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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:19 PM   #1
onthecouchagain
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Best Non-Apple external monitor for Air?

Hi folks, I'm looking to connect my Air to an external monitor for use at home, but can't afford the Thunderbolt Display.

I'm doing a little of my own research, but wanted to get an opinion from people who have hooked up their Airs to other monitor brands and can recommend me a good one.

I'd like to keep my budget below $200, if possible. Looking at 22-27" range. EDIT: I also wouldn't mind if anyone pointed me to the right cables to get too.

My Air is a 2011 13" base model, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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IPS Ultrasharp Dell monitors are really nice compared to Apple's displays. And they come without the gloss.

The cheaper models ($200ish) only have 1920x1080 resolutions. For $400+ you can get monitors with 1920x1200 resolutions. You can even go cheaper with Dell, but I believe they have TN panels and aren't as nice as IPS panels.

Also, the Ultrasharp monitors offer Displayport connectivity (aka thunderbolt). The cable is somewhat expensive, but it will future proof your purchase when you move from VGA/DVI to display port when the cables are cheaper.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 11:30 PM   #3
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Dell U2412M

I recommend the Dell 2412M. It's still IPS, but it's very reasonably priced at $329. It has an excellent resolution at 1920x1200, which means you can buy the cheaper Apple adapter and it won't stress out your MacBook Air's GPU too much. You can also check the review at Anandtech, they rate it very highly.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...n&sku=320-2676

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http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/A

It's the $29 MiniDisplayPort to DVI. Not the $99 MiniDisplayPort to Dual link dvi which is only needed for monitors with resolution greater than 1920x1200.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 12:33 AM   #4
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(Note- I'm literally copy/pasting an email I recently sent to a friend looking for a cheap, decent monitor for under $200. This was the best match I found after some light digging)

The Asus VH236H is well under $200, averages 5/5 stars from 1000 Newegg users and 4.5 stars from 100 Amazon reviews, performs well in its price range, and also has an HDMI port if needed for Xbox/etc. I wouldn't recommend it for professional color work, but I'll just quote CNET's "bottom line" about the monitor (I've linked the review below).

"The bottom line: The Asus VH236H is a great-performing 23-incher with a
welcome low price."


The CNET review:
http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors...-33615002.html

Newegg Link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824236059
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 05:08 AM   #5
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Depends on your location and budget.

In the UK it looks like its around 120-130 for a 23" LG IPS LED display which is 1080p. Usually you can get the 3D variant also for about 30 extra.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 05:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMS View Post
Also, the Ultrasharp monitors offer Displayport connectivity (aka thunderbolt). The cable is somewhat expensive, but it will future proof your purchase when you move from VGA/DVI to display port when the cables are cheaper.
I've got a Dell Ultrasharp monitor (U2211H) and am very pleased with it. The build and panel quality is amazing for the price! I'm using the display port input on it for my Mac Mini, because the DVI input is being used by my Windows PC and the monitor doesn't have a third digital input such as HDMI. I bought a mini display port to display port adapter plus a standard display port cable, both of which were inexpensive (it's the thunderbolt cables that are expensive, Mark ). Whilst this arrangement works just fine, I'm thinking about getting a mini display port to display port cable, because the adapter I'm using is rigid and makes the cable stick out perpendicular to the machine for five inches or so. For a laptop, this could potentially be an important consideration.

Last edited by Fleet would mac; Mar 28, 2012 at 07:56 AM.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 07:51 AM   #7
onthecouchagain
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Wow thanks. Some great replies and suggestions. I'll definitely look into them. Feel free to keep them coming if others have more ideas. Thanks all.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 08:33 AM   #8
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x2 on the Dell 2412M - Last time I checked, it was $299. I got one at Christmas and it's a wonderful monitor.. also calibrates well for photography.
For cables, go to Monoprice.. MDP to DP for about $15.

Quote:
Originally Posted by er2429 View Post
I recommend the Dell 2412M. It's still IPS, but it's very reasonably priced at $329. It has an excellent resolution at 1920x1200, which means you can buy the cheaper Apple adapter and it won't stress out your MacBook Air's GPU too much.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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i use this ony my MBP Samsung BX2450
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by er2429 View Post
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/A
It's the $29 MiniDisplayPort to DVI. Not the $99 MiniDisplayPort to Dual link dvi which is only needed for monitors with resolution greater than 1920x1200.
For adapters, buy from monoprice instead. Same functions, great warrantee and customer support, but much much cheaper. The MiniDisplayPort to DVI is $6.65. Or about 4x less than from the apple store.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...&cs_id=1042802
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 10:10 AM   #11
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I'm thinking of this one: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...ynote_irrank=0

Question, since the monitor comes with USB ports, can I plug my keyboard or mouse into the monitor's USB ports and still use it with the Mac?
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneMadRssn View Post
For adapters, buy from monoprice instead. Same functions, great warrantee and customer support, but much much cheaper. The MiniDisplayPort to DVI is $6.65. Or about 4x less than from the apple store.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...&cs_id=1042802
agreed i got my mini display to hdmi with audio support from monoprice for $5.99

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
I'm thinking of this one: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...ynote_irrank=0

Question, since the monitor comes with USB ports, can I plug my keyboard or mouse into the monitor's USB ports and still use it with the Mac?
the way i read that is it has 1 usb upstream and 4 downstream, most likely acts like a usb hub so you would still have 1 usb cable going from the MBA to the monitor than yes you most likey should be able to use the other 4 for things like keyboard, mouse etc.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 10:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by iisforiphone View Post
agreed i got my mini display to hdmi with audio support from monoprice for $5.99

----------



the way i read that is it has 1 usb upstream and 4 downstream, most likely acts like a usb hub so you would still have 1 usb cable going from the MBA to the monitor than yes you most likey should be able to use the other 4 for things like keyboard, mouse etc.
That makes sense. Hopefully this means there's no input delay.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 03:24 PM   #14
onthecouchagain
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Is there anything else I should know about before pulling the trigger on the Dell?
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 04:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
Is there anything else I should know about before pulling the trigger on the Dell?
Yes...


Dude you're gettin' a Dell!!
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneMadRssn View Post
Yes...

Image
Dude you're gettin' a Dell!!
Dude you should have said:

one more thing .....
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 06:49 PM   #17
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Another question:

Is there a significant difference connecting it via DVI versus DisplayPort (aka Thunderbolt)? Like, will it really matter for every day use (web, email, etc)?

And if I do go that route, is this what I'd need to connect to connect from the Air's minidisplay to the Dell's displayport? http://www.amazon.com/DisplayPort-32...ef=pd_sim_pc_3 Looking at the pics of the Dell monitor, it doesn't look like there's a port that matches the end of that cable.

Last edited by onthecouchagain; Mar 28, 2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 07:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
Another question:

Is there a significant difference connecting it via DVI versus DisplayPort (aka Thunderbolt)? Like, will it really matter for every day use (web, email, etc)?

And if I do go that route, is this what I'd need to connect to connect from the Air's minidisplay to the Dell's displayport? http://www.amazon.com/DisplayPort-32...ef=pd_sim_pc_3 Looking at the pics of the Dell monitor, it doesn't look like there's a port that matches the end of that cable.
For the uses you listed, there is absolutely no downside to using DVI instead of Displayport.

Again, I urge you to get a monoprice adapter/cable for either DVI, Displayport, they have a combo one with HDMI, DVI, and Displayport all-in-one. Don't go with some gray-brand and questionable seller (Deals International??) on Amazon. http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...ayport&x=0&y=0

Not only is the same type of cable on there for less money, but they will replace it if you have any issues. Also, gold-plating on purely digital cables is pretty useless. Don't fall for that gimmick.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 01:24 AM   #19
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For the uses you listed, there is absolutely no downside to using DVI instead of Displayport.

Again, I urge you to get a monoprice adapter/cable for either DVI, Displayport, they have a combo one with HDMI, DVI, and Displayport all-in-one. Don't go with some gray-brand and questionable seller (Deals International??) on Amazon. http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...ayport&x=0&y=0

Not only is the same type of cable on there for less money, but they will replace it if you have any issues. Also, gold-plating on purely digital cables is pretty useless. Don't fall for that gimmick.
Excellent. Thank you.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 07:23 AM   #20
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May end up going with this: http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-VS248H-P-.../dp/B0058UUR6E
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 05:04 PM   #21
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You can't use the mdp to dvi adapter on higher res screens like the dell 27" that high res needs dual link DVI. You need a mini display port to displayport lead if the monitor has displayport.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 08:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
x2 on the Dell 2412M - Last time I checked, it was $299. I got one at Christmas and it's a wonderful monitor.. also calibrates well for photography.
For cables, go to Monoprice.. MDP to DP for about $15.
Yes, this monitor is great and I love mine. I just noticed that the Dell site says they are no longer available. Could be replacing with 2412um (lower price?). Also, you might be able to pick up a refurb for less.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 10:07 PM   #23
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I'm using a 2010 13" MBA with Dell 24 and 21" IPS monitors with a mini-DP to DP cable (not sure why one would use mini-DP to HDMI?). They are beautiful screens and happy with them. One thing I notice using the MBA vs a PC with the 24" the MAC renders larger size font, images, and window than the PC, not sure if this is a MAC vs PC thing or not. I think there are some threads on this, mentioning that the 13" Air doesn't render well to 16:10 (i.e, from 1400x900 to 1920x1200). Not sure if this correct or not.

Last edited by calvol; Mar 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 02:51 AM   #24
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Can anyone recommend a monitor suited for the 11" Air?

I saw a few Acer 21.5-24in range monitors I've been looking into.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 10:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvol View Post
I'm using a 2010 13" MBA with Dell 24 and 21" IPS monitors with a mini-DP to DP cable (not sure why one would use mini-DP to HDMI?). They are beautiful screens and happy with them. One thing I notice using the MBA vs a PC with the 24" the MAC renders larger size font, images, and window than the PC, not sure if this is a MAC vs PC thing or not. I think there are some threads on this, mentioning that the 13" Air doesn't render well to 16:10 (i.e, from 1400x900 to 1920x1200). Not sure if this correct or not.
I'd like some feedback on this idea that the 13" MBA doesn't render well on 16x10 screens. I'm looking to buy a 1920x1200 monitor and will be using my MBA in clamshell.
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