External monitor for iBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kakapo, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. kakapo macrumors member

    kakapo

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Boston Metro
    #1
    Does anyone know the max resolution of an external monitor that the new iBook can drive? I could not find the answer in the Tech Specs on apple.com. Two "technical support" people at 800.MYAPPLE told me the max external monitor resolution was 1024x768 (though one of them told me the max resolution external monitor a Powerbook could drive was 800x600, so I am slightly in doubt of their competence.) It seems like a minimal-at-best(!) advantage to have an external monitor w/ the same as native resolution when you can only do video mirroring.

    My reason for asking is that I am contemplating a laptop purchase. I would like to get the a Mac for various reasons, but I can imagine that at some point in the future, I will want more screen real estate. (I have read the iBook vs. Pbook threads and understand DVI vs. no-DVI, so that needs not rehashing.) I don't want to start a wintel vs. Apple rant, but another option is a PC notebook, e.g. the dell 600m which is available w/ 1400x1050 resolution and otherwise similarly configured for roughly the same price as the 14" iBook. I have read about the negatives of SXGA+ on a 14" screen, but if VGA out is limited to the native resolution, I have a harder time justifying the iBook, if the dell is quite a bit more able to do "small portable w/ lg at-home monitor".

    thanks for your thoughts...
     
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #2
    ibook: videomirroring (external screen is a indentical copy of internal)
    pb: mirroring + dual screen (two independant monitors, up to 2048*1536 i think..)
     
  3. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #3
    The most I've ever heard on the iBook's ATI 9200 is 1280x1024. But that doesn't mean that it's limited to that, I'm reasonably sure that it could go as high as 1900x1200 or higher. Most desktop versions of the 9200 can go up to 2048x1536.

    Don't let your buying decision be based only on an external monitor capabilities. Apple says that the iBook, eMac, and iMac can only do monitor mirroring, but there is a hack out there that is fully compatible the current iBooks and eMacs (don't know about the G5 iMac though) that allows you to do screen spanning.
     
  4. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    You can get the screen spanning hack like me and it will alow your iBook to display two different desktops, or you can mirror-it. My external monitor only supports up at 1280x1024 which my iBook can run fine.

    Good luck

    btw, to get the screen spanning hack just search for it on google or versiontracker.com
     
  5. kakapo thread starter macrumors member

    kakapo

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Boston Metro
    #5
    From this forum, the rutemoeller.com forum, and various people I have spoken with, it looks like the iBook as-is will only drive a 1024x768 external monitor and requires the firmware modification ('hack') not only to do monitor spanning but also to operate in clamshell mode driving an external monitor with > XGA res.

    I have to modify my evaluation of the usefulness of this type of video out from a "minimal-at-best advantage" to useless... except perhaps when the laptop's own LCD dies. If Apple prides itself on agonizing over every detail of design, why include this port that is only useful with a hack they don't want you to use?

    anyway.

    thanks to all for the info.
     
  6. atomiton macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    #6
    i agree. Apple is able to do this because of mass zealotry. Beautiful hardware, beautiful esthetics... but very consume/consume get the feature if you upgrade it... keeps people buying the latest and greatest.
     

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