Macbook Pro, Do you find a secondary display to be annoying?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by simplenation, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. simplenation macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    #1
    Ok so i've been going back and forth with the concept of adding an external display to my macbook pro setup. Currently i am using the mStand to elevate the macbook pro in front of me. I'm extremely happy with this setup but feel as tho I need more screen realestate. I've decided that the Apple Cinema Display is the way to go but I'm stuck between the 20 and the 23'' displays. So here are a few questions.

    1. Does anyone use us a secondary display to the left of right of their macbook pro, Utilizing your laptops display as the primary display? Any complaints?
    2. Do you find disconnecting and reconnecting the display a pain in the A?
    3. Do you utilize the ACD as your primary display and the macbook as a secondary? Any pros, cons, or complaints ?
    4. Do you think the 20'' display would match up better than the 23'' with my macbook pro 15'' display..size wise?
    Here is my current setup.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #2
    I wouldn't try to use both the laptop and the external screen. Just keep the lid of the MBP closed and everything including the dock will come up on the external screen (since you have the keyboard and mouse already). Moving things around between laptop and external screen is not fun and gets confusing especially with spaces, where you then have double the number of windows you have to choose from.

    I would go as large as possible with the external screen, although it depends a bit on what you do. Though for browsing, and reading documents nothing can beat a 30 inch monitor. You can get those for around 1k now. 20 inch seems too small to me personally.
     
  3. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #3
    For 18 months I used a 20" Viewsonic to the left of my MBP. The displays were setup so that the Viewsonic was the primary display and the MBP's was secondary. I like to keep my dock on the left side and since my desk wouldn't allow the setup to be reversed, I chose to use the external display as the primary. Disconnecting/reconnecting wasn't that big of a deal. When I got ready to take off I just generally either shut down or sleep the MBP and remove the monitor. Hooking back up got sketchy because on my model I had to reconnect the display THEN quickly open the MBP (I didn't care for clamshell mode) before plugging my USB hub in, or the MBP would wake itself up and operate in clamshell mode. I loved having the dual desktop setup because it allowed me to keep my email program/IM/iTunes window open on the MBP's display and my other tasks (Firefox, Word, etc) open on the main display with icons and the dock. Matter of fact, I love it so much that when I sold the MBP to purchase a 20" iMac, I kept the external display to use with that new machine!
     
  4. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    Why'd you get the iMac?
     
  5. mkgm1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #5
    I'm currently using a MBP with a Dell 24" monitor. Up until about a week ago I was using them side by side, and it worked pretty well. I never figured out how to make the Dell the primary display, but it didn't bother me too much anyway. A week ago though, I decided to move my MBP out the way and purely use it in clamshell mode with only the 24" display and tbh I quite like it this way now. I guess it's mainly because I now have so much more room on my desk.

    The only problem now is that in clamshell mode, sitting on my subwoofer, the MBP can get quite hot. So occasionally I just open it, which usually cools things down.
     
  6. powz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #6
    Disconnecting/reconnecting the monitor is easy. Sometimes I even do it with the MBP still on and have never had a problem. On a side note, what mouse is that in your pic?

    I read this and thought I'd give you a heads up. Is your subwoofer magnetically shielded? A lot of subwoofers aren't and if they're placed too close to your computer they may damage your hard drive. You may want to invest in a notebook stand instead.
     
  7. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    The MBP 15"'s stupidly low res had me buying a 23" ACD pretty soon after. I think it's great, and the best thing is that plugging the DVI cord into my MBP instantly initiates the ACD to turn on. When you unplug the cable, the ACD turns off. It's a great display. It's my primary, FYI.

    Here's a piccie of my setup:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. simplenation thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    #8
    thank you everyone for the responses, they have proven to be very helpful. WilliamG your photo is pretty much the setup im looking for, thanks again.
     
  9. simplenation thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    #9
    Its a logitech V470 , I'm actually sending it back. I found it to be very inaccurate at times.
     
  10. skiffx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #10
    Cant live without my 2nd monitor, and Im thinking of getting a 3rd one.
     
  11. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    I found exactly the same thing with my V470. The input lag and lack of accuracy drove me nuts. Not even worth the $5 after rebate I paid for it. I adore, however, my VX Nano, and recommend it wholly.
     
  12. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #12
    Graduated college and no longer needed the 17" for 2 excel sheets side by side... got enough money for a used white iMac 20" C2D and new BlackBook which is much easier to tote around simply for notes in grad school and work. iMac is the primary computer and the MB is strictly for work email and on the go.
     
  13. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #13
    Sickness.

    Not an inconvenience. I use my MBPro in clamshell with a 37" Aquos LCD 1920x1080
     
  14. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    In general, I run my MBP in clamshell mode with my 24" as my primary, but when I need more space, I open the MBP and extend the display. I was going to get a 30", but I so rarely need that extra space I could not justify spending four times as much for the Dell 30" over the 24" (which had some specials).
     
  15. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #15
    I do not have room to use 2 monitors at the moment, but when I had my Powerbook, I would use it with a 19" CRT. The CRT sat on a stand on my desk, behind my PB. so I had one really tall screen so to speak. If lateral room is unavailable, that could work. Though I never could get quite used to multiple monitors, Multiple desktops yes, but physical screens, no. But I did use this setup, and had the CRT shoing a few apps I used for monitoring servers up on it. Helped out so I did not have to "expose" to find the device that was complaining.
     
  16. Pigumon macrumors 6502

    Pigumon

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    #16
    ACD for Main, MBP for second

    Hey,

    I've had a 12" PB for about 4 years and used a 19" monitor as the main display and kept the PB closed for the most part.

    I found it VERY useful to have both monitors on when viewing PDF Manuals or Video Tutorials on the small screen, and then doing the work on the big screen.

    I've heard using two monitors is more productive than one large. Maybe for those reasons?

    One neat thing is to use an LCD or plasma TV as the second monitor for watching videos or reading comic books!
     
  17. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #17
    It has been a pain for me, but only because the external did not work very well since the Leopard graphics update...

    I have an extra 23", but I have not been plugging in my MPB due to display/wireless/shutdown issues.

    When it works it works fantastically, but when it is not working, it is not worth the aggravation. I am looking forward to getting it running again correctly!
     
  18. crayonshin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #18
    window management software for mac?

    To those of you that use both screens, do you know of any window managing software? I've been trying to find something on the Mac but can't. By window managing I mean a program that is aware of all of the connected displays and can open a specific program on a specific display according to your preconfigured preferences. ATI's HydraVision software does this on the PC side for ATI cards, I think Nvidia has something similar as well.

    I was hoping "Spaces" would be updated to allow this since it seems to be aware of the external display (though for some reason it does not show up sometimes).

    Anyway, any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  19. bplein macrumors 6502

    bplein

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX USA
    #19
    I use my MBP-17 at work every day with an external monitor plus the base monitor.

    Coming from years of using Thinpads and Dells (yuck to the latter) with docking stations, I wasn't looking forward to hooking up K,V and M to my MBP every day. But it takes all of a few seconds, and has become second nature. NOT AN ISSUE.

    Even with my MBP on the desk and the monitor a bit higher, I absolutely need and use both monitors all the time. I have one or more terminal sessions open constantly, a web browser, and VMware Fusion (my old windows laptop converted to a VM for Outlook and a few other Windows-only functions). Without multiple monitors I'd go nuts (grin).

    I will probably add an Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard and a bluetooth mouse soon, eliminating the USB connections to the system each morning.
     
  20. bplein macrumors 6502

    bplein

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX USA
    #20
    I know that some apps remember their last open monitor. VMware Fusion does just that. A VM starts on whatever monitor it was last on when it was shutdown or suspended, if that monitor is available.
     

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