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macrumors regular
Original poster
May 2, 2020

For accounting work, I need to have two monitors to run Excel worksheets.

Which monitor would be good - looking at Dell but could use help figuring out the best for text use.

Thank you


macrumors 65816
May 14, 2010
I also have an M1 iMac with external screen. Since you're working with text, I recommend you stick with pixel-doubled "retina" monitors at the same DPI as the iMac so text/windows on both screens are the same physical size & sharpness. This means you can get a used LG 21.5" Ultrafine 4k display for slightly smaller physical size than the iMac, or one of the 27" 5K displays for slightly larger than the iMac (LG Ultrafine 5K or Apple Studio Display). Or go crazy and go full XDR display at 32" 6K. Unfortunately if you want a good match there are few choices on the market.

I picked up a used LG Ultrafine 5k on craigslist. I highly recommend one of these, especially if you can find one used for a reasonable price. The brightness is excellent and matches the iMac. I use it for the main screen since its bigger than the iMac, and it's nice having two reasonably large screens on my desk. I saved a good chunk of money over the Apple Studio Display and the LG definitely has a better performance/cost ratio. The Apple Studio Display is very nice but very expensive. Even thinking about the cost of an XDR makes me gag.

That said, there are some decent 27" 4K Dells if you don't mind an external monitor with a different DPI than the iMac.
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macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2019
Germantown, MD
LG 24UD58 and the LG Ultrafine 4K 24" are also alternatives. While not 220 DPI, it at least will give close to double of 95 DPI found on typical 24" monitors and the Apple Cinema Display 24", which is 95 DPI.

Otherwise, for anything that matches the iMac M1 display, Ultrafine 5K (you can get them half off used), 21.5" LG Ultrafine 4K and Studio Display are the attainable options that matches the DPI of the iMac screen. Do not go above 24" for 4K as it's not optimal and it causes scaling issues (1080P being too big for 27" or above as this is what it defaults as and 2K causes performance issues, moire, and burrier text than a Retina, which is not as noticeable on a 24"). The iMac M1 24" uses a 4.5K screen, which nobody sells an external version of./


macrumors 68030
Nov 23, 2014
You might also think of an LG 5K used on eBay. I bought mine (they have grades. mine was an "A") so if you buy one from a computer dealer on eBay, look for a good grade. And in the case of mine, they even had a 30-day money back.

just a thought.


macrumors newbie
Dec 27, 2021

For accounting work, I need to have two monitors to run Excel worksheets.

Which monitor would be good - looking at Dell but could use help figuring out the best for text use.

Thank you
I agree with previous replies, you should look for hi DPI monitors, because text will look very sharp.

Two important questions:
  • What is your intended budget?
  • Do you want to somewhat match your current 24" screen estate or can it be bigger?
The LG 4k/5k ultrafine monitors are a good choice, but not the cheapest. You can also look for 24" 4K monitors (like the mentioned LG 24UD58, or a Dell UP2414Q or UP2415Q) , which are not too expensive, are sharp for text and matches about your current 24" size.

If you don't mind to have a bigger screen next to your 24" iMac you can shop for a 27" 4K monitor, which have a nice value for money. They are a little less good in terms of sharpness, but are still hiDPI (and much better than a 1080p or WQHD 2560x1440 monitor).
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