Best 27" external monitor for 2017 MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ralphch, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. ralphch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #1
    I just purchased the latest MacBook Pro 15" with Touchbar, and looking for a 27" external monitor that meet the following:
    * Retina-level resolution
    * Accurate color representation (for web design work)
    * Charges MacBook through single USB-C connection

    The LG displays that Apple sells are extremely expensive, and I'm having a difficult time finding anything else. It seems like there are almost no options for this latest MacBook model...

    Does anyone have any recommendations? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cheezeit macrumors 6502

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  3. ralphch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #3
    It’s $600 or less. So the LG ones that Apple sells are not a possibility.

    I have been researching some more and it looks like none of the USB-C monitors can power a 15” MBP properlu. Their power delivery maxes out at 60W, and my laptop needs 85W.

    I’m starting to lean towards the Dell P2175Q with a USB-C to DisplayPort cable, and just continue to power my MBP with the charger.

    I’m not really seeing many other options for a reasonable price, accurate color calibration, and performance (refresh rate, etc).

    What do you think?
     
  4. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

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    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    I just went through this ordeal. I had bought three monitors... the first one was a 28" Samsung 4k... and it was just awful (dim, unresponsive, with washed out colors...). Then I bought the Dell S2718D. The picture was great despite it being only 1440p but it wouldn't keep my MacBook 15" charged all the time due to it only supplying 45w. The bigger issue for me was an unacceptable amount of uneven backlight bleed. When I dug deeper I found a bunch of threads complaining about the backlight bleed on this particular panel. I returned that one as well.

    I ended up with - and I am very happy with - The USB-C HP Envy 27". It's 4k, bright, responsive, and the colors are fantastic. With 60w of power, my MacBook Pro 15" is quite happy.

    ALSO: the aesthetics of the HP match the MacBook very well!

    My setup:

    IMG_0722.jpg
     
  5. ralphch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #6
    Thanks for the info. How is the color on this monitor? I'm looking at it specifically for web graphic design work.

    Also, given that the 15" MBP requires 85W power, isn't the 60W underpowered? I read elsewhere that this is not good for battery life, since the computer can run into situations where it needs to start drawing power from the battery, causing it to degrade faster over time.
     
  6. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

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    North Carolina
    #7
    I would rate the color as excellent and I'm pretty picky (as you maybe able to tell; I'm on my third monitor!).

    So in all my testing, I have only noticed the battery charging more slowly under full load. I noticed the behavior your describing with the Dell and it's 45W charging ability. I have not seen my Mac dip into it's battery reserves while plugged in with the HP, even with moderate to heavy use (7 programs + a Virtual Machine, or playing a game that kicks the AMD graphics on). It just charges more slowly, and under light use it is more then acceptable. Right now I have Safari, Mail, Messages and Activity Monitor open and it says it will fully charge in an hour from 85%.

    As you said, I too had a difficult time finding a monitor, but I really think this is your best option. Amazon has it for around $400. My recommendation is to buy it and see the colors for yourself, and then try to stress the machine as much as you think you would and monitor the battery. Amazon has a great return policy if you don't like it.
     
  7. ralphch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 20, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for the detail :) This is a work related purchase for the office, so probably want to "get it right" the first time around.

    By any chance, did you consider the LG 27UD88 or the Asus MX27UD? Those seem to have very good reviews, but the LG looks very flimsy (cheap plastic) after watching some videos. I'm a bit concerned about the HP Envy one because of the hit and miss reviews (at least on Amazon), and I want to make sure the monitor is "battle tested" in a business setting. Have you had it for long? That's why I keep going back to the Dell P2175Q, which seems very liked and reliable (though older and no single cable solution)...

    Another option for a single cable solution might be to get a separate USB-C hub that can I can plug in any monitor and it has the ability to charge my MBP at the full 85W. Do you know if that's viable? Not sure any hubs like that exist though.
     
  8. MicScorpio Suspended

    MicScorpio

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    Dec 27, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    This looks great but wouldn't it feel weird because the two screens are different in proportion. I'm really not used to working like this.
     
  9. green86, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018

    green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

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    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
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    #10
    You can always close the lid on you MacBook Pro. I mean, the only other option would be finding a 15.4 display, which is kinda small nowadays.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2018 ---
    I just did a google search for Asus MX27UD, and no result is returning. I'm not sure what monitor that would be.

    I considered the LG 27UD88 but I thought it was a overpriced. Also, I kinda hate the aesthetics of all the LG's right now with their curved bases. However if your budget allows it, go for it. I just had a hard time considered a monitor that was almost 50% more then my HP that I didn't love the look of.

    I've had the monitor for a month now. As you can tell I'm very pleased with it. Of course the more money you pay the better monitor you'll get... but the LG's price is too insanely high IMHO.

    The hub idea is another route. I considered this when I bought the Samsung, but Docks can get expensive. I basically wanted to do this for under $500. So when I bought the $300 Samsung I could budget for a dock. In the end though I just love the simplicity of just have my computer, display, keyboard and mouse on my desk with no need for extra clutter. This is all my personal opinion though... you have to decide what you can live with!
     
  10. ralphch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #11
    My apologies, my typo, the display is the Asus MX27UC: https://www.asus.com/us/Monitors/MX27UC/

    I've been looking at the hub option, but it seems like all of them max out at 60W, or at least any reasonably priced ones. Here's one I found on Amazon that seems to have pretty good reviews and price: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y5N3YCD/

    Does the color on your HP Envy match the MBP's screen? And is there any backlight bleeding when looking at dark colors? I saw that the LG has that issue in some reviews.
     
  11. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

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    Sep 27, 2007
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    North Carolina
    #12

    I mean, it matches it well.. no monitor except maybe the UltraFines will match it perfectly, they are completely different panels.

    The backlight bleed is minimal - and most important even - if I notice it at all. I even have a desktop that is mostly black and it doesn't bother me. Where did you read that?
     
  12. ralphch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 20, 2012
    #13
    @green86 I ended up going with the Dell P2715Q because it was a work related purchase, but I'm still testing it out.

    Out of curiosity, at what resolution are you using your 4K monitor?

    I set it to 2560x1440, which seems the most comfortable, but the problem I see is that you can sometimes notice a very slight blur (e.g. text), because of the scaling into half-pixels. Do you notice this on yours?
     
  13. Jarrodbcall macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2013
    #14
    I’ve been reading up on monitors and read that there are some connectivity issues with the HP Envy. Have you run into any? This monitor looks great and fits best into my budget.
     
  14. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

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    Sep 27, 2007
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    #15
    I was worried about this as well, but I've had zero issues. Maybe they have got them all worked out now. I am using the supplied cable too, not sure if that makes a difference.
     
  15. Jarrodbcall macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    #16
    Great! I found a wonderful deal on a refurbished one I may try and return if there are significant issues. Do you need to restart the computer when you plug it in? I read that was what HP was recommending and don’t want to do that. Also, what do you do for your sound set up? Do you just use your computer speakers since the monitor doesn’t have an audio out or speakers of its own?
     
  16. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #17
    Running a monitor at anything other than native resolution will result in softness. It's designed to run at 4K. If you wanted 2560 x 1440 why not just buy one with that resolution? It would be sharper than downscaling a 4 k one.
     
  17. Fozziebear40, Jul 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018

    Fozziebear40 macrumors regular

    Fozziebear40

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    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newton-le-Willows, England
    #18
    Not if it's in HiDPI mode, the MacBook Pro is scaling it.

    I have an LG 27UD68 and through my MacBook Air it does HiDPI and scales 4K to 2560 x 1440 and looks great. My main computer is a Mac Mini and it only does 2560 x 1440 and the monitor scales and although useable it is softer.
     
  18. ralphch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #19
    I’m running the P2715Q with a 2017 15” MBP at 2560x1440 res, and basically the Macbook outputs a 5K image which it then downscales to 4K. So while it’s quite sharp, you do get a bit of half-pixel bluriness.

    The reality a 5K monitor is the “proper” resolution to get a real Apple retina experience on an external monitor.
     

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