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Best external monitor for Macbook Pro 2017?

over 2 years ago from , UX/UI

Dear DN,

I want to buy the best monitor for my new Macbook Pro 13" 2017 (physical F1-F12 keys) and I've been thinking in the Ultrafine LG 5k (because of the retina), but aside from the failure reports, I don't know if any of you had the chance to use it for work.

Other options I've been pondering:

Any recommendation?

39 comments

  • Alejandro VizioAlejandro Vizio, over 2 years ago

    Here's a good article about displays :)

    https://bjango.com/articles/macexternaldisplays/

    5 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

      Thank you! :)

      I’d post some thoughts here, but the article you’ve linked to covers my opinion on the topic.

      4 points
      • Diego Lafuente, over 2 years ago

        Hi Marc, I am not so sure if the Dell UltraSharp UP2715K (800EUR) is not 5K compatible with the new Macbook Pros. It needs 2 HDMI connections.

        0 points
        • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

          Yeah, might not be. I purposefully didn’t cover the ports and which displays are compatible, because I honestly don’t know. Even Thunderbolt 3 → DisplayPort can have issues, apparently. There’s a lot of complexity and confusion in getting high DPI displays working.

          0 points
      • Alejandro VizioAlejandro Vizio, over 2 years ago

        More than welcome <3

        0 points
      • Abhijeet WankhadeAbhijeet Wankhade, over 2 years ago

        That's a great article! But now I'm scared of buying any monitor after looking at the infographic over there because basically, every 4k monitor falls in the bad zone and 5k monitors are just not available in my country.

        0 points
        • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 2 years ago

          Yep, that’s pretty much the situation. There’s lots of non-Retina displays, and almost no true Retina displays (if you’re lucky enough to have a Mac that can run one anyway).

          0 points
    • Rasmus ErikssonRasmus Eriksson, over 2 years ago

      Woot, the thing about colour support really surprised me. But it makes sense. Thanks!

      0 points
    • Joe BlauJoe Blau, over 2 years ago

      I love how the 5k iMac is ranked amongst the top of this list. I bought one about a year ago and it's been an amazing machine.

      0 points
    • Luis La TorreLuis La Torre, over 2 years ago

      Damn! I love that article it goes very in-depth.

      1 point
  • Steve OrchoskySteve Orchosky, over 2 years ago

    I love my Dell Ultra HD 4k Monitor P2715Q. I first got it w/ a 2014 Mac Mini that only refreshed at 30hz, but with my 2016 Macbook Pro it's flawless at 60hz.

    2 points
  • Gavin AnthonyGavin Anthony, over 2 years ago

    Dell makes great 24in and 27in 4k monitors that are very reasonable. LG also has discounts on the UltraFine line for a while, which is a good monitor for the new MacBook Pro (minus the bugs...). Personally, I wouldn't even bother looking at a monitor that's not 4k—it's just not worth it.

    1 point
  • Mitch Murry, over 2 years ago

    I can only speak for myself. I have the Dell U2515Hx 25"and I love it. Super crisp and clean and cutting off a couple inches made the savings worth it for me. I just purchased it last week and have been enjoying it.

    What are you looking for in your monitor? I have heard a curved monitor is just as good as the normal 34" just spending extra monies on a curve.

    I have been coding/using sketch and the occasional Netlfix movie. Super clean, mattish (not Apple matte, but not glossy either) finish that does well in direct light for me.

    1 point
  • Seth RichardsonSeth Richardson, over 2 years ago

    These dell monitors are AMAZING! alt text

    1 point
  • ash bhoopathyash bhoopathy, over 2 years ago

    This is now my second Ultrafine LG 5k - the first one went bad after 3 weeks. Not sure if it was just a dud, or they seriously have issues. I just returned it to Apple. That said, I absolutely love this monitor - The resolution, everything about it (except for the fact that the old one failed.... and I'm hoping that this one doesn't) -- It's also well worth the price.

    0 points
  • Yay N, over 2 years ago

    I had a Dell U2913WM from before that I'm using with my new MBP now. I'm pretty happy with it. Love the ultra wide form factor for designing.

    Sometimes it doesn't want to recognize the signal from the laptop. I've tried a couple of USB-C to DisplayPort cables and adapters. Once it's up and working then it usually works well but after unplugging it, it occasionally can take couple of attempts to get it working again. This seems to be related to DisplayPort since there's no issue with HDMI but there's something about the image quality of the HDMI signal that I don't like.

    0 points
  • Diego Lafuente, over 2 years ago

    According to the Bjango article about monitors, I am not so sure if the Dell UltraSharp UP2715K (800EUR) is not 5K compatible with the new Macbook Pros. It needs 2 HDMI connections.

    0 points
  • Max LindMax Lind, over 2 years ago

    I recently purchased the LG UltraFine 4K Display...my take = so far, so good!

    I think most folks go with the side to side setup, but I'm using it as my primary monitor above my MacBook Pro. Workflow is taking a little getting used to, but it's definitely a big help for focus.

    0 points
  • Mike HallMike Hall, over 2 years ago

    Here i something very informative related to external monitors please visit once and you will not be disappointed http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/06/24/roundup-the-best-external-monitor-alternatives-to-apples-discontinued-thunderbolt-display

    0 points
  • Cory MicekCory Micek, over 2 years ago

    I have the: LG Electronics UM95 34UM95 34-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

    I have it at work and I loved it so much I purchased one for my home office as well! so far, I love it! no issues at all.

    0 points
  • Aaron SagrayAaron Sagray, over 2 years ago

    I've had bad luck with the LG monitor. Returning one that is less than a month old, because all of the external ports on the back (except Thunderbolt and HDMI) died.

    0 points
  • Saurabh M, over 2 years ago

    +1 for the LG Ultrawide 34UM95. Absolute beast. Once you get used to seeing that many artboards at once in Sketch, it's hard to go back to any other monitor.

    Wouldn't recommend the curved version, though. Nightmare with straight lines..

    0 points
  • Chris Nordqvist, over 2 years ago

    Absolutely love my Dell U3415W. It's 34" and certainly not cheap, but there's no going back from comfortably using three apps next to each other.

    Colors are nice, even though I like them better on the iMac etc. I do more dev work than design though.

    0 points
  • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, over 2 years ago

    I just got a Dell U2717D and absolutely love it. I'm using it on a 13" Macbook Air 2013. The perfect 1440p display for the price, if you ask me.

    The Wirecutter totally recommends it.

    If you are looking to get a 4K display (which may be better since your new Macbook can support the resolution / performance), then the Dell P2715Q is also recommended by Wirecutter.

    I pretty much always trust their recommendations on these things, but give their reviews a read for yourself!

    0 points
    • Javier Losada, almost 2 years ago

      I just got a U2717D and the out-of-the-box color (I've tried all the preset modes) is really different from my MBP. Did you calibrate it?

      0 points
      • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, almost 2 years ago

        Hey Javier—I ended up returning the monitor because it ended up going defective within a few weeks after owning it. I've had a long run with Dell's horrible customer service. I would steer clear of them if I were you. They make great monitors, when they work. But the second you need to return yours for a replacement, expect a refurbished one back (and in worse shape than your brand new one).

        Here's my story about it:

        https://medium.com/@andymerskin/why-i-will-never-buy-another-dell-product-again-9cee23c0fff3

        0 points
        • Javier Losada, almost 2 years ago

          Wow, so sorry about that. I purchased mine at Amazon so I hope refund won't be an issue. Which monitor did you get, finally?

          0 points
          • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, almost 2 years ago

            Yeah, I'd go that route if anything every happens. If you still have time for an Amazon warranty on it, it might be worth it. Dell's warranty may be 3 years, but they're so stingy. Cross your fingers you'll never need a replacement.

            I ended up getting the ViewSonic VP2771 27". It's really great! Beautiful monitor, lots of features—has more than I wanted from the Dell. Frankly I liked the look of the Dell better, but this one has a decent look to it and solid build quality.

            1 point
  • Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, over 2 years ago

    I have a different LG 34inch Ultrawide. I'd recommend that you'd get a curved monitor if you get an Ultrawide, simply because the content on the corners of the display will be harder to view because of the angle of the screen, relative to your eyes when you turn to look at them.

    I cannot recommend ultrawides enough for productivity sake. The only real drawback is that there is no high ppi ultrawide monitor because of the graphic power that would be required to power one. If you're using a laptop with a high ppi screen then this is probably an acceptable trade off. You could always just use your laptop's screen instead.

    0 points
  • Aloke Pillai, over 2 years ago

    I love the LG34-Inch! Use it with Spectacles the window management app and watching your productivity shoot up. Lol I sound like an infomercial but I have been loving this set up for the past 8 months.

    0 points
  • tony kakkar, over 1 year ago

    Check this post https://www.thecrazybuyers.com/best-usb-c-monitor-for-macbook-pro/

    I would recommend you to go with ViewSonic 4k Monitor

    0 points
  • Anton StenAnton Sten, over 2 years ago

    I have the LG 5k - not super impressed with it so far to be honest.

    What I love:

    • Just one cable to power everything - external discs, ethernet, usb-a stuff as everything is connected to the monitor
    • Great picture quality
    What I don't like:
    • Sound quality! The speakers are really bad and adjusting volume is a joke
    • If I use the video camera in Skype calls - everything fails - it's like the backside hub completely disconnects

    For the price of the LG 5k, I would go with something else although the "problems" described will most likely be fixed in an upcoming software fix (especially since this is the monitor that Apple is promoting).

    0 points
    • Joshua TurnerJoshua Turner, over 2 years ago

      The LG 5k is extremely affordable right now though. You won't find another 5k monitor for that price.

      Still tons of problems with it, but if they're fixed soon I'll still consider it a good buy for the price alone.

      0 points
    • Rasmus ErikssonRasmus Eriksson, over 2 years ago

      I just returned both of mine yesterday. The IQ is great, but it's so riddled with bugs of all manners that I just don't want to pay for it.

      • It prevents my MacBooks from going to sleep and keeps them fully powered (and hot!) 24/7
      • The occasional graphical artefact
      • Awful speakers
      • It often fails to reconnect peripherals
      • WiFi thing…

      So this thread came in quite handy for me too!

      0 points