external monitor for macbook air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by penelop, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. penelop macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2014
    I have a new 13in Macbook Air and am looking for an external monitor for it. I had been planning on just buying a Mac monitor, but saw that are not recommended in the buy guide. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend an high-quality external monitor that would be compatible with the computer. I'm mostly using the computer for writing and email (no serious graphics or video editing), but would like to have a good picture for watching movies on occasion. I have a decent amount of startup money (up to $1000) from my job to purchase it, so I'm looking for something that looks good and is easily compatible (not necessarily the cheapest option). Would appreciate any suggestions, as well as advice as to how to run an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse from the limited ports on the Macbook Air. Thank you!
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    As for compatibility, pretty much any manufacturer will be compatible, there is nothing unique about apple computers in that regard. The ATD is a fine display, the reason it isn't recommended is because it hasn't been updated in a while, so it is an old monitor by technology standards. I'm a fan of the Dell Ultrasharps and this one http://www.amazon.com/Dell-U2713HM-...95954718&sr=8-2&keywords=dell+27+inch+monitor is fairly similar to the ATD for about $400 less.

    As for the keyboard/mouse (assuming they are wired), they can be plugged into the USB ports in the back of the monitor. If you go with the ATD, everything is connected through the thunderbolt port. If you go with the dell, you would have to run an a single USB cable to the MBA, in addition to the displayport cable. (the dell monitor functions as a USB hub). Or, you could get a wireless keyboard/trackpad/mouse that communicates directly with the MBA. The Apple keyboards/trackpads are similar in feel to the MBA keyboard so that might be something to consider if you like consistency when switching between the two.

    I still haven't seen a product that beats the ATD in terms of good looks, convenience, ease of use, with a single data cable connection and integrated computer charger. Probably because its the only monitor specifically designed for the MBA/MBP. However a 3rd party monitor will also work perfectly fine, and provide a slightly higher bang for your buck. I guess it comes down to personal preference.
  3. penelop thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2014
    Thanks for the advice--that all makes sense. Not sure which option I will go with, but the information you provided is really useful!
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    If movies are important, get the U2713HM. It offers 24p support, something Apple will never deliver (well, maybe with the new Pro they will consider it for a ACD update).

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