Seeking (small and cheap) Monitor Advice for Mini

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Dezlboy, May 17, 2014.

  1. Dezlboy macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2008
    I'm confused as to what "smallish" monitor (max $160) to buy for Mom's new mac mini for her upcoming 89 b-day!

    I'm looking at the Dell 2014H with resolution of 1600 x 900. But…...

    My mac mini uses 19 in non-widescreen at 1280 X 1024. (hard to find non--widescreens now) Since the Dell 2014H only has "900" and not 1024, doesn't that mean it will be very blurry? Mom's only use is 85% Web pages (stores, newspapers, banks) and rest email. No other use except some short (3 min) videos.

    Do I need a monitor of at least 1280 X 1024 to match what I see with my system and I think would be good for Mom? And on the other hand if resolution is too high will everything on screen look way to small and hard to see?

    Any advice welcomed, the monitor will be 19 or 20 inch, either widescreen or not.
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    CNET is a good place to check monitor reviews. Also check PCmag and Maximum PC for reviews.
  3. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    Are you looking for small because you want inexpensive? A friend of mine who recently turned 90 years old asked me to help her set up her new Mac Mini. I found that with the more advanced in age, bigger is better. I found a 32" 1080p television that fit the bill. It was less than $200.

    Just a suggestion. You could also save some money and go with a 720p.
  4. Felasco Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    Yes, good idea. I often hook my laptop up to our 30 inch TV (about $250) and it works great.

    For really cheap, try Craigslist. Got a nice 19 inch for $40 that way.
  5. Dezlboy thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2008
    Thanks for your suggestions. Looking a smaller mostly due to desk size, but 22 inch isn't out of question. Price is "sort of the issue" only in that I would like to stay under $150, but $200 is doable.

    I'm concerned that a resolution higher than 1280 x 1024 would make the print to small with web page and email.

    But I can change the font size via the preferences menus for both Safaria and mail.

    So, my question might be….will greater resolution mean smaller web and email print, and defaulting to a large font solve the issue. Or is it an issue.

    Thanks again….and I will check the reviews your mentioned.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    How's your mom's vision?
    Is it getting a bit weaker?

    If that's the case, I suggest you look for a 27" IPS display that is "mid-resolution".

    What that means is that the resolution will be 1920x1280 -- which is really the normal "native resolution" for a 24" display, but it is "blown up" a bit to fit into the larger area of a 27" display.

    Younger folks with good vision will often look at a display like this and say "it's too grainy", but for older folks with less-perfect vision, it makes seeing what's on the screen much easier.

    I use a Viewsonic VX2770SMH:

    I think your mom would like this one very much!

    There are numerous other "mid-rez" 27" displays out there.
    I suggest you look for one with an IPS panel.
    Some more can probably be found by browsing this list:
  7. Felasco Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    Does your mom know about the Universal Access features in Systems Preferences?

    Although I'm 30 years younger than your mom, I use the screen zoom feature a good bit, and it comes in quite handy.
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Sharpness is a function of PPI (Pixels Per Inch), which can be calculated from resolution. Consider two displays with the same resolution - say 1280x1024 - one being 18" and one being 20". On the 20" the pixels will be larger, since both have the same absolute number - so the 20" will appear blurrier.

    You can plug the numbers into a site like to compare two displays easily. The Dell 2014H works out to 94.14ppi, vs. your existing 19" display at 86.27ppi - so the Dell will appear significantly sharper.

    Where absolute resolution does come into play, is the size of the icons, text, etc on screen. So consider the Dell 2014H against a Full HD (1920x1080) display also 19.5" diagonal - the full HD display is 112.97ppi, much sharper. Better? Maybe not. The icons, text, etc will be smaller on the Full HD display, and that could be a more important factor on her 89-year-old eyes than the sharpness.
  9. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    I have an HP S2031. It is a few years old but it was available at Wal-Mart for like $89. There is probably an updated model for a similar affordable price. Just avoid anything Acer.
  10. Dezlboy thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2008
    Hi everyone, thank you for all your advice, and please….don't shoot me. :)

    I decided to get my Mom a very basic 19 inch non-widescreen monitor running 1280 X 1024. For email and web use, it's perfect for her needs. Also, her desk is very small, and she wanted more "space" for other stuff.

    And, the "hidden plus" is that I can convince her to buy an Apple TV so she can watch Netflix movies (from my streaming account) on a nice size TV monitor from her sofa. :)

    Again, I know I didn't really follow your advice, but it did help me think thru the problem. Thanks again.

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