If you've ever worked on a netbook or even a laptop, you know screen real estate is a luxury that is worth spending money on. The benefits of an external monitor is more than just screen real estate, many monitors on the market offers expanded conenctivity, including more USB ports and audio input/output. As we hammer this out on the MacBook Air 11", lets take a look at some massive real estate that we're drooling over right now.
Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display. This is the granddaddy of all displays, with the price tag to match. Coming in at $999.00, this is definitely not a display for those with a small wallet. But like many Apple products, many of us are more than happy to hand over our hard earned cash because we know we're buying a quality product. With the resolution of 2560x1440, you can easily fit more than a few windows on your screen. The Apple display runs on the latest Thunderbolt connection which boast speeds up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. With a MacBook power cord built in, this is the perfect solution for updated MacBook users. For those with older MacBooks without the Thunderbolt port, check out Apple's LED Cinema display.
Dell UltraSharp U2711. Matching the resolution of Apple's 27" display, the Dell model offers the matte screen preferred by many over Apple's reflective screen. This monitor offers many functionalities skipped over by Apple, including a slew of video connectivity options such as VGA, HDMI DisplayPort, component , compositve and 2 DVI ports. Which means it doesn't matter what machine you're running, or what else you want to hook up, the Dell will have no issue with it. We like the simple design and the height adjustments for optimal viewing angle. With a average price tag of less than $800, makes this a lot more affordable than Apple's option.
Samsung SyncMaster SA850. One of the latest offerings from Samsung, packs a ton of technology into a simple and clean package. Being design oriented here at Unplggd, we love the refreshing look of the SA850. The base and the bezel of the monitor has a brushed metal feel, departing from the usual plastic design of monitors. On the tech front, it offers a whopping THREE USB 3.0 ports, for those craving the latest and fasted connection option. At 2560x1440, the resolution matches our previous recommendations, what separate this model from the earlier two offerings is the adjustability. Aside from being height adjustable, you can turn the monitor vertically, perfect for coders or those working with a lot of word documents.
Samsung SyncMaster 2770HD. This monitor is for those looking to double their external monitor as their TV. With built-in sound, TV connectivities, and even a remote control, this is essentially a 27" TV. We like the glossy bezel and base that gives off a more casual look, that doesn't make you feel you're in an office. This monitor also comes with holes in the back designed for mounting on a wall. However, being TV compatible does hamper the display resolution, the 2770HD comes in at 1920x1080, typical of most HDTV on the market. But at less than $450, this is the lowest priced among our recommendations.
Dell SP2309W. For those not looking for a giant 27" screen, we use the SP2309W from Dell, a more reasonable 24" model. Although it is an older model, we really like the included features on this monitor. It comes with not one, not two, but a practical 6 USB ports, two on the side and 4 hidden on the bottom. Audio in and out for connecting your speakers and mic. We also like the HDMI connectivity as well as the built-in webcam. The resolution comes in at 2048x1152, a slightly odd resolution packs in a lot of pixel in just 24". The feature that's the main selling point for us is the swivel base, allowing the monitor to swing a full 360 degrees, so you'll be able to share those funny YouTube videos with your roommates.
(Images with permission: Flickr member MajCS4)