Which External Monitor(s) To Buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GoldenJoe, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. GoldenJoe macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    Howdy! I've been using a high-res 15" MBP for app development, and while the display is nice (although a bit of an eye strain), I'd like to invest in a single/dual monitor setup for when I'm working on projects at home. I haven't found any definitive buying guides, so I thought this would be a good place to ask.

    Apple's Thunderbolt Display looks very nice, but for $1000, I could literally build an array of six mid-range monitors. Even worse, the TD has no VGA, no DVI (inexcusable), and no HDMI, making it completely useless for my Windows machines. USB 2.0 and just one Thunderbolt port doesn't help the value much either.

    On the other hand, all of the other displays I've seen in various stores are manufactured so cheaply, they literally creak when I adjust them, and they are often lacking DVI and HDMI as well. With so many dozens (hundreds?) of different models, I'm also having a hard time sorting out the good ones.

    Please give me your recommendations for a display. I value size (bigger), clarity, build quality, and having more than a VGA connection. Also, is it worthwhile to buy one of those weird adapters for hooking up two monitors, or can those wear on the system? Thanks! :D
  2. disq macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008
    I'm familiar with 24" monitors:

    Try the Dell U2412M. IPS panel, relatively cheap, DisplayPort+DVI+VGA.
    or the HP zr24w. same deal with the inputs, better panel.

    Or if you want HDMI and also superior picture quality, check out Dell U2410, but it's expensive. Best of the bunch.
  3. GoldenJoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thanks for the advice, disq. I'll definitely check those out. Still looking for suggestions, to anyone else reading this.
  4. will waters macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Great Britain
    I would defiantly go with a benq!
    They are the best, with LED backlighting
  5. realitystops macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2007
    Very North
    Try Hazro

    HAZRO have just released 30 & 27 inch displays with good looking specs..
    and their last offerings had really good reviews.

    Oh at under £800 good value - no I don't work for the :)
  6. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    If your primary use is app development then you don't need the color quality required by graphics and photography people. You can also use a standard LCD screen and don't need an IPS one, although IPS is better (and more expensive).

    Here's a 27" with an excellent reputation and a 3-year warranty, which is very unusual these days. Check the customer reviews. Full 1080p and has a DVI connector for Windows PC use. Also DisplayPort, HDMI and D-sub connections. $319.



    If you do want superior picture quality then it's hard to beat any of the Dell ultrasharps. You will pay for the quality, though.
  7. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I am a developer with 15" MBP (high res) hooked up to Thunderbolt Display.

    A bit off track, but a brief background. I have been a developer for over a dozen years, working for many different companies. Most developers don't actively use more than 1 monitor. There are few exceptions and they swear by it, but most of the time, secondary monitors sit idle, used once in awhile to preview work or run secondary apps (e.g., Mail, iChat/Adium). It doesn't help that OS X is lousy at more than one monitor (e.g., menu bar only on the primary screen, difficult to locate mouse pointer, Lion's full-screen mode only on the primary screen) unless you resort to mostly awkward third party hacks.

    In short, get a monitor with highest screen resolution. Don't settle for monitors with 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 resolution.

    I have also used Dell's 27" display and Thunderbolt Display is my favorite. First of all, ease of docking with just one cable is very helpful (I have several peripherals hooked up to Thunderbolt Display, such as gigabit Ethernet and external hard disk). Secondly, it features very decent set of speakers and saves me from buying another charger ($79 MSRP).

    While glossy finish can be a bit annoying when screen is mostly dark and lighting isn't, text looks crispier and easier to read than Dell's matte-based monitors.

    While the display can be used only for Mac, do you anticipate connecting other devices that often? I can't imagine wanting to use PC when I have a Mac that often. As for me, I use another monitor or TV for such purpose.
  8. macrumorsuser10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2010
    You should learn some perspective. Back in the day (around 2003 or 2004), a Dell 21" 1600x1200 LCD monitor cost $1500. Ever since that, I save around $1000 for a new monitor every several years and see what that will buy me.
  9. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    Bump for the Dell U2412M. Have it, love it. Would buy again and doesn't' creak! :D
  10. GoldenJoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. After doing a ton of research on your suggestions, I've decided to try the U2412M. It has alot going for it, and is fairly inexpensive, so I won't feel bad if I replace it with one of the super high-res displays rumored to be coming out later this year.

  11. Lisa89 macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2012
    After a few weeks of comparing, i went for the Samsung S27a350h. I've read a lot of reviews and was bit sceptical (for its price, you should see a difference with the expensive mac screen!).

    But, i was nicely suprised. It can -for me- compete with the Mac screen, plus it has a matte anti-glare screen which i find nicer to work with. It's a TN panel (duh, the price?!) which needs a bit of setup before you get the colors right, but after that it's a pleasure. Comes wit VGA and HDMI port. A perfect monitor for a small budget.

    The only downer is that you can't adjust the height, you can only tilt it backwards.
  12. Felan macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Hi There

    I am looking for a 21"-24" monitor for Macbook air. my only concern is TEXT clarity. Which one do you suggest?

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