Best monitor for parents with less-than-great eyesight?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by troy14, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Hi everyone,

    I have decided to get my parents a new Mac mini or 27" imac, since the previous 24" 2007 imac has a failing LCD or backlight whatever producing a very very yellow display and weird lines.

    I would love to get them a mini and nice monitor, but not sure what is the easiest for them to read the text on. Do I go with a bigger size and lower resolution? I like the idea of the imac and gorgeous screen but it comes with a cost. I figure I could get a cheap mini and really nice monitor and that would be more beneficial (but not apples $800 thunderbolt one).. Since all they do is google stuff and back up their digital camera photos to iPhoto and print things.

    Scattered thought so maybe what's the best monitor to get them?
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    If you go the mac mini and 27" screen route, you can basically get 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 resolution monitors. All things equal, the text on a lower resolution monitor will appear bigger because the pixels are bigger. However, if you were to get a higher resolution monitor, you can use the zoom feature in web browsers to make the text larger.

    I would imagine a 1080p 27" monitor would be fine. I've used one in the past and it I didn't mind using it for web browsing and streaming TV shows. I've seen other people prefer the higher resolution especially for things like office applications.

    I'm not sure how much higher resolution displays would benefit people with "less-than-great eyesight". I'd imagine the larger size display would be better. 27" is a nice size for computers. That said, the mini is perfectly capable of web browsing and using iPhoto, and even if you spent the money to get a nice monitor it would still end up cheaper than the iMac.

    There are Dell Ultrasharp 27" monitors for around $600

    Or there is this 1080p one for $270. It is glossy similar to the iMac screen and it looks pretty good IMO. I'm using a smaller pair of these on a mac mini and I'm really happy with them
  3. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    My vision is not great, and I prefer external monitors that have larger dot pitch. I.e. The size of the pixels are larger. Otherwise, everything is tiny and hard to read for me.

    An Apple TB display at 27" and 2560x1440 is bordering on too small dot pitch for me. A 1080p display in that same size would have pixels that are unnecessarily large, at least for me. I settled on a 1920x1200 display that was something like 24" or so.

    Ideally, if you can go to a store with your parents, you could have them look at a couple of displays that have differing dot pitch sizes (they don't need to be the desired overall size, just the dot pitch), then decide which dot pitch size is most comfortable for them. Then look for one in the overall size and resolution you desire.


    Here's a chart of various dot pitch sizes
  4. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I recently bought a 24" 1920x1200 monitor off someone whose eyesight is weakening, so has moved to a 27" 1080p screen. That option seemed to be working out really well for him.
  5. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I am 61 with not-so-great eyesight (actually it never was) and I like things LARGE. I had a 24" iMac that I ran at a low resolution (don't remember which) and I recently upgraded to a Mini and 32" 1080p tv (Sharp) that I run in 720p; I have not been able to read and enjoy a computer so much in years!

    So definitely check with your parents if they are the ones that will be using it to see what they prefer. There can be a huge difference between young and old eyes and in preferences as well. It would be a shame to waste your money on a nice 27" high-res monitor if they need/want a lower resolution (and maybe a bigger screen).
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I'd say look at a 32" to 40" 1080p HDTV for the monitor paired with a Mac Mini. Be sure to calibrate it, turn off all the image enhancements and reduce the backlight as TV's are generally much brighter than Monitors. As a bonus it will also provide some decent speakers.
  7. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    Some good advice here, and some not so good advice. Poor eyesight needs larger pixels. A TV could certainly offer that but could be awkward to sit in front of with all the head turning needed to see the whole thing up close. The 1920 by 1080 27 inch models seem the right choice. I'm partial to NEC,
    Thats about 56% the pixel density of the Apple 27" making everything almost 80% larger.

    And sitting here thinking about it, I just might get one of these for my parents.
  8. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    5 years ago, I would totally have suggested a fewer pixels, large sq/in, display. But seeing how amazing HiDPI is, its the only way to go. Huge, finally crafted interfce elements + high native resolution for images and videos.

    Pick the biggest standardized screen you/they can afford (even an imac 27 works well), then enable HiDPI. Its easier than it used to be, but Dispaly Menu makes it a snap.

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