Computer Related > Desk top monitor advice Buying / Selling
Thread Author: legacylad Replies: 4

 Desk top monitor advice - legacylad
So I’ve got a new Iphone 12 on contract, and will soon be replacing my 15yo laptop with a MacBook Air. I may as well buy a new monitor to replace my ancient neolithic lump sitting on my desk.
It will mainly be used for looking at photos, no professional use or gaming, and not larger than a 27” screen.
Eeny meeny miny moe unless any recommendations please...there seems to be no general consensus of opinion have read lots of reviews.
 Desk top monitor advice - Zero
Advice? Wait. If you are buying new and getting the 13.5" M1 Air, wait till you see the retina display on the machine itself. Its very good, you may not need an external display. If you do however, you will need a thunderbolt to HDMI adaptor, or a display with a thunderbolt cable.

ASUS make (badge?) nice displays.
Last edited by: Zero on Sun 14 Feb 21 at 16:31
 Desk top monitor advice - Lemma
It depends on how serious you are in terms of the photographs you want to look at. The quality of the screen will determine the rendition of the colours and the sharpness of the image. I am a pretty serious amateur snapper and use a Mac mini with a Benq Pd2700U.

This is a 27” as you might guess and gives 4K, The iMac is 5k but in reality you won’t notice the difference. This Benq also displays in sRGB. This is one of the standard colour gamuts (the array of colours) and is the one most widely used in printing, magazines and studio work. Adobe, the people who produce Photoshop and Lightroom, use a wider gamut, Adobe RGB and Apple have another very similar. There is a view that the wider the gamut the better, but again the difference is marginal. But if I were to process in AdobeRGB and then send images off for printing in a studio they would print in sRGB. So in realty sRGB will do you fine.

If you have a Mac Air with the new M1 chip then you already have a very fine machine for photo work and hooking up to a quality monitor would enable you to take photos in RAW, unprocessed format with all the data, rather than much more compressed jpg where the camera makes the decision about the final appearance of the images, compresses it and loses the data that would otherwise be used to process the image. Of course you may not want to do that, but a good quality monitor keeps your options open. You would only need a photo processing programme to have the full kit. With most there is a fairish learning curve, but DXO Photolab is one of the easier ones to use and is not on a subscription plan, you buy it once and upgrade at your discretion.

The other issue with displays is the ability to calibrate them. This means you “tune” the monitor to give true colour reproduction so that your two screens and any prints you make are as close as possible. I have a gadget to enable me to check my screen from time to time. Benq screens come pre-calibrated.

In terms of cost I paid around £435 for mine, an AdobeRGB would be perhaps £700+ And of course an Apple monitor much more. There are cheaper, and inevitably lower spec, monitors available but before you decide think that the screen is the window to everything you will see for a very long time. Take a look on the internet and you will see plenty of reviews of monitors for photo work. A quick look suggests a Dell for £175 and a 27” 2k 100% sRGB ASU’s for £350.

Sorry, you got the full nerd treatment here!
 Desk top monitor advice - legacylad
Thanks Z and Lemma for your is a Mac Air with M1 chip I’m buying. A larger monitor will help my old mum, with failing eyesight, see both photo and video of her grandchildren to better effect. During these times of containment they are one of her few pleasures in life.

The Covid era has focused my mind somewhat and I plan on catching up on some serious travelling when borders open, health permitting, and I’ll be doing more photography than I would do normally.
However, I shall do as Z suggests, and see if the 13” screen on the Mac Air is sufficiently large for her eyesight.
 Desk top monitor advice - Lemma
Another option is a stand alone digital photo frame. We have one and it’s great. Load the images onto a flash drive, plug it in and then they scroll round. The new Mac Air is USB C so you will need a (cheap) adapter to use it with a regular USB flash drive. You’ll get change from £100, but don’t buy the cheapest.
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