A good external monitor for Macbook Retina?

almost 6 years ago from , Front-end Developer

I am looking for a good but not very expensive (let's say $300 max) external monitor for my Macbook Pro Retina. Any suggestion?


  • Luke VellaLuke Vella, almost 6 years ago

    I'd go for a Dell Ultrasharp. For the price you get pretty good bang for buck.


    15 points
    • Brad Purchase, almost 6 years ago

      I can back this up; just got a Retina and bought one of these to go with it. Looks great and a good value.

      1 point
    • Eduard GiménezEduard Giménez, almost 6 years ago


      0 points
    • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, almost 6 years ago

      I don't have this monitor, but every Dell monitor I've owned has been stellar for the price. And the UltraSharp series usually has some great adjustment features that others simply don't offer.

      1 point
    • Pasquale VitielloPasquale Vitiello, almost 6 years ago

      Another question: when I unplug a low-cost external monitor all the open windows on the desktop become smaller (probably because the monitor resolution is lower). In your experience, does that happens on your Dell?

      0 points
      • Alex BugaevAlex Bugaev, almost 6 years ago

        Guess it's OS-related issue, it has nothing to do with the monitor. I also recommend 2412m: I've been using it with my mac mini for 4 years if remember correctly. Works flawlessly.

        1 point
  • Igor JovanićIgor Jovanić, almost 6 years ago

    Asus PB238Q

    3 points
  • florian fangohrflorian fangohr, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    (Edit: This is slightly off-topic for this thread I skipped over the $300 price tag requirement. I would say that buying good screen that lasts ten + years can run the same price as throwing out a cheap one every couple of years.)

    I prefer my macbook screen retina and the big screen 72dpi. The world has to catch up and defaulting to seeing pixels makes my work less sloppy.

    Good displays

    Cinema displays are great. But it seems like they are overpriced at the moment. A 5k is probably just around the corner, and I'd expect the 72dpi screens to be marked down. We have 4 (one 27" that's over ten years old and still in circulation) at the office. Never any problems.

    Wire cutter calls the Dell (other good recommendations)http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/a-great-27-inch-lcd-monitor/ Good screen. Runs around $600. It's pretty cool that you can turn the monitor to portrait mode. Even though Dell offers no drivers for Mac, rotation is supported in system prefs. Not very convenient to quickly switch… oh well. Watch out for the cables though, there are reports that HDMI causes issues w/ Mac. Get a mini display port to display port adapter and you're good.

    We also recently added this LG 34um95 (beast) to the studio. It's 34" wide, which is like having 2 smaller screens next to each other (next to your Macbook). It feels a little cheap but once it's set up you forget about that. You might get a little dizzy from this giant display at first, but it's nice to have all that breathing space. If you do any work with a horizontal timeline, like video editing, this thing is amazing. While the display can show two screens, like HDMI input and thunderbolt (!) next to each other, the mac drivers for virtual displays are crap and the feature completely unusable. Too bad, especially because it's clearly marketed to Mac heads. The on screen menu is pretty crappy too, but you don't really need to use it for any reason. I'd check this one out in person, especially if you do motion work: Wire cutter has a good deal on this one $850: http://thewirecutter.com/updates/deals-a-great-ultra-wide-monitor-the-lg-34-inch-ips-monitor-is-down-to-850-from-950/

    Hope this helps!

    2 points
  • Sean O'GradySean O'Grady, almost 6 years ago

    I use an Asus PB278Q, really happy with it, although connectivity can be tricky without the proper cables

    2 points
  • Delete My AccountDelete My Account, almost 6 years ago

    Dell UltraSharp U2412M

    2 points
  • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    Keep your eye on Craigslist. I managed to snag an Apple Cinema Display (pre-Thunderbolt) for $300. It took several weeks of waiting and watching but it was definitely worth it. Beautiful monitor.

    1 point
  • Gavin AnthonyGavin Anthony, almost 6 years ago

    I just bought the Dell Ultrasharp UP2414Q a few days ago and I'm loving it. Works great with a Macbook Retina and being a 4k display, it gives the same feel as the retina screen too. This monitor is super high quality—I'm really liking it. The only problem is some color calibration between the monitor and my laptop. But there are ways to fix that.


    1 point
    • Bertrand Bruandet, almost 6 years ago

      I have the same, having an external monitor retina is priceless !

      0 points
    • Ed AdamsEd Adams, almost 6 years ago

      Could you elaborate on how to get the calibration? I want to get this but not if there's a noticeable colour difference.

      1 point
      • Gavin AnthonyGavin Anthony, almost 6 years ago

        Well I think there are a couple ways to do it. From what I've noticed, the colors seem to be kinda saturated on the UP2414Q. You can calibrate it from the system preferences I think. I am not sure if the X-Rite works but I might give that a try.

        0 points
    • Ben Grace, almost 6 years ago

      I'm upgrading soon to a retina laptop while switching jobs. Is the 4k display really worth it? I'm leaving behind an older 30inch cinema display which I loved.

      Never having used retina displays I'm not sure what to get.

      0 points
      • Gavin AnthonyGavin Anthony, almost 6 years ago

        If you have a retina laptop, you'll definitely enjoy the 4k monitor. I have a 1080p monitor and I can't even use it anymore. As for the choice of monitors, I think Dell has a pretty trustworthy lineup. I chose the 24inch version because the 32 inch was out of my price range and the 24inch was very reasonably priced. But whatever you get just make sure it has 60hz, not a TN panel, and has a good viewing angle.

        1 point
    • Dmitrij PaskevicDmitrij Paskevic, almost 6 years ago

      Almost double the budget though..

      0 points
  • Dmitrij PaskevicDmitrij Paskevic, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I bought myself an 24" iiyama XB2483HSU-B1 almost half a year ago. It has a MVA+ matrix, great colour gamut (90+% RGB), no black crush and it is suitable for both gaming/entertainment and work. It has all the ergonomics features of those Dell Ultrasharps and ZDisplays (HP) for a better price (which is less than 300$).

    0 points
  • Stuart KnezevichStuart Knezevich, almost 6 years ago

    Apple 5k Display for the win.

    0 points
  • Alex FloresAlex Flores, almost 6 years ago

    ASUS PB278Q 27-Inch WQHD

    I bought mine used from Amazon. Beautiful monitor

    0 points
  • Christopher MosureChristopher Mosure, almost 6 years ago

    Anything 4k would probably do it for you:

    DELL 28 inch Ultra HD

    ASUS PB287Q

    Samsung 28-Inch Ultra High Definition LED Monitor

    0 points
  • Dustin Martin, almost 6 years ago

    There's a price premium but I'd say it's worth looking for a 16:10 monitor. It'll match the Macbook's aspect ratio and (I think) it's nicer overall. I have an Asus VS24AH-P which has been pretty good for the price.

    0 points