2nd screen for my iMac - my wife added her requirements - Help!

I’m looking for a 2nd screen for my iMac.
In the current WFH environment having a second screen would be very nice. My wife agrees with me that a second screen is a good idea, but she has added requirements that have nothing to do with tech specs…

  • Needs to look good in the space
  • Needs to resemble the iMac (as much as possible)

And now I’m stumped.

Any ideas?

What size screen and what budget?

You could buy a used/older generation iMac and use it in Target mode.

I’m still rocking a 2008 LED Cinema Display connected via adapter to my 2017 iMac and it works well. Doesn’t have retina but not sure how important that is for you.

Looking at this a different way. If the space is such that the iMac’s back is to a wall, the view from the rear doesn’t matter. So potentially start with some rearranging. Virtually all monitors these days have a narrow black bezel. The problem is really with the iMac and it’s large silver chin. So rather than add a silver chin to the external monitor (or settling for a used 27" LED Cinema Display or Apple Thunderbolt Display which have no chin but have the same stand), perhaps attach black contact paper to the chin of the iMac so it’s all black like the external monitor.

Finally, two 27" displays take lots of desk space, which might not be considered attractive. Put the external in portrait mode (90º rotation) and it takes less desk space.

I was going to suggest this also. I’m skeptical that a second monitor can “match” the iMac, so a different strategy for the 2nd monitor is to be markedly different in terms of configuration and visual footprint. In other words, instead of “matching” as a strategy to look good, you’d be trying for “different yet complementary.”

FWIW when I’ve considered getting an iMac the problem of a second monitor, visually, was so vexing to me that I ended up with a Mini connected to the previous displays.

The iMac is a 21" model, so probaly between 21-24"
Budget is around $400

In what way? Glossy screen, silver foot-stand design, glass front? A used Apple display might be your best bet, otherwise not sure you’ll find much third-party stuff that has a matching aesthetic.

Pick up a used Thunderbolt Display on Craigslist eBay. I’ve seen them for $250-400.