Second Monitor on Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ChelseaiAM, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. ChelseaiAM macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    Hi everyone,
    I would like to add a second monitor for this upcoming school year while using my macbook air. What are the best options for a screen (college student therefore need it to be relatively cheap) and how would I go about connecting the second monitor to my 2013 Macbook air? Any and all help is appreciated!

  2. abbeybound macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2014
    The best option is an Apple thunderbolt display.

    Those being extremely expensive, any cheap VGA, DVI or HDMI monitor or TV will work. Find out what connector it has, and buy a 'Mini DisplayPort' or 'Thunderbolt' adapter to whichever it is. Apple sells them, but you can get cheaper ones for less than $10 on ebay.
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Hi Chelsea,

    Considering you most likely wouldn't be able to find a TBD for less than $500 used, your best option is to get a 21"-24" IPS monitor. They typically run for about $150. Get a MiniDisplayPort --> HDMI adapter as well. This one should work fine:

    This is a reasonably priced 1080p IPS monitor, but there are many more on the market if you want to look around.

    Just make sure it is IPS, as most LED panels are TN, an outdated standard that has horrible viewing angles. When you say "second monitor", does that mean you already have a monitor? If so, I believe you can daisy chain using the adapter cable I linked.

  4. ChelseaiAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014

    Thank you guys for your replies. This will be used with my MBA as an extended monitor. I'll look into the Asus monitor and do some research.

    I might have a 2 year old TV (nice screen from costco) around the house that I used in my dorm, would that work? I know it has an HDMI plug so I could use the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter.
  5. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    It should work fine. It just depends if you are comfortable using the TV for doing work. If your TV is over 30", it most likely won't be enjoyable to use at close distances. Large TVs at close distances can seem gritty because they are meant to be viewed at 8+ feet. If you don't mind using a TV, it will be a great way to save money. Just make sure you take the HDMI cable with you.

    If you have extra money to spend, maybe look into getting a sound bar. A bluetooth sound bar can be great for playing music from your phone and it will be much nicer than your TV speakers. This is one of the most reasonably priced sound bars on Amazon, and it is really good quality. I have this sound bar, so I am biased, but it will have much better sound than your TV or your laptop. Just something to think about.
  6. kdm0505 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2014
  7. ChelseaiAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    So I'm thinking this one is a little too big :/

    Attached Files:

  8. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Assuming that is a normal sized coat hanger, that is probably around a 32" TV. That isn't too bad, as long as it is 1080p. Many TVs that size are 720p. If so, you will actually be able to fit more on the MBA screen. If it is 1080p, there is no harm in buying the adapter and trying it out for a while. 32" may be too big, and if it is you can buy a monitor at no loss. The two monitors that we recommended do not have speakers though, so you will need separate speakers if you get either of them.


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