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Decent display for my mom to connect her MacBook Air to...


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Decent display for my mom to connect her MacBook Air to...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-24, 18:50

Her decade-old iMac gave it up last week, so now she's got her MacBook Air (which she'll be updating later this year when the redesigned one hits). So she's going to do the "one computer + external monitor when more space is needed" thing, which I've been pushing for all along...she doesn't need the overhead (updates, backing up, etc.) of full-blown Macs.

So...

- I'm thinking something in the 22-24" range? Can't be too big due to her corner desk design and the amount of side-to-side space in the display cubby area. She's had a 21.5" iMac in there for ages, so it at least fits that sizing with a bit more to spare for something 23-24" . I think the space is right at 24" wide (I'll comfirm tomorrow). No need to be suggesting 27"+ stuff...isn't going to fit/fly/work.

- It's Mom. She surfs/Facebooks/Quicken/occasional greeting cards/emails/texts. Color fidelity, nits, resolution, etc. aren't crucial. Please don't buzzword/spec-whore me to death on this. It's the extra real estate/bigger working area she's after more than anything.

- According to her "About This Mac...", she's got a MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) and, in case it matters, Intel HD Graphics 5000 with 1,536MB

- It "Just Works™", correct? Or are external displays platform-dependent...some work with Macs, some don't, etc.? I'm hoping it's just "connect the two devices together and *boom* extra monitor space without any hassle/aggravation (got enough of that going on with myself this past week - thanks, Catalina - not looking for extra ) when she wants to work with larger (physically) files (she sometimes does spreadsheet stuff).

- Would be wonderful to be under $150. Way under. Not looking for an Apple Studio Display, but I don't think a $69 Complete Piece-of-Shit is the goal either.

- Connection-wise, what do I need to look for on the monitor end? HDMI? DVI? VGA?

According to Mactracker, here's the deal on the graphics for her particular model:

Quote:
-Iintel HD Graphics 500
- Up to 1.5GB LPDDR3 SDRAM shared from main memory
- Thunderbolt digital video output
- Dual display extended, video mirroring and AirPlay Mirroring
- Up to 2560 x 1600 pixels
Do I look for a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI cable (assuming there's a HDMI port on whatever monitor she gets)?

Thanks in advance.

Remember...basic and affordable/cheap. She's not doing photo/video work, gaming, etc. She surfs, does her Quicken stuff, makes some greeting cards, etc.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2022-03-24, 21:06

At that size I think most business class monitors will do the trick, and so would more gaming centric ones, probably. They’ve almost always got all the connections you could need on the back.

I think if you go with 1920x1200 16:10 you can certainly do it for $200 or so, and the little extra height can be useful. If you want 2560x1440, you might go up to $350-375.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-24, 22:41

No, it's more in the $149-and-under realm, trust me.

I've been on Office Depot, Staples, Best Buy and Walmart's websites this evening more than 20 years combined.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2022-03-25, 03:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
- It "Just Works™", correct? Or are external displays platform-dependent...some work with Macs, some don't, etc.? I'm hoping it's just "connect the two devices together and *boom* extra monitor space without any hassle/aggravation (got enough of that going on with myself this past week - thanks, Catalina - not looking for extra ) when she wants to work with larger (physically) files (she sometimes does spreadsheet stuff).
There are cases where the Mac doesn't quite know how to use the monitor at the right resolution, but by and large, yes, it should just work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
- Connection-wise, what do I need to look for on the monitor end? HDMI? DVI? VGA?

According to Mactracker, here's the deal on the graphics for her particular model:



Do I look for a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI cable (assuming there's a HDMI port on whatever monitor she gets)?
Most likely HDMI.

And, no. Ignore the Thunderbolt stuff. Just get a mini-DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-25, 04:19

Awesome, thanks. I was wondering if they were the same/compatible. My Googling was suggesting that.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2022-03-25 at 07:45.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-03-25, 07:39

NewEgg is a great place to look for monitors. This is priced between $50 and $175 which filters most things though monitor mounts still show up in the search. This ASUS looks like it would fit the bill nicely at 24" and HDMI input.

Edit: I noticed you really want under $150 so here is a more refined link to $100-150..

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2022-03-25 at 10:23.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-03-25, 08:50

BTW, you don't need to buy an "adapter" for Mini-DP to HDMI. You can just get a cable that is single purpose. Thing is, most of the time an HDMI cable is laying around somewhere or comes with the monitor and the small adapter is easier.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2022-03-25, 14:50

Wow. I’m so out of touch. I don’t really know what anything costs via a vis consumer electronics. I like gadgets but haven’t had to really shop for stuff in so long that I’m not aware of where the deals are.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-26, 10:21

Here's another question (I've done a bit of Googling, but the answer seems to hinge on a) an iMac of a certain year/model and b) said iMac has to be in working order).

Mom's 10+ year old iMac went south, it seems. All efforts on my end to revive it aren't successful. I think the hard drive or board has gone bad. Not about to pay to have it repaired, of course.

Thing is, the ports (USB, anyway...as I can use the keyboard and mouse when in Recovery Mode or booted off an USB thumb drive boot disc) and the display itself work just fine. The display looks/works great.

Target Disk Mode aside (which may not even be available on this particular 21.5" iMac (that isn't booting/working)...is there ANY WAY such a thing (with a functioning display) can simply be used as a "dumb monitor". It has power, the display works just fine. Is there anyway she could just use the (dead) iMac has an external 21.5" display to connect her Air to from time to time? That would be a lot cheaper/easier and it's already in place, just sitting there.

Is there some sort of cable, some sort of "hack", etc. that would allow this? A shame that a non-bootable Mac, with a perfectly-functioning screen, can't be put to further, additional use in its twilight years.

Everything I Google about doing so centers around "Target Disk Mode", which implies the iMac must be bootable/functioning. This ain't the case here. So is there some sort of "unofficial" workaround that allows this? That would be pretty cool/helpful if so.

Again, the iMac just ain't working (as far as booting up to a usable Finder, etc.). But the screen lights up/displays just fine, no problem. Is there a way to bypass the "guts"/computer part of it and just tap into/use the still-functioning screen, driven by the MacBook Air?

NOTE: I'm in no position/skills (and no tools) to disassemble iMac and putz around with wires, ribbons, soldering, etc. so I'm not looking for solutions/answers entailing that sort of thing. I'm thinking some sort of cable/software (from the MacBook Air?) hack or workaround that allows the Air to simply see the iMac as a standalone display (vs. an iMac)? Seems a shame to have to toss/recycle this working 21.5" "monitor" and spend ~$150 on another.

But I realize I may be asking the impossible, so just give it to me straight. At this point, I'm already primed for disappointment and "well, that's plan D all shot to hell".
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-03-26, 10:45

Nope, no way to use that iMac screen withot some serious electronics knowledge. This has long been my pet peeve with the iMac, and why I don’t recommend them to anyone. It’s a waste of a perfectly good screen if the machine goes south or no longer has a modern enough OS. Apple, for all their talk about being green friendly and such needlessly creates a ton of ewaste with these decisions.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-26, 11:30

Well rats. I was hoping I was onto something. Thanks.

Yeah, that is a waste. The display works just fine, but it can’t be used. A shame these things can’t be designed to live on as “dumb displays” long after their processors/OS support ends. There’s your affordable 21.5-24” Apple display…a 6-10 year old iMac. Still looks nice, reasonably thin and sleek, pairs nicely with various aluminum Macs.

Oh well.

Yeah, as much as they tug it over their green-ness, they do some questionable, wasteful stuff. This would be a good example. Now I gotta find a way to dispose of this thing. I’ll call simply Mac at the mall and see if they, as an authorized Apple service center, have a direct pipe to Apple to ship it back for recycling.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2022-03-26, 11:56

I take it it doesn’t boot into anything at all? Like, if you hold option, does anything show up?
  quote
psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-26, 12:40

Just tried the option thing...it comes up with "Vicki's Desktop" or "Recovery-10.11.5".

Up until now I could only boot into Recovery Mode(?) and when I'd run that Disk Utility First Aid, it would make it through one thing just fine, and then fail/stop halfway into the second one.

It hasn't booted up to usable condition in over a week, no.

When I click "Vicki's Desktop", I get the same boot up progress bar as she/I have been getting since last Thursday, nine days ago...it creeps alongs, hangs at about the 3/4 mark and then screen goes out. It never boots to a usable, normal desktop/state.

No tell-tale "crunching glass" sounds or anything, like you often hear with a bad hard drive.

It's an older iMac with the spinning hard drive, so I've heard that sound before.

Just happened again...tried to boot, progress hangs at the 3/4 way for about 3-5 minutes and then the screen just goes black.

EDIT: Now I'm booting into recovery mode from the two items presented via the "option + restart". It wanted my wifi password, so I entered it. Maybe this time it's booting differently. I'll try that First Aid thing again...haven't since last night.

UPDATE: Been booting into that mode for nearly 10 minutes now, just the grey Apple logo on screen. Maybe it takes longer.

I'm not really going to go to extreme measures to resurrect this thing. It's old and slow. If I have no success today, I'm going to wipe/erase it and look into getting it back to Apple for recycling.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2022-03-26 at 12:58.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2022-03-26, 14:44

It could just be that the hard disk is hosed.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-26, 15:48

That's my assessment, so I just zapped it from the Recovery Mode. It won't let me install a new system (blinking question mark, etc.). Her stuff is on her MacBook and I'm done fooling with it, at all levels. Trying to find out if I can run it to my local SimplyMac store at the mall for them to send to Apple for recycling. That's all I'm interested in at this point.

She can buy a cheap 24" monitor and proceed on with her MacBook Air. How much time/effort to I truly want to put into a ~2011 Mac, right? Especially if it's something I can fix anyway.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-03-26, 16:49

Just heard back from SimplyMac.

"We do it (recycle) for $19.99...".



Is this standard/common? I'm not paying someone to recycle something.

Just curious because this is the second time this store has had some weird "fee"...when I tried to do that temporarily lower-priced ($39) iPhone battery replacement thing a few years ago, locally, they tried to tack on an additional $10 fee for reasons I could never get a straight answer on, after talking to three different people. I wound up doing it, two weeks later, in KC at the Apple Store (while I waited) for the $39. This place, apparently, was going to ship it off somewhere (who knows where? Apple? Fred's Batteries R Us?) and that was to cover shipping...they don't do it there, it turns out?

This is supposedly an Apple authorized service center and, obviously, a reseller. Does Apple charge you to bring in an older Mac or iDevice for recycling?



I don't like this store. They always seem to be pulling shit/getting cute with numbers in a way others don't.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-03-26, 18:38

Depends on where you are. We pay a recycling fee on electronics when we buy them, so no fee when dropped off at the electronics depot for recycling, don't have to deal with any store at all. Look to see if your state has any programs.
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Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-06-27, 15:45

I guess this is as close to a Display Advice thread as we've got.

Samsung revealed some new creative-focused monitors last week. I like the look of the 32", and it pivots, which is a nice bonus.

Anyone have any idea how these might work with a Mac Mini?

I assume from the specs they won't have the 218ppi that Apple prefers for 'true' Mac monitors. Would that be a huge problem?
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-06-27, 16:18

I'm sure it will work fine.

The display will identify itself to the Mini like any other display and it should be just ducky.
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Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-06-27, 18:31

Thanks. Been using the iMac for more a decade, so it's been a long time since I connected a third-party monitor to a Mac.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-06-28, 11:13

There are a few that are quite problematic over HDMI, but most are fine. If it has USB-C or DisplayPort connection, all will (should? ) be good.
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