Refurb 23" Apple Cinema Display

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
So I caught one of these for $1,499 at the Apple Store and it seemed like too good a deal to pass up. It arrived the other day and was in like-new condition. There were no scratches or blemishes on the plastic LCD screen (examined with the screen off, obviously) and no dead pixels when I used Pixel Check v1.2.

However, using the preset calibration that came with the monitor in the Displays section of System Preferences, it did appear a little washed out--not as contrasty as monitors I had seen in stores. This was with the gamma set at 1.8. So I started to investigate...

First, I learned that there were TWO versions of the 23" Apple Cinema Display. The first one, released as far back as late 2002, was apparently not as good as the second revision, released in February 2003. The primary difference is that the latter version had a 170º viewing angle as opposed to the 160º viewing angle on the first model. Aesthetically, the only difference was that the second version has two ALL CHROME logos on the front and the back, while the first version had a chrome logo on the front and a split black and white Apple logo on the back. I started to wonder if perhaps the old monitor hardware (backlight, screen, etc.) had been repackaged in the newer versions plastics. These are the type of thoughts you have when you get a refurbished product, even if it is directly from the online Apple Store. The worse part is that you'll never know!

Eventually, after reading a number of comments about the 23" Display online I learned a few things. First, a number of users had adjusted their gamma to the PC standard of 2.2 (rather than the Mac standard 1.8). The second thing is that gamma adjustments aside, apparently there was some dispute in the Mac community as to whether the 23" Cinema Display was as bright and contrasty (I know it's not a word) as the 20" display. The consensus seemed to be that it is not, although there are ardent 23" defenders who swear the increased real estate is completely worth any minor picture quality trade offs.

I went into a local MacMall store and gazed at a 23" Cinema Display for minutes on end and I swear, at the same gamma it appeared less bright than my display. A salesperson said he believed Apple may be using the backlight and LCD screen from the new monitors in refurbished 23" HD Cinema Displays. Could it be! After all, with the gamma adjustment I could've sworn my refurb looked brighter and better than the old 23" in the store.

I guess I'll never know, but I'm highly interested to hear about others experience with refurbished Apple Cinema Display


  • Reply 1 of 1
    cdigicdigi Posts: 3member
    You may want to get the monitor looked at. I got my refurb. yesterday and the picture is stunning. So much so that when it was next to the monitor it was replacing, it made my old monitor look broken.
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