Best Mac Mini monitors
If you’ve bought a Mac mini or Mac Pro, you’ll need a display to go with it; and even those with an iMac or MacBook might fancy a second screen. We’ve tested, reviewed and ranked the best Mac-compatible monitors available in 2020.
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 (see below).
Best Mac monitors 2020
HP Pavilion 27 Quantum Dot Display – Best For Home Or Small Office
Not everyone needs a monitor with high-end 4K resolution. For many people, a quad-HD (QHD) resolution of 2560×1440 is a good mid-range option that combines a sharp, detailed image with text and graphics that are large and easy on the eye when you’re staring at the screen all day long (in fact, the default ‘looks like’ resolution for the 5K iMac is 2560×1440, as Apple recognises that as a comfortable viewing resolution for most people).
If you don’t need – or can’t afford – a 4K display then a 2560×1440 monitor such as HP’s Pavilion 27 is a good alternative for entertainment at home and working in the office. If you’re on a really tight budget there’s also a version with 1920×1080 resolution for still less.
The Pavilion 27 is nicely designed, with a super-slimline screen panel that measures just 6.5mm thick, and a very thin border around the edges that really emphasises the size of the screen. HP claims its ‘quantum dot’ technology is very power-efficient, and the screen supports HDR (high dynamic range) for richer colors, and an anti-glare coating for enhanced visibility.
It’s up to date with the latest connectivity options too, including HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C , which makes it a good companion for the latest Mac mini and MacBook models. There’s also a pair of USB 3.0 ports for connecting other accessories.
LG UltraFine 5K – Full 5K display plus support for USB-C.
If your workflow includes both a Mac mini and an iPad Pro, this is the monitor you want.
Though we continued to be impressed with LG’s UltraFine 5K, it’s the 34WK95U-W that wins our hearts. This 5K monitor has a 5120 x 2160 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 for Widescreen
Acer H277HK – Best For 4K On A Budget
Acer’s H7 range is always good value for money, and we’ve recommended its 27in H277HU display in the past. Acer has now stepped up to full 4K resolution for the H277HK. (Watch out for those model numbers.)
The basic design of this new model remains the same, with that distinctive ‘hoop’ design on the base of the stand, and a slimline 27in screen with only the narrowest of borders running around the edges. But the resolution now rises to 3840×2160, with support for HDR – high dynamic range – so you can immerse yourself in bright, colourful 4K video on Netflix. The H277HK also has a built-in set of stereo speakers, with support for DTS sound, so it’s a good option for watching films if you don’t have room for a larger set of speakers.
Best Mac Mini monitors
The price is a little higher for this year’s model, but remains good value for a 4K display. You’ve got a choice of HDMI and DisplayPort for video cables, and there’s a USB-C port for charging your laptop and other devices. The USB-C can handle video too, but only at 2560×1440 resolution.
BenQ DesignVue PD2720U – Best Mid-Range Option For Graphics & Design
BenQ is known for its affordable monitors that are primarily aimed at home and office use, but it’s moved a little more in the Mac direction with its recently introduced PD2720U ‘designer monitor’. It’s not the cheapest 4K monitor around, but it provides a number of high-end features aimed at professional designers and graphics work – while still being considerably cheaper than Apple’s Pro Display.
As you’d expect, the 27in display provides 3840×2160 resolution, with support for HDR (high dynamic range). It supports 100% of the Adobe RGB and sRGB colour standards, so it’ll be a good option for graphics and design work for both print and web. It also supports 96% of the DCI-P3 standard for professional-level video editing – which will be perfectly adequate for many users, who don’t need Apple’s super-expensive Pro Display.
BenQ pays good attention to detail too, with special ‘darkroom’ and ‘animation’ modes that allow you to quickly adjust brightness and contrast to enhance visibility for video and animation work. You can rotate the screen into the upright ‘portrait’ mode if you need to, and BenQ also includes a special little ‘puck’ device that allows you to adjust the display settings without pressing all those fiddly little buttons that normally control the onscreen menu system on most monitors.
It’s well connected too, with both HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports for Mac users. There’s a small set of speakers built in – just 2W output – but there’s a headphone port as well, so you can leave your headphones plugged into the monitor when you need to grab your MacBook and hit the road.
Also read: The Best MacBook Accessories for 2020
The ZenScreen is 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 when you’re headed for the coffee shop, this takes up just the right amount of space without being a burden on your portability.
- Weighs less than 2 pounds
- Ultra-slim at only 8mm thick
- Comes with its own cover
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Does not charge your laptop
- No HDMI support
The ZenScreen is ASUS’s very portable monitor with a USB-C port, a great-looking IPS panel, and more.
Philips Brilliance 329P9H – Large-Screen Luxury
Philips has really gone to town with its range of ‘docking monitors’, and if you want to step up to an impressive 32in display without spending thousands then its Brilliance 329P9H is just the ticket.
To be precise, the 329P9H actually measures 31.5in diagonally, but it’s still an imposing bit of kit, with its bright, sharp 4K resolution (3840×2160) emphasised by the almost borderless screen panel and welcome anti-glare coating. The screen sits elegantly on its adjustable pedestal stand, which allows you to tilt, swivel and adjust the height – and you can even rotate the screen into upright (portrait) mode too.
The image quality is great, and having all that screen space to play with feels indulgently luxurious. However, the 329P9H is more than just a pretty face, as this ‘docking monitor’ is also packed with useful features.
Best Mac Mini monitors
There are two HDMI inputs, one Display Port and one USB-C port – which can also be used to charge a laptop while it’s connected to the display. There are also four USB-A (3.1) ports, which allow you to use the display as a USB hub for your printer, Time Machine hard drive and other accessories. It’s got a set of built-in stereo speakers, along with a headphone socket, and there’s even an Ethernet port so you can connect your Mac to a wired office network if you want to.
Throw in fancy features, such as a split-screen mode that allows you to connect and view two computers at the same time, and you’ve got a versatile, high-quality monitor that’s hard to beat. If you don’t need a full 4K monitor, there’s a less expensive 27in model with 2560×1440 resolution and similar connectivity features.
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 laptop for, and how much you can afford.
As a rough guide, there is a point at about 2 to 3in from the top of the screen that should be at eye level. Obviously, ‘eye level’ will vary from one person to another, so it’s important that you can adjust the screen for your own personal comfort. You may also prefer a monitor that doesn’t suffer from glare, or you will be forever repositioning the monitor to compensate for that.