Tom’s Hardware: Apple 23” Cinema HD Display is ‘a magnificent monitor’

Apple Computer’s 23″ Cinema HD Display “is a magnificent monitor, there’s just no other word for it. Few manufacturers are capable of putting out a product like this. The 23″ Apple Cinema is a beautiful object in and of itself. The white plastic/brushed aluminum shell is a knockout. The build quality shows extreme care. Even in this price range, few competitors put this much effort into the appearance of their monitors. To add to the glamour, there are no buttons visible on the front panel; on the edge there are three touch-sensitive controllers for power on/off and brightness adjustments. A light touch is all it takes to turn the monitor on. It’s very sensual and at the same time practical. Similarly, the hub connectors have been moved to the back of the panel. The massive aluminum base might appear light, but in fact it provides perfect stability. In short, it’s a magnificent-looking monitor and we frankly admit that the second we had it out of the box we wanted to keep it,” Tom’s Hardware Guide reports.

Unfortunately, according to Tom’s Hardware Guide, “Apple had the brilliant idea of molding the DVI cable, power supply and USB and FireWire connectors into a single cord that runs from the monitor. When I say I don’t see the point of this solution, it’s an understatement…. There’s no pivot mode, no built-in transformer… not even an onscreen display! You set the brightness on the fly by trial and error. We’ve already complained about ViewSonic and its numberless cursors. Apple goes them one better and offers no OSD at all.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Pivot mode and onscreen displays are available to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users. Obviously, Tom’s Hardware Guide only tested the monitor on a Windows PC which is like putting a Tiffany stained glass window into a yard shed.

Advertisement: Apple Cinema Display. Put your work on the big screen. From $999. Free shipping.


  1. 23″ is tiny compared to the 30″

    And it is most unfortunate they tested it with a POS Windows box, because Mac OS X is much more refined visually than XP.

    XP still uses low grade bitmapped images and text.

    With the early builds of Vista, it looks like much of the same thing.

    Thousands of people stood in line for days for a opening of a Apple Store, video here

  2. The 23″ Apple Cinema Display is the worst product Apple has ever made. Almost two years after it’s release the monitors are still faulty. Read the Apple discussions if you doubt me. I’ve tried three of them before settling on two 20 inches instead. The 23″ all suffer from the “Pink” problem and inconsistent color at the edges. Don’t know why they can’t get this right as both the 20 and 30 inch models do not have this problem.

  3. I have a 23″ hooked up to a PB at the office and it’s fantastic. Sure, I drool over the 30″, but for day to day working on multiple windows at a time the 23″ is a powerhouse. No pink problems for me, but others in the office are green with envy!

  4. the 23″ is not HDCP compatible. Even the ultra-expensive 30″ isn’t compatible. This means next year you won’t be able to view the new HD-DVDs or Blu-Ray discs on them. Unless you really need a new monitor now you should wait until Apple upgrades its monitors to be compatible with HDCP or buy a Dell monitor.

  5. I bought one about 2 months ago..absolutely perfect.

    Funny thing was, knowing about the pink cast issue, I looked at all the floor displays at my local Mac store. 2 of 3 were totally pink. Sales person said those were early versions and had been there a long time. Told him I’d only buy if I could pull a new one out of the box and fire it up in the store. They let me do that..and I walked out a happy camper (along with dual G5).

    I would recommend getting two.

  6. Gee. “The massive aluminum base might appear light, but in fact it provides perfect stability.” What will the Enderle’s say?

    Tom seems to be catching on. This is not the first rave review of an Apple product. We can hope that he will try the complete experience one day soon.

  7. Sheesh, with the price of that monitor, I hope there’s some gold in there. I purchased a Dell 24″ HD monitor for $860, while the Apple is retailing for $1500.

    This Dell screen is bright as the sun with tremendous contrast, and has great viewing angles. It may not be absolutely perfect for very fine color correction, but for 99% of the rest of the time, it’s mind blowing.

    Sure I had to tape the “Dell” logo with black tape, but it was very small to begin with and I’m enjoying the extra cash.

  8. I don’t understand why both the MDN staff and the posters write as though Windows users, hungry for an alternate lifestyle, are watching your every typewritten word. iPodder says “Time for people to realize that the above is not limited to screens…” in what appears to be a vain hope some poor sap will throw down their Dell in response to hearing that Apple manufacture great monitors. And MacDude? He wants all nearby Windows users to hear the sting of Mac OS X being more “refined visually” than Windows XP, just in case they were on the line on that one. And just for good measure, he posts a link to a video which shows the long line at an Apple store, hoping to convince someone to switch based on the notion that “everyone’s” buying a mac. What’s this? The Bandwagon argument? Everyone’s doing it? That’s a little self-defeating, don’t you think? Considering that the Bandwagon is 98% Windows users.

    Listen, people, you’re running a Mac web site that is only attended by Mac users, NOT Windows users who are prowling for your half-brained switching arguments and worshipping your every computing insight. And even if by sheer coincidence a Windows user accidentally stumbles upon this page and hears the attitudes of you who claim to be representative Mac users, they will surely run screaming for their life, knowing that the Macintosh comes with a brain-melting ray gun that automatically turns all Mac users into mindless, idiotic drones.

  9. “Obviously, Tom’s Hardware Guide only tested the monitor on a Windows PC which is like putting a Tiffany stained glass window into a yard shed.”

    THG has a LONG history of asinine test procedures and opinions that all come out of their asses or from advertisers dollars. They are popular because most people are numbskulls and don’t know better!

  10. Well said Charles!

    Especially the MDN takes, though they are entertaining, they constantly preech to the converted and suffer from severe one-sided zealotness! I steer all my potential Windows-swithcer friends clear of this site.

  11. Oh yeah, the above monitor also has Component In to hook up a Sony HD camera, it has memory card readers of every possible size, it has a USB hub behind the screen for some added connectivity, S-Video and RCA inputs as well…

    … Out of the box it pivots 90 degrees for very tall garageband compositions in Tiger, and it slides up to a very high height so you don’t have to hunch over looking at the items near the dock.

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