Suggestions for an external monitor/display for the 2017 MacBook 12"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jeff-4, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. jeff-4, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017

    jeff-4 macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2016
    I am planning the purchase of a new 2017 MacBook 12" computer and would like to pair it with an external monitor at my desktop at work. Here is what I would like (and not like);

    1. I want to take advantage of the single USB-C port for charging the MacBook while I work, along with output display and i/o connections. Specifically, I have several devices to which I want to connect (hard-wire ethernet, scanner, keyboard, external disks, plus occasional iPhone sync and charge). I am OK, to a certain extent, with additional hubs and adapters to make everything connect (but see the last paragraph).

    2. I work primarily with documents (80%) and graphics (20%), but not so much with photographs and almost never with movies. I believe that I would be very happy with a good 27" monitor. I do not believe that I need 4K resolution. So, this seems to rule out the Apple-endorsed LG UltraFine 4K Display at 21.5". The several 4K 27" monitors with USB-C also do not seem to be well suited for the MacBook 12" (per scaling arguments of needing 5K at 27" to take full advantage of native resolution).

    3. It would be nice, but not essential, to have external speakers within the monitor.

    The lack of Thunderbolt on the MacBook (unlike the USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro) makes meeting these objectives a bit tricky. The use a dock, like the OWC USB-C dock, would address most of these desires and allow the use of many 27" monitors. However, I would rather, for the sake of reduced desktop clutter, find a monitor that alone would work. I have tentatively identified a few choices:

    Acer H277HU
    BenQ PD2710QC
    Dell S2718D
    Lenovo ThinkVision P27h
    Philips Brilliance 258B6QUEB
    ViewSonic VX2781-UC

    Any advice, experience, and insight would be very much appreciated!
  2. palmwangja macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2015
    This might be an off-topic, but constantly being plugged-in wouldn't damage your macbook? My 1st gen macbook's battery health is now around a mere 60%, and I'm quite suspicious of continuous charging thanks to the use of an external monitor.

    Anyway, I'd go with LG 32ud99 or 27ud88.
  3. parseckadet macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Responses like this bug the living daylights out of me. First, while that was true back in the days of the original iPod, battery technology has improved. These days they degrade based solely on the number discharge cycles. There are probably hundreds of threads on this site alone that discuss this at length.

    Second, god forbid someone gets back to their desk and wants to use their large monitor, but also needs to charge up. One shouldn't have to choose between the two (to be fair, I have big beef with Apple here too).

    Finally, you offered two solutions that were not on the OP's original list, but didn't provide any reasoning as to why you were recommending it.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    A good place to start looking:
    Comprehensive List of S-IPS/H-IPS/e-IPS and other IPS Based LCD Monitors

    BE SURE that you can live with a non-4k display before you buy one.
    It will look somewhat "different" side-by-side with the retina display.

    My opinion only but "USB charging" from the monitor isn't worth much, and will "cost you more".
    A decent 4k display running via displayport would do for me.
  5. jeff-4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2016
    Thanks, I'll take a look at the LG 4K Apple-sanctioned display again. My concerns are its smaller size (21.5") and rather high price. I do want to stay with a USB-C display so that I can easily retain connections to my peripheral devices.
  6. @Traveler macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2018

    I tried the Acer and it did not work with a MacBook 12" 2017. It did work with MacBook 12" 2016. LG 27 5K did not work with either. Still looking.
  7. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    I know this post is old, but I felt I had to add my experience to this:

    The first gen 12" has terrible battery issues. My wife had it happen with her old one (battery only started lasting 3-4 hours of regular use), and when I looked for other reports of it at the time, remember seeing many similar posts.

    I used to leave my 2012 15" MBP in clamshell mode all the time (for years), and had no adverse issues. I've been doing it as well with my 2016 13" non-TB rMBP (LG 27" 4k), and have had no issues.

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