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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

MacBook - I need a large, healthy screen and docking station. Any recommendations?


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oxband

 
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I have a MacBook. I'm a PhD student so I spend a lot of time reading on it, and I've decided to get a docking station and super large screen.

Anyone have suggestions for a large screen? I don't know if some screens are healthier for the eyes than others, but I imagine that must be the case. I have no idea which ones those are. i just know I need a screen that is big and that diminshes eye strain.

thanks!
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chscag

 
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I can only give you a recommendation based on my own experience. I'm using a Samsung SyncMaster 22" as an external monitor for my MacBook.
Purchasing a new monitor is very subjective, sort of like buying a new auto.

Keep in mind that your MacBook has a limited resolution display capability. You didn't mention which MacBook you have... The current MacBook line use the Intel GMA X3100 graphics chipset which is capable of displaying high resolutions.

In order to get the best possible viewing from your new monitor (whichever one you purchase) your MacBook graphics should enable it to display at its native resolution. Do your homework before you buy.

Regards.
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I've got a Gateway 22" that I picked up for a song (display model at Circuit City) that has a ton of inputs on it. I use it as a TV (HD - 1080i) for my PS3, and it runs the same resolution as my 17" MacBook Pro (1680x1050). I ran the colour calibration tool under TIger so the colours match, and it's great. I don't have a docking station, but I have a single USB that plugs into my monitor, and my keyboard & mouse receivers plug in to the monitor. Total I have 4 cords that plug into my MBP when it's at my desk: DVI (for video out to monitor), power, USB, and audio (my desktop speakers are much better than my MBP speakers).


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Aptmunich

 
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I use a Samsung 206BW 20" screen. It offers the same resolution as the 22" screens mentioned above, but everything will appear just a bit smaller.

Look into getting something height adjustable though if you're serious about having a healthy posture whilst using the computer.

I would recommend getting Griffin's excellent Elevator with it too: It'll let you raise your laptop's screen to the same height as the external monitor and will save some desk space as well!
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oxband

 
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Thanks for the quick replies guys. It's quite helpful.

Two more question:

1 - My MacBook has an intel chip as I bought it about 18 months ago. How can I find out if it's a good enough chip for a 22' screen? I plan on buying a screen over Buy.com so i can't ask the vendor.

2 - Do i actually need a dockign station? Someone said they just plug a connection into a USB port that has multiple USB inputs for everything else. Is that all i need? Isn't that all essentially a docking port does?

thanks,
noam
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Macbook Mini-DVI to DVI adapter
Apple Store (U.S.) - Apple Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter

Apple Cinema Display
Apple - Cinema Displays - Technical Specifications

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Hi,

Don't know about Question 1, but as for 2: I have my MBP set up as a workstation at home.

I have my MBP perched on a little stand I made, and beside it a 22" Samsung Synchmaster (absolutely amazing screen for the price) which plugs into the DVI port on my laptop.

Then, apart from the magsafe, the only other connections I have are 1 USB connector which goes to a 7 port USB hub round the back of my laptop into which my external DVD writer, Printer, Scanner, External Hard drive, Graphic Tablet, Ipod, keyboard and mouse are plugged. (for those of you counting, my mouse plugs into the keyboard saving 1)

The other one is my book shelf speakers which is just the 3.5mm jack.

So when i have to take my laptop round to a clients house it takes me about 2 minutes to have my laptop shut down, disconnected and in my bag ready to go. Setting it back up is as quick. Everything else just sits there like a big desk docking station. At the weekends when I try to not do any work, I only power up my laptop and leave everything else turned off and just use it for iTunes or youtube. Because I work, live and sleep in the same room, this helpe me differentiate the weekend from the week as I don't have everything all fired up and running.

I have trouble with my eyes and have to wear glasses to study anything. it's not that I can't focus, it's that my left eye has a weak muscle and concentrating on one thing for long periods of time hurts my eyes and gives me searing headaches.

On the monitor side of things, the 22" Synchmaster I have is glorious. It has a seperate VGA connector and a switch to jump between them! this is great for me as I also have a PC which I use seldomly but when I do, I just power it up and switch over to it.

When I am reading something, I generally bring it up on the larger screen and then use the ctrl+scroll function to enlarge it a bit more, then i can kick back and read easily peasily.

Anyway, I'll stop going on about it, but i can heartily recommend the Synchmaster as aptmunich and chscag have above.

Hope this has helped,

Mel

MacBook Pro 1.83Ghz 2Gb RAM 320Gb hard drive
iPhone 4 16Gb
iPod photo 20Gb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxband View Post

1 - My MacBook has an intel chip as I bought it about 18 months ago. How can I find out if it's a good enough chip for a 22' screen? I plan on buying a screen over Buy.com so i can't ask the vendor.
It should be fine! The Macbook can drive any screen that doesn't require dual-link DVI. In the real world this means you're fine up to 1980x1080 resolutions, anything higher and you might need to check first. So you'll want to avoid ~30" displays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxband View Post


2 - Do i actually need a dockign station? Someone said they just plug a connection into a USB port that has multiple USB inputs for everything else. Is that all i need? Isn't that all essentially a docking port does?
There aren't really many docking stations out there for macbooks anyway, so I'd just go with a USB hub and Apple's miniDVI > DVI adapter as others have mentioned.
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oxband

 
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Do any of you guys have a particular USB hub youd recommend? I guess it seems like that is my best option.
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