34 thoughts on “Help me pick a big screen monitor:”

  1. Affordable? Well, that rules out an Apple Cinema Display. They fetch a premium price these days. You should probably look at Dell.

  2. Depends on the size you’re looking at, Om!

    You’ll probably want to look at the Dell 2408WFP. It’s not the cheapest at $699, but it has a high color range and tons of input options. NEC’s more recent MultiSync 24-inch displays should also be very accurate and worthwhile, though their model naming schemes aren’t always easy to wrap your head around.

    You might also want to consider Gateway’s FHD2400 screen if you want something cheaper and which also has good scaling for TV or other media sources, since it has a Faroudja processor that you’d normally only see in an HDTV. Lots of input and the option of a decent speaker bar, too.

  3. Don’t believe Calacanis, Om. I used to use a 24″ Dell with my MacBook Pro, but it made absolutely no difference to my productivity. In fact, I’m faster on a smaller screen, even when designing sites. The constraints keep me focused and less prone to browsing for new widescreen wallpaper (damn you and your wonderful archives, Mandolux). And when it’s time to go, I don’t have to mess with DVIness.

    You can have my 24″ Dell if fancy collecting it from Stratford-Upon-Avon (and promise to link to my personal site in the GigaOm network). But if you have to have a bigger screen, get the 20″ Apple Cinema – but only when Jobs finally sprinkles them with web cams.

  4. @ Neil,

    I think Macbook is a tad small for productivity though great for portability. I like the idea of a 24-inch Dell especially if I can find it at the right price. Apple monitors are way too expensive for not many good reasons. And this coming from a guy who is a mac-bigot.

  5. Om,

    The new Lenovo L220x is fantastic. I have it connected to a MacPro 2008 tower and I also tested it with my MacBook Air (via mini DVI). Once color calibrated, its a great monitor. Lenovo makes their own panel for this monitor and they market it as the first 22″ flat panel monitor that has 1920 x 1200 resolution. It really rocks (and comes with a 3-year warranty).

  6. Hey Om,
    Since I’m doing a lot more with my macbook nowadays, I bought a 22″ widescreen Samsnug SyncMaster 2200WM. It’s a beautiful display, gorgeous color and DVI/VGA support.
    I picked it up at Costco for $250. I’d say I’m much more productive when compared to my Macbook 13.3″ screen. The resolution difference is hard to argue against.


  7. Hi Om, i need a big screen too for my MBPro 15”. Lenovo is veeery nice but a little bit expensive (for me).
    I would like to buy this one: BELINEA o.display 6.1 22″ Wide”.

    Enjoy 🙂

    PS: I’m in Italy 🙂

  8. Happy with 2 Dell 24s and a 19. Multiple monitors make a huge difference (read from one pane, enter into the other).

  9. I been using a Dell 24 inch (2407) that I absolutley love. It has DVI support too. I picked it up about 2 years ago and it still works beautifully. I recently got a new MacBook and Leapoard looks great on a big screen. Go with a Dell, it think it’s the best value in terms of quality you will find.

  10. Om, I guess that means I can pick up a bigger monitor too. No more hunching over at my desk trying to read my 13-inch display.

  11. We all believe that Apple Display solutions looks nice but the price is pretty high. I really don’t have time to check average time for monitor renewal however mine is around 3 years. I usually pay the couple of hundreds in the beginning to avoid the replacement in the first year.

    I love Nec displays 🙂

    Apple Cinema HD Display 23″ is 899$
    NEC Multisync 2690 WUXiSV (including SpectraView for color calibration) is 1399$

  12. I have a 24″ Dells both at home and at the office for my MBP. Often I keep my email/calendar open on my MBP and whatever docs or emails I’m working on open on the DVI attached monitor. They’re going for $379 at dell, highly recommended.

  13. My boss just bought the whole office a second screen thanks vijay!) We all rock macs over here, but Apple Cinema displays, while pretty, are not worth the premium.

    My boss picked up some Samsung widescreens at Costco, they get the job done. Costco isn’t much for selection, but if they have the monitor you want, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat Costco on price. check out the selection at Costco.com: http://www.costco.com/Common/Category.aspx?cat=1680&eCat=BC|84|1680&lang=en-US&whse=BC&topnav=

    @Stacey –
    working on a big screen is great, but working on your existing 13″ screen and using the big screen as a second desktop is sublime.

  14. I have used a 24″ Dell with my macbook since I first bought it 3 weeks after macbooks were introduced. I definitely find I am more productive using the bigger monitor – it all depends what you do with it. I like having all my comm apps – adium / skype etc off on one side while I use my webbrowser or dev apps with lots of space for palettes spread out on the rest of the screen. I am also using a wireless logitech wireless mouse and the apple wireless keyboard.

    I just ordered an ergotron dual army myself – I want to have even more space so one arm will hold my 24″ inch monitor and the other will hold my macbook so its screen is lined up nicely with the 24″ for multiple displays. It would also be nice for cooling my macbook and freeing up deskspace. http://www.ergotron.com/Products/DeskMounts/tabid/71/ctl/Product/mid/396/PRDID/134/language/en-US/default.aspx

    It was around $188 from provantage I believe.

  15. If you value high quality, stay away from < $450 24″ monitors. I have a Dell 2407WFP at home and a Dell 248WFP at work. The difference in quality is significantly worse for the latter wrt color and viewing angle. Don’t even think about using it for anything related to Photoshop or video.

    That said, for business stuff like Word, Excel and doing your taxes, it’s good enough.

  16. Stick with Tom’s advice above. If you’re picky about your monitors, do not buy the cheapo 22″ and 24″ monitors. They use 6-bit per color TN panels versus 8-bit per color S-IPS screens. The viewing angles on the TN screens are terrible, and they look kind of lifeless and blurry to boot.

    The good monitors still cost more and they’re worth it.

  17. We have these Dell 30″ monitors at work. Mac book pros will drive them. It supports a reasonable 2560×1600 resolution, and I like it. My Mac says it’s a Dell 3007 WFPHC, whatever that is. There is no other label on the machine.

    It only has 1 DVI input (the belkin: http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=172698 works well on 30″), but has a USB hub with flash card reader.

    Here it is: http://flickr.com/photos/ryanobjc/1130886292/

  18. Much as it pains me to say this, I have to cast my vote with the “go with Dell” camp. Right now Dell is THE place to go for excellent quality low-cost LCD monitors, and though I salivate over Apple’s products like a two year-old in a toy store, the Cinema display line is abysmally overpriced and underwhelming.

    I have the 20″ model sitting on my desk now (conjoined with a Mac Pro) and don’t plan to upgrade until they revamp the entire line with LED backlit displays and pull their heads out of their pants on pricing.

    Apple’s premium pricing is beginning to gnaw at me, as well as my pocket book. I’m saving my money to buy a MacBook Pro, and can’t possibly afford one at the moment, but I find myself wondering why I should drop over two grand for the same hardware I could get in a PC notebook for half the price?

    By the way, you say you’re using a MacBook… do you mean the consumer model or Pro?

  19. I liked my first Dell 2407 so much I bought a second. The only caution I’d give (and I’ve compared notes with other developers who say the same) is that there seems to be variation in the color between the two even at identical settings. But that’s a minor nit, and only noticeable if you’re going to put two side-by-side.

  20. I picked up a 24″ Acer at my local BJ’s for $369. It’s a lovely display at an affordable price.

  21. After regularly using a larger screen, laptop screens feel like green 13″ CRTs.

    The dell 24xx series are great – Samsung panels.

  22. @ Kent: using a Macbook, the consumer model.

    @ others, Thanks for the suggestions. It is a samsung -dell bake off. I am not confused.

    Also is 22 inch better than 24 inch monitor? Big question.

  23. Go to the Apple refurbished store and get a 23″ for $749 with free shipping. You won’t regret it – whereas everytime you look at the Dell or Samsung logo you will.

  24. @ all those using 24″+ monitors
    I really think that dual 19″ monitors are not only a much better deal, but for me create a great workflow
    I had a 32″ monitor, admittedly the resolution wasn’t that high, but honestly it just massive just didn’t help.

    I also agree that this will be task dependent, what you are doing will make a difference as well as your working style.

    For me I typically have Dreamweaver, photoshop, Firefox (with way too many tabs open) and a couple of word and/or excel files open, not to mention twitter, IM, Skype popping up and down. I flip from project to project. More space helps.

  25. Especially, if you’re a cheap bastard, err, I mean student, like me, the Acers are very attractive. They are very cheap, and by cheap I don’t mean low quality, I mean very affordable, the panels themselves are pretty dang nice, especially for the cost. I’m extremely happy with mine.

    In my opinion, I wouldn’t even look at anything bigger than 24″, and I even find that a bit of a stretch–just too freakin’ big. At home, I have currently have a 20″. One thing I think to note is the resolution versus the size. From what I’ve seen, most 20″ and 22″ both tend to be 1680×1050, so while the 22″ may be bigger, you’re not going to be getting any more screen real estate for the extra money. 24″ are 1920×1200, so in that case, you’d have full 1080p resolution, if that’s important to you.

    I want to echo what others have touched: Instead of one really big screen, you might be better off with two more medium sized displays. I’m not sure how that would work (if at all) with the MacBook, though. (It only has one DVI output, right? I guess you’d probably need some special hardware device or something…)

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