MacBook Pro+monitor: a good idea?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sleeplesser, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. sleeplesser macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    I need to buy a new computer for office use, and at the same time I would like to take it home to get some work done. Do you think it is a good idea to have a MacBook Pro + an external monitor? This means I need to plug in and out every day. Can MBP endure it for say 2-3 years?
    Thanks a lot!
  2. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina
    With older children, I'm considering getting rid of the desktop and switching completely over to laptops only. However, there are times when my family and I need more real estate screen size.

    Apple makes a Cinema Display (21.5" & 27") that is tailored for the MBP. You can plug USB devices into the display (such as a printer, etc.,) and not have to worry about disconnecting them when you dock/undock your MBP at work.

    If you're considering this route, I recommend using your MBP with the Cinema display at work. This will allow you to bring the MBP home to continue your work.

    Plugging in and out is very simple and the MBP will not endure any additional wear or tear because of it. Look up the Cinema Display on Apple's website to get some more info...Caution, it is expensive!

  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007

    just kidding. Powerbook guys have been doing that for several years now. Both system administrators and academics (my coworkers) also use this configuration. Apple even designed a monitor just for the occasion:
  4. Saturdays macrumors member


    Nov 18, 2010
    Somewhere in USA
    Just Don't close the shell when doing heavy operations.
    You don't want to trap all the heat.
  5. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    I do this every day (plug/unplug).

    I picked up one of the 23" 1080p monitors that Newegg had for sale not too long ago for only $140. Not the best quality, but is sure is nice for research projects and anything that requires a lot of screen real-estate.
  6. thinkinblue613 macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I'm planning on using my 32" HDTV... Is that overkill?
  7. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    It'll be good for movies and pics, but that's about it. Text is a pain to read since the pixel density is so low.
  8. wakemac macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    I also do this everyday and have for over a year. I put my MBP on a stand and leave it open for dual monitors, then use a wireless keyboard and mouse. Works great.
  9. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    LOL, what? I don't think you are familiar with the Powerbook / Macbook Pro design. It does not vent ANY heat through the keyboard. All heat is vented through the grille at the back, near the hinge. The Powerbook and Macbook Pro are designed specifically to operate with the shell closed.

    It is the standard Macbook (and iBook) that ventilate through the keyboard, and will overheat if you run them at high utilization with the lid closed.
  10. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    Easily. I've done this for almost 4 years and it works brilliantly. If you need some portability/work in two places, it's the way to do it :)
  11. crypticlineage macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    a bit different configuration

    I am also in the same boat and considering having an external monitor. I have been using 9 spaces now to accommodate files and many time I end up having at least 6 large excel files open so it gets very cumbersome on the 13" mbp.

    However I would not want to use an external keyboard, trackpad and/or mouse. So ideally what I want is a dual display that will allow me to use my mbp monitor and an external monitor at the same time. They'll not mirror each other necessarily. That way I don't need external keyboard and mouse.

    I am sure many have this set up and I would like some feedback from these folks. What are the pitfalls of having such a set up?

    OP: Sorry I didn't mean to hijack your thread, but I think people weighing on my questions will likely help your situation too. Thanks.
  12. croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
  13. deeesea macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2010
    been doing this for a year on a old macbook, and since...i dunno when I got this laptop haha. It should be fine :D
  14. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    Not only is it a good idea, it is the only way for me to do serious work.
  15. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    perfect idea. and the mbp can definitely handel it.
  16. blackreplica macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2010
    Another vouch for your proposed configuration. I work as a pilot and therefore bring my laptop with me everytime i go on layover flights. When i'm home i plug it to my 27 inch ACD and when its time to work, i unplug it and bring my MBP with me. It works great and i couldn't be happier
  17. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    It's the only way to go.

    I work in an office of about 60 people that all have an external monitor and a laptop that they take to & from work. I've been doing it for so long, it seems like the norm now. Desktops are a thing of the past for me.

    I'd also suggest the Dell Ultra Sharp 24" As your external monitor. I use one at home and the office. Works great with the MBP & has a 4 extra usb ports, hdmi, & card reader.
  18. DIMEZ macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2009
    i do it and its perfect....not a prob
  19. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I use a 24"monitor with my 15" MacBook pro all the time, sometimes I just like sitting at my home office doing work, and it's a pleasure having a nice big monitor in from of my face,,,,, then again, my wife has a 13" and she likes being able to do photo books on the monitor as it's easier to manage pics etc on the monitor with a laptop for me is better than an iMac....its all in what you do though....I am able to open word on one half and browse reference material on the other half easily and that makes all the difference in the world....I imagine on a 27" it's that much better....
  20. crypticlineage macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    One thing that most of you haven't mentioned is if you use use mbp screen together with external monitor. In other words, no external keyboard or mouse, plus two screens at once.
  21. sleeplesser thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010

    Thank you all for your comments and replies. They are very helpful!

    crypticlineage, it is perfectly fine. I would love to hear people's comments on this too.
  22. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    This is the only way that I use my external monitor. It's nice having to workspaces.
  23. crypticlineage macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    Chase: Do you mirror your displays or have separate content on each? If not mirrored, do you get the dock on both screens?
  24. croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    I know you can duplicate the Menu with Secondbar, but I have not seen a similar app for the dock.
  25. keantan macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2008
    Penang, Malaysia
    +1 for a good idea.

    while i do understand that having low pixel density makes reading text a pain, if you have a lot of it (like coding) having it that little bit bigger does wonders for eye stress. i find it much easier to read with the text SLIGHTLY bigger than standard

    im using a 24" 1080p samsung panel with my 15" mbp (spanning). : ) not regretted buying it since.

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