External monitor.. Enough ports?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Nick5a1, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Nick5a1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #1
    Hey all,

    I've decided I need an external monitor to be more productive with my work on my 2012 13" MBA. I had a look at a few monitors and thought anything bigger than 23 inches would look kind of ridiculous next to the 13inch screen, and I don't have a huge desk anyway.

    I did some research and the Dell U2312HM (link) seems to have pretty good reviews and is a good price @ $189. I believe I'll need a Mini Displayport to Displayport adapter to plug into the thunderbolt port. Only problem is... I use that port to connect to ethernet (via the Apple thunderbolt to ethernet adapter).

    So what would people recommend in my situation?

    Is there some other way I can connect to this monitor and still plug into ethernet? If not, any other monitor you would recommend?

    Lastly, does anyone think Apple will release any new small thunderbolt displays in the near future (27inch seems way too big for my small 13inch MBA and medium sized desk)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #2
    Just buy the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter, or a third party USB gigabit model. Otherwise, do the more expensive (but probably better) thing and get a thunderbolt hub.
     
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #3
    Get a thunderbolt dock. You'll get ethernet, USB 3, audio and another thunderbolt port to connect your display. Some other models come with an HDMI port built in, too. All with just one cable connection.
     
  4. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #4
    Do they make thunderbolt monitors yet? As for the additional price of a TB hub, if he can just spend $300 more and get a TB monitor, it'd be a better deal.
     
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #5
    So far, only the Apple Cinema Display does thunderbolt expansion rather than DisplayPort. And per the OP, 27 inches is just too big.

    (Though I definitely wouldn't complain about the size.) ;)
     
  6. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    Two things here.

    First, if you get an external monitor then realize they have a better but not amazingly better resolution. My workplace has 24 inch monitors, and then I've got 1920 pixels horizontally instead of 1440.

    This is better of course, but I'm big on terminals and I hoped I could put three terminals alongside each other. But that's not really working for me, for some reason.

    Second point, if you do decide to go for a hub, then check the maximum resolution that your MBA can put out over the monitor ports of the thing. I've read here and there that when you use DVI or HDMI, the MBA its intel chipset can do 1080p maximum. DisplayPort doesn't have that maximum.
     
  7. Aegelward, Nov 3, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013

    Aegelward macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I've taken a look at new monitors with displayport myself, and i was curious.

    In theory Displayport CAN carry usb, but do many monitors actually have this functionality except apple's?

    Reviews of Belkin's Dock have been less than positive... but i do believe others are showing up, one was kickstarted earlier this year which should ship early 2014
     
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
    That doesn't sound right to me. I have a really old (2005?) 23" Apple Cinema Display with 1920x1200 native resolution. It works great on my 2013 MBA with a DVI adaptor. Also worked fine on my 2011 MBA.

    For me it isn't just the pixel count, but the dot pitch that matters. Looking at a 23" screen is a lot easier on the eyes than a 13" screen. ;)
     
  9. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    Is there any way you could have your MBA connect via wireless rather than ethernet? That would free up the display port.

    Alternatively, you could use a USB to Ethernet connector, but your internet connection may take a hit.
     
  10. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #10
    This is a good shout, maybe 1 MiniDP monitor, and the other one hooked up over an Apple TV? Especially considering Mavericks now allows this!
     
  11. Shubbeh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    #11
    Could you use a DisplayLink adapter? In other words, it's a USB to monitor cable. It's no good for fast-moving scenes (think movies or games) but if it's just for displaying your OS on the bigger screen, they work fine.
     
  12. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #12
    This link says the following:
    So you're right, the 1920x1200 resolution will be fine. Any bigger won't work, or you'll have to set the refresh rate lower if such a thing is possible in OS X.

    And you're right about the dot pitch, too. I was just kind of surprised that the amount of information on the screen is not necessarily doubling, but I could've known that actually :)
     

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