Suitable external monitor for librem 13


I have the librem 13v2 and am trying to understand what spec would make a good external monitor. I’d like to put as little configuration into my setup as possible. I use xmonad with some GNOME/GTK.

Read some posts about 4k issues, some about requirements to use xrandr to scale things manually, some advices people to use Wayland etc etc.

Should I then try to find one with similar dpi as the laptop?

My initial choice was a 27" at 2560x1440 but the dpi is very different from librem. Would 27" at 3840x2160 be a better choice?

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the 27 inch @ 2560x1440 is a better choice between dpi scaling issues and performance. gnome 3.32 has fractional dpi scaling support but 27 @ 4k would look weird still. i wouldn’t go any lower than 32 inch on 4k. the best would look on a 40inch TV or similar monitor. also at that size and resolution there is a pretty big power draw if it’s not OLED. all in all your best bet would be a 27" 2560x1440 with FALD (full array local dimming) for best contrast and power draw. also they tend to be very expensive but offer the best picture.


27" 1440p would be my vote. The HDMI 1.4 output on exiting Librem models (up to an including v4) can only do 1440p at 60Hz; at 4K/2160p, you’d be limited to 30Hz which is pretty miserable IMO.


Amazing stuff, thanks! Almost sounds like my choices weren’t optimal.

It’s maybe even better to go down further in size then?

2x smaller screens would be amazing but this laptop can’t power that, right?

What monitor configuration are you trying to achieve?

Cloned/mirrored? i.e. what is on external monitor is identical to what is on built-in display
Extended? i.e. built-in display is extended sideways to create a single very wide display
Independent? i.e. one desktop on built-in display and an independent desktop on the external monitor

I would guess that only in the “cloned” scenario could you drive 2 external monitors i.e. by using an external splitter.

Can you take your laptop to a friend’s house for testing of what monitor physical size and what monitor resolution works and is appropriate?

I was just wondering the exact same thing! :slight_smile: Which monitor are you considering?

I’m especially sensitive about colors and benchmarking, as I am an amateur photographer when I’m not working…

You just dropped that link there without explanation, what’s that site? Is it a good reference for comparing monitors? I did not know about it until today… It looks like an interesting resource!

It’s much like all the helpful posters here said, it depends on the configuration you want and needs! :blush:

I wanted to go with one of the Eizo EV2456 or EV2750 because of;

  1. sustainability :leaves:
  2. design and looks (very personal) :paintbrush:
  3. functionality :hammer_and_pick:

However, since I need more than 2 USB slots I ended up ordering the ViewSonic VP2768 since it have 5 USB slots. It also have quite low power usage but it’s design is so-so. :slight_smile:

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I would guess that it really only has 4 USB ports - because the remaining USB port is the ‘uplink’ port to the computer.

Update; when I finally got the 27" it had backlight bleed problem. I took that opportunity to change to a 24" 1900x1200 (an Eizo A++ screen).

I only got the 27" to run at 45Hz and overall I weren’t impressed. I’m sure you can configure it better but I just want something that works. I’m now satisfied and I especially like that the resolution matches the laptop and that it works out of the box at 60Hz.

Thanks all!

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unfortunately 27 inch @ 2560x1440 is 110dpi. it’s like my 40 inch tv @ 4k - without dpi scaling it’s hard on the eyes. 24 inch @ 1920x1200 is aprox 94 so it’s very close to the optimal 92 dpi which most GUIs are based on. doesn’t neeed scaling - perfect.

imo anything over 100 dpi is hard on the eyes without dpi scaling and currently gnome 3.32 (latest) only has that as an experimental feature. i suggest always consulting this site before purchasing a monitor/tv.