Did I buy the wrong MBP? External Monitor Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by qwimjim, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. qwimjim macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    I was originally looking for a standard res 15" because at 1440x900 it would be the same resolution as the 17" 1440x900 I was coming from, so everything would be a bit smaller but I wouldn't lose any screen real estate. When I went to pick up the notebook (craigslist) it turns out I read the ad wrong and it was actually 17" which is 1920x1200. The price was great for a 15" so it was even better for a 17" so I took it anyways ($1,500 sealed/brand new with applecare, some rich kid selling her xmas gift).

    Because of the resolution I have to set chrome to a 120% zoom by default, increased the font size in textpad and pathfinder to 15, and in word and excel documents set the zoom to 150%. It's not a pain because it's done and everything looks great now, but if I buy an external monitor, like say the Dell U2311H 23" 1920x1080.. since the resolution is essentially the same but the dpi is much lower, won't everything everything I've zoomed in now look too big? So I'd be forever reseting zoom levels everytime I plug in the monitor? Whereas if I'd bought the 1440x900 15" I wouldn't need to zoom anything or change font sizes, and could just plug it in and everything would be the right size on the monitor, I'd just have more screen real estate?

    And finally, one beautiful thing about my new Mac is when I plug in a new audio source it switches to it automatically, it's awesome because on my PC I had to manually switch my audio output via menus every time I plugged in my firewire audio interface. Same thing when I plugged in a monitor, it wouldn't automatically switch, I'd have to go into the videocard settings, pain in the ass. Are Mac's equally awesome when it comes to external monitors? Plug it in and it switches automatically?
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Plug it in while booted, and it will automatically extend your desktop across both screens (so you can leave Chrome on the internal screen if you choose and not mess with zoom levels), plug it in while its asleep and wake it using an external keyboard and mouse, and it will go to the external by itself.
  3. qwimjim thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    yeah that sounds awesome.. maybe i should have gotten a 15.. i wouldn't want dual display. crap! :)
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    As the previous poster said: If you buy an external keyboard and mouse, you can leave the MacBook closed and it will automatically use just the external monitor - your MacBook just becomes a MacMini with a strange shape.
  5. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010
    If all else fails we can trade for my 13" :p
  6. qwimjim thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    yes but the problem is because i have a 1920x1200 resolution on the 17" i have lots of programs zoomed in and fonts enlarged. a 23-24" monitor will have a similar resolution but because its such a bigger display, wouldn't need anything thing zoomed in/enlarged to be legible. so everytime i plug in the monitor i'd have to reset all those zoom levels and shrink down fonts, and everytime i unplug it i'd have to put everything back.. not my idea of fun :)
  7. qwimjim thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    maybe a 27" is the answer :) but for the price of 1 27" ips you can buy 3 23" ips panels..

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