Best External Display Solution?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AppleAlfred, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. AppleAlfred macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    So, I ordered an Air yesterday, and I am really looking forward to getting that set up!

    Right now I have a windows laptop, that I am replacing, and as of now I connect it via VGA to a 17" dell monitor, that is really old and needs to be replaced.

    Obviously I would love to get a thunderbolt display, however that isn't really a viable option financially at this time.

    My question to you is what set up do you use? External display using VGA? HDMI? Are there other thunderbolt displays? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    I have the same question, thanks for posting.
  3. limesmoothie macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2009
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    It depends what you are intending to use the external monitor for. Decent monitors, such as the Dell ones you will see recommended by many on the forum, will run to about £200+ (and far beyond). If you are intending to photo and video edit etc, they would be needed.

    If its just browsing the web, playing videos etc, then there is no reason you cannot connect over HDMI to an LED/LCD TV or similar. Also, there is the option to use Airplay or an app such as AirParrot to mirror your Air's screen wirelessly using an Apple TV.

    I have a MacBook Pro (soon to be replaced by a 2012 Air) and a Mini. I use an Apple Cinema Display for serious work in my study, but also have Apple TV connected to both 32" TVs in the house, so I can use mirroring if I want to lounge around on the sofa.

    The beauty of these devices is the range of options for connecting - makes working flexibly really easy. I even have an Apple TV connected to the projector in my classroom, so I can mirror my MBP screen wirelessly to demo things to my students.
  4. SuperJudge macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2008
    The Triangle, NC
    Currently, I don't think there are any ideal solutions that aren't TBDs since the Thunderbolt docks that were promised by both Matrox and Belkin have yet to materialize. That said, I'm quite pleased with connecting to my Acer B243PWL via DVI. I think that Acer is a tremendous display for the price.

    I also use a Griffin Elevator to get the MBA up to a more ergonomic height to use with the external. I can't emphasize how much of a difference getting the laptop up to good height makes if you're going to use its display, too.
  5. afrc macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2012
    I just ordered a 13" Air too (ordered online so i dont own it yet)

    I own a HP laptop and a 23" LG display (1080p). This is my main display and the laptop acts as the secondary display.
    I have one of those griffin stands to elevate the laptop and it works pretty well.

    The Air is going to replace the windows laptop. I ordered the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter to be able to connect the air to the monitor. The monitor actually has VGA, DVi and HDMI, so i thought HDMI would be a clever choice.

    Im a web developer/designer, so 1920x1080 + 1440x900 are enough pixels to me, however i'd love to get me a thunderbolt display, but $999 is way to much, and the fact it has obsolete technology (Magsafe, USB2) so this setup does the job for me.

    This display is 2 or 3 years old (LG E2360 LED) and cost about 200EUR, i guess there should be some pretty good screens (IPS) for a reasonable price.
  6. AppleAlfred thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Excuse my ignorance in this domain, but is IPS fairly standard these days, or is it something I should be looking for in a display? Also, if it raises prices do you think I would be okay not getting an IPS display, I only ever use my display at my desk as my main display so viewing angles aren't a HUGE concern, if that is even what IPS helps with. Thanks
  7. cube, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

    cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I was waiting for a long time for a proper 3D monitor. There's nothing better than FullHD on the market and I didn't want to downgrade from 1200 lines.

    Finally I bit the bullet and downgraded. I have been able to adapt but it is unacceptable that my 23" monitor has less resolution than my 17" MBP screen.

    The monitor is an Asus VG23AH, which is at a great price given that it is an IPS panel, and it has 2 HDMI, 1 VGA, and 1 DVI inputs (IPS 3D is very rare).

    It is passive 3D, but the halved 3D definition does not seem a problem. About the ghosting, the stand's tilting range is a bit limited. If one is well positioned the artifacts are quite minimal.

    The same glasses work for this monitor and RealD theatres.

    A nuisance is that if the monitor receives a 5.1 audio signal it will output noise, so the volume has to be turned down completely (I don't care about speakers on displays).

    A more serious issue is that the monitor being stereo, it can prevent you getting audio through your receiver, so I had to daisy chain 2 HDMI splitters.

    It is connected to a thunderbolt port using a third party miniDisplayPort to HDMI adapter which works without issues.
  8. SuperJudge macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2008
    The Triangle, NC
    IPS helps with viewing angles and color correctness. Personally, I go for IPS displays since they also look fine when flipped into portrait. I don't always do it, but for me it's important to have that option when looking at long text files of various kinds.

    If none of those things apply to you, you're probably fine to just go with a TN display to save some money. Most people won't notice the difference.

Share This Page