When the Apple Cinema Display was first launched, it was the most mouth-watering piece of hardware to hit the shelves in years. Last year, the same monitor was beginning to look a little less appealing when high-resolution 20-inch LCD displays were launched. This year, it looked like it was approaching mediocrity as the rest of the world’s technology caught up – but Apple has pulled another coup. The Cinema HD Display offers a massive 23-inch screen capable of showing 1,920-x-1,200 pixels of high-definition beauty.
This could never be a mediocre screen. Its style sets it apart from any other brand – and its price of more that £3,000 (including VAT) means that only the fabulously wealthy will own one. If the Cinema Display was the Rolls Royce of displays, the HD version would be a Bentley. Made of solid platinum.
So what’s the big deal? How good can a monitor be? To be honest, you really have to see it to believe it. The crisp, detailed image, the styling – the whole package – is stunning. Touches like the single cable for power and video-signal make it a minimalist dream. The high resolution makes it ideal for video-editing, 3D, or any other desktop real-estate-hungry application. Apple’s Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro would both benefit from a screen like this.
One thing I would like to have seen is an option to wall-mount the screen. The unit’s USB ports would be blocked, but I’m sure people would like the option.
A minor drawback is the display’s minimum specifications. You need a G4 with a powerful graphics card, which may concern the poor, but provide an excuse for the rich to buy some new hardware.
If looking for a wide-screen solution, this is the best you’ll find. Trying to convince your boss that this is a necessity may be a bit of an uphill struggle. But if you are the boss, go on and treat yourself.