Is using an external monitor really all that?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by PDFierro, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #1
    I've never done this. Somehow, I've always managed to live my computing life on a laptop screen. I'm not a fan of desktops. And I always thought about buying an external monitor but never did. When I had the Air, I thought about getting a Thunderbolt Display but for whatever reason I never did. And with the rMBP, my concern was that I'd hate using a regular resolution on a monitor after using a Retina screen on my laptop.

    I guess now I have more excuses with the rMB only having one port. I guess I could buy the $79 Apple adapter and hook it up a HDMI display. I'm also wondering how well the rMB (even at 1.3GHz) will run an external display.

    So is it really that awesome? I'd love to see an Apple display that supports USB-C. It seems that most third-party monitors lack good built-in speakers.
     
  2. pasadena macrumors 6502a

    pasadena

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Socal
    #2
    When I have some real work to do, I always use an external monitor + keyboard + mouse. The most important is the mouse (on Win laptops : never ever could use those damn trackpads until I tried Apple's, and a mouse is usually easier to use for me - as in, the less I have to move my hand, the happier I am).

    And once you get used to a big monitor..... it's tough going back to a small one. Especially with things like Excel. When developing, while it's nice to have several windows side by side, I don't mind the smaller screen.

    I also find the overall position easier after a few hours. Being on a desk, with the screen at the right height and everything.

    My MBA (and future rMB) isn't my main machine so I never hook it up to anything, and I'm just fine.
     
  3. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #3
    Huge YMMV...

    I would say so, but it depends on a lot of variables, especially what you do.

    My home desktop setup (on a Mini) is 2x 24" Dell Ultrasharp monitors. I could get by with one, but if I'm working and I have Outlook running as well as perhaps one Acrobat document and one or two Word docs or an Excel spreadsheet the extra space disappears quickly.

    More relevant to your question, we have a second home where I keep another, single, 24" monitor that I use with my 13" rMBP. I can comfortably review and edit two documents side by side on that display. I let Outlook run minimized and stay aware of the pop-up. It works for me, but I often need at last two documents open at the same time, and I"m not sure how well a 12" screen would serve that need (but I know that the 13.3" rMBP display is, for me, very marginal for two docs side by side).

    Having said all that, I have no idea what you do on a computer. I just toss that out in case it resonates at all for you.
     
  4. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 10, 2008
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    Denver
    #4
    It really depends on the nature of of the task and your preferred style.

    In my case, for work, I tend to spend most of my time analyzing and synthesizing from numerous sources of data, so additional real estate is a big benefit to me a lot of the time. I currently run with either the laptop screen and an external monitor or the laptop closed and two external monitors. For this type of work and my style, it provides a considerable productivity boost. I will be interested to see the maximum resolution the USB-C - HDMI/USBC/USB adapter will support, although I'm sure someone will have a thunderbolt/usbc/usb adapter at some point for truly high resolutions.

    But for some of my work and most of my leisure use, I tend to concentrate mostly on one task at a time (mail, surfing, content consumption etc) and a single good built in screen is great for that with additional screens offering little in the way or productivity boosts.

    Hope this helps
     
  5. whatever77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #5
    Using a Thunderbolt display with my current MBP 13". Could not work on the tiny notebook screen on a daily basis. Even more so with the rMB. There is no noticeable effect going from retina on MBP to "regular" Thunderbolt. External display is a must
     
  6. Dubba macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    #6
    I'm with you on this one. From the time I had my first 12" PowerBook, to my 13" BlackBook, to my current 13" MBA, I have often toyed with the idea of an external monitor (+keyboard & mouse), but just never gotten there.

    The new 12MB/512 is going to be my ONLY machine, and I have no plans to buy an external monitor for it. Having said all of that, should Apple release a USB-C Retina monitor down the line, I may consider it.
     
  7. gametime10 macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2006
    #7
    What about AirPlay? Maybe that's what Apple is funneling people towards?
     
  8. sk24iam macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2009
    #8
    Depends on what you use it for. Multiple spreadsheets can be a pain in the butt on a small screen. I prefer the external monitor whenever doing anything work-related. For personal internet browsing, the macbook monitor is just fine for me.
     
  9. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #9
    Whilst sitting at a desk, an external monitor is lovely. In couch/bed/planes/trains 12 inches should be perfect but I imagine a full working day on such a small screen would be eye-straining.
     
  10. jonfarr macrumors 6502a

    jonfarr

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Portland
    #10
    I had a rMBP, the original one from like 2012, and bought a TD Display as well. I thought it would be great to have all that computing power in the rMBP and then have a 2nd screen when I needed it. I hardly ever used the TD Display and the rMBP was too much computer for me for what it had cost so I sold the rMBP mere months after having it and bought a MBA, 23" iMac.

    I was scared about the lack of power of the Air but found that it ended up being the perfect laptop for work and I had plans of using the TD display in tandem with it for a better screen. I ended up never using it for the MBA and ended up using it with my home desktop as a 2nd monitor.

    I now have changed professions and don't have a need for the TD display so it was passed on to my fiancee and I am planning on selling my Air and getting the rMB and no monitor. It will be my travel comp and then have the iMac for anything that might need more machine.

    Airplay I find way too choppy and unreliable for use as a 2nd screen.
     
  11. PDFierro thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #11
    Cool, glad to see I'm not the only one. The one thing that almost made me do it was those 21:9 monitors, I love the ultra-wide ratio for my Blu-rays. But I guess I'll continue to stick it out with just the laptop screen.

    ----------

    Great response. I really don't think an external monitor would make me more productivity, I'd mainly be interested in doing it so I could use my laptop as a desktop while at home + for watching movies on a bigger screen.
     
  12. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #12
    I think only if you regular work area is your desk and spend hours there, perhaps with a mouse, otherwise I prize portability more.
     
  13. PDFierro thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #13
    Bah. So Apple won't let you run a resolution higher than 1080p via HDMI? Total bollocks. Yeah, I guess I'll continue using my laptop screen as my only display. There's a USB-C to DisplayPort cable in existence (Google) but then you run into the issue of keeping your rMB charged while having it connected to an external display.

    I was looking into getting an iMac, but 1) I'm not sure if I want to spend that much money on a non-portable computer and 2) I'd have to keep two Macs in sync. Some other solutions I was looking at is buying an Apple TV or just getting a USB-C to HDMI adapter for the times I do want to hook up my Mac to a big screen.

    But I've always gotten by with just a laptop screen. I was just looking into the possibility of getting an external monitor, and I guess it's not that easy...especially with the rMB only having one port. Apple's multi-port adapter is a no-go seeing as you can't run above 1080p via HDMI.
     
  14. Mindinversion macrumors 6502

    Mindinversion

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #14
    if it were my only machine, I couldn't imagine not having an external display (or two), as I occasionally need to copy data from multiple spreadsheets.

    Tbh, though, external displays via notebooks always drive me nuts with the spaghetti connections... Monitor plus keyboard, mouse, external drives. . .

    But, that's why I have the RiMac :cool:
     
  15. AdonisSMU, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015

    AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    An external monitor is all that. I'm looking hard at the Dell and LG 4k+ displays TBQH for my home office. I like using external displays for when Im writing code.

    ----------

    I would love to drop the cords and airplay it up to my display...
     
  16. ctyrider, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015

    ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #16

    I don't believe it's true.. Part of Apple's Multiport Adapter product description:

    Apple doesn't publish the version of the M/P HDMI port, but from the sound of it - it's HDMI 1.4. If that's the case - QHD (2560x1440) should also be possible, assuming you have a HDMI 1.4 compliant monitor.
     
  17. totten76 macrumors regular

    totten76

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    Mar 12, 2015
    #17
    Sitting in the bed or on the couch > getting up, going to a desk, plugging it in, sometimes moving the charger, then sitting in a chair.

    I prefer my pillows :)

    Now I'm not saying I perform better in bed but do it pretty much 100% of the time ;)
     
  18. Dekimasu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #18
    I am really looking forward to using an external monitor with this computer when I'm at home and having the portability when I'm on the road. I haven't bought the external monitor yet, though.

    It would be great to have something with a res like the non-retina iMac (2560x1440), and I know Apple says this should work, but I'm a little worried about cooking the computer.

    Is it at all possible that things could look like a 2012ish iMac when hooking up a non-Apple external monitor? If I want it to look iMac-ish, do I need to be worrying about certain acronyms like TN/IPS/VA?
     
  19. JTToft, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015

    JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Apr 27, 2010
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    Aarhus, Denmark
    #19
    - You'll have no issues at all at that resolution. Ostensibly, the rMB can do 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz (according to Apple).

    - I don't quite understand your second question.
    All current Macs with the exception of the Air use IPS panels, which have better colours and better viewing angles than TN panels.

    Also, just to recommend a specific 2560 x 1440 IPS display: I have the 25" Dell UltraSharp U2515H, and it's fantastic. Also comes in a 27" (U2715H).
     
  20. Dekimasu macrumors regular

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #20
    The second question is just expressing my ignorance about display technology. So just hearing that I should concentrate on IPS is great, thank you.

    It doesn't seem like the U2515H model is available in Japan, but I see U2715H for around $500 and U2414H (which is 1920x1080) for around $225. I also see an ASUS IPS 2560x1440 for around $350... the 2560s in Japan seem to be heavy on NEC, ASUS, and LG.
     
  21. ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #21
    I'd be very curious if you are able to run this monitor at 1440p via HDMI port of Apple Multiport adapter. If it works - this would be a very nice setup.

    Hopefully you can let us know :)
     
  22. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #22
    - I don't see a reason you shouldn't be able to. The adaptor supports 4K at 30 Hz. 1440p at 60 shouldn't be a stretch.

    I can let you know if you supply me with a rMB and the adaptor - I don't have either. :)
     
  23. ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    Jul 15, 2012
    #23
    I sort of assumed you had one on order, since you're such a prolific poster on this board.. :D
     
  24. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Apr 27, 2010
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    Aarhus, Denmark
    #24
    - I don't, actually. I am intrigued by it, though, and I just like to follow along. :)
     
  25. PDFierro thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #25
    Interesting. All I want to do is run 2560x1080.
     

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