New 27" iMac designed to also work as a display

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has designed its new 27" iMac model to serve as an external display for DisplayPort devices such as recent MacBook and MacBook Pros.



The new model is the first all-in-one system from Apple that doubles as an external display. Attaching a notebook or other device capable of DisplayPort output only requires the use of the appropriate cable. All of Apple's recent Macs, from its notebooks to the iMacs and Mac mini, use a Mini DisplayPort connector, so linking a notebook to the display would require a cable with that connector on both ends.



There was previously no existing need for such a cable, so it may take time for these to appear on the market. (Update: Apple already lists a Belkin cable for this purpose.)



The company's existing 24" LED Cinema Display, intended primarily for use with recent MacBooks, uses a combined cable that pairs USB, Mini DisplayPort, and power into a single wiring harness. The display itself lacks a Mini DisplayPort input port. Earlier Cinema Display models, such as the 30" screen Apple continues to sell, use DVI connectors instead.



The high end iMac now supplies a screen larger and with significantly more pixels than its standalone 24" LED Cinema Display model (which for $899 sports a 1920x1200 resolution), providing a 2560x1440 native resolution nearly as large as the company's 30" Cinema Display HD (which delivers 2560x1600 but costs $1799). With all those pixels on the new 27" iMac, Apple couldn't resist giving users the option to use the screen for more than just the iMac (note that the 21.5" iMacs do not support video input).







Being able to support DisplayPort input also opens the possibility for users to connect a Blu-Ray player, TV tuner, or other device to their iMac for non-computing display purposes. The wide screen display is now a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio, the same as HDTVs.



Like its most recent standalone display, the new 27" iMac uses LED backlighting to provide an instant on picture that is uniformly bright. LED backlighting (versus the more conventional backlight using cold cathode fluorescent lamps) also supports finer grained brightness control, allows for a thinner enclosure, and happens to be more environmentally sensitive because it doesn't require the use of highly toxic mercury.



Apple is also touting the new iMac display's IPS (in-plane switching) screen technology, which it credits for the new iMac's color reproduction performance and extremely wide 178 degree viewing angles. It has also returned to selling a VESA mounting adapter for its iMacs, which allows users to attach their 30.5 pound screen to a wall for HDTV-style viewing.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 222
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,591member
    That was really nice of them. If my home and work iMac did that I would be really happy!



    The VESA mount is a good feature also. I could see one of these in my man cave one day.
  • Reply 2 of 222
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    I want the beautiful display without the extra computer.
  • Reply 3 of 222
    This feature is needed and has been needed on iMacs. There is no reason to throw your monitor away because your computer has become out of date specwise.
  • Reply 4 of 222
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post


    This feature is needed and has been needed on iMacs. There is no reason to throw your monitor away because your computer has become out of date specwise.



    Agreed: this feature will allow someone to buy an iMac, and then in x years when they upgrade, use it as a second screen.



    By the time that 2nd iMac is replaced (assuming current trends) the old one is either old enough that the display isn't great, or else the newest iMac would (by then) allow triple-monitors.
  • Reply 5 of 222
    I'm gonna plug my ps3 into this and it'll have mega graphics
  • Reply 6 of 222
    emveeemvee Posts: 27member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Being able to support DisplayPort input also opens the possibility for users to connect a Blu-Ray player, TV tuner, or other device to their iMac for non-computing display purposes. The wide screen display is now a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio, the same as HDTVs.



    I am sure it'll work fine to display MBP imagery on the iMac, for instance, but have serious doubts when trying to connect any other 1080p video source not using (mini)DP as an output signal. It would be really nice if Apple would mention what IS and what is NOT possible in terms of connecting external devices and required cables/converters. I also contacted a cable and adapter supplier that offers products in the MAC store, but they replied not to offer a solution for this type of connections (I asked the question to connect a PS3 in 1080p).



    So, to work or not to work with external non-DisplayPort signals?
  • Reply 7 of 222
    bcodebcode Posts: 139member
    it's about bloody time!
  • Reply 8 of 222
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,607member
    I love the new format - next up, the iphone
  • Reply 9 of 222
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Can I assume that it would allow video capture with the proper software?
  • Reply 10 of 222
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Can you use it as a display with its computer parts sleeping??
  • Reply 11 of 222
    Quote:

    All of Apple's recent Macs, from its notebooks to the iMacs and Mac mini, use a Mini DisplayPort connector, so linking a notebook to the display would require a cable with that connector on both ends.



    There was previously no existing need for such a cable, so it may take time for these to appear on the market.



    These cables are already on the market and probably have been for a while now.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...02&cp_id=10246

    Other displays were using displayport before apple adopted it, so yes there was a need for these.



    Edit: Well actually I can't find anything that would have needed a mini displayport - mini displayport cable so it's a bit odd that these were even being made but they are available.
  • Reply 12 of 222
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post


    This feature is needed and has been needed on iMacs. There is no reason to throw your monitor away because your computer has become out of date specwise.



    Problem is that you'd need an non all-in-one as your new one.
  • Reply 13 of 222
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    There was previously no existing need for such a cable, so it may take time for these to appear on the market.





    Actually that cable is already on the store and has a few weeks lead time.
  • Reply 14 of 222
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Can I assume that it would allow video capture with the proper software?



    Probably not. Seeing as how DP in is HDCP compliant, it's pretty unlikely that the signal does anything but go directly to the display.
  • Reply 15 of 222
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    I want the beautiful display without the extra computer.



    The computer is basically free. The 27" iMac costs less than the 30" cinema HD display. Is another 160 vertical pixels worth another $100?
  • Reply 16 of 222
    Ever since I read this about this feature, I've been struggling to understand what its real value is - whats the killer scenario. After all, if I have a powerful notebook, I'm not going to run out and buy a new desktop, just so I can get more screen resolution, I'd buy a monitor, not a whole new computer. But then I started to think, what if I had a device with a small screen and not so great computing power that I mostly used away from my desk- like a tablet or a netbook. Then I would have the need to buy a second more powerful computer with a monitor I could plug into and possibly leverage the keyboard and mouse connected to that computer for my portable device. That seems like a more reasonable scenario to me.
  • Reply 17 of 222
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Can I assume that it would allow video capture with the proper software?



    basically it seems to bypass the computer alltogether when using it as an external monitor. In other words the screen is connected to your alternate device but the computer is not, you would then have to get a video capturing device over firewire or usb.
  • Reply 18 of 222
    too bad imacs are like mirrors, that screen is not very useful for a pro compared to the nice matte coating on the 30" apple displays.
  • Reply 19 of 222
    I think its more accurate to say that this shows how over-priced and out of date the 30" display is. Given Apple's profits I seriously doubt they are giving away the 27" iMacs.
  • Reply 20 of 222
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple has designed its new 27" iMac model to serve as an external display for DisplayPort devices such as recent MacBook and MacBook Pros.



    The new model is the first all-in-one system from Apple that doubles as an external display. Attaching a notebook or other device capable of DisplayPort output only requires the use of the appropriate cable. All of Apple's recent Macs, from its notebooks to the iMacs and Mac mini, use a Mini DisplayPort connector, so linking a notebook to the display would require a cable with that connector on both ends.



    There was previously no existing need for such a cable, so it may take time for these to appear on the market. The company's existing 24" LED Cinema Display, intended primarily for use with recent MacBooks, uses a combined cable that pairs USB, Mini DisplayPort, and power into a single wiring harness. The display itself lacks a Mini DisplayPort input port. Earlier Cinema Display models, such as the 30" screen Apple continues to sell, use DVI connectors instead.



    The high end iMac now supplies a screen larger and with significantly more pixels than its standalone 24" LED Cinema Display model (which for $899 sports a 1920x1200 resolution), providing a 2560x1440 native resolution nearly as large as the company's 30" Cinema Display HD (which delivers 2560x1600 but costs $1799). With all those pixels on the new 27" iMac, Apple couldn't resist giving users the option to use the screen for more than just the iMac (note that the 21.5" iMacs do not support video input).







    Being able to support DisplayPort input also opens the possibility for users to connect a Blu-Ray player, TV tuner, or other device to their iMac for non-computing display purposes. The wide screen display is now a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio, the same as HDTVs.



    Like its most recent standalone display, the new 27" iMac uses LED backlighting to provide an instant on picture that is uniformly bright. LED backlighting (versus the more conventional backlight using cold cathode fluorescent lamps) also supports finer grained brightness control, allows for a thinner enclosure, and happens to be more environmentally sensitive because it doesn't require the use of highly toxic mercury.



    Apple is also touting the new iMac display's IPS (in-plane switching) screen technology, which it credits for the new iMac's color reproduction performance and extremely wide 178 degree viewing angles. It has also returned to selling a VESA mounting adapter for its iMacs, which allows users to attach their 30.5 pound screen to a wall for HDTV-style viewing.



    These new iMacs are still missing multi-touch and Blu-Ray although this feature seems to be their answer to BluRay for now. Please give us multi-touch and with the convenient new release of Windows 7 coinciding it seems quite unfortunate.
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