need ext. display: what's more important, resolution or PPI?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by malch, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. malch macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I have 15″ Macbook Pro with the 15.4" display, and I need an external display that I can carry with me when I'm editing "on the road" (non-linear editing involves lots of windows and bins, etc., and I can't get by without two screens).

    A couple days ago I purchased a 17" display at Best Buy, and tried it out, but it didn't have as high a resolution as my MacBook Pro (and it had a different PPI number), and my editing windows were bigger and not as crisp and clear on this external display. If I dragged a window from my MBP to the external window, it would increase in size and not look nearly as good. (I returned the display this morning).

    Has any other MacBook Pro owner figured out the best way to do what I'm trying to do?
    My MacBook Pro display: 1440x900
    110 PPI (pixels per inch, or dot pitch)

    Someone at Best Buy suggested I get a 17" lcd tv. He said it would do the trick.
    Someone else advised me to get a 19" computer display, because the 19" displays have 1440x900 resolution.
    Someone else said resolution isn't as important as PPI (pixels per inch).

    Any advice?
    Thanks, malch
  2. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    First what do on the road mean? Travel how? How much luggage?
  3. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    The 2 measurements are proportionate to each other. As the screen grows, the ppi (density)gets smaller unless the resolution grows proportionately as well. The only way to have the window be the same size when dragged to the 2nd desktop is to get a monitor with the same dpi as the macbook screen.
  4. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    thanks for both replies.
    Frosty: I travel with my MacBook Pro, and a suitcase with foam compartments in which I carry an enclosure for SATA drives, the drives themselves, my Wacom tablet and pen and headphones. I'd like to be able to place an ext. display on top, but it would have to be 15", or 17" at most if I continue to use this carrying case.
    The display I bought and tried out (and returned) was 17", and it lacked the proper resolution and PPI.
    I guess I'll look for a display with 110 PPI, as you suggest, Mike. If it's bigger, I'll just have to get a larger carrying case.
    thanks for your help,
  5. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
  6. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    As cube hacker said The ppi is the thing to look for closer to 110 the better- the acd 20 in has a ppi of about 100 if my calculations are right and the coulers are great and it looks great physically and should match the Mbp quite well and it's made by:apple: I know that you said 17 in but 20 in is a great amount of real estate along with the 15" mbp so If that will fit look at that (it is dicontinued by :apple: but can be found in good cond for a Relitively good price considering it's quality on a certian well known acution site) as for 17 displays I couldn't find anythink near the ppi of 110 that you wanted
  7. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    thank you cube and matty.
    I really appreciate the info and advice.
  8. jaforres macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2009
    Thank you for posting this link. Saved me some time researching.
  9. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    i stand corrected - by myself i managed to find an 17 display with a ppi of 100 (99.89) not the worlds best display but hey a 17 inch dispaly very near the 110 ppi of the mbp (Resolution (1440 x 900)) it is £80 over here where i live in the uk wich is equivelent to about 130 usd

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