Best 2013 non Apple external monitor under $500 for rMBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Writergirl7, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Writergirl7 macrumors member

    May 25, 2013
    I've recently bought a 13" retina MacBook Pro and while I love the computer, my eyes get tired from using it all day. Hence I need a good external monitor that's great (easy on my eyes) for text but also okay for photo editing when I'm at my desk. I don't want to pay more than ~$500 ish and I think a 24" screen would be the ideal size. I've had the Dell Ultra Sharp series recommended to me but I'm worried about the antiglare coating and there is no store around that sells Dell screens. I would have to order it from Dell unseen and that makes me uncomfortable. I'd much rather plug my computer into a monitor in a store and see how it looks before I buy. I have also heard that sometimes there are/were display issues with the rMBP and Dell computers and that sometimes text is fuzzy on the Dells. Maybe these are just occasional problems - if so please tell me :) - and all other recommendations are welcome.
  2. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    If you are looking for the best monitor under $500, then your best bet is, by far, a Dell UltraSharp. I have extensive experience with these monitors, and have never had any issues.

    If you are concerned about buying online, then you are just going to have to look at your local electronics store, and see what they have, and be sure to check the reviews online.

  3. 960design macrumors 68000

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
  4. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011

    They essentially have "Apple" displays at 1/3rd-1/2 of the cost (minus things like speakers, cameras, TB hub, aluminum chassis, etc.). But they're a good deal if you're just looking for a monitor!

    E.g. 27in 2560x1440 IPS display for $390.60

    EDIT: The $474 one might be a better buy for your $500 budget, since it includes speakers and HDMI/DisplayPort 1.2.
  5. Writergirl7 thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2013
    I forgot to say that I need to be able to get the monitor easily in Australia. :)
  6. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    I second this. I have a rMBP that I hook up to a Dell Ultrasharp and it works great. I've had several Dell monitors over the years and no complaints or problems. This one does have the coating mentioned above but it's not an issue for me. Dell service is great and you can return it so don't be afraid to order online.

    Also, looking at the monitors in the store can give a false impression due to the drastically different lighting from your home or office.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't know all the latest monitors out there now but I do know that Dell and HP's offerings (higher end graphic models) were always a sure bet for good display.

    Things to consider -

    True rise/fall of grey (should be maybe a real 8ms or less now)
    Ease of calibration (if you do any art, photo or video)
    Screen surface - some are flat matt, glossy and a mix with anti-glare coating
    Monitor controls - often overlooked but important that you can easily control

    My 3rd party monitor is for graphic/photo work and costs more and is probably more than what you may need (NEC PA24iw). I have used Dell in the past and while not my first choice, I wouldn't hesitate to get one again as a 2nd monitor for a much cheaper price. The HP offering (not sure its around anymore) was really an amazing buy for a quality monitor. I would suggest you investigate their higher end monitors meant for video/graphic work.
  8. Writergirl7, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    Writergirl7 thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2013
    Saw a special price today on Dell's U2413 monitor for about $530. Am wondering how it measures up?

    While I want colour accuracy the thing I covet most is comfortable, all day reading of text. Alas from what I've read a lot of the screens that are great for photos are not great for reading text all day. I need to find a monitor with both qualities.
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Whether you meant to or not, you brought up a really good point - average screen viewing vs calibrated for photo work. - Suggestion, consider looking at more than one profile for your screen. Have one tuned* to what is easiest on your eyes and the other for photo work. While this may seem an extra step, it really should become routine and for viewing (obviously) nothing is more important than keeping ones eyes in good shape and avoiding visual fatigue when possible.

    The most often challenged screen are those by Mac which are glossy (glass fronts). I have found that the 21" screen is not a problem when set up correctly to avoid glare. The 27" is far more difficult to avoid glare but putting it in a location where there are no light sources hitting the screen and using (home made is good here) light baffle around the screen akin to pro monitors would certainly help.
  10. Writergirl7 thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2013
    Forris fs2333

    I was wondering if anyone had used the Ezio Forris FS2333 for photography and text. It is supposed to be quite good for the money (although not in the league of more expensive Ezios). While it is a gaming monitor it is supposed to have very true colours.
  11. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
  12. Writergirl7 thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2013
    I think you are always best to wait for specials for Dell products. That's the best bang for buck I can see. But I too am interested in the answer to that question.
  13. mrinterweb macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2014
    I have the same monitor. I noticed that there is a big difference when connecting HDMI to this monitor vs Mini DisplayPort > DVI (connector). When using the connector with my Mini DisplayPort on my MBP, font rendering worked fine. I made the assumption that digital is digital and an HDMI connection should be the same as Mini DisplayPort. I was wrong. Do not expect decent font rendering if you are connecting with HDMI. That said, the font rendering is still not quite as crisp as my Ubuntu machine renders font to the same monitor, but the difference is negligible (with Mini DisplayPort) by comparison to when I had my MBP connected with HDMI.

    After getting used to a MacBook Pro's Retina display, I would seek a monitor with a higher resolution than 1920x1080. If you do go above this resolution, remember that you will need a dual-link DVI cable.
  14. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    I have a Dell u2412, which I mostly use in dual screen mode with an iMac. I sometimes plug my MBPr into it, but, although the Dell is a good screen for the price, it isn't retina sharp and I prefer to use the retina screen on the laptop away from the desk.

    Recommend that you test a Dell if you can. It has very heavy anti-glare coating. While this is good reflections-wise, I'm so used to the iMac screen, the Dell seems a bit dull and not as sharp though it supposedly has same spec as the iMac. Text seems sharper and colours stronger on the iMac.
  15. 960design macrumors 68000

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Yeah, my new MBPr pretty much ruins every other monitor out there. I call it eye shock. Same shock I got when I saw my Visa statement after buying the MBPr! :)
  16. gochi macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2011
  17. MacInTO macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    I have this one. A 23" HP monitor I got on sale last year for about $150...$pcmcat143700050048&cp=1&lp=2

    There's also a 25" in variant of this model for only slightly more...

    The 23" has a matte screen which is great to work on because of the large area and you can't see any reflection.

    I find everything super sharp on the HP. I also use it to watch movies and TV. It has HDMI and VGA hookups.

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