General discussion

Can MacBook Pro laptop use IMAC monitor (easily)?

I am considering monitor options to use with my laptop (MacBook Pro).

I work as a print graphic designer and am partial to apple monitors.

I am thinking that spending for a 24" imac could be a good investment IF I could easily connect the laptop to that monitor.

Ideally I would like to work primarily on the laptop and use the imac mostly for backup, since that insures I have ALL needed files with me when I travel for work, and at the same time I wouldn't be SOLELY dependent on a single computer!

Any input on a which Imac would make most sense, or advice on this whole idea would be appreciated! THANKS- Jane

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Let's look at video ins and outs...
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imac as external monitor for macbook

Hmmmmm - makes sense.

Don't know why the networking and additional software solution makes me a bit squeamish. But will give it some additional thought.

Many thanks for your quick response and the link to the earlier posting - it was exactly the info I was looking for!

- Jane

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Here's an idea

What do you think? A 24-inch display, made for MacBooks, that looks exactly like an iMac. Has peripheral ports on it, an iSight camera, and a MagSafe charger for the notebook attached to it. This thing practically works like a dock for the laptops. Not bad. This would only run you half of what a 24-inch iMac may cost you. If you were planning on buying one of the new aluminum MacBooks, then this would work for you since you need the Mini DisplayPort that Apple has started using. It won't work with previous Macs if I've heard right.

I would consider this route unless you really wanted two working computers that could share the other's display when needed. In that case, networking would be a good idea like Bob said. Good luck.

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Keep it simple

If you really just want to work on the laptop anyway, get yourself a 900 dollar 24" Cinema Display and invest in a couple of external drives for Time Machine Backups and you've just saved yourself a thousand dollars. Or back up to the cloud through a pay service like Carbonite or Mozy and you'll always have access to your backup data no matter what.

The iMac has no video input anyway so it really can't be used as a monitor.

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Check out eyeTV

I believe eyeTV would enable you to connect your two macs via usb. Happy

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Still debating

Thanks to all for continued input!

I was really leaning toward the new 24inch display made just for laptop connection - since that is exactly what i was going for and i love the simplicity...

BUT - turns out that it is only for NEWEST laptops - mine is just over a year old. And apple says they MIGHT make an adapter but no idea when.

So now EyeTV is TOTALLY new to me... will look into it...

Meanwhile still working on my small laptop screen and thinking about the options. THANKS again.

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Use iMac (Monitor) for MacBook display

I know this is really many months after the original post question, but I wanted to get the info out on the Web as I use my iMac for my MacBook display. Go to your apple store and buy a inexpensive DVI cable. I just plugs into both machines and your MacBook will display. It is kind of funky and you have to "wake it up" several times throughout the day by unplugging and replugging it in. But it works great. I turn my MacBook screen brightness way down and "almost" close it. Don't completely close it or the MacBook will go to sleep and you will loose the display.

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exactly how do you connect a DVI cable to an iMac that does not have a DVI video in port?

You wouldn't be missing out a piece of equipment, would you?

Back in 2008, when this thread was started, the iMac did not have any form of video in port and the MacBook Pro did not have a Mini Display Port.

Care to amend your post?


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DVI to Mini Displayport

You use a DVI to Mini Displayport adapter. I've gone from Mini-Displayport -> DVI -> HDMI. Worked just fine. Displayport is after all the successor to HDMI, which succeeds DVI. Anyhow they all send the same video data. DVI happens to include both analog and digital signals but you won't be using the analog signal.

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But you could not do that in 2008

The iMac had NO video input at that time.

Please read the dates on these posts


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Macbook using iMac monitor

The iMac 27 as a video input capability but not the iMac 24. You can also consider a 24 - 27 inch LCE monitor but the resolution is not as fine as the iMac or the Apple Cinema Display. Video and pics are good but text is a little wiggly .. tested on an Asus 27 inch LCD HD 1080 monitor.

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Just curious

Why hasn't anyone suggested using target disk mode.

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Because target mode does not supply

two monitors from one machine.

On machine one, you would have the normal screen, desktop etc.
On the Target machine you would just have the Firewire icon bouncing around the screen.


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Does a print graphic designer need two monitors?

I didn't see where she mentioned extended desktop as something she needed. A second monitor connected to her iMac, and she would have that too.

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But what would you do with a monitor

that only had the bouncing Firewire symbol on it?

Target mode only shows the bouncing Firewire symbol, nothing else.

why do you think the OP wanted another monitor connected to her MacBook Pro?


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I know that.

I use target disk mode all the time with my iBook, for the bigger screen, and to transfer files. When I do, I also have extended desktop, because I have an extra monitor hooked to my iMac. The bouncing Firewire symbol is only on my iBook.

For all we know, the OP only wanted a larger monitor, and a way to back up her laptop. I'm only suggesting that target disk mode is an easy way to do these two things.

I do agree that after a network is set up, it would be a faster connection, but she didn't want to try that. Target disk mode is easy to do, but takes longer because you have to reboot both computers.

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Locking this post

to prevent any more silly answers to this 2008 question.


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