External Notebook Monitor Samsung is unto something. More and more of us are on notebook PCs. And some of us want a bit more screen real estate but don’t want to buy a huge notebook PC to get it. What to do? The only option was to get a regular LCD monitor and connect it to your notebook PC. That’s fine but you’ll have to make sure to get one that is height adjustable so it can sit on top of your notebook PC screen or to the side. You’ll want to push it as low as you can so it is as close to the height of your notebook PC screen if you keep it to the side. Both options are not optimal since moving your head up and down for a long time is not very comfortable. And the external monitor in most cases will be too high even at the lowest setting if sitting off to the side. The solution? An LCD monitor geared for notebooks. Like Samsung’s LD190N.
Down Low As you can see from the picture, the LD190N sits low and should be nicely aligned with your notebook PC display. The specifications are as follows:
- Display: 18.5-inch TFT LCD
- Resolution: 1366 x 768
- Brightness: 250 cd/m2
- Response Time: 5ms
- Viewing Angles: 170/160
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Connectivity: VGA
- Weight: 7.93 pounds
It says that the LD190N is not Mac compatible, but as long as it acts as an external monitor there should be no problem using it with a Mac. You’ll need a dongle that gets you to VGA.
No Cigar I am disappointed at a couple of specifications, namely the resolution and viewing angles. Most 17-inch LCDs on notebook PCs either have these resolutions: 1920 x 1200, 1920 x 1080, 1680 x 1050, 1440 x 900. If you have a larger 18.5-inch display and a much lower resolution the icons and fonts will look considerable bigger than it is on your notebook display. The best solution would be to get an external notebook LCD monitor that has the same Pixels Per Inch or PPI. The same PPI means the same size for icons and fonts. Using a Display PPI Calculator I found online, a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with a 1440 x 900 resolution results in a PPI of 110.27. If I want the same or similar PPI on an external 18.5-inch display, the resolution will need to be about 1920 x 1080, not 1366 x 768.
Recommendation I would recommend Samsung to limit the size of its notebook LCD monitors to around 17-inch (though there are larger notebook PCs, 17-inch could be considered a good limit for a large external notebook display) and then match the model offerings to the resolution that is commonly found on notebook PCs at equivalent LCD sizes.