How to make my MBP a desktop?

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I have a MBP and would like to be able to set it up and use it as a desktop. I have no idea how to go about this or what I will need. I already have the magic mouse but plan on getting the external keyboard and an external monitor. Now what I would like to be able to do is have my MBP be able to sit on the stand SHUT with me being able to work on the external monitor. What do I need to buy to connect my MBP to the external and is it possible for it work with my MBP being shut? How would I go about doing this? What is the best external monitor set up? ALSO, is it possible to be able to work on my MBP and the external screen at the same time but doing different things? Or would I need a MAC mini in order to run dual monitors?

Any advice is appreciated!
 
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chas_m

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You can certainly run the MacBook Pro as two separate monitors (we call that "extended desktop") or you can run it shut and have an external monitor.

Here's the thing you're probably looking for if you want the latter setup:

Henge Docks

For the dual-monitor setup, all you need is an external monitor (and I recommend a stand for the laptop that raises it up slightly) along with that external KB and mouse. I'm writing to you using a very similar setup right now.

PS. It's Mac, not MAC. It's not an acronym, it's a nickname.
 
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You can certainly run the MacBook Pro as two separate monitors (we call that "extended desktop") or you can run it shut and have an external monitor.

Here's the thing you're probably looking for if you want the latter setup:

Henge Docks

For the dual-monitor setup, all you need is an external monitor (and I recommend a stand for the laptop that raises it up slightly) along with that external KB and mouse. I'm writing to you using a very similar setup right now.

PS. It's Mac, not MAC. It's not an acronym, it's a nickname.

I looked at the Hengedock but I don't think it's exactly what I'm looking for. How can I go about doing the extended desktop? What is the best stand to get? I like the aluminum look, and have looked at several, just not sure which is the "best". What external monitor do you recommend?

Thanks for your reply!
 

bobtomay

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I love my Henge dock. Its a great way to keep the MacBook running as a desktop but out of the way. Highly recommended.

I use a NEC 2690 monitor, and Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and mouse for the MBP. It is connected to the monitor via dvi-d.

I also have my productoon computer, a homebuilt W7 box running thtough the same monitor and its a simple button push on the monitor to select the W7 input. When I just need simple data from the W7 I often use Remote Desktop Connection and it works great.

BTW the MBP is my everyday machine fro anything but photo production, Quickbooks and Microsoft Expressions Web. It's just not as fast as the W7 box.

My setup:
mac.jpg
 
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I love my Henge dock. Its a great way to keep the MacBook running as a desktop but out of the way. Highly recommended.

I use a NEC 2690 monitor, and Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and mouse for the MBP. It is connected to the monitor via dvi-d.

I also have my productoon computer, a homebuilt W7 box running thtough the same monitor and its a simple button push on the monitor to select the W7 input. When I just need simple data from the W7 I often use Remote Desktop Connection and it works great.

BTW the MBP is my everyday machine fro anything but photo production, Quickbooks and Microsoft Expressions Web. It's just not as fast as the W7 box.

My setup:
mac.jpg

I have a large corner Galant desk so space isn't an issue plus I guess I just like to spread around all my stuff, so I can show off ;D
 
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Does anyone else have the set up that I am hinting at? What accessories do you use? Such as, MBP stand, monitor, or anything else that's neat?
 

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I used to use a Rain Design mStand at work with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse. It was an excellent combination for me and all I had to attach to the MBP was my power cord.

In my personal opinion, I wouldn't run a MacBook Pro with the lid closed for long stretches. Regardless of how the heat mitigation systems are designed, heat naturally rises and will want to exhaust through the keyboard/palm rest area. The lid insulates against that and will naturally make the machine run warmer, and in turn make the fans work harder (shortening their service life).

To each their own, but if I were in your shoes, I'd just leave the machine open and enjoy having a dual-display system.
 

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I choose to run my 2008 MB Pro with the lid open basically using it as an extended desktop. I usually have my iChat and IRC windows upon on that screen with an external Samsung monitor serving as the main screen. The MB Pro screen is also where I put some program's tool palates/ I might also put Mail on the MB Pro screen now that I don't have a second external monitor attached.
 
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chas_m

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I've been very happy with my BenQ monitor BUT neither it nor my current laptop are LED-backlit. When I upgrade my laptop (looking like xmas now), I'll also want to upgrade my external monitor. I think I will probably go for a refurb'd Apple Thunderbolt Display if I can get one when I have my next MBP. They go together.

If you like the aluminum look, than I also would recommend the Rain as a stand. There are others too, some very nice.

Here's a nice Belkin one: Belkin Zero Stand for MacBook Pro - Apple Store (Canada)

Griffin: Griffin Elevator Stand - Apple Store (U.S.)
 
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Is their a monitor similar to the apple cinema but not as expensive?
 
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chas_m

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Crimson: the monitor you link to is cosmetically similar to the Apple Cinema Display but is in fact nothing at all like it in terms of specs. It's not even LED backlit, nor is it an IPS panel, or have Thunderbolt, etc. etc.

This is a WAY lesser monitor in all respects.

xx: I'm unable to find a IPS-quality, 27" LED-backlit display of that resolution that sells for less, though I found one (the NEC) that sells for $1,200 *more* but is actually higher-rated.

If you can accept a lower resolution and don't need the Thunderbolt (you didn't say if your MBP has it or not, if it does this is REALLY the one to get), then you might be fine with this one from HP or this one from a company called Hazro (the US price would be something akin to the HP's price, both around $750).
 
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I will look into all those options, thanks! Just curious but for the price they are wanting for just a screen, at that point wouldn't it be easier to just get the iMac?

Any suggestions for an iPad desktop stand or dock? (not a case stand).
 
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After looking at the prices between a cinema and an iMac (I found some newer iMacs ranging around $800) I think I may just go ahead and look into getting an iMac. Would I be able to use the iMac as an external with my mbp? What would I be gaining/losing by getting an iMac instead of the cinema?
 
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I have been searching external monitors and found one that I really like. The model is AOC i2353Ph. What do you guys think?
 

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I have been searching external monitors and found one that I really like. The model is AOC i2353Ph. What do you guys think?

Looks pretty nice spec-wise. Not sure I'm too keen on the AOC brand, but otherwise, it appears to be a nice unit.
 
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I'm looking at around $300 for the monior give or take. Can I get any more bang for buck than this?
 
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Have you considered getting a used Cinema display? I just picked one up for 405 plus 30 dollars for shipping. The 24s seam to be fairly common on eBay and maybe you could Craigslist one or something.
 

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