Looking into an external monitor

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rapicell, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. rapicell macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    I currently have a mid-2012 MBP (classic) and I was thinking of getting a monitor for when I do some photo editing as it's nicer to have the extra space. However, I'm not looking to spend a lot as I don't need the best screen out there since this is just for a hobby.

    I'm rather clueless when it comes to picking out a good monitor and so far I've been eyeing this Asus one:

    I love that it's a slim profile ("frameless"), HDMI connection, and that it has built in speakers (yes, I know a speaker set would be far better, but it's still a nice feature to have).

    I don't need a huge screen either and if I would to move up a size, I could get the 27'' for just under 300 compared to the 23'' for 200, but 23 will do fine.

    Is that a good monitor, or is there something better in a similar price range to use? I've tried looking at other screens, but amazon keeps putting "new" next to certain screens, but they have reviews from say 2011 or something. Getting a bit confusing of what is actually a new product and what isn't.
  2. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    My recommendation is to take a good look at Dell. I also bet that others will say this as well. I've had several Ultrasharp monitors over the years and have always been happy. If the Ultrasharp monitor series is over budget, there are other lines like the S models that compete with the Asus.

    Happy shopping!
  3. blanka, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    IMO, drop the aesthetic interest and just grab a solid proven series.
    Grab the U2412M from Dell. It is 1920x1200, you'll love the extra height, it has all the proven solid ergonomic adjustments, well calibrated to sRGB.
    And speakers: forget those. Speakers in monitors sound worse than the ones in your phone and those in your MB. They are usually horrible. Only Apple gets it a tiny bit right, but even at Apple the sound sucks compared to their offerings in the G4 lamp iMac years (the separate translucent speaker globes and sound sticks).

    Skip the 27 inch sub 300 ones. They are FullHD too. And FullHD @ 27 inch looks very coarse. It's no fun to work on that low-res screens. If you want 27 inch, make sure it is a 2560x1440 screen. So 1920x1200@24 inch is still the best trade-off between lots of workspace and price.
  4. Felasco Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    I often hook my laptop up to our 30 inch TV, which cost about $250 new. You could probably get a used one cheaper. If you already have a TV with accessible ports, give it a try before you spend any more money. Personally, I've never had any complaint with using our TV at all.
  5. rapicell thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    After looking on amazon, the dell mentioned is priced at 249 with prime, but I noticed looking through the reviews, a lot of them referred to the ASUS PA248Q as a better option because of it's features (USB 3.0, HDMI, picture-in-picture, pre-calibrated), but also mentioned the dell had a better overall picture.

    I wanted to stay around $200 preferably because I also need to get a wireless keyboard and mouse set (MBP will be in clamshell most of the time when used), but assuming I did narrow it down between the ASUS PA248Q and the Dell (dell 249, asus 291), is it worth it for the HDMI and USB 3.0 ports or is the dell with it's displayport and USB 2.0 ports still worth the price tag?

    I know I have two 3.0 ports on my MBP, so I'd assume that'd be good enough, but just wanted some opinions on this
  6. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I picked up an older 23" Apple Cinema Display vie Craigslist for $140. I use it with my MBP in clamshell mode.
  7. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Displayport and HDMI will both give you a good picture quality, so either connection will work just fine. Its simply a matter of getting the right cable to go from your laptop to the monitor. Having USB 3.0 on the monitor is only really a major factor if you plan on plugging in high speed devices (like hard drives) into the monitor and keeping them there. Things like keyboards, mice, printers work fine on USB 2.0. Or just use the ports on the computer.

    I'll throw it out there that I've been using a Dell S2340M and I really like it. I think it looks good, thin bezels, and the IPS color seems great. It is a glossy monitor which can create glare if put in the wrong spot though. They can be had for around $155 on amazon when I got mine.
  8. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
  9. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
  10. rapicell, Jun 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014

    rapicell thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    I haven't bought one yet, so thank you for that link. That's actually a perfect deal and it's in the price range I wanted. While it's a slightly small res, I don't think the extra would be needed for me (nor the landscape/portrait switching) when this simply for a hobby...and netflix haha

    edit: apparently it does do portrait mode as well, don't think I'll use it, but great anyways haha
  11. rapicell thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    Bumping because I just received and setup the monitor was linked from ebay. It's freaking gorgeous and has the nearly "frameless" look to it (which I love). Even has a little compartment door to hide the ports once you have everything plugged in, which is a neat little feature to have.

    Next step is to test it out with some photo editing, but I did watch the google I/O on it and the picture was crystal clear =]

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