Using a MBP with an External Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mwalter, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. mwalter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    #1
    At work, I keep the lid closed on my MBP and use a Thunderbolt Display and an external keyboard and mouse. I've ordered a new 15" MBP, but the Touch Bar will be wasted if I use it in the same way. I could use the built-in keyboard and raise my external monitor behind the display, but I'm not sure how ergonomic that would be.

    I'm curious how others set up their laptops if they use an external display.
     
  2. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #2
    I'll be using my MBP open on the right, with a 4K display in the middle and a 1080p on the left (eventually, when TB docks come out.) External mouse and keyboard. Not sure if it will be feasible to use the TouchBar like this, but to make things easier I have a monitor arm.

    I have a feeling the built in keyboard isn't going to be good enough to use full time. Hopefully Apple will release a TouchBar Magic Keyboard along with the new iMacs.
     
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #3
    It would make sense for apple to release a TB magic keyboard but, like you, I will predominantly be docked at work and will not even have access to the TB.
     
  4. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    #4
    I'm planning on using the keyboard on my 13" MBP (so that I can use the touch bar) with 3 extended 1080p displays above. They are raised off my desk at eye level on a monitor stand. External mouse. Unfortunately I will be giving up the number pad on my external keyboard in order to use the MBP with touch bar. I'm hoping the touch bar is good enough that it is a worthwhile tradeoff. I considered and external bluetooth number pad, but that just seems cumbersome alongside a mouse.

    I am not sure how to connect 3 HDMI displays via USB-C without using 3 individual USB-C to HDMI dongles. Ideally I would have a dock connect to the 3 displays, power, and a couple USB peripherals all via one Thunderbolt 3 connection.
     
  5. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #5
    get apple TVs for each monitor and airplay :p
     
  6. mwalter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    #6
    I have a 12" MB and while I'm willing to deal with that keyboard because of the machine's portability, it would be hard to have to use it as my primary keyboard. Based on my albeit limited experience with the new 13" MBP in an Apple Store, the updated keyboard isn't much better.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 14, 2016 ---
    Perhaps I'm shorter than you, but I don't see how I would place the external displays above the MBP display while also keeping them at eye level.
     
  7. protoxx macrumors 6502a

    protoxx

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
  8. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    #8
    Most people have to tilt their head down to view a notebook screen when using one on a desk. It's not optimal ergonomically. The bottom of the monitors I use are approximately 12" above the desk surface, with the middle of the screen approximately 18" above. I'm no ergonomic expert, but I find I can use the monitors comfortably without tilting my head up or down.

    The new MBP 13" is approx. 9" high, so it should fit comfortably "under" my displays. The displays are set back a ways from where the keyboard will be positioned, so the MBP will not literally be under the displays, but rather just visually under them.
     
  9. bjdraw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa FL
    #9
    I plan to use my MBP positioned just below a 27" 5k monitor. Right now I use my 2015 MBP with a 24" 4k and it works really well like this. Although, I mostly use the laptop monitor as a secondary display (display contact lists, or something else I want to glance at, but not stare at for long).
     

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