Art and Photography

What is a good entry level monitor to purchase?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 16th, 2020 3:00 pm
[OP]
Member
Feb 5, 2016
215 posts
27 upvotes
Toronto, ON

What is a good entry level monitor to purchase?

I have a dell u2413F 24'' and am looking to get a 27'' as the main and use the dell as the 2nd monitor side by side.

I just want better viewing experience as side by side to my macbook pro it's not as nice. But I'm wondering how much I have to spend to get as nice of a monitor to match macbook pro level. But also wondering how much to pay to get half as good?

Colour accuracy is important to me as well as good contrast. Is colour accuracy mainly from calibrating?
7 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 18, 2005
1605 posts
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You won't be able to achieve colour accuracy just with calibration if you don't have a monitor that has adequate colour range. What's your price range? I have a Dell U2719DC, which costs a lot less than you would be paying for a pro level monitor.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
4267 posts
1325 upvotes
Vancouver
whatisbwana wrote: I have a dell u2413F 24'' and am looking to get a 27'' as the main and use the dell as the 2nd monitor side by side.

I just want better viewing experience as side by side to my macbook pro it's not as nice. But I'm wondering how much I have to spend to get as nice of a monitor to match macbook pro level. But also wondering how much to pay to get half as good?

Colour accuracy is important to me as well as good contrast. Is colour accuracy mainly from calibrating?
From what I read here, the Macbook Pro 16 offers a wide gamut screen but could you please confirm the year and model you are using?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrot ... fd53a1550c


Color accuracy can come from using a calibrator (colorimeter or spectrophotometer) as it will calibrate the screen to a standard and in the process create a new ICC profile file (I believe this to be valid in the Mac's. I don't know Mac's at all, just how Windows calibration works).

If my uneducated assumption is correct, your Mac should be using, at the least, an OEM ICC profile from Dell but in 2014 these were notoriously unrefined and could usually be greatly improved upon with use of a calibrator.

Alternatively you could download and use a custom ICC profile from certain sources, such as TFT Central.

https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2413.htm

https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/i ... iles.htm#d

Read the TFT Central review where they discuss calibrating as they often comment on idiosyncrasies with various monitors and the U2413U may have some as several other Dell montiors of that era did.

Ensure you are using the U2413U in a viewing mode that supports a wide gamut. If your Mac is sRGB and you want colours to match, you should be using the monitor in sRGB mode.

I'll comment further once you (OP) confirm your MacBook Pro specs.

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Newbie
Sep 6, 2020
5 posts
EIZO CG277-BK ColorEdge

Asus ProArt PA329Q

BenQ PD3200U 32”
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
4267 posts
1325 upvotes
Vancouver
Those three are not exactly "entry level".

I'm pondering how the OP can attach 2 external monitors to a Macbook Pro and ensure both are managed with a unique ICC profile for colour accuracy to standard.

Thunderbolt would have to come into play with this is my guess. Can it be done via daisy chaining or would each monitor require a separate Thunderbolt or Displayport interconnect from the Macbook Pro?

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[OP]
Member
Feb 5, 2016
215 posts
27 upvotes
Toronto, ON
NewsyL wrote: From what I read here, the Macbook Pro 16 offers a wide gamut screen but could you please confirm the year and model you are using?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrot ... fd53a1550c


Color accuracy can come from using a calibrator (colorimeter or spectrophotometer) as it will calibrate the screen to a standard and in the process create a new ICC profile file (I believe this to be valid in the Mac's. I don't know Mac's at all, just how Windows calibration works).

If my uneducated assumption is correct, your Mac should be using, at the least, an OEM ICC profile from Dell but in 2014 these were notoriously unrefined and could usually be greatly improved upon with use of a calibrator.

Alternatively you could download and use a custom ICC profile from certain sources, such as TFT Central.

https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2413.htm

https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/i ... iles.htm#d

Read the TFT Central review where they discuss calibrating as they often comment on idiosyncrasies with various monitors and the U2413U may have some as several other Dell montiors of that era did.

Ensure you are using the U2413U in a viewing mode that supports a wide gamut. If your Mac is sRGB and you want colours to match, you should be using the monitor in sRGB mode.

I'll comment further once you (OP) confirm your MacBook Pro specs.

.
It's a macbook pro early 2015
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
4267 posts
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whatisbwana wrote: It's a macbook pro early 2015
This review states the sRGB gamut coverage of this model with Retina display is only 86% which by today's standards is bad. I think they messed up - tested a 2012 model or something.
>> https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/lapto ... -inch-2015

These guys list 100% but don't state that they actually measured it with a colorimeter or spectrophometer.
>> https://www.color-management-guide.com/ ... eview.html

I think your MacBook Pro has a gamut coverage of 100% sRGB but don't know for sure. (edit) I suspect the AdobeRGB coverage is only about 77% and DCI-P3 was not a thing in 2015 in laptop screens. This means your Macbook screen is NOT a wide gamut screen (a good thing imho for most people).

The other point is that a Retina display has a resolution of 2880 x 1800 vs the 1920x1200 of the Dell. That can be quite noticeable especially with the course matte finish on the Dell and if the MacBook's screen has a glossy finish (I'm not sure).

Any current external monitor with an IPS panel between $200 and $400 is going to have near 100% sRGB gamut coverage but in that price range most will have a 1920x1080 or maybe a 27 inch with a 2560x1440 panel.

If you're trying to match the external screen to the Macbook screen there is absolutely no need to buy anything other than a basic sRGB external monitor. But you may never be able to get them to look quite identical because of that missing 14% sRGB (if true) or the resolution difference.

The one other feature I'm looking to confirm is if the multiple ports, that offer connectivity to monitors, each have their own unique dedicated LUT (Look Up Table) assigned to them. I see in the first review I listed that it states the GPU could be a "AMD Radeon R9 M370X" which to me is good news as it is a reasonably powerful chipset and likely has a unique LUT for each video port. The LUT holds the color matching information from the ICC profile I spoke of earlier. It means that if you use a modern colorimeter with the advanced software package it should detect the LUT assigned to the internal screen of the MacBook and the LUT assigned to the port the external monitor is connected to. It will then be able to do a custom calibration for both screens to ensure they match a defined colour standard so that in theory the screens will have a colour, gamma, and contrast level that are very similar but not quite identical - because the 2015 LCD IPS panel matrix will be slightly different from the LCD IPS matrix in a new 2020 external monitor; and there will likely be other factors such the a glossy screen finish versus a matte screen finish and the 2015 screen matte finish not being the same coarseness as the 2020 screen screen finish, the LCD back lighting having differences, etc etc etc..

If there is NOT a unique LUT for each monitor port and the internal, just stop now. No point going further. It will be impossible to have the MacBook screen look identical to the external. If they share a single LUT, you will have to decide if you want the internal screen to look great or the external. Because the ICC profile for one will not work well with the other. That is providing my earlier assumptions of use of ICC profiles is correct. I'm not sure - I don't use a Mac.

Personally, what I would do first is find a friend with a good quality colorimeter. Like the X-Rite i1 Display Pro or a Datacolor SpyderX Pro or Elite. They run around $350-400 CAD to buy. Have them come and calibrate the MacBook Pro with the U2413 attached and see if detects and allows for two separate calibrations. That may make the difference less.

So, to answer your original questions....
I'm wondering how much I have to spend to get as nice of a monitor to match macbook pro level. But also wondering how much to pay to get half as good?

Colour accuracy is important to me as well as good contrast. Is colour accuracy mainly from calibrating?
I think you're going to have to look at a 4K monitor (3840x2160) in a size from 27 to 32 inch to match or better the Mac's resolution. Ideally you will calibrate both screens but there is that question of dedicated unique LUT's to load the ICC profile for each screen independently of the other.


A 4K such as the LG 27UK650-W
https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/ ... tra-hd-uhd

or Dell S2721QS
https://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/accesso ... d/210-AXLG

There are less expensive 27 inch 4K 100% sRGB monitors out there.

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