External monitor recommendation?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by atljogger, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. atljogger macrumors member

    May 5, 2008
    I have an early 2008 Macbook Pro (full-size DVI). I would like to have a dual monitor setup for my home office. Can anyone recommend a brand of monitor that works well with Macbook Pro's resolution? Dell, ViewSonic, Asus, etc. Anything else I should keep in mind - I want one with the DVI connection to keep the signal digital.

    I am also considering purchasing two external monitors if I can find a good deal (setup would be two monitors and the MBP closed in sleep mode). I have read about the Matrox Xpansion Modules. Is this the way to go?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Depends on your needs and budget. You can get the low end dell model for short money but it may be lacking. You can upgrade to one of their higher end models but they're more expensive.

    I've been very happy with my 2405 monitor, its been going strong now for 4+ years.
  3. atljogger thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2008
    Thanks. I'd like to get a nice monitor in the 20-inch range.
    I have a second HD partition with Windows XP that I use for work. Does anyone know if I can still run an external screen via DVI-DVI from the Windows partition?

    Also, nevermind on the 2 external screen option - I checked prices on the Matrox Expansion and its too expensive
  4. phixiuz macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2009
    I'm thinking of buying the HP 2309m or the HP 2159m, they both look a lot like the new ACD's, though A LOT cheaper and reviews of these all tell it's better than average.

    And yes, it should normally work the same aswell on Windows, don't see why not :).
  5. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    A common size nowadays is the 22inchers with 1680x1050 resolution. They are pretty cheap at $150 (when you catch them on sale) - $300. Most are TN panels though which have good response times (2ms or something) but color-quality wise leaves a bit to be desired if your a graphic pro or something. For most users it doesn't matter much. There is a Dell model (S2209 or something) that uses a new tech called e-IPS that supposedly gives it good quality and could be had for $250-$300.

    For me, personally I'm not really discerning of picture quality and would rather have a bigger monitor for my $$ so I got a Hanns-G 28" (27.5" actual but its always marketed as 28") LCD monitor. I paid $400 at the time but nowadays it can be had for $300 or so:


    The build-quality is so-so (what do you expect for a $300 28" monitor that does 1920x1200 resolution?) but I've had good luck with mine and its great having such a huge monitor. I like mine so much that I bought one for my dad and got a 3rd to use at work :). No matter what model you get just hope you don't get any dead pixels.

    Oh and I've used external monitors fine in Leopard, Snow leopard, and Windows XP & 7 (both via bootcamp). Good luck with your search.
  6. dubcat macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2009
    Personally I will be going for the new Dell U2410.
  7. compuguy1088 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2007
    In the Sub-Basement of Solitude
    Actually the model your looking for is the 2209WA, which is found on dell's small buisness site:


    Its a wonderful monitor, with a nice stand to boot!
  8. m0no macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2009
  9. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    Yup that's the one! Dell 2209WA, got great reviews from what I've read although I've never used one.
  10. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    A rule for me has been to buy the smallest monitor for a given resolution.

    There are plenty 1980x1200 22's and even 21.5.

    What is your budget? I'd look ahead and get something that also has a display port in case you upgrade your MBP down the road. Avoiding adapters is nice :)
  11. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    2 external monitors

    You indicate that the Matrox units are too expensive. I agree but they work great with the MBP full size DVI port found on the pre-unibody MBP's.

    A less expensive solution is USB to DVI adapters (these use chipsets from DisplayLink) with drivers for Windows supplied by the Manufacture and OSX drivers from DisplayLink. You probably don't want to game on the USB port but for office work and browsing they are a great solution. One caution, be sure you check the specs of the unit as some top out at low resolutions. I am using a EVGA UV Plus 16 adapter to drive a Dell at 1600 x 1200 @ 32. This gives me three screens (the 17" uMBP at 1920 x 1200 and the two Dells each at 1600 x 1200) so that I can cut and paste between full screen applications.

    I also have a Diamond USB to DVI BVU195 that allows me to output 1920 x 1200 @ 32 to a 24" LCD screen. Again these work okay for static graphics and business applications. Drag and dropping objects is not as smooth as on the standard mini display port.

  12. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    Get a Dell....either the 2209WA or the U2410.

    I have the 2209WA and it is beautiful. There is almost always a coupon code/sale going on so do some research before buying. The 2209 was on sale for $209 two weeks ago.
  13. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    That's a silly rule. All that means is you get a smaller display with smaller pixels and thus smaller text which can mean harder to read. Since OSX doesn't support DPI scaling properly yet I think it would make more sense to get a display with a suitable size to resolution ratio. For 1920x1200 I think 24" is perfect. 22" is bearable but just a tad small.

    Buy the best monitor you can afford. It's what you're watching all the time so why watch a piece of crap? Note that best doesn't mean the most expensive though...
  14. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2009
    I'd personaly go with one of the 'newer' HP screens. They look so much alike the ACDs.. Well, yeah, that's just me.
  15. ortuno2k macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2005
    Hollywood, FL
  16. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    You can zoom to read text if you want. Smaller pixels actually make text easier to read because there are no edges. I wear glasses and 1920 horizontially on 22 inches feels pretty much the same as 1280 does on 13... Resolution makes it easier to work when you need to programs open side by side. It's something you can't substitute, in contrast to text size that is adjustable. People use 17" MBP's with this resolution without a problem. So I am not sure how silly it is.
  17. VideoShooter macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2004
    The above conversation about 22 vs 24 inch 1920 x 1200 monitors makes me want to go to each of your homes and slap you for the recockulous level of conversation and thought you've put into this waste.

    Go plant a tree, call your mom, kiss your wife, find a girlfriend. Do anything but continue this conversation.
  18. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Next time someone pees in your mug, take a walk instead.

    Fly 6000 miles to Greece and find me. I 'll buy you a beer. :)

    Pixel density is one of the most important factors on a screen. And guess that, it's a screen thread.
  19. atljogger thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2008
    Thanks for the feedback. The 2209WA looks really nice and I've had good experience with Dell monitors. Think I am going with that one. Thanks!

    - E

    It wouldn't be MacRumors without a little controversy ;)
  20. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    I have a 2209wa, and it's great. I had some trouble with a defective pixel on the first one and a dark spot in the backlight on the second one, but the third one is great, and once I got through to someone in the warranty department who understood my problem, they sent the replacements very quickly.

    It is fun to use in vertical mode since I can display almost an entire webpage at once. TN panels don't work well in vertical mode because the vertical viewing angles (which becomes the horizontal viewing angle when you rotate it) are terrible.
  21. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    Dell 2209WA - e-ips panel

    I have 2 of them for SALE
  22. CanadianEh macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2009
    Use with Macbook Pro

    I want a larger screen but don't want dual. Am I able to close my lid without having the laptop go to sleep? Thanks.
  23. Ptyger macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    I have a 2209WA that I purchased from Dell's refurb site for $199. I just looked, and they have 16 refurbs in stock for that price.


    It's the fourth one up from the bottom in that list. It's my first IPS panel of any type, and I have to say, I don't think I ever want another TN panel. I also have a Gateway FPD2485DW 24" SPVA panel that's fairly nice, though I paid $600 + tax for that one new back in early 2007.
  24. darkdream macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    get a nec brand display... they make probably some of the best reasonably priced monitors... really high resolution too!
  25. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    I researched this topic extensively over a period of a week or so. I came to the conclusion that the best monitor for almost anyone to buy is the Dell U2410. There was a coupon code not long ago that gave a decent discount off the price, and Dell should have a new coupon code not too long from now judging from past experience. The 2209WA looks like a nice display too, but the resolution looks a little low for a 22-inch panel.

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