Apple Cinema Display review: Apple Cinema Display

If you're using the Cinema Display with a Wintel machine, the only adjustment you can make to the display's image is to its brightness. The touch-sensitive brightness-control buttons are nestled out of sight along the right-side edge of the panel (below the power button) and blend perfectly with the white plastic end pieces. Luckily, the image quality is so good that the average Wintel user won't miss the ability to tweak contrast or individual color values. When we hooked it up to our Power Mac G4, we were able to tweak the image using Apple's Display Calibrator Assistant. CNET Labs' DisplayMate intensity and grayscale test screens revealed some obvious color-tracking errors; very light grays have a distinctly pinkish hue. Otherwise, we see very little hue shift in the Cinema HD Display's nicely linear progression from black to white. Our only other criticism is one that's common for LCDs: there's a fair amount of ghosting in high-contrast test screens; the display seems to have trouble switching from black to gray and back to black again without leaving reverse video trails. But overall, the display looks stunning: colors are vibrant and warm, details are crisply rendered, and video looks quite smooth and free of noise. (Video playback looks even better when you hook the display up to a G5.) Text also looks very sharp, with excellent contrast; the monitor does a great job reproducing pure, bright whites and dark blacks.

Given that the Cinema HD Display is significantly more expensive than competing LCDs, we're disappointed with its skimpy one-year warranty. The industry standard for LCDs is three years--appropriate for a piece of hardware that costs $2,000.

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)

Brightness in cd/m2

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Apple Cinema Display (20-inch)

Part Number: M9177LL/A Released: Jun 28, 2004
MSRP: $599.00 Low Price: $689.54 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 28, 2004
  • Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Interface DVI
  • Diagonal Size 20 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.258 mm
  • EPEAT Logo Silver
  • Image Contrast Ratio 700:1
  • Image Aspect Ratio 16:10