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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 16, 2012
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    3
    Question Which monitor is best for coding?
    Hey everyone,

    This is my first post on these forums, so if this is in the wrong place or has been asked before (could not find such a post) then please don't rip in to me.

    I am transferring to UC Davis next year as a CS major and need to get a monitor to use. I have a mid-2009 13-inch MacBook Pro.

    What I would like from a monitor:
    -largest screen size possible (27 inch if possible)
    -high resolution (greater than 1080p)
    -HDMI so I can plug in my xBox 360
    -Pivot so I can have a vertically flipped screen

    I have looked at the Dell U2711, Apple Cinema Display, and the Samsung S27A850D. The Dell has the desired HDMI but has that matte screen which is probably terrible for reading text (i.e. coding). The Cinema Display has the glossy screen so it is better for reading small text. And the Samsung flips vertical.

    Obviously if anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear them. These are just the best options I found in my research.

    Let me know what you think is the best monitor and why. Thank you!

  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Oct 01, 2007
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    I'd argue a matt screen is better for long sessions reading text, code debugging and the like.

    The Dell is a superb screen it has connectivity for pretty much anything you can throw at it. The Latest Apple cinema display is equally fine, lacking the Dells connectivity buffet but still a fantastic screen if you want glossy. Both are 2560x1440 res. Both can take a vesa mount which will allow rotation to portrait (I guess that's what you mean by flipping vertical). Though I'd question the usefullness of this on a 27" screen.

    Both are high quality screens. I've used both and would be happy to use either. My best advice would be to sit yourself in front of them and see which you prefer.
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2008
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    126
    I second the advice of trying them out. Be sure to get a prolonged look at every display you try. Don't forget to adjust the brightness until you find something you're comfortable with.

    In terms of glossy or matte, personal preference comes into play to some extent. Some people are very bothered by glossy displays in particular although others have no problem (and may prefer them). I found I had to adjust to a glossy screen to some extent when I got my first MacBook; the process was more or less finding a brightness setting for a particular environment.

    I just read about a pivot display somewhere but I can't remember if it was a Samsung. I do seem to recall reading something about the Mac drivers not being that great for it, so make sure you do the research on your screen before you get it.
    Education is life.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jul 16, 2012
    Posts
    3
    I just did a little more research and found that if you get a different mount (Ergotron 33-329-085 33-329-057 Neo-Flex Widescreen LCD Lift Stand for large cinema display) for the Cinema display and the Dell you can put them in portrait mode.

    This makes the race a little closer. Now the Dell offers everything (HDMI, 27-inch hi-res, and portrait mode) but I don't know about that matte finish. I heard it is really aggressive and destroys the sharpness of text. Has anyone ever used one. They are not carried in stores since they are high end monitors and can only be ordered online so I can't go see one in person.

    The Cinema Display now has both hi-res 27-inch and portrait capability but is lacking the HDMI port that I want. I think it is the nicest looking monitor when it is off, but that probably shouldn't play into my decision.

    The Samsung is still hi-res 27-inch and has native portrait mode so it doesn't require me to go into setting and change the orientation. That is pretty nice, but like the Cinema Display, is lacking the HDMI port. I read that the Samsung is also a matte finish but is sort of in-between the glossy Cinema and the aggressive Dell. That means the best of both worlds I would assume.

  5. #5

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
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    I used a Radius Pivot 17" back in the day when 17" screens were coming down in price. Got a good deal but still paid more than I should have for it. Kinda cool though.

    @mrplow check out what this screen does. I think it is what the OP meant by pivot Radius Pivot Demonstration - Computer Chronicles - YouTube.

    you can play with a large screen for a day or two you may find you do not need the pivoting feature. My portrait oriented documents almost fit on a 24" monitor without any need for much scrolling at all. A 27" might just work. If at all possible go somewhere where you can play with them first hand. People's preferences in monitors can vary widely.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jul 16, 2012
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    I used a Radius Pivot 17" back in the day when 17" screens were coming down in price. Got a good deal but still paid more than I should have for it. Kinda cool though.

    @mrplow check out what this screen does. I think it is what the OP meant by pivot Radius Pivot Demonstration - Computer Chronicles - YouTube.

    you can play with a large screen for a day or two you may find you do not need the pivoting feature. My portrait oriented documents almost fit on a 24" monitor without any need for much scrolling at all. A 27" might just work. If at all possible go somewhere where you can play with them first hand. People's preferences in monitors can vary widely.
    LOL to that link. Yes, that is what I meant. It would be nice for portrait mode to be native, as it is on the Samsung, but it will not kill me I guess to go to settings and change the orientation on the Dell and the Apple displays. I understand that the larger monitors (especially at 2560x1440) are almost as large in landscape as rotating a 1080p screen into portrait mode, but imagine having 2560 vertical pixels. You would be able to see SOOO much! I am leaning towards the Dell, but like I said before, there is no way for me to go and see one since they aren't carried in stores.

    My other concern is a re-iteration of these monitors. I know the Dell is on a two year cycle, so the Dell U2713 should be coming out this fall. If they go the way of their 24-inch model, they will just be making a more affordable, less feature rich version to compete with Korean monitors. But if they add some serious functionality to the monitor, and I miss out, I will be massively disappointed. And the Apple display seems like it is due for an upgrade, even if it is a minor one. At the very least they should be putting in the USB 3.0 ports to replace the slow (by comparison) 2.0 ports they have on there. Then all there products from MacBook Air to their screens would be running the backwards compatible 3.0 ports.

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