 300 nits peak brightness, and a sleek, virtually borderless design.
- Clean design
- Split-screen option
- HDR10 support
- Not 4K
- Plastic construction
Best on a budget: ASUS ZenScreen 1080P Portable Monitor - 15.6-inch
The ZenScreen is a favorite for its incredible versatility and low price. It sports a 15.6-inch screen with a USB-C connector and micro HDMI that functions as a desktop monitor or a portable option. 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.
Despite the petite size, this portable monitor is still plenty capable with 1080p full high-definition resolution. This monitor even comes with the ZenScreen pen — a handy stylus, and a folding smart cover that protects the screen when not in use, similar to Apple's Smart Cover for iPads.
- Weighs less than 2 pounds
- Comes with a cover and stylus
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Smaller, 15-inch display
- micro HDMI port
Elevate your experience with the best monitors for Mac mini
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 27UN850-W is our pick for the best monitor for Mac mini since it's the perfect fit for most people. At 27-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 15.6-inch 1080P Portable Monitor (MB16AHP) 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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