Computer monitors - Macbook compatible

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
This is not very "overlandy" but do any of you have any input for selecting a desktop monitor for use with a Macbook Pro? I can't stomach the $1000 price of the Apple monitors as nice as they are. Anything I should know, avoid, or look into?

Suggestions for brands, models, etc?

I need something with maximum definition for photo editing.


Expedition Leader
Cheaper just to get the 5k iMac. You're getting a $1500 monitor with a free computer, or you could look at it as a $1500 computer with an amazing free monitor :)

But seriously, the Dell 27" HDMI monitors are hard to beat for the price and quality. It's what we use in my design studio for all our machines, doesn't matter if they are Mac or PC, graphic stations or CAD stations. They are great in bright environments, have low glare, are very sharp and fast, with outstanding color depth and range.

Edit: I think is the one we currently spec:

We usually pair one 27" with a vertically oriented 24" next to it for each workstation.

I think we have a few HP displays too, mostly on CAD machines. They're good too, I can't really tell any difference between them:
Last edited:


A few years ago I spent good money on a very well reviewed Dell monitor for my MacBook. The reviews were specific to using with a Mac. Long story short it was horrible. My eyes have gotten used to retina everything and nothing compares. This was 3 years ago and maybe the $500 range monitors have changed a great deal. I would hit up a Google search on 2016 reviews and see what you can find.

Root Moose

Expedition Leader
Sounds like for your purposes it's about the colour space/representation.

With the Apple products you know what you are getting. With the other brands it'll be a roll of the dice unless you are able to see one setup and calibrated.



Autism Family Travellers!
Asus 27" monitor. There are 2 different models of the version I am talking about...The one to get is the high resolution one. To the poster above, RETINA is just a marketing term. its not magical technology that apple invented. It just means high resolution. The asus monitor I am talking about is above "retina" resolution. and its 400 bucks Canadian. I had a 200 dollar HP monitor that had better image than my cinema monitor had when I had one.


What yr MBP?
Thunderbolt or HDMI?
Both the Dell P2415Q and P2715Q will get you 4k @ 60Hz without breaking the bank.


I got a 27" IPD 2560x1440 monitor from Monoprice and it's great. Don't buy an Apple; they are dinosaurs and massively too expensive. Just make sure the connections work for you.

One other consideration is color fidelity. For this, the Apple monitors aren't so hot. Decent, but not as good as the NEC, Eizo or BenQ color correctable wide gamut monitors.

Also, I'd now look into 4k monitors since you're interested in "maximum definition," which I assume means high def. See if your computer supports it here:

So your MBP is probably retina. If so, any 2.5k (2560x1440) monitor is gonna have less resolution at a given distance than your laptop. I dunno if that really matters to you. Even the 4k monitors. The regular 2.5k iMac next to my 5k iMac looks like newsprint. It's useful, especially for proofing, etc, but if you really want higher definition a 4k monitor is like $600+, and that suggestion for an iMac doesn't really count as a joke anymore, esp since the new ones have the P3 color gamut.


I can vouch for the NEC SpectraView PA series, with the "-SV" suffix. I have a pre-LED illuminated one(PA271-BK-SV) from about 2011, and the auto-calibrate thing is very nice indeed. If you don't want/need accurate color, you don't need this. The current one is the PA272-BK-SV, 1440 pixels on the short side. They make 'em in 24", and 30" versions as well. Way cheaper than Eizo in the USA; in Europe they're both overpriced, apparently.

Forum statistics

Latest member