If you’re slowly building your way into Apple’s ecosystem and are looking to add a macOS-based device, the Mac Mini is the most value for money device to buy, especially if you intend to pick your hardware. In this guide, we’ve listed nine things you should buy alongside the computer to make the most of your purchase.
Display for Mac Mini: BenQ EW3280U 4K Monitor
BenQ EW3280U is a monitor option perfect for Mac Mini users who plan to consume a lot of content while at the desk. In terms of visuals, it supports 95 percent of the DCI-P3 Gamut and has a resolution of 3840×2160 for its 32-inch panel. The unit also features an audio system that consists of 2.1 channel speakers and a 5W subwoofer.
While the BenQ EW3280U is a versatile pick allowing you to use it with more devices, if you will be using the monitor for just your Mac, you can also consider getting the LG Ultrafine 4K. It features five USB-C ports on the back, and because two of them are Thunderbolt-capable, the monitor can also act as a USB hub if required.
Keyboard for Mac Mini: Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Pad
With its starting price of $699, while the Mac Mini offers performance that M1-based devices have received praise for, it doesn’t come bundled with a Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard. Since you’ll be on the lookout for a keyboard, we recommend picking up Apple’s Magic Keyboard with a Numeric Pad. Not only does it do away with the awkward arrow-key positioning on the smaller version, it also adds number keys if data entry is something you intend to do on the Mac.
Mouse for Mac Mini: Logitech MX Master 3 for Mac
Having picked a keyboard and display, the next must-have accessory is a mouse. For this, we recommend the Logitech MX Master 3 for Mac — even the standard edition works, but this model comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box and a Space Grey finish that closely resembles Apple’s hardware. While this version has come to market as a Bluetooth variant, it still supports Logitech’s Unifying Receiver, bundled with the previously mentioned MX Keys. So if you prefer having a dongle-based wireless connection over one that’s Bluetooth-based, that’s still an option.
If the Mac-resemblant color scheme isn’t a requirement, you can also pick up the standard MX Master 3, which is effectively the same mouse but comes with the receiver and a USB-C to USB-A Cable. Other alternatives to consider here would be Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 or the Magic Trackpad 2.
Speakers for Mac Mini: Bose Companion 2
If you’ve always been interested in Apple’s devices, you may know they tend to feature some of the best audio systems in their hardware. The MacBook lineup is known for the quality they pack, and the Homepod received great feedback for audio quality (not so much for its “smart” nature). Unfortunately, the Mac Mini only has a tiny speaker, and buying dedicated audio drivers will be your best bet. For this, if you’re not looking to spend a lot, the Bose Companion 2 is a great pair to pick. They connect via the 3.5mm jack on your computer and have a mountain of positive reviews to back their performance.
Headphones or Earphones: AirPods Pro
While speakers are great for enjoying content if you’re ever in a situation where you need to keep the audio playing to yourself, having a wireless pair of headphones or earphones can be handy. For this, we recommend AirPods Pro, which will be convenient to carry around and use with your other Apple devices. If you’re more of a headphone person, AirPods Max will help maintain the Apple experience but mainstream options like Sony’s WH-1000 XM4 are also a great pair to consider.
External Storage: Samsung T7 SSD
While configuring your Mac Mini, you may already have realized that Apple charges a premium for upgrades in internal storage. A change from 256GB to 512GB costs $200. So we recommend picking up an external drive like Samsung’s T7 SSD or the older T5 SSD, which can add 1TB of additional storage for anywhere between $100 to $200. But keep in mind, this solution results in a reduction of transfer speeds.
USB-C Hub: Satechi Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure
As has been a trend with all M1-based devices, the port selection has been abysmal. In the case of the Mac Mini, while it offers the most versatile selection, these are located at the back of the device, meaning reaching them can be a task. This is where the Satechi Stand & Hub comes to your rescue.
It uses a USB-C connection on the back to connect to your Mini and has a design that allows the computer to sit flush with the base, reducing the chances of any shifting when you plug in or remove accessories. This model is available in two variants, one with an SSD enclosure to add an M.2 SSD — costing $99 — and another without it, which costs $79.
Webcam for Mac Mini: Logitech Brio
Video-conferencing has risen to a high level of importance, so for some users, poor webcam quality isn’t an option. In the case of the Mac Mini, there isn’t a webcam. So while you shop for a webcam, we recommend considering Logitech’s Brio capable of 4K streaming at 30 frames per second or 1080p footage at 60 frames. It can connect via USB-A or USB-C ports, meaning you have the freedom of choosing which port to populate on your Mac Mini.
Mouse Pad for your Desk: Ktrio Large Gaming Mouse Pad
Lastly, we have a large mouse pad to use with your Mac Mini to tie the entire setup together. If you prefer premium materials, you should look up some options that use leather, like those from Dacasso, or feature better stitching like this option from Corsair.
If you feel there are better alternatives or some products which we may have missed out on, let us know with your comments below.