Best Monitor for Writing & Text Display?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by standon, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. standon macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2010
    Two days of research (including reading a bunch of threads here) and I've decided I'm never going to figure out which monitor to buy on my own.


    I'm a writer looking for the best monitor I can find for viewing and creating crisp text that's easy on the eyes.

    I'd like to be able to see at least two full pages at a time, so I expect that means I ought to be looking at monitors of at least 24-inches, if not more.

    I'm using a MacBook unibody and I understand my graphics card (it's a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M) may somewhat limit my options.

    So, for my purposes, what size monitors in what makes/models should I be looking at?

    Thanks, in advance, for the help.
  2. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Your options are not limited. You will be able to use any monitor that is sold today. The unibody white MacBook can support the largest display resolution on the market, which is 2560 x 1600. You will need the "Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter" to do that. Here it is:
  3. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Firstly, I would stress that you get a matte panel (ie, one with an anti-reflective, rather than glossy, coating). Although some people prefer glossy screens because of their more vibrant colours for movies/photos etc, the colours on a good matte screen are still superb and a matte screen is undisputedly better for text.

    To specific screens... Dell displays tend to be excellent quality and have good warranties, as well as more flexible input options than Apple's comparatively overpriced displays (also, the only matte Apple display is the 30-incher). Go for an IPS panel if you can. These displays are sharper, with better contrast, and none of the nasty colour shifting you see with cheap LCDs when you view them at an angle. This may seem petty when dealing with only text, but trust me, if you buy an IPS screen you'll never want to go back to a cheap panel.

    Luckily IPS screens have dropped in price a lot recently. For two pages side by side, you want at least 1920 horizontal resolution (and preferably a 16:10 monitor with 1200 pixels vertically. 16:9 monitors are best avoided, they do nothing but reduce your vertical real estate).

    There are two options I would recommend. The Dell U2410, and U2311H.

    U2410 (link)

    U2311H (link)

    The U2410 is more expensive, but it is a 16:10 LCD as opposed to the 16:9 U2311H, has slightly bigger pixels (larger screen = less eye strain), and better colours. The U2311H is an excellent value screen, I'd recommend going for this unless you want to spend an extra US $200 just for another 120 vertical pixels. You won't find a better screen out there for US $300, and it is well worth the small price premium over a cheap "TN" LCD.

    Both of these screens support Displayport (the same output on your Macbook). All you need is a cable to connect the "mini displayport" on your Macbook to the normal-sized displayport on the monitor. Alternatively, both monitors come with DVI cables, so all you would need for a DVI connection is a mini displayport to DVI adapter (costs US $30). Whichever option is cheapest would be fine, there is no difference in image quality between Displayport and DVI. DO NOT get the mini displayport to dual-link DVI the previous poster mentioned - that much more expensive and is only useful for a large 30" display with a higher resolution. I wouldn't recommend getting a 30" screen. 23 to 24 inches is plenty.
  4. standon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2010
    Thanks for the info.

    A few follow up questions:

    1) After all my recent research, my head is swimming with thoughts of dot pitch and aspect ratio and pixel count and resolution -- and how all of these factors work together. If I was going to spend a bit more or go a bit bigger, what monitors would I want to look at?

    2) I'm particularly perplexed by the way larger monitors with higher resolutions and certain aspect ratios wind up making your text smaller and thus, harder to read. Is there a text "sweet spot" when it comes to monitor size, resolution, aspect ratio, etc?
  5. luissm, May 21, 2011
    Last edited: May 22, 2011

    luissm macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2011
    Hi Moriarty,

    I've read your post in this forum, and I don’t agree with you.

    I've buy a Dell U2410, and I can’t calibrate it to read comfortably. Now I use the Cool mode, brightness 0 and contrast 30.

    But the horrible is the dust on my screen caused by the anti-glare, and the white is not withe, is a light blue due to a zero brightness.

    I’ve my old screen and sheep, HP Pavillion w1907h with a glossy TN panel, who is as a perfect and comfortable image.

    Now, I'll have to sell Dell (bought a month ago).

    I do not know where to find a screen with the features of the HP Pavilion w2408h that is no longer manufactured. It is the one with the same features like the Dell U2410, but TN Glossy panel.

    The ideal features from my point of view:

    Minimum brightness - 60 cd/m2

    Aspect Ratio - 16:10

    Resolution - 1920 x 1200

    Dot pitch:> 0.27

    Panel type: TN or IPS Glossy (I doubt the advantage of the IPS to use text and internet, by comparison with my old HP TN)

    Variation in height and rotation

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to have your say.



    Which monitor finally buying you?

  6. jasonp99 macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2007
    Take a look at the HPZR24W monitor. Currently $349 at Macmall ($399 after 5/31). Here's a review:

    It's a 24" 1920x1200 S-IPS CCFL-backlit panel with matte screen. The only thing holding me back from buying this screen is that it's a power hog, 85W-95W. If it was WLED backlit instead the power usage would probably be half that but I've not found one with the same features.
  7. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I had 3 U2410 and sold them in favor of 2 27 ACD purely for text clarity. You will not understand how fuzzy a AG coating makes text until you try an ACD. Go into a store and see one live. I don't need color accuracy nor is glare an issue and had Dell LCDs since 2004.

    Given your worries about text size, I'd keep checking the refurb store for the 24 ACD.
  8. Felan macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Hi there,

    I have the same use (only text). I've tried a few monitors. The last I returned was a Samsung. :(

    Did you finally find a good monitor?:confused:
    (I'm using a macbook air, and looking for a 21" - 24" monitor)

  9. Writergirl7 macrumors member


    May 25, 2013
    Did you find a good monitor

    This forum petered out a while ago but I was wondering if you found a solution to your monitor issue. I'm in the same boat and am confused by all the detail.

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