Apple products are typically more expensive than comparable peripherals from other companies, but the $999 17-inch Studio Display meets the competition head-on. For those who have new Power Macs with an ADC slot, the Studio Display is clearly irresistible. But older Macs will require a pricey, aftermarket adapter interface. Apple products are typically more expensive than comparable peripherals from other companies, but the $999 17-inch Studio Display meets the competition head-on. For those who have new Power Macs with an ADC slot, the Studio Display is clearly irresistible. But older Macs will require a pricey, aftermarket adapter interface.
In person, the Apple Studio Display looks like a smaller cousin to the wide-screen, 22-inch Apple Cinema Display. Both share the same gorgeous, silver-gray and transparent plastic, easel-type casing. The ultraslim package is just 6.9 inches deep (9.8 inches with the hinge fully extended) and tips the scales at a mere 14.6 pounds.
Typical for an Apple product, the hookup process is swift and simple. Just plug the monitor into your Mac's ADC slot (more about this later), switch on your Mac, and you're ready. To get the full range of screen resolutions, however, you'll need to install the software from the CD provided with the package. There are separate installers for Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X. All two external controls--Brightness and Sleep/Power On--are located on the bottom front of the display. On the back of the panel, you'll find two USB ports.
To set viewing angle, you'll need to move the rear hinge back and forth--a slightly awkward process but it works. The Apple Studio Display lacks height and tilt adjustments, but you probably won't miss them; the screen is well placed by design.
Beautiful inside and out
When we turned on the apple Studio Display, it looked great: bright with rich colors and fine detail. CNET Labs' benchmark tests, based on the DisplayMate suite, confirmed what our eyes already told us: the picture is simply stunning, with brilliant colors, clear text, and next-to-perfect color uniformity. The native resolution of 1,280x1,024 pixels provides a display area quite close to that of a 21-inch CRT monitor.
So what's wrong with this picture? Well, all current Apple displays use a proprietary connection scheme called Apple Display Connector (ADC), which combines the digital video, USB and AC power in a single cord that plugs into your Mac. The thing is, only Power Mac G4s from summer 2000 or later and the now-discontinued Cube have ADC connectors. In order to hook up an older Mac, you'll need a display card with DVI-out, in addition to a special adapter interface. Such a product can cost from $150 (for Dr. Bott's DVIator) to $200 (for Gefen's ExtendIt).
Apple provides a one-year parts and service warranty and 90 days of toll-free technical support. The company's Web site is generously populated with support information and, when needed, software updates. An optional AppleCare service plan extends protection and phone support to three years.
Priced at just $999, this gorgeous flat panel helps dispel the myth that Apple products are pricey. Its gorgeous picture should be tempting for new Mac owners or even those with older Macs--if they can swallow the expense of a new adapter as well.
LCD image quality test
Longer bars indicate better performance
|Our benchmarks confirmed the obvious: The Apple's picture is simply stunning, with brilliant colors, clear text, and nearly perfect color uniformity.|