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New Mac set-up for design student


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 25, 2012
I have just started a graphic design program at school. I have a 13" Macbook Pro, but i know that is not the ideal screen to be using for designing. Because cost is the major factor at the moment, I wanted to know if I could hook-up my laptop to the older 23" cinema HD display? and would I be able to use it with a wireless mouse and keyboard? Also, i have heard good and bad things about the magic mouse, of course its beautiful, but would it be suitable for design work? Or should i go for a more homely looking but functional mouse?:D

Apple Key

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2012
It's always nice to have a larger screen size, and very helpful for design work. If the 23" Cinema Display is the DVI model, you would just need the Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter ($29.00). If it's a VGA model, it's the same price of the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter.

You would definitely be able to use it with a wireless bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Personally I love trackpads so I have the magic trackpad. I like that it allows me to do very fine finger movement and adjustments. But, the best mouse to get is the one that you are the most comfortable using.


macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2012
Get a Wacom Tablet

I would suggest getting a Wacom Intuos tablet as soon as you can. Even the smallest model (4" x 6") is a HUGE improvement over a mouse or trackpad for graphic work, once you get over the learning curve and tweak the settings a bit. I know this sounds like cheesy product placement, but getting into these tablets totally changed my work life.


macrumors member
Aug 2, 2010
Chicago, IL
Thought I'd chime in and second the Wacom tablet. While I don't think it's a necessity, I know that when I finally started using one, about 4 years into my career, it improved parts of my workflow immensely. You could have a leg up on a lot of people if you got familiar with one in school.

As for a standard mouse, I'm a fan of the Logitech Performance MX. For a wireless keyboard, I've fallen in love with the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 .

I like that combo because they use the one small, unifying receiver to comment to your Macbook.

The Magic Mouse is cool. I stuck with it for about a month before I went back to my old mouse. I wasn't able to consistently make the gestures on the small surface. But I have big hands, so it may not be an issue for you.


macrumors member
Aug 12, 2010
good recommendations

+1 for all previous comments :

cinema display is great for colour reproduction (with calibration)
Logitech performance MX is extremely comfortable and precise (as you already suspect, the magic mouse is useless.)


a graphics tablet improves your workflow considerably (i can't picture working in Photoshop/Illustrator without one any more).
If it is out of your budget, check out Aiptek ones on Amazon : £80 for a full A4, same pressure sensitivity & resolution as a Wacom Intuos A4.
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