Apple LED Cinema Display full review - Page 2

Goodbye DVI, hello DisplayPort

The first issue is the Mini DisplayPort, which is a replacement for Apple’s ageing Mini DVI connection previously found on iMacs, MacBooks and older PowerBooks. Apple gets bonus points for opening up this Mini DisplayPort standard to the market, offering it as a no-fee connection for any monitor or computer manufacturer looking for an alternative to DVI (which requires a license fee). So Apple seems serious about making this a de facto standard for smaller computers.

However, Apple promptly loses all bonus points for leaving everybody other than the owners of the brand new MacBook range out in the cold. This is because every other Mac uses a variant of DVI and Apple has – so far – failed to provide any adaptor for owners of older Mac computers. To say this strikes us as odd is something of an understatement – it’s frankly baffling.

All the more so because this monitor doesn’t complement Apple’s monitor line-up, it actually replaces the mid-range model, which we assume is the most popular model on sale. So if you have last year’s MacBook and want an Apple monitor you have to go down to a 20in model, or up to the whopping 30in display.

It may be that adaptors are in the pipeline, making this something of a moot point, but seriously… how complex is a plastic adaptor to build compared to a whole new monitor? Surely Apple could have supplied previous MacBook owners with an option other than upgrading to a new laptop. In the meantime the lack of an adaptor seriously limits the market for this display.

(As a quick aside to this, there’s also a feeling of “yet another” display standard from Apple; this is the company that introduced a brand new Micro DVI connection for the MacBook Air in January this year, only now to phase it out with this Mini DisplayPort connection less than 11 months later – possibly the shortest lifespan of a connection ever.)

Were it that the DisplayPort was the only contentious issue surrounding the LED Cinema Display for MacBook, the new display might have had an easier entrance to the world. Sadly that’s been overshadowed by a bigger debate over the nature of the glossy screen, but before we get to that we want to take a look at some of the new features in the LED Cinema Display.

Apple LED Cinema Display connectors

The Apple LED Cinema Display sports three connections aimed at MacBook owners

NEXT: What's new in the Apple LED Cinema Display?


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