Can you recommend a good monitor with a high quality display which gives me the feeling of a Retina display like the MacBook's one?

I'll use it with a 2015 13" MacBook Pro w/ Retina.

I tried the Dell U2515H 25" and is not right for me. Too big, I can not work and especially I do not see as I will.

I would like to try to max with a 23", but maybe 21" would be better.

And above all: high DPI rate.

The Retina MacBook 13 2015 spread on a 13-inch 2560x1600 resolution: 220 DPI.

I work as programmer and writer and spend many hours at the computer.

  • For that dpi in a 21-23" panel you are looking for 4k resolution. What is your budget?
    – casey
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 17:18
  • Hi John, could you specify some more requirements? What video inputs, panel type, contrast ratio, etc. are you looking for?
    – Adam
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


First of all, it would not be easy to find a monitor with a similar DPI as MacBook between 21" and 23". You must choose between screen size and pixel density. However, it is not very convenient to have a very high resolution on a relatively small display. Take it into consideration.

  1. If you change your mind and want non-Apple product as an alternative to Thunderbolt Monitor (27"), think about Dell Ultra HD 5K Monitor UP2715K 27-Inch.

Based on http://isthisretina.com/: enter image description here

  1. If you really want something smaller, then I'd recommend Dell P2415Q. It is 23.8" but has an Ultra HD resolution (4K):

Check the gallery here.

Dell P2415Q:

  • 4K LCD monitor (2M:1, 300 cd/m2, 3840 x 2160, 8ms)
  • wide colour coverage at 99% sRGB
  • full adjustability (stand enables tilt 5° forward or 21° backward)
  • DisplayPort 1.2

enter image description here enter image description here

  1. If screen size between 21" and 23" is a must-have, then choose Dell P2214H (21.5 inch Widescreen LCD)


  • 21.5" - meets your requirements
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • ultra-wide 178°/178° viewing angle
  • VESA compatibility
  • monitor stand has full adjustability features
  • easily transition from landscape to portrait orientation

enter image description here

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  • The OP most likely wanted to run the display at Retina (2x scaling) resolution, therefore their request makes perfect sense. Every time someone answers with "but that pixel density is too high" just tells me they've never used macOS/Retina before.
    – James
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 14:53

Belford's answer is probably the way to go.

But, if you search around, you may be able to find a used IBM T220 or T221 or one of the rebrands. These monitors were sold between 2001 and 2005, with a native resolution of 3840×2400 pixels (WQUXGA) on a screen with a diagonal of 22.2 inches

Their pixel density works out to 204 ppi.

Due to their age, they preceded HDMI (mostly) and DisplayPort (entirely), instead relying on multiple DVI connectors, so you will need adaptors.

Also, their maximum refresh rate is 48 Hz, but may be lower depending on exactly how you connect to them. They should be fine for programming, writing, and 24-30 fps video, but they may be too slow for games and some (i.e. 60 fps) video.

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