A new external display for your computer setup is usually a joy to behold. It is, after all, what you look at most. And you probably just replaced your old one with a bigger, brighter and more beautiful new one. But sometimes buyer’s remorse creeps in. Is it actually the best screen for your needs that you can afford?
Today’s featured setup comes from a software coder who has started to have doubts about a substantial recent monitor purchase. Will he succumb to them? He’s keeping his eye on the return deadline and asking for advice.
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Buyer’s remorse? Coder isn’t sure new display will cut it in MacBook Pro setup.
Coder and Redditor “schmob” showcased the setup featuring an auditioning display in a post entitled, “Upgraded remote setup nearly complete.”
“I just upgraded from a Dell 27-inch 4K to this LG 32-inch 4K (Ergo, 32UN880-B) and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to stick with it just yet,” he said. “Luckily I can return up until Jan 31. My ideal monitor would be a 32-inch that’s more than 4K … but obviously that would be the Pro Display XDR, and I just can’t afford that.”
But hold on, now, Schmob. Getting above 4K resolution doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spring for the 6K Pro Display XDR, Apple’s stellar screen that goes for around $5,000. You could actually aim a little lower, at the Studio Display. It’s legitimately 5K, not 4K. It features 5120 x 2880 pixel resolution versus 4K’s 3840 x 2160.
Should he consider Studio Display?
But a Studio Display goes for around $1,600. That’s no Pro Display XDR wallet-buster, but it’s still a lot for many people. Schmob’s new LG display costs $500 to $600. As he alludes in his post’s comments, he wants to outclass it without more-than doubling his costs.
He actually included one of the Studio Display’s competitors from LG on his short list. It’s an ultra-wide display that usually costs a few hundred less than the Studio Display (which is not an ultra-wide and technically has higher resolution compared to panel size).
“I’m considering the 34-inch LG 5K2K … let me know thoughts on that one if you have experience with it,” he said.
Then a commenter ended up recommending the Studio Display over the LG 5K2K:
“I had the LG 5K2K but sold it to replace it with the Studio Display. The 5K2K not having any curve made the far-edges uncomfortable for me. I’m much happier with the Studio Display and its features.”
But despite the recommendation, it appears Schmob’s main area of interest is in 34- or 38-inch curved 4K ultra-wide displays.
Lower-resolution ultra-wide display suggested
An appreciative commenter complimented the setup and offered a surprising suggestion regarding ultra-wide monitors.
“I ditched my 32-inch 4K for a 34-inch ultra-wide 1440p,” they said. “The resolution is much more comfortable to work with within MacOS.”
But Schmob’s reply sounded skeptical, as you might expect regarding that lower resolution and the possibility that text won’t render clearly enough compared to his LG’s 4K resolution. And the ultra-wide would be a shorter display.
“Interesting. Why would 1440p be better?” he asked. “I understand there’s the PPI aspect with macOS, but would 4K still be better when it comes to how text looks? I code all day every day so it really matters for me. Also isn’t the 34-inch ultra-wide not as tall as the 32-inch? Having that extra height is also super helpful for my coding IDE.”
Plea for cable-management help
Schmob also asked for cable-management advice in his post, even though he already employs measures to tame the cable monster.
He uses a nifty item called a Smartish magnetic cord organizer. You can see it on the bottom, right-hand corner of his desk in the photograph. It’s a little mouse-like platform that comes in several colors. Your cables stick to it magnetically.
Let’s say you have four charging cables for different devices coming up from a charger plugged into a cable strip at floor level. You can stick them side by side on the organizer on the edge of a table. Then you can just grab what you need when you need it without having to reach down and muck around with cable spaghetti, trying to spot the Lighting connector versus the USB-C connector, for example.
Schmob also uses a Tokye Cable Management Box, shown on the right side of the desk in the picture. Two alien action figures from Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story are standing on it.
The Tokye box is pretty big. You can hide a 6-to 12-outlet powerstrip/surge protector in there. And the box comes with a cable sleeve, clips and ties to help control the cable snakes wriggling all over the place.
But apparently that’s not enough ammo for Schmob to win the cable-management battle. Feel free to offer him advice on both 4K+ displays and cable management in the comments below or at Reddit.
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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.