Buying an external monitor - options

stampax

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 12, 2007
40
0
I have a MacBook Pro (2011) and would like to buy an external monitor. Is there a particular type of connection I should look for? I reckon I'll probably upgrade my MacBook Pro at some point in the next year of so as well, so I'd like to future proof as much as possible.

It's only going to be used for basic stuff so doesn't have to be an amazing monitor - but using it with the MacBook shut and all that is essential.

Thanks :)
 

B...

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2013
1,949
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Probably Mini DisplayPort to HDMI, if your monitor has HDMI and is not above full HD res (1920x1080). If you end up buying a rMBP, they have HDMI ports built right in, so you don't need an adapter. And on your machine, the MDP port to HDMI (probably female) carries audio and sound.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,962
142
NH
No particular type, as there is an adaptor for that :) Display port is the best as it is native, but if you don't buy a high res monitor (more than 1080p) DP is not really necessary. Make sure the monitor has more than VGA, you will want some kind of digital interface..
 

LeeM

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2012
603
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i have a 1080p 21.5" and use a mini dp to dvi cable for it.
 
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stampax

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 12, 2007
40
0
No particular type, as there is an adaptor for that :) Display port is the best as it is native, but if you don't buy a high res monitor (more than 1080p) DP is not really necessary. Make sure the monitor has more than VGA, you will want some kind of digital interface..
When you say displayport - does that mean buying one of the official apple monitors? I believe they are crazy expensive, and i'm just after spending £150 quid or so (which i guess is like $230 ish).

So basically, i want a monitor which has a hdmi input? is that the key thing?
 

stampax

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 12, 2007
40
0
Cool - that cheap and it works fine? Do you also use it as an external screen with the laptop closed - and if so does this work fine (or will it work regardless of monitor?) And if I do go down this route, Can I use any mouse and keyboard or does it have to be the official apple one? Can wireless ones work?
 

B...

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2013
1,949
2
Cool - that cheap and it works fine? Do you also use it as an external screen with the laptop closed - and if so does this work fine (or will it work regardless of monitor?) And if I do go down this route, Can I use any mouse and keyboard or does it have to be the official apple one? Can wireless ones work?
Yes to all but for clamshell mode, it has to be plugged in, connected to a wireless/wired mouse and keyboard, and connected wired to a monitor.
 

LeeM

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2012
603
0
Cool - that cheap and it works fine? Do you also use it as an external screen with the laptop closed - and if so does this work fine (or will it work regardless of monitor?) And if I do go down this route, Can I use any mouse and keyboard or does it have to be the official apple one? Can wireless ones work?
i have apple mouse and trackpad, as well as a cheap £10 ergo mouse plugged in by usb. and mouse and keyboard work but i'd highly recommend the apple stuff.
in setting ive moved the dock onto the external monitor so thats my main screen, works with laptop open or closed. i'll stick picture up of my "setup"

----------

excuse the curtains, uni halls.

 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,962
142
NH
When you say displayport - does that mean buying one of the official apple monitors? I believe they are crazy expensive, and i'm just after spending £150 quid or so (which i guess is like $230 ish).

So basically, i want a monitor which has a hdmi input? is that the key thing?
Just about every quality monitor has displayport as it is a PC standard too. There are display port and mini-display port ports, same electrically. Most laptops have mini displayport, and cables with display port on one end and mini-displayport on the other are common. The mini-displayport cable is also directly compatible with the thunderbolt port on newer laptops.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
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If you get Displayport 1.2 capable screens you can daisy chain just like Thunderbolt but way cheaper.
Not sure how many displays out there have DP in 1.2 yet. Newer ones should though, I think.
You won't need an adapter and you get all the benefits of thunderbolt without the expensive cables and having to buy a Apple Display.

Dell's are considered pretty decent, both in features and quality. For a good panel you do pay 2 to 3 times as much as for a cheap TN. Still cheaper than a Apple TB Display in all likelyhood.