Which monitor would you recommend for a new Mac mini?

gigatoaster

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 22, 2018
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Singapore
Hello there

I am planning to buy a Mac mini for Mom. I also need a monitor. I read some threads here and lots are having issues. Which 24 or 27 inches would you recommend?

My mom will use it only for mails and iMessages so not sure if it is necessary to go 4K. If 4K do I need 16 GB RAM on the mini?
 

Stephen.R

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2018
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Thailand
I’m pretty happy with my two Dell P2415Qs (24”, 4K).

I wouldn’t honestly consider buying any computer in 2020 with less than 16GB of RAM regardless of the display you want to use.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
379
132
The best person to chose a monitor for your Mom is your Mom. She may love the crispness of a 5k 24 or 27” monitor. Or she may find that she has to squint and/or sit really close to read her email, etc..

Unless the Mini is to be a surprise, I’d take my Mom to a Best Buy (or equivalent) and have her look at various size and resolution monitors with lots of text (“mails and iMessages”). All the beautiful photos and videos don’t really matter if her main use is text.

Visual acuity usually diminishes with age. Many of us use bifocals and/or reading glasses. All the stuff about the ideal pixel density for a “retina display”, becomes mute as your eyesight diminishes. How and where we sit can make a huge difference in the legibility of text. My wife sits close and loves her 27” iMac. I sit farther back and love my Mini w/32in BenQ. Anything more than 1440p is a waste for both of us. We simply can’t see the difference. As we aged we found size to be more important than resolution with text.

GetRealBro
 
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Stephen.R

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2018
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Or she may find that she has to squint and/or sit really close to read her email
I'd argue that this unknown, and the known/expected diminishing eyesight of humans with age makes a high PPI screen (i.e. anything 4k/5k and below ~30") a very good choice. The resolution can be adjusted without the traditional "bigger but fuzzier" problem with "low" PPI screens.

Yes, it's not pixel perfect - but I will guarantee you that a high PPI screen scaled to one of the non-optimal resolutions (i.e. not a strict division by 2) still looks better than a display of the same size, with that scaled resolution as it's native res.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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How's your mom's vision? (ask her)

I speak only for myself, but with age the "relative size" of text has become more important than "the clarity". Text that is too small, is too hard to see.

For that reason, I'm very comfortable with a 27" 1080p display with my Mini.
Younger folks or those with perfect vision might complain, "that's too grainy for me!', and perhaps for them it is.
But FOR ME -- it's fine.

I also have a 13" MacBook Pro retina, and despite the very clear retina display, text on that is starting to become "too small" when displayed at normal sizes.

So... I'd suggest a 27" display for your mom.
Either 1080p (which will be used in "non-retina" mode with the Mini), or perhaps a 27" 4k display (which will yield "looks like 1080p" running in HiDPI mode).

I'll predict in advance that she'll be very happy with it.

A list that might be worth checking out:
IPS Monitor List: Best AHVA, PLS & IPS LCD Displays