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Summary:

I have decided that I am indeed going to sell my 17-inch MacBook Pro and use the new aluminum MacBook as my primary computer.  To do that I will need to connect a big monitor to the MacBook at the desktop so I can have plenty […]

Samsung_24_incherI have decided that I am indeed going to sell my 17-inch MacBook Pro and use the new aluminum MacBook as my primary computer.  To do that I will need to connect a big monitor to the MacBook at the desktop so I can have plenty of screen real estate.  I ordered one of the new Apple 24-inch Cinema Displays last week for a number of reasons, primarily because I knew it would work well with the Mac.  The display was back-ordered and wouldn’t ship until next week and yesterday due to second thoughts I canceled that order.

The more I thought about the high cost of that Apple display the harder it was for me to justify paying it.  There are many third party monitors available today that sell for less than $400 and it’s just lunacy to pay $900 for an Apple-branded monitor.  So I canceled the order and now I’m looking for a good alternative.

I have already spotted a number of good candidates online with Samsung leading the pack.  They have a number of models, all under $400, that look like good monitors.  I definitely want a 24-inch monitor and I would prefer to get one that I know will work well with the new MacBook.  What I need from you are your recommendations.  I am especially interested in hearing your thoughts on any monitor that you are actually using with a new MacBook or MacBook Pro/ Air.  That means you are using the monitor with the mini DisplayPort on the new Mac.  So let me hear your recommendations.  I need to get this going before the holidays so I can settle down and concentrate on good times, not gear.

  1. If you are willing to pay ~$600, I’d recommend contacting HP to find out whether the new LP2475w is Mac compatible. (Or perhaps you could swing an evaluation unit?) The monitor has a wide range of inputs including Displayport, and features an IPS screen. Here’s a review:

    http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2008/review-hp-lp2475w.html

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  2. James, keep in mind there are a few nice touches that might make the $899 price easier to handle on the Apple 24″. For instance, it has a built-in 2.1 sound system plus a webcam to use if you run your MacBook with the lid closed. Also, it has additional USB ports, plus it supplies power to the laptop, which means you could leave your MagSafe AC adapter in your gear bag, instead of having to shell out for another one.

    But probably the most important feature is the LED backlighting, which most third-party monitors do not use yet, not at this large size. If you have a chance to see one of these in person at an Apple Store, the display is just gorgeous, and I can’t wait myself to pick one up for use with my new MB Air.

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  3. Although it’s not a 24″ monitor, I’m using the HP w2207h with my new MacBook and couldn’t be happier. I’m using the Apple mini display port to VGA adapter due to the KVM switch I’m using to also connect it to my desktop. It has built-in speakers (never used them), two usb ports, HDMI, DVI & VGA inputs, rotates 180 for portrait display (again, never used it), and overall similar styling to the Apple display. The only down sides are the lack of a built in web cam and the dust trap that is the screen bezel. It’s currently available at Best Buy for $299. http://tinyurl.com/h2207w
    There’s also a 24″ model available but for best bang for my buck I chose this one. Good luck on your search!

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  4. I personally think the Apple display offers features to justify the price. Still, if you believe Apple is overpriced there’s no sense in trying to sway you.

    However, once you get the mini DisplayPort to DVI adaptor you can use just about any monitor you wish, so I’m not clear on why you think using it with the MacBook would have any bearing the decision? Or are you curious whether the adaptor may be an issue?

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  5. Look at LG. I have a 22″ working well with a DVI-D connection.
    They do a nice 26″ Flatron Wide screen for $460 on amazon.

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  6. I too find the Apple display to have a lot of features but again I don’t see me paying that much for one.

    I do want a 24″ monitor as I feel that will fit my needs and workspace perfectly.

    Tom, I have read accounts from those who’ve tried the DVI adapter from Apple that it is really DVI. There are those reporting that the adapter can’t be used by monitors they already own. I just want to be sure as returning a 24″ monitor would not be easy.

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  7. Jk,
    I’ve been looking at some monitors too. Here’s some of my findings in the 24′ range…

    The same Samsung for $280, if you (or a friend) has Samsclub. You can’t beat their RETURN policy if it’s a lemon…
    http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=410802

    Asus with HDMI/DVI for $300…I’ve seen some Asus, and they do look really good…
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236049

    Asus with HDMI/DVI and webcam for $310…
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236048

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  8. Here’s some more on samsclub’s return policy:

    http://samswest.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/251/session/L3NpZC9lNnhqRGlsag==

    basically, since it’s not a computer, you have a 100% infinite customer satisfaction guarantee. well worth the $40 annual membership fee, IMHO.

    Hope it helps, JK ;-)

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  9. This is actually a good question to ask, since there seems to be a software bug from 10.5.5 that kills DVI output from the mini-DVI and mini-Displayport Macbooks.

    Personally, my new Late 2008 Macbook Pro won’t work with my 20″ Viewsonic. Here’s some information on the problem from MacFixIt.

    http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20081020231611468

    (I just did a Google search for “apple discussion macbook viewsonic” and found this article, I didn’t realize MacFixIt had picked up my Apple Discussion post until searching for a link to share here… I swear this isn’t blog spam. ;-) )

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  10. Can I suggest the Dell 2408WFP? It’s about $600 if you catch it on sale and features four digital inputs (2xDVI, 1xHDMI, 1xDisplayPort), component video, VGA, composite, and s-video. It’s a S-PVA panel, but you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between this panel and an IPS panel. I certainly can’t! The broad range of inputs is a huge advantage to this display as DVI KVMs are quite expensive.

    I am guessing that part of the problem people have with DVI adapters is with non-HDCP compliant displays. The Dell monitor is HDCP compliant, and when someone finally makes a mini-DisplayPort to full size adapter, you’ll be able to use that too.

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