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Whisper it, but Jonathan Ive isn’t quite the irreproachable design guru of myth. We had an inkling of it with his awful hockey-puck mouse – and it has now been confirmed by the Ive-inspired Cinema Display LCD monitors.
Yes, they may look beautiful. But Cinema Displays are triumphs of design over content; of aesthetics over practicality.
Why so? Because unlike virtually every other LCD screen out there, Ive’s one-height displays aren’t adjustable, meaning that if this one height doesn’t suit your working conditions – and you end up in a neck brace, or suffering from RSI – then tough.
I found this out the hard way. Moments after unpacking my workplace 20-inch Cinema Display I found myself looking for a way to raise it, because it was far too low relative to my optimum chair height, and meant my viewing position was like that mirror-pose people do when checking how big their double chin has grown.
I was aghast, because I could tell that this £1,049 monitor would end up crippling me. My first solution was crude: lifting the screen by sitting it on three shrink-wrapped bundles of old Macworlds.
But then one of my colleagues discovered a product called CinemaLift – a hydraulic metal arm that suspends the Cinema Display above the desk. It’s adjustable through 360 degrees, and offers a screen-tilt of 200 degrees – and the arm can be either clamped on a desk or wall-mounted. Both types of bracket ship in the box.
The CinemaLift looks undeniably cool and it has undoubtedly saved me from the clutches of a chiropractor. I have nothing but praise, both for it and its makers.
However, had it been me instead of my work that had bought a 20-inch Cinema Display, I’d’ve been incandescent with rage. Why should anyone who’s forked-out over a grand on a monitor be expected to find a further £175 because it’s ill-designed?
Cinema Display owners who are suffering back spasms should buy a CinemaLift, or at least find a pile of old magazines. However, for such unfortunates it’s too late for my best advice: don’t buy a Cinema Display.