External Monitor Advice

I was set to press “buy” on an Apple Studio Display, and came here to see what folks had to say about height adjustable vs. not and saw that there is some consternation amongst the group (and outside bloggers) about the value.

Wondering what you all would recommend. I’ve got a small desk and want to “dock” my MBP and use an external keyboard/mouse. I was going for the Studio Display for the resolution. I’m currently looking at my MBP’s display (Liquid Retina XDR Display) and my iPad (also Liquid Retina) all day. Right now I do a lot of interviews via Zoom and this particular setup allows me to look the person I’m interviewing in the eye (I extend the display and put Zoom on the iPad), but I’m mostly hunched over looking at the laptop to do actual work.

At this point, I’m pretty much game for anything. What would you recommend?

I’m currently using a Dell 32" 4K Display (a P3222QE) with my M2 Air.


  • works a s single-cable hub: ethernet, keyboard, webcam, all get plugged into the monitor, single cable from monitor to macbook charges and connects all peripherals.
  • reasonable price
  • acceptable dell speaker accessory that magnetically attached to bottom of monitor and connects to monitor with USB A


  • would prefer higher resolution, but don’t want to give up on overall size

I’m considering the Dell 6K monitor which is currently about $2100 from Amazon:


  • 6K resolution—would make text I work with all day that much sharper
  • reasonable price
  • camera & speaker built in
  • can act as hub like current monitor with ethernet, etc.


  • weird/fugly forehead design

How about raising your MBP? I use a rain design stand, which puts my MBA camera at eye level, with a mouse and an ancient wired magic keyboard.

I see some books on your desk. You can adjust the height of the non-adjustable stand (which will generally be too low) by putting some books under the stand. Not pretty, but zero cost (assuming you have books to spare!)

No Studio Display here but a 27" iMac which suffers the same.

Also puts the camera at eye level.

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I should add: I recommend getting a VESA arm to mount your external monitor—regardless of what external monitor you choose.


Get the Studio Display. The only problem people have with it is price. The resolution dickering is either poor eyesight or a cover for people complaining about price. There is no consternation on this topic in my opinion.


+1 for the Studio Display. The display quality and build quality of the monitor itself is unmatched.

I have a Studio Display at work at a 32" BENQ 4K at home. They both have pros and cons.

The Studio Display’s built-in camera is quite good; unless you have a ton of peripherals, it’ll act as a dock (one cable to plug and unplug); adjustable monitor risers are a dime a dozen, or you can use a stack of books or build something yourself; automatic brightness and color adjustment works well; build quality is very, very good aside from the non-detachable power cord; 5k is really nice to have. On the other hand, the BENQ offers more screen real estate (I kind of which I had two Studio Displays) and is significantly cheaper.

I’ve had the studio display, powered by my MacBook Air M2 for the past twelve months.

I am very happy with the display. My only regret is not buying the adjustable height stand. I went for tilt adjustable to save money (visa mount wouldn’t work for my office space) but wish I had spent the extra. I’m actually considering getting a second with adjustable height stand.

@tomalmy - I think that’s the keyboard Noah had on the Ark. :rofl:


No, apparently Noah had an iPad …

Byzantine iPad Unveiled

Archaeologists working in the Theodosius Port, a center of excavation work in Turkey, unveiled the 1,200-year-old wooden box from one of 37 ships buried in the Yenikapi area. The discovery was dubbed the “Byzantine iPad” for the device’s ninth-century integration of notebook and tool in one.



I got the keyboard new in 1989. Never found a better one!


How do you even connect that keyboard?

Some ancient jerry-rigged adapters? Perhaps of the same vintage as keyboard?

Stated only with admiration :grinning: It works!

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I struggled with the cost of the Studio Display but made my peace with it after I realized that I had two Thunderbolt displays which are still going strong (and are both at least over 12 years old). IMHO Apple peripherals last a really long time. Similarly I just sucked it up and got the adjustable display. Should it just be included in the cost? Yes. But I didn’t want to regret not getting it a year or two. It’s realize nice to be able to adjust the position on the fly when I’m recording video, podcasts, etc.


Key point to consider. You will not be able to get the “retina” resolution that you like, and are used to, from anything less than a 5K display at 27" or a 6K display at 32". I strongly recommend the Studio Display for the crisp resolution and excellent brightness and contrast. I have used a pair of these for the last year and would not settle for any less resolution/brightness/contrast.

That problem, along with the “small desk” problem solved with a VESA mount and monitor arm. These allow elevation of the monitor to the desired height and recovery of desk space.

Picture shows a setup with two monitors, but you can see that you don’t really need such a large desk using monitor arm(s) with either one or two monitors.

The sound quality of the Studio Display is excellent, no need for added speakers. I admit that the built-in webcam resolution is mediocre. If you end up getting a Studio Display, your “webcam” setup would probably offer better resolution (if zoom can be set up to allow it).

Parts still mostly available.

  1. The original coiled cord has PS/2 to the keyboard on one end and 5-pin DIN on the other.
  2. DIN to PS/2 converter, available today on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/KENTEK-Female-Keyboard-Adapter-Converter/dp/B07KVDZWBX
  3. Dual PS/2 to USB adapter. Dual because I couldn’t find a Keyboard only adapter back when I bought it. https://www.amazon.com/UCEC-Mouse-Keyboard-Converter-Cable/dp/B00X9QX9MS
    I’ve already tested a USB2 to USBC adapter, so it looks like I’m “future proofed” until the successor to USBC comes around.

I just wish that apple would rev the 27” studio display, or better still release a 32” 6k studio monitor.

I’d consider 2 x studio displays mind you.

As to vesa monitor arms, for me the height adjustable stand would be hard to walk past, limited wobble and no issues with alignment (I’m forever adjusting horizontal level with my existing monitor that is vesa arm mounted).