Inexpensive external monitors for Macbook

shpongle11

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2017
4
0
Hi there!

I want to purchase an external monitor for my MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016). I am a physics, engineering student and my uses are list as underneath :
  • Some light CAD work using Autodesk software like (Autocad, EAGLE)
  • Some programming
  • LabView
  • Powerpoint / Word
  • YouTube
  • Lynda

What would be some good (not expensive) choices for an external monitor for me? I also use a keyboard and mouse with my MacBook.

Thank you for reading through.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,318
686
First, I am a big fan of my Dell P2715Q monitor. If it's in your budget, it's nice.

But most displays are pretty good these days. So look for IPS displays with the right connection (or use an adapter, such as USB-C to HDMI), in as big a size as you can afford, from a supplier whose name you recognize - there you go!
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,685
3,287
I think Dell makes the most reliably good monitors at a mid-level price point. Assuming you don't have a 4k budget (don't bother with cheap 4k displays), I would suggest the Dell P2418D. 24" IPS display in QHD (2560x1440) and virtually no bezel and an unassuming design. About $270.
 

shpongle11

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2017
4
0
My MacBook (Early 2016, 12-inch Retina) can support an external display at a resolution as high as 3840x2160 at 30 Hz. What do these metrics mean? How will this affect my choice?
First, I am a big fan of my Dell P2715Q monitor. If it's in your budget, it's nice.

But most displays are pretty good these days. So look for IPS displays with the right connection (or use an adapter, such as USB-C to HDMI), in as big a size as you can afford, from a supplier whose name you recognize - there you go!
I think Dell makes the most reliably good monitors at a mid-level price point. Assuming you don't have a 4k budget (don't bother with cheap 4k displays), I would suggest the Dell P2418D. 24" IPS display in QHD (2560x1440) and virtually no bezel and an unassuming design. About $270.

But my MacBook has (2304 x 1440) display resolution so how would that scale to 2560x1440? Will there be distortions? My MacBook (Early 2016, 12-inch Retina) can support an external display at a resolution as high as 3840x2160 at 30 Hz. What do these metrics mean? How will this affect my choice?
 
Last edited:

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,318
686
Will there be distortions?
Nope.

Today's systems, and the monitors that connect to them, "just work." It will probably connect at the default resolution. But using the Display system preference, you can choose other settings.

If you're trying to do more display work than your system has resources, sluggishness can result. But it sounds like you're doing relatively light work, and 1440p should be fine. You may find 4K a little sluggish.

Everymac.com: The "Early 2015" and "Early 2016" Retina MacBook models each can simultaneously support the internal display as well as an external display at a resolution as high as 3840x2160 at 30 Hz. Although they can be connected to a 4K display via HDMI, they are not capable of using a 4K display at 60 Hz
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,682
3,603
Another recommendation for Dells. I've had one on my desk for going on 6 years now, with zero issues.

At the budget price points, I think you'll see a lot of 1080p monitors, but I'd say don't get too large of a monitor at that resolution or the pixels will really start looking chunky. If your budget allows, 1900x1200 @ 24" is a pretty great resolution/size combo. Plenty of space and still decent pixel density. Wirecutter recommends the Dell U2415.
 

peglegjack

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2011
394
118
Brooklyn, NY
I have the same model and I went with a LG Ultrafine 4K refurb monitor for $300 at NewEgg. I've heard the price goes lower at times. Use the ports on the back for a Duet audio interface, M-Audio AV40 speakers, a couple expensive Shure mics, keyboard, external Time Machine drive, and flash drives/phone charging for the last port.

I'm also in grad school and I run a lot of database/forensics programs in Windows 10.

Absolutely amazing, can't beat the combo. And BTW, it runs 4K at 60Hz.
 
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