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High-quality unboxing photos of Apple's LED Cinema Display

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
Apple's first LED-backlit and DisplayPort-based desktop monitor has arrived at AppleInsider; we now have high-quality photos as well as some early impressions.

The new 24-inch screen will seem instantly familiar to anyone who's used a 24-inch aluminum iMac -- and it should, since it's eerily similar. Especially in person, it feels much like the all-in-one computer without the obvious chin that holds some of the computer component. That extends to the underside speakers, the webcam and the placement of the rear USB ports.

Having said this, the new display clearly shows Apple having learned a number of things since it released both the iMac and the very first aluminum Cinema Displays. The most conspicuous is the tapered aluminum back, which is actually part of a one-piece shell that covers all but the very front. It's thinner and more visually interesting than the old displays, and it won't collect dust like the iMac's black plastic might.

Also: there's no power brick. Or buttons, for that matter. The new model uses both the LED backlight and DisplayPort connector to its advantage to rid the screen of the external block and of the need to turn the display on or off. Leaving with your MacBook? Unplug the display and it powers down gracefully.

Image quality will need further testing but is definitely better than many low-cost displays with vivid colors and good viewing angles. It's not, however, the exact same display from the iMac: the new model definitely has a different white point.

About the only caution we have at this stage is that the lack of a chin makes the display harder to tilt without smudging the glass; users and friends who aren't especially careful will likely find fingerprints on the display's bottom lip before too long.

Expect a review within the next few days. Those eager for additional thoughts can also read Ars Technica's own impressions as well.























post #2 of 102
It's a great looking unit. Unfortunately when I got mine today it came with a red line of pixels about 4" off the right margin. I called Apple and have to send it back to get a new one.

Has anyone else got an imperfect one they have to send back??
post #3 of 102
They look real nice, but unfortunately I will never purchase one... no firewire and the glossy screen absolutely kills it for most people doing graphics work.
post #4 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post

They look real nice, but unfortunately I will never purchase one... no firewire and the glossy screen absolutely kills it for most people doing graphics work.

Ditto. This will never be a monitor I could buy. For one, it's entirely marketed to MacBook/MacBook Pro users.

Glossy...built-in speakers...built-in iSight...no Firewire.

It would be interesting if Apple announced/released a Mac Pro, Mac mini version that had Front Row IR receiver, Firewire.

The current notebook-only monitor is a gimmick. It will be short-lived by its ultra-nicheness. Not many people buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro thinking that they'll be using it as a desktop computer.
post #5 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


The current notebook-only monitor is a gimmick. It will be short-lived by its ultra-nicheness. Not many people buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro thinking that they'll be using it as a desktop computer.

I'm not in the market nor am I disputing your statement. For me however, as a current iMac owner, the move to a MacBook/Pro would only come if I also had a satisfactory "home base" for it, including a larger monitor than on the machine. If I could afford to do all that, this new monitor seems a reasonable option (as I'm sure are countless 3rd party monitors that are available).
post #6 of 102
Well to be honest I have a white MacBook and I don't understand why you would want an extra monitor for it, really. Ok if you lap's screen is dead THEN ok. I understand that you can use one screen for programs and the other for something else but still if your lap's screen works why bother. I just hope they will come out with NORMAL connections to be used on Mac Pro!!!!
post #7 of 102
Does anyone know where that desktop image comes from? The one that comes with Leopard is quite similar, but not the same.
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post #8 of 102
One thing I don't get is why put an isight on the display if it's designed for Macbook users who already have an isight? You can't even stream in 3D as the lenses would have to be closer.

Glossiness aside, I really like how the 24-inch model looks. I've always disliked the iMac appearance on every model after the dome G4 one. If they made one like that display but instead of the Apple logo, wrote iMac at the bottom, that would be a big improvement.

There should be enough room behind that display to fit all the parts. They should design it so that you can take off the back though to get at the drives. Either that or just make it so that the base flips back out the way and a panel at the bottom opens to let you install Ram and the drive would slide out on a tray like from the Macbooks or the Mac Pro as it's a 3.5" drive.

Maybe 2 x 2.5" drives would be better. This way you could put in a new drive more easily and do a RAID setup or simply use one as a time machine backup without having an external plugged in or having a slow NAS drive.

SSD is all 2.5" and 2009 will be the year for it coming in so they may as well accommodate it.
post #9 of 102
What if you close the MacBook lid and use the monitor like a desktop?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

One thing I don't get is why put an isight on the display if it's designed for Macbook users who already have an isight?
.
post #10 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Ditto. This will never be a monitor I could buy. For one, it's entirely marketed to MacBook/MacBook Pro users.

Glossy...built-in speakers...built-in iSight...no Firewire.

So having built-in speakers (which I don't believe the original Cinema Displays had) and a built-in iSight camera (which the original ADCs definitely lacked) are negatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

It would be interesting if Apple announced/released a Mac Pro, Mac mini version that had Front Row IR receiver, Firewire.

Firewire what? FW400 is dead (at least to Apple) and FW800 was never available on ADCs.

What would be the point of an IR receiver-equipped version? The only Mac lacking built-in IR is the Mac Pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

The current notebook-only monitor is a gimmick. It will be short-lived by its ultra-nicheness. Not many people buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro thinking that they'll be using it as a desktop computer.

What do you mean by "notebook-only" monitor? Apple has already stated Mini DisplayPort will come standard on all new Macs going forward. Also, while people may not buy a Mac notebook with the assumption they'll use it as a desktop replacement, considering how good Apple's notebooks are in terms of performance, many may find little point in buying a second, desktop computer when they can just hookup their notebook to an external display.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #11 of 102
Considering that notebooks are outselling desktops, that gap will only continue to grow. A monitor that allows a notebook to be used like a desktop isn't such a bad idea. To think that it is a bad idea is only a lack of imagination.

Their is advantage in using a larger monitor, a full size keyboard, and a mouse. This allows you the best of both without having to buy a notebook and a desktop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

The current notebook-only monitor is a gimmick. It will be short-lived by its ultra-nicheness. Not many people buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro thinking that they'll be using it as a desktop computer.
post #12 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by infobhan View Post

Does anyone know where that desktop image comes from? The one that comes with Leopard is quite similar, but not the same.

http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper_b...fter_rain.html

You will find the wallpaper on this page
post #13 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Not many people buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro thinking that they'll be using it as a desktop computer.

Most people can't afford to buy a notebook *and* a desktop.... like myself. I use my laptop as my primary machine as I'm sure many other people do as well considering apple's success with their notebook line.
post #14 of 102
I ordered mine through Amazon and it hasn't shipped yet =(
post #15 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Considering that notebooks are outselling desktops, that gap will only continue to grow. A monitor that allows a notebook to be used like a desktop isn't such a bad idea. To think that it is a bad idea is only a lack of imagination.

Their is advantage in using a larger monitor, a full size keyboard, and a mouse. This allows you the best of both without having to buy a notebook and a desktop.

Well said. The only thing kind of incorrect is that Apple's laptops already have full-size keyboards. But perhaps you were referencing Apple's full...full-size, wired aluminum keyboards w/ full number keypads.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #16 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Ditto. This will never be a monitor I could buy. For one, it's entirely marketed to MacBook/MacBook Pro users.

Glossy...built-in speakers...built-in iSight...no Firewire.

It would be interesting if Apple announced/released a Mac Pro, Mac mini version that had Front Row IR receiver, Firewire.

The current notebook-only monitor is a gimmick. It will be short-lived by its ultra-nicheness. Not many people buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro thinking that they'll be using it as a desktop computer.

Not true on so many levels. I replaced my Mac Pro with the newest Macbook Pro, allows me to take all that need everywhere. And when on the desk, I use an external keyboard, mouse and monitor. A great solution.
post #17 of 102
What is the background on the computers? I like it a lot
post #18 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisko View Post

Well to be honest I have a white MacBook and I don't understand why you would want an extra monitor for it, really. Ok if you lap's screen is dead THEN ok. I understand that you can use one screen for programs and the other for something else but still if your lap's screen works why bother. I just hope they will come out with NORMAL connections to be used on Mac Pro!!!!

Well, for work I have a docking station for my Dell Latitude and have two monitors (one 24" and the other 19"). With all the applications I use for development I need to screen space.

For the Mac I would imagine those using it for work would appreciate the same deal. I'm sure this isn't ideal for the MacBook folks like myself that primarily use it for the home. It would be interesting if you could close the MacBook lid and use it as the primary display without the MacBook going into sleep mode. It would be a dock-of-sorts then. Having a tiny screen and then a big 24" screen is just too much of a contrast for me.
post #19 of 102
Wow, damn it looks sweet. I love the extra ports in the monitor. So anyone have a DVI - Mini Display Port conversion?
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post #20 of 102
I think the problem with recent Apple product releases (the MacBook Air was the first), is that everyone expects each product to be all things to all men. But as someone has correctly pointed out before, these products are niche.

I'm bang-smack-in-the-middle of the LED Cinema Displays target market. I am a self-employed freelance graphic designer, and I work mainly from two locations. I currently have a Mac Pro and matching 23" Cinema HD Display at each location. Whilst I love the performance of the Mac Pros, keeping track of multiple instances of files and versions is an absolute nightmare and involves more work than the paying work itself.

I worked briefly with a MacBook Pro in the past, taking it from location to location and hooking it up to each of the Cinema Display heads. But the MBP didn't offer the level of processing power that I required and between the various power cables, bricks and interface cables my work area was always a spaghetti junction.

Between the new MacBook Pro, and the new LED Cinema Display, I think Apple have come up with the (almost) perfect work model for users like me. With these two products I can have all my shit with me wherever I go, and when I need a larger display area, I can simply hook it up to the LED Cinema Display, quickly and easily, and hey presto not only do I have the perfect work environment but my notebook is being charged as well. For me, a single MacBook Pro is simply replacing two Mac Pros, with the added benefit of singularity.

My only reservation, and the issue that has proven to be a deal breaker so far, is Apple's decision to go with glassy displays...
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #21 of 102
I am one of those mac users that sold an iMac 3.06GHz just to replace it with a MBP 2.4/4 GB RAM and this 24" LED display. I have been looking for a desktop system that can, when needed go mobile with little hassle.

No, I am not a developer/photographer or anything like that. I am a healthcare IT consultant/Nurse. I use the space on the LED display to be able compare documents side by side and to create presentations along side any notes. A notebook screen is just not large enough.

I have had zero problems with the MBP or the Display.

I do not really even notice the difference between the iMac and the MBP...other than slower access time as a result of the slower HDD on the MBP.
post #22 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post

They look real nice, but unfortunately I will never purchase one... no firewire and the glossy screen absolutely kills it for most people doing graphics work.

I'm with ya bro. Not just for graphic work, but for anyone who doesn't have the odd genetic ability to mask out all the glare. 100% deal breaker.

Then again, an Apple-branded external monitor is not critical - I can live with an "off-brand" monitor (although I'd prefer to buy Apple). The real problem is that the MacBook Pro models are ALL glossy-only. And there are no simple alternatives. I suspect it will be a pain in the ass buying a non-Apple laptop and hacking OS X onto it. But if Apple continues on the glossy-only path, that's what I'll be forced to do next year. Makes me sick to think about it. -(
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #23 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by infobhan View Post

Does anyone know where that desktop image comes from? The one that comes with Leopard is quite similar, but not the same.

Desktop? Desktop? Is there really a desktop image behind all those reflections?!
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #24 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post

the glossy screen absolutely kills it for most people doing graphics work.

Myth. Stop repeating it.

Are CRTs then also unsuitable for graphics work? Because both use pure glass. In fact, for me this is preferable over the grainy antiglare coating as found in pretty much every other high end IPS display, including the previous 23" ACD.
post #25 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It would be interesting if you could close the MacBook lid and use it as the primary display without the MacBook going into sleep mode. It would be a dock-of-sorts then. Having a tiny screen and then a big 24" screen is just too much of a contrast for me.

Not sure if I this is the answer to your issue here, but there are two ways to close the MacBook lid and only use the external display:
1. Have the display on and connected to your MacBook. Start your MacBook and immediately close the lid.
2. When you close the lid "too late", it will go to sleep. You can awake it with the Apple remote and only have the external display. If your Bluetooth settings are correct, I believe your wireless keyboard will also wake up the MacBook.

Jan
post #26 of 102
At this stage I want to jump in and say, how will the new iMacs (hopefully released in January) look like? Will it be influenced by this? Mockup time, perhaps.
post #27 of 102
not exactly sure why everyone is so negative on this topic. I upgraded to a new Macbook pro, and the screen is beautiful. Is there a glare? Sure. But it's not as bad as everyone seems to make it out to be. And IMO, its worth dealing with as opposed to the anti-glare screens on previous Macbooks and Macbook Pros (which I have had a few of over the years). The colors and brightness just aren't very crisp as the new displays. And if anyone says different, you're just TRYING to be argumentative which I just don't understand.

The new cinema display is gorgeous. Bright, vibrant, and could be one of the best looking monitors out right now. But it's super expensive...

As far as using a monitor/laptop combo, I currently have that set up and have used it for years with my Macbook Pro's. Having an extra screen is really useful, especially when using multiple programs at once. For instance, I manage a team out in the field, and I use a regular monitor as my main screen to work on, but use my laptop to run other apps in the background like ichat which I use a lot to communicate with my staff. It's just nice to have that extra space, or generally work on a larger display.

I don't have the cinema display, but use an off brand monitor at work which isn't glossy. And when my MBP is right next to it, boy can you see the difference in quality. If I could afford it right now, I would get the new cinema display.

As far as the isight is concerned, if you use the bigger cinema monitor as your main display, it's a bonus, but not necessary. But it's hardly a negative, so I don't see what the big deal is. Built in speakers? If they sound good, fantastic. The less stuff on my desk, the better. No firewire on the monitor? Who cares, especially if you have it on the MBP. If you're mad about not having firewire on the new Macbooks, that's another issue not related to the cinema display. However, you do get more USB ports with the display which is a bonus as well.

At least from where I am sitting, the only big drawback is price. Other that that, the new cinema display is cool and the gang.
post #28 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

At this stage I want to jump in and say, how will the new iMacs (hopefully released in January) look like? Will it be influenced by this? Mockup time, perhaps.

maybe they lose the 'chin'?
post #29 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont73 View Post

maybe they lose the 'chin'?

I'd wager that the chin gets reduced a little, but not lost. To lose it completely at this point would probably mean making it thicker, which we know Apple is obsessed with thinness. I really hope they keep it the same thickness and increase the HW accordingly, but I think they will try for an even thinner design.
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post #30 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevoid View Post

Are CRTs then also unsuitable for graphics work? Because both use pure glass.

No CRT of any moderate quality that I've seen has had untreated glass. While they are glossy (smooth-surfaced), they have an antireflection coating which, unlike matte LCDs, actually dims the reflection instead of just blurring it out. Camera lenses are similarly antireflection-coated. Most glossy LCDs are not. Worse, the LED Cinema Display has not only a glossy LCD, but an entire additional pane of untreated shiny glass laid over it.*

*I've not seen an LED Cinema Display in person. I'm making an assumption based on images of the screen, and the design of the iMac.

Has anyone been able to find out if the glass on this screen is held on with magnets and removable like the glass on the iMacs?


Quote:
In fact, for me this is preferable over the grainy antiglare coating as found in pretty much every other high end IPS display, including the previous 23" ACD.

I agree, minus the superfluous extra glass.
post #31 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post

They look real nice, but unfortunately I will never purchase one... no firewire and the glossy screen absolutely kills it for most people doing graphics work.

Yeah right.
The millions of glossy-screened iMacs and all the new glossy Macbooks sold seems to put you at the level of a vocal minority.

Are you basing your opinion on a 2-minute examination? We use glossy iMacs for corporate and they are even used by our internal webmasters doing (guess what?) graphics work. They have nothing but high-praise for the screens. Of course they had a concern at the beginning but after an hour of use, it became a non-issue.

Now if you're referring to super-hardcore graphics work working with multi-megabyte RAW images with eventual Vogue-magazine quality pictorials, then maybe, just-maybe I would slightly begin to side with you but those are be serious-workstations using big-bucks monitors and serious color-calibration tools.

I suspect most of the folks complaining really haven't sat down with them for any reasonable amount of time and come to a logical and well-informed decision. No disrespect intended on this and I have no problem being proven wrong. Apple's numbers just seem to imply that it's a myth.

I'm not saying there is not a problem but for every person that complains on how terrible the glossy displays are, there are an equal (if not more) number of other people to state the contrary.

The amount of glossy units being sold seem to indicate Apple's research was pretty good.

Back to my glossy screen now.
post #32 of 102
Marketing includes finding that point where reason is overcome by urge. This is pure urge. But, if you own Apple stock, that's a good thing. Please get beyond arguing over the usability of a reflective screen versus matte. Those susceptible from 'urge' will never acknowledge same.
post #33 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

I'm with ya bro. Not just for graphic work, but for anyone who doesn't have the odd genetic ability to mask out all the glare. 100% deal breaker.

Then again, an Apple-branded external monitor is not critical - I can live with an "off-brand" monitor (although I'd prefer to buy Apple). The real problem is that the MacBook Pro models are ALL glossy-only. And there are no simple alternatives. I suspect it will be a pain in the ass buying a non-Apple laptop and hacking OS X onto it. But if Apple continues on the glossy-only path, that's what I'll be forced to do next year. Makes me sick to think about it. -(

i'm not sure why anyone would buy an apple monitor to begin with. graphic designers are going to buy the best monitor available for a reasonable price. if apple doesn't want to make the designers' matte screens anymore, fine, they'll move on to other products. if you really need intense color calibration you weren't using apple's previous displays, either.

even when apple's pro displays were matte, there were always better screens at a lower price from other companies. no need to pay the apple tax on accessories when they are standard (i use a logitech mouse, a hanns-g monitor, and a microsoft natural keyboard with my mac and saved $100 off apple's wireless mouse/keyboard and hundreds off the monitor, although it's much lower quality than any cinema display, i'm no designer)
post #34 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's first LED-backlit and DisplayPort-based desktop monitor has arrived at AppleInsider; we now have high-quality photos as well as some early impressions....


I really appreciate that you guys take the time to take photos of the unboxing of Apple products, but please, when you're taking "high quality" photos of devices like this you need to setup your camera correctly. Set the aperture to a very high number like F16 or greater (as high as your camera will go), and use a tripod to keep the camera still for the required longer exposure time. This will give you a far greater depth of field, and thus more than 2mm of the surface of the device will be in focus.

It is quite possible to take these nice close-ups and have the WHOLE display or laptop or whatever in perfect focus. Of course, if you're doing that on purpose to be arty, then disregard!
post #35 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeracer View Post

I really appreciate that you guys take the time to take photos of the unboxing of Apple products, but please, when you're taking "high quality" photos of devices like this you need to setup your camera correctly

Heh, agreed. Not only that, but two of the pics demonstrate a terrible moire pattern that some people will see as a problem with the screen - when it's really a failure of your camera to resolve the individual pixels as displayed by the screen. I wouldn't post those pics with the moire pattern if someone paid me.
post #36 of 102
Why would they make the power cord flush with the laptop, but not the DP & USB cords? Doesn't make sense. Anyways...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It would be interesting if you could close the MacBook lid and use it as the primary display without the MacBook going into sleep mode. It would be a dock-of-sorts then. Having a tiny screen and then a big 24" screen is just too much of a contrast for me.

Actually, you can use it closed...haven't tried it with the new MacBooks and this new display, but my 2007 MacBook Pro can operate closed with my television as the display and this should be the same for all notebooks. Essentially:
1) Connect external display, keyboard, & mouse
2) Mirror the displays (on my 2007 MBP, the F7 key has two squares...use this function to toggle between mirroring displays vs. having two displays)
3) Close the laptop
4) Press a key or move the mouse to wake up the laptop
Violá, you can use your computer in clamshell(closed display) mode!
post #37 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisko View Post

Well to be honest I have a white MacBook and I don't understand why you would want an extra monitor for it, really. Ok if you lap's screen is dead THEN ok. I understand that you can use one screen for programs and the other for something else but still if your lap's screen works why bother. I just hope they will come out with NORMAL connections to be used on Mac Pro!!!!

The concept may seem foreign to you and kim kap sol, but there are people that leave a desktop-sized monitor connected to a notebook on their desk, disconnect the monitor from the notebook when they need to go mobile. Then you get a decent sized screen for "home base", and still retain mobility, without having to sync between a notebook and desktop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

What do you mean by "notebook-only" monitor? Apple has already stated Mini DisplayPort will come standard on all new Macs going forward. Also, while people may not buy a Mac notebook with the assumption they'll use it as a desktop replacement, considering how good Apple's notebooks are in terms of performance, many may find little point in buying a second, desktop computer when they can just hookup their notebook to an external display.

The little magsafe connector isn't useful for desktops, nor does it make sense for them without a latch or built-in UPS in case the connector pops loose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevoid View Post

Are CRTs then also unsuitable for graphics work? Because both use pure glass. In fact, for me this is preferable over the grainy antiglare coating as found in pretty much every other high end IPS display, including the previous 23" ACD.

Maybe you haven't noticed or remember, but a lot of CRTs had anti glare treatments just like antiglare eyeglasses or lenses. Some CRTs had a texture instead.
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post

They look real nice, but unfortunately I will never purchase one... no firewire and the glossy screen absolutely kills it for most people doing graphics work.

Agreed. I prefer my aluminum 20 inchers. I was hoping for Apple to work on making the diplay's border narrower. That would've been a big plus for stacking monitors for professional use.
I didn't expect them to pull the FW ports, this is yet another indication that Apple is not as interested in the pro market as they used to be.
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post #39 of 102
All this fuss about glossy - get over it chumps, it's here to stay.

Why the need? Laptops are more powerful now than desktops only a year or two back, they are the new -portable- desktops. Best of both worlds and this screen will do very, very well.

Apple is always having to teach some of you isn't it? Mud and stuck springs to mind...
post #40 of 102
[QUOTE=Marvin;1344687]One thing I don't get is why put an isight on the display if it's designed for Macbook users who already have an isight?

This display will soon be compatible with the Mac Pro and Mac Mini lines, hence the iSight built in is more so intended for these systems.

I want one but i'm going to wait till January, hopefully either the Mini will get a better graphics chipset or even better a new Mac model will come out that's somewhere between the Mini and the Pro.
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