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Monitor to connect to MBP 2010? HELP PLEASE!

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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July 10, 2012 4:09:58 AM

I have a 15' MBP 2010. I use it for work all day. It's becoming annoying because it's too small for me and I need a larger monitor to connect to it. Preferably a 24inch monitor.

So I purchased a 24inch monitor from Amazon.ca, but the monitor doesn't display text all the well. It's not super crisp and doesn't go very bright. Here's the one I bought: http://www.amazon.ca/Viewsonic-VX2453MH-LED-24-Inch-Ult... (I have played around with it and still can't get the text to become crisp, images are fine, just the text sucks)

So I'm going to return that one and get another 24inch from Amazon.ca (has to be from Amazon.ca since I have a gift card for them). I would like to keep the price around $200-$250 or so.

What 24inch LED monitor do you guys suggest I get from Amazon.ca to hook up to my MBP?

Some other important questions on my mind:
- Is it best to connect by mini display port to HDMI or mini display port to DVI?
- What brand is best?
- Should I go with a IPS panel?

What I need:
- ability to make the screen very bright, so easy on eyes during day light
- crisp text, easy to read for my work all day

Here are the best selling monitors on Amazon:
- http://www.amazon.ca/Bestsellers-Electronics-Computer-M...

Here are the monitors I've been looking at:
- http://www.amazon.ca/ASUS-VH238H-23-Inch-Integrated-Spe...
- http://www.amazon.com/Viewsonic-VX2450WM-LED-23-6-Inch-...
- http://www.amazon.ca/HP-2311x-23-inch-LED-Monitor/dp/B0...
- http://www.amazon.ca/Inch-Class-Panel-Backlight-Diagona...

I really apppreciate your help in advance
July 10, 2012 4:26:53 AM

Sorry the links weren't working a minute ago. Just updated them.
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July 10, 2012 4:45:29 AM

Before you buy a replacement monitor, you should confirm the reason for the bad text. I can think of several possibilities, and only one of them would justify a replacement monitor:
1. bad cable
2. non-native resolution (http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/clock_phase.php can help you determine whether it's really running at native, as opposed to being scaled up or down at the video card and scaled back to panel size at the monitor)
3. bad monitor settings (especially sharpness)
4. wrong subpixel layout chosen for subpixel font smoothing
5. anti-glare coating (makes the surface slightly rough to avoid reflections, but can also blur pixels) - this is the one that would justify a replacement monitor, and if this is your problem, you might want to look for a monitor with a glossy panel.
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July 10, 2012 4:52:01 AM

Thanks MauveCloud.

Very good points you brought up.

1. I'm getting another mini display port to HDMI cable in the mail soon

I was reading through the comments on Amazon for other monitors and came across a very interesting comment where the person says they had my exact monitor and that they were having an issue with the low text sharpness so they switched it out to an LG monitor where the text is sharp... you can see the comment here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1G6A643482Y55/ref=cm_cr_p...

That comment was for this monitor: http://www.amazon.ca/Inch-Class-Panel-Backlight-Diagona...
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July 10, 2012 12:43:57 PM

How curious. I would have guessed that an LG e-IPS panel would have a more aggressive anti-glare coating than a ViewSonic TN panel. However, if the ViewSonic didn't offer enough of a sharpness setting, or disabled it for the input type used, that would be a bigger problem. Note that the LG IPS231 only has DVI and D-Sub inputs, so a mini display port to HDMI cable won't help.
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July 23, 2012 10:57:22 AM

I see that the LG IPS231 has "DVI-D" input. Could I use a regular mini displayport to DVI to connect my macbook to this monitor?


Thank you.

MauveCloud said:
How curious. I would have guessed that an LG e-IPS panel would have a more aggressive anti-glare coating than a ViewSonic TN panel. However, if the ViewSonic didn't offer enough of a sharpness setting, or disabled it for the input type used, that would be a bigger problem. Note that the LG IPS231 only has DVI and D-Sub inputs, so a mini display port to HDMI cable won't help.


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July 23, 2012 1:07:24 PM

Yes, a mini displayport to dvi should work fine.
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July 23, 2012 1:29:09 PM

MauveCloud said:
Yes, a mini displayport to dvi should work fine.


Okay thanks. So I wouldn't need to get a "mini displayport to DVI-D" and instead can use a regular "mini displayport to DVI"? (sorry for asking again.. I'm ordering online so want to make sure I pick up a correct one).


You seem really knowledgeable on these monitors and I was wondering what 23/24inch monitor would you specifically buy on www.Amazon.ca if you're price range was $200-250? (I'm hooking it up to a macbook)


Really appreciate your help.
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July 23, 2012 2:54:28 PM

As far as I can tell, most mini displayport to dvi cables already are mini displayport to dvi-d (even if not specified as such in the description), or the dvi end is female (holes instead of pins), and you'd just connect a dvi-d cable to that. Finding a photo of the cable you plan to buy would help you make sure it had the right connection. Also, I think there are some monitors that have the extra holes to allow connecting a dvi-i plug instead of requiring a dvi-d plug. Photos of the input ports would show you which it supports.

Glossy panels can help text be crisper (severe anti-glare coatings can produce a sparkle, but some people are more bothered by that than others), but have problems if you have high ambient light levels. I think a high-static-contrast amva panel would work well for you, like the BenQ GW2450hm, which is just barely over your stated price range:
http://www.amazon.ca/24in-Gw2450hm-D-Sub-Dvi-D-Black/dp...
You can read the TFT Central review here:
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/benq_gw2450hm.htm

You also asked about IPS panels in your original post. They have better viewing angles and color accuracy compared to other panel types, but tend to be more expensive and often weaker static contrast. Thus I'd only recommend one if you needed the viewing angles or color accuracy, or had a reason to limit the physical size of a monitor and had a high enough budget to afford one of that size.
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August 1, 2012 8:51:07 PM

Thank you very much.

That BenQ monitor you posted looks really nice. I see that it is non-glossy. I don't really understand what the high-static-contrast amva panel means, what are your thoughts on why it would work well for me?

I'm in between choosing that BenQ or the LG one I posted, so:

LG - http://www.amazon.ca/Inch-Class-Panel-Backlight-Diagona...

or

BenQ - http://www.amazon.ca/24in-Gw2450hm-D-Sub-Dvi-D-Black/dp...

What do you feel is better?

I was also looking at this one, but it's not available anymore: http://www.amazon.ca/IPS236V-1080p-HDMI-Widescreen-Moni...

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August 2, 2012 1:35:54 PM

High static contrast means it can deliver deep blacks even when white is showing simultaneously - dynamic contrast drops the backlight level to the minimum (or even off) when showing an all-black screen, and raises it to the maximum when showing an all-white screen, but those cases are so rare in practice that the contrast ratio calculated by comparing the two is completely useless for comparisons. AMVA panels can produce higher static contrast than IPS.

I'm not sure which would be better for you.

The BenQ has the higher static contrast, which should be good for text (and less susceptible to being washed out by ambient light), the size you originally indicated a preference for (24 inches), and an HDMI input (so the mini displayport to hdmi cable you indicated was already on the way should work, instead of you needing to get a minidisplayport to dvi adapter).
The LG is less expensive, an IPS panel, which is good for photo/video work, but perhaps not quite as good for text, it offers a pivoting stand for no extra charge, but it's a little smaller, and no HDMI input.
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August 5, 2012 6:37:22 AM

That makes sense. I think the BenQ one sounds like it would be better for me. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that LG one is a bit outdated since it doesn't have HDMI...

I don't see any reviews for that BenQ one on Amazon.ca. I'm not sure if that is a bad sign. What are your thoughts?

Also - I found another BenQ monitor that is around the same price: http://www.amazon.ca/BenQ-RL2450HT-24-Inch-Gaming-Monit...


Thanks again for helping me.
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August 6, 2012 4:35:21 AM

I'm having trouble finding user reviews for the BenQ GW2450hm even on US retailer sites. However, I think a review from a site like TFT Central carries at least as much weight as 20 user reviews (maybe more).

The BenQ RL2450HT is a TN panel, so the viewing angles and static contrast ratio won't be as good as the GW2450hm.
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