Are you "riding solo" with your MacBook (no external monitor)?

Do you use an external monitor or not?

  • 13", no monitor

    Votes: 27 42.9%
  • 13", use monitor

    Votes: 11 17.5%
  • 15", no monitor

    Votes: 15 23.8%
  • 15", use monitor

    Votes: 10 15.9%

  • Total voters
    63

nStyle

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
1,094
199
I'm curious because I've now went through several monitors and can't find anything that's suitable for my late 2013 13" rMBP except for Apple's own dinosaur which I refuse to purchase.

I much prefer 1440P at 27" to 1080P at 24" (PPI too low), but the problem is that at $300-400 for a good 1440P monitor, you can get the Dell 24" 4K P2415Q which is much better for reading and general use when coming from a rMBP. The problem with that is that my late 2013 won't drive 4K @ 60hz!

Alas, I'm back to square one, using my rMBP the way I've been for the past ~4 months without an external monitor at all. I do prefer it to any other setup for now, except for ergonomic concerns when using for long periods of time.

I think my only solution right now would be to buy a 5K iMac - I just don't need 2 computers! That screen though...
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
17" MBP (1920x1200) + 27" Dell U2713HM 1440p IPS (same panel that Apple uses from what I understand).

Can't imagine not having extra screen real estate and better ergonomics of positioning the screen at the right height.

If you don't want to invest in a monitor and want to improve your ergonomics, you can put the MBP on a raised box with the laptop overhanging towards you, and use an external mouse and keyboard. I do that all the time at work.

 
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Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
I bought a laptop because I needed a laptop, my tv and Apple TV are great if I want to watch something on a big screen though.
 

JTToft

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2010
3,405
754
Aarhus, Denmark
I bought a laptop because I needed a laptop, my tv and Apple TV are great if I want to watch something on a big screen though.
- That's a weird statement. One can need a laptop and at the same time prefer the greater screen real estate and better ergonomics of using an external monitor while at home or at the office.
 
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Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
- That's a weird statement. One can need a laptop and at the same time prefer the greater screen real estate and better ergonomics of using an external monitor while at home or at the office.
Not as weird as saying I bought a laptop to sit on my desk for 99% of the time, I see that all the time on here.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,479
30,722
The Far Horizon
The last time I used a monitor I had a desktop and that was around a decade ago? I live perfectly fine with my laptops
I'm in pretty much the exact same position.

In fact, I haven't used a monitor for well over a decade. All of my computers since then - whether for work or my personal computers - have been laptops. And, as I travel a lot, portability matters enormously.
 

Kate.

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2009
208
84
US
No monitor per se but I do use my iPad for streaming when I'm occupied on my laptop.
 

btbam91

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2015
147
107
Not as weird as saying I bought a laptop to sit on my desk for 99% of the time, I see that all the time on here.
Not weird at all considering apple's desktop solutions are pretty crappy. I was one looking for a laptop that will sit on my desk 99% of the time . I went with the 2015 13 inch MacBook pro and got a 27" Dell 1440p monitor. The 14 inches of additional screen real estate makes programming and diagramming 500x easier.
 
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nStyle

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
1,094
199
Not weird at all considering apple's desktop solutions are pretty crappy. I was one looking for a laptop that will sit on my desk 99% of the time . I went with the 2015 13 inch MacBook pro and got a 27" Dell 1440p monitor. The 14 inches of additional screen real estate makes programming and diagramming 500x easier.
I think the 27" 5K iMac is an excellent value. The only other 5K screen available is from Dell and its $1.5K for the monitor alone. Granted, you can't upgrade the iMac outside of RAM, no target display mode, and you may not need 5K, but I still think it's a far better deal than even the 15" rMBP. Of course, I think the 13" rMBP has the best bang to buck ratio out of any Mac.

But, I still can't bring myself to spend that much just for a larger retina screen.

Do you find adjusting to 1440P to be inferior after reading on your 13"? I am finding it hard to be comfortable reading anything for long periods of time on anything less than a retina screen now. 1440P on 27" isn't bad, but retina has spoiled me...for better or worse.
 
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btbam91

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2015
147
107
I think the 27" 5K iMac is an excellent value. The only other 5K screen available is from Dell and its $1.5K for the monitor alone. Granted, you can't upgrade the iMac outside of RAM, no target display mode, and you may not need 5K, but I still think it's a far better deal than even the 15" rMBP. Of course, I think the 13" rMBP has the best bang to buck ratio out of any Mac.

But, I still can't bring myself to spend that much just for a larger retina screen.

Do you find adjusting to 1440P to be inferior after reading on your 13"? I am finding it hard to be comfortable reading anything for long periods of time on anything less than a retina screen now. 1440P on 27" isn't bad, but retina has spoiled me...for better or worse.
The sharpness is obviously slightly lower on the monitor compared to the laptop, but it's not a significant difference for me. The fact that I have the additional real estate is worth it to me since I end up spending up to 4 hours at a time programming and creating UML diagrams.
[doublepost=1462555431][/doublepost]
IMG_1085.JPG



Obviously not as fancy as other people's setups but this is incredibly functional for me.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
2,457
4,451
I bought a laptop because I needed a laptop, my tv and Apple TV are great if I want to watch something on a big screen though.
What if you need to do CAD? Or programming? Or simply writing a technical paper using three or four simultaneous programs?
 

nStyle

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
1,094
199
What if you need to do CAD? Or programming? Or simply writing a technical paper using three or four simultaneous programs?
I'm guessing he doesn't need to do those things...or doesn't care about screen real estate.

Screen real estate isn't everything as "multitasking" is truly a myth - you can only focus on one thing at a time. Having more screen real estate only allows you to be lazy by having more things open/visible at once.
 

btbam91

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2015
147
107
I'm guessing he doesn't need to do those things...or doesn't care about screen real estate.

Screen real estate isn't everything as "multitasking" is truly a myth - you can only focus on one thing at a time. Having more screen real estate only allows you to be lazy by having more things open/visible at once.
Why is having more things open/visible lazy of all words? I would have used efficient and productive. A common scenario for me:

Window 1: Code Editor
Window 2: Some reference for coding
Window 3: Code Execution output

More screen real estate allows me to have all of these windows open and visible simultaneously and allows me to do my work with less moving windows around and resizing.
 
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nStyle

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
1,094
199
Why is having more things open/visible lazy of all words? I would have used efficient and productive. A common scenario for me:

Window 1: Code Editor
Window 2: Some reference for coding
Window 3: Code Execution output

More screen real estate allows me to have all of these windows open and visible simultaneously and allows me to do my work with less moving windows around and resizing.
You're right. It's only lazy if you're not using the extra space to be more productive/make money. If it helps you be more productive and ultimately make more money, then it's a no brainer.

Personally, Spaces/Expose so far are enough for me, but I can also appreciate the additional benefit of having everything already laid out.
 
Last edited:

alwaysbeincontact

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2014
159
115
USA
I use a standing desk with a dell up2414q 4K display, and then I have a sitting desk I use at night with a dell up2414q 4K monitor. I use to use both monitors side by side but the graphics card keeps the system running hot i7 MacBook Pro 13. Unless I'm traveling I'll just use the laptop as a laptop.
 

Starfighter

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2011
679
26
Sweden
I use my 13" without external monitor. If I want a huge screen I sit down in front of my main PC instead. I do however own one of those cables that allow me to hook the MBP up to a HDMI-monitor if I need it in the future. For now my MBP is a "web and light editing"-machine and as such I don't need external monitor or anything else.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,584
Colorado
No monitor. Several years ago before I got an ATV2 and a big screen TV, I used to use my MBP for watching TV shows and movies that I bought in iTunes.

Now I have two MBPs, a 2015 15" and a 2012 13". They just stay at home and I use them mostly for internet use now. I don't use them for any work.