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Scenario

TL;DR

I'm currently searching for a monitor for my Dell XPS 13 2014 running Ubuntu Gnome. This monitor gets used in my home-office which is really sensible for style/design of the contained furniture/things.

Longer Version

I'm currently rebuilding my office at home. I need to mention that I'm really into the style and design of my workplace. I can't work where you just have black monitors, black whatever-mouse and a black whatever-keyboard. I need my desk to feature a well-thought-out design concept with defined colors, a desk lamp, little plants etc.

The desk-design is currently defined with the primary colors white and pastel mint-green. Secondary "color" is "wooden". Accent color is mainly pastel pink.

A few items featured on my workplace will give you a feeling of what is going on:

desk lamp desk mat mouse

I have all the things in place but one thing which is missing is a monitor. My intention is to place it on my desk (obviously) and plug in my keyboard and mouse.

In order to work with it I plug the video-cable in my mini-display-port and connect the USB hub to one of my ports. Voila I'm able to use my keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Specifications

Monitor

  • QHD
  • 22 " - 27 "
  • Height adjustable (VESA mount is an option)
  • Possible colors: white, silver-grey, mint-green, wooden ("not black" as a minimum)
  • (Active) USB hub with at least two ports (for mouse and keyboard)
  • Should be compatible with my Laptop of course (specs beneath)

Laptop

  • Dell XPS 13 2014
  • Intel HD 4400
  • Mini Displayport
  • Ubuntu Gnome latest LTS version

Budget

Budget is not really an issue. Everything cheaper than 800 $ should be fine as long as it looks nice and features needed functionality.

Additional Notes

A VESA mount would be fine. No issues with that. It just have too look neat. Not like a sci-fi-robot-arm :)

Painting, framing, foiling or any other DIY action is absolutely legit as long as the outcome looks professional.

  • What's your budget? What's your use case? – JMY1000 Jan 30 '18 at 1:59
  • Would you be fine with an aftermarket VESA mount? They're often nicer than the stock ones. – JMY1000 Jan 30 '18 at 2:00
  • Would painting it yourself be an option? There are very, very few monitors that aren't black. – JMY1000 Jan 30 '18 at 2:01
  • @JMY1000 addressed all of your questions in the post. Thanks for your input! :) – OddDev Jan 30 '18 at 6:44
1

TL;DR: The Dell U2718Q

enter image description here

DIY

As big as a fan as I am of DIYing and painting one of your own (maybe with plastidip so it's removable?), on a monitor of this caliber, there's simply too much to risk: masking is simply too difficult and easy to screw up, and disassembly voids the warranty (legality of that aside.)

So, we're left dealing with what exists.

Basic features

At this kind of price point, IPS is a must, and 27" (verus 23.8", which is really the only other size) is (IMO) a pretty clear choice. Right off the bat, that narrows our selection of monitors down pretty far, to roughly 20 or so. From there, it's unfortunately about trade offs.

Since your laptop lacks support for FreeSync or Gsync (and gaming doesn't seem to be a priority anyways), I'm going to prioritize color reproduction in the panel over other features, like refresh rate, frame syncing, input lag, profiles, or inputs.

Physical appearance and stand

Okay, it's the most glaring thing about my choice and probably the hardest part about finding a monitor. Yes, the U2718Q is dark colored. I chose it anyways.

Unfortunately, the number of non-black monitors that fit the above requirements is... 2: the Acer S277HK and the Asus MX27UC. And beautiful though they are, neither feature a high adjustable stand nor support for VESA mounting. Pretty comes at a cost, and not just in the mounting department: while they're not particularly out of the norm, they just don't have as nice panels as the other monitors.

This leaves the U2718Q and two LG brothers (they're pretty much the same monitor): the LG 27MU88 and 27UD88.

enter image description here

And man, is it close.

  • Both have height adjustable stands with support for VESA mounts.
  • They've both got extremely thin bezels (though the Dell has a noticeably smaller bottom bezel), though the LG has a more silvery stand.
  • They both cover roughly 97% of sRGB, with the Dell supporting software HDR.
  • The LG monitor features USB-C.
  • The LG monitor features FreeSync.
  • The LG monitor has better brightness.
  • The Dell monitor is about $100 cheaper.

Quite frankly, either of these monitors would be valid choices. That said, I'm favoring the Dell because of the significantly lower price, as I don't think the brightness is too big an issue.

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