Thinking about getting a big brother for my MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sahni130, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. sahni130, Apr 7, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #1
    Hello,
    Everyone!

    Recently I've been using a lot of Office for school, watching movies (netflix, etc), and using Aperture for basic photo editing. I'm not a professional video or photo editor so I don't see the need in shelling out a lot of money for the higher end monitors such as Lacie, HP, Dell, Apple, etc. What I need is simple: a 23 inch or higher and $250 or less. My question is what's the better interface: HDMI or DVI? Do contrast ratios, response times, etc matter for my usage? Like I said, I really just write papers, make powerpoints, Excel, iPhoto, and a lot of Netflix.

    What do you think of these:
    1. Lenovo- this one looks fairly attractive.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+...lack/6692517.p?id=1218780227870&skuId=6692517

    2. Dell
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+24"+IPS+LED+HD+Monitor/6814952.p?id=1218807855012&skuId=6814952

    3. HP

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pa...itor/7294734.p?id=1218838643187&skuId=7294734

    Another option would be to purchase an older Apple Cinema Display from Ebay...but that's probbaly not a good idea since they're quite old at this point.

    I also plan on getting an Apple Wireless keyboard and a Logitech mouse. I already have some Harman/Kardon speakers.

    What else do I need to use my mbp in clamshell mode? I'm on the go about 60-70% of the time and plan to upgrade to an iMac in a year or two so I'd rather not get anything too fancy at the moment?

    thank you in advance for your positive input,
    Sincerely,
    Jay
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Pharmscott

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #2
    I've had a few Dell monitors over the years and never had a single issue (replaced each just to go bigger, not because something was wrong). I eagerly recommend them.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    South Orange NJ
    #3
    I had bought the Dell monitor a few weeks ago at Best Buy. I really like this monitor because it has a glossy screen and to me, things on the glossy screen things look so much better. Crisp and clear. I use the HDMI Connection. It's a great monitor for the macbook. I have a MBPr. I also have a thunderbolt display at home. That is an incredible monitor.

    Good luck with you decision. I feel you can't go wrong with the Dell monitor.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #4
    Hello again,
    yes, the general consensus seems to be that Dell monitors are good value for the money. Do you find the resolution to be pretty sharp? Does DVI offer higher quality than HDMI?

    -Jay
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #5
    I have a Dell U2410 running HDMI and it is amazing, I can't say enough good things about it. I would recommend it to anyone.

    Also, I know you said you were getting the Apple Wireless keyboard but have you looked into the logitech keyboards? I don't know if space is a premium on your desk but I HIGHLY recommend the Logitech K750 (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/wireless-solar-keyboard-k750-mac). It is a little bit bigger but say goodbye to batteries (I have been running it for well over a year and it has never show ANY signs of becoming low on battery / dying / any problems). I also prefer the key feel, not too shallow and not too deep. It really isn't a nice alternative to the Apple Wireless keyboard. Also since you're getting the Logitech mouse you can use the same USB receiver for both devices.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #6
    I actually would love to have a Logitech keyboard. I've had a couple of them in the past and loved them, the only reason I was thinking about the Apple one is because of aesthetics and size, but they're not deal-breakers.

    Now, I have an mbp with a display port/thunderbolt port... which is the best DP/thunderbolt adapter to HDMI? I hear the Belkin one isn't the best and to my knowledge, Apple doesn't sell one?

    -Jay
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #7
    I had a Monoprice one (mini dp to hdmi) that worked for a while but eventually gave way. I then purchased a Rocketfish one and it worked for the few years I had it, no problems.
     
  8. sahni130, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #8
    Hello again,
    The rocket fish adapter does have good reviews so I'll be going that route.

    So would you rather have a 21.5 or 23 inch monitor with full hd resolution or the 24 inch? Or is there even a noticeable difference in picture quality?

    Are the Apple Wireless KB and the Logitech K760 the only decent bluetooth keyboards out there or is there anything decent that's cheaper?

    May I ask exactly what's in your set-up? I've never ran a laptop in clamshell mode and was wondering how everyone likes it, etc.

    -Jay
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    DVI and HDMI are electrically exactly the same! It's just HDMI generally carries audio also.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    #10
    I ordered this mini-dp to hdmi from Amazon. It took about a month to get here, and I haven't tested the audio side of it, but the video side works perfectly fine with my wife's 2010 MBP. Plugged it in and went to work.

    Reviews were positive enough for me to take the 7.99 gamble. Also, some in the reviews note that audio does pass through.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #11
    Thanks, everyone!
    I now understand the difference between DVI and HDMI.
    I'm going to order the mini-dp to hdmi cable from amazon and also a monoprice adapter, just in case.

    Sincerely,
    Jay
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #12
    I purchased the Logitech keyboard refurbished from either newegg or logitech (can't remember) but it came in a logitech brown box brand new with the plastic wrap on it and not a single scratch.. and hey it's a keyboard so not like it's super crucial.

    I think it was $35-40 and I figured any decent keyboard would be that price so I went for it. Would do it again in a heartbeat.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #13
    I think I'm going to go with a bluetooth Logitech keyboard and mouse. I know the unifying receivers are very small but I'd rather not have to worry about it.

    When operating in clamshell mode, is the audio output on the mbp still active? I'm assuming that and all the other ports are active.

    There's so many options and wants int his world, kinda crazy if you think about it. A never ending cycle haha!

    -Jay
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #14
    The audio and all other ports will still work. I ran a similar clamshell setup with my 07 macbook and an external monitor before getting my current desktop. If you do a lot of media viewing I'd recommend getting a pair of speakers. Even cheap ones work a lot better than the built in ones.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    stiligFox

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    10.0.1.3
    #15
    Just to throw in my two cents, I have a used 20" Apple Cinema Display (The one with the all aluminum frame) it is simply fantastic. You can find them for around $100 to $200.

    But in leu of that, I'd also say Dell is an excellent monitor brand. My college uses them in, well, everywhere, and the build quality and screen image quality is excellent in all of the varieties they use.\

    Also, if the audio output is the same as on my 2010 MBA, then yes, the output is still active. If nothing is plugged into the headphone jack, then audio will still play through the internal speakers, albeit muffled from the screen being closed ^^
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #16
    Thanks, everyone!

    I now understand that the ports work in clamshell mode. I do have some external Harman/Kardon speakers that suit me just fine. I may replace them in the future but for now, they're pretty good.

    Again, I hear great things about Dell monitors, especially for the price. I'd like to have the older 23 or 30 Inch Cinema Displays but buying one off eBay or the like, without any warranty does not seem very prudent to me. Though they are extremely beautiful.

    Hopefully the displays on the Dell monitors are less glossy than the mbp.

    -Jay
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #17
    Update

    Hello, everyone!

    So I just bought a Dell S2340M monitor and a mini-dp to dvi adaptor from Monoprice.

    I have a logitech M510 mouse that I really like and feel it's very comfortable. However, though I love Apple keyboards, I figured I'd try to save some money and go with the cheaper Logitech K360. This is supposedly windows only but according th the internet, works fine with Macs, apparently. Anybody have experiences with the k360? I have yet to pick up this board and if it doesn't work, then I'll just get a k760 or the Apple one unless there's other decent wireless recommendations.

    -jay
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #18
    Upate update

    This Dell S2340M monitor is just awesome. For Under $200 (I Paid $171), it's a no-brainer. I'm not a "pro" user but the colors and the screen quality is quite nice. While the screen is glossy, I find it to be much less reflective than the MAcBook Pro's screen. So for anyone looking for a good display for their laptops or Mini's, and don't have a big budget, don't look anywhere else but this monitor.

    The Logitech K360 keyboard is pretty nice too. Though it was annoying to set up and map the keys from Windows to OS X, for $30, it's not bad at all. The keys feel good, though not as nice as the Apple keyboard. But again, it's much cheaper. I may eventually get another Apple keyboard though. I used "DoubleCommand" to map the keys and still haven't been able to figure out how to completely do them. So if anybody can help me, that'd be great!

    The Logitech M325 mouse- awesome. Logitech always has nice mice, probably the best out there. I love everything Apple but I feel like they just don't make an ergonomic mouse.

    The Apple Mini DP- DVI adaptor works as advertised, and perfectly so far. It's expensive at $30 but I may just keep on using it instead of the Monoprice I ordered.

    The one question I had is-there is no way to run the external display at it's full resolution while the macbook is in "display mirroring" mode, is there?

    -Jay
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    sahni130

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    #19
    Question

    There is no downside in running the macbook in clamshell mode, correct? I noticed that it gets quite warm, will this shorten its service life? I don't use a stand or anything like that, it's just sitting on the desk. Please bear with me haha.


    -Jay
     

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