External display for Retina Display Mac Book Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by himoundary, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. himoundary, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013

    himoundary macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    I am looking for recommendations for external monitors to use with a Retina Display MacBook pro.

    Background: After using a Retina Display MBP (my first Mac, yay!), I am suddenly aware of how the fonts in my external display are blurry in comparison. So I plan to buy a new external monitor :)

    My requirements, in order of priority are:

    1) Crisp fonts (as close to my MBP's as possible) and large screen real estate.

    2) Shouldn't be too reflecting. The MBP screen is quite good in this respect, something similar would be nice.

    3) Good color fidelity, ideally well calibrated out-of-the-box.

    4) Wide viewing angle

    5) Adjustable height

    Size should be preferably between 24 and 27 inches. Ideally, I would like a HDMI/Thunderbolt interface, which will be natively supported by the MBP (I am not sure if I should be fussy about this, since I have heard differing accounts about the quality of display using "conversion adapters")

    Finally, general consensus (e.g.: this post) seems to indicate that Apple monitors are overpriced, so I'd like to avoid those.

    Please give your recommendations.
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    I had a Thunderbolt display from Apple personally, and really enjoy it. I've also had great luck with Dell IPS displays.

    As far as conversion adapters, the MiniDisplayPort to DVI adapters work just fine. HDMI has a resolution limit, so MDP->DVI would be the better choice.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    HDMI and DVI are the same signal, just different pinouts (and no audio on DVI)
    HDMI and DVI are both capable of 1900x1200

    DVI dual-link can go up to 2560×1600

    so you would need to buy the $99 dual link adapter instead of the $29 DVI adapter to see a difference.
  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I have an older 23" Apple display and my wife uses an iMac. Bother displays are excellent. Better than any PC display we ever used in our careers. I don't find the glare to be a problem except when not seated directly in front. If she wants me to look at something and I'm sitting to the side and the light is wrong, it's hard to read. Otherwise, the glossy display is easy to read.

    As to overpriced, the Dell U2711 monitor doesn't differ in price much from the Apple display. Consider that the first 30" ACD cost $3,300 in 2004.
  5. jimthing, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

    jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    I know you said no to the Apple Thunderbolt Display (ATD), but there are some points to consider, good & bad:

    1) ATD has great selection of I/O ports (inc. Gig-ethernet & Thunderbolt! Though only USB 2) hence it's additionally a great hub device (likely cheap too – have you read the anticipated Thunderbolt hub prices: $3-400!) for additional devices into your connected rMBP, and all through the single Thunderbolt cable as well, giving a seemless integration between the two. Similar quality displays likely won't have these.

    2) Displays of similar quality do however usually have more display connection options. Though as a Mac user, will you likely need them anyway? (and if and when you do, you can always use an adaptor anyway.)

    3) ATD has built-in speakers, a HD FaceTime camera, and microphone. Certainly you'll probably like to use the speakers at a minimum, so buying at least those separately (if not also a high quality webcam & mic) would be extra with another display. And built in = less clutter & easier integration.

    4) The ATD has been out quite a while now, and only has USB2 ports, so Apple may update it for that reason in the near future though, so you may be better to hold-off buying something a bit longer, if possible.

    5) Alternatively they may not update it until they can update the iMac to be Retina Display (dunno if that'd make iMac officially "4K": anyone??), perhaps then updating the ATD at the same time. This would likely give you the same or better resolution quality as your rMBP (optionally with better screen realty too: more windows on the screen!).
    However they may not be able to do this until...when though —next few months/next year sometime/when they can actually manufacture decent quantaties of larger Retina Displays— who knows? It's guess work at best.

    6) If super-high quality (9-10/10 quality) is wanted, then you will certainly pay considerably more from other brands out there (eg. NEC, et al).

    7) ATD's screen is actually good quality (8/10, I'd say). 27" displays of similar quality are cheaper (eg. Dell likely being the main alternative, I think), and perhaps may be a little less glossy. This is personal preference, and depends on where the display is going, and if relevent, how much you may notice any glare as an individual.

    8) Affordability. $1000 via Apple, or between ~$800-900 elsewhere online, may also give you some inter-state sales tax savings too (depending on where you live), all saving you some bucks! ;-)

    [At least you don't have the UK's high VAT+duties pricing, we have here (£900 [converts to $1350!] from Apple, ~£750 [$1100] elsewhere online)
    ...moan ...moan ...grumble ...grumble ...but pays for our inclusive healthcare/unemployment benefits in recessions anyway (whilst unfortunately lowering economic activity achieved through higher spending, that you US folks tend to go for, of course!) oh well, nevermind, lol!]

    9) As we all know, Apple products tend to hold their value in the secondhand/used marketplace; resale price can be pretty good. So selling them on in future will likely reap you higher prices than most other branded displays (especially Dell's), giving you a lower TCO (total cost of ownership) overall.

    Lots to consider in the scheme of things. Hope this helps a bit anyway.

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