CNET reviews Apple’s 24-inch LED Cinema Display: beautiful, great performance, very accurate color

Apple LED Cinema Display - Apple Store (U.S.)“The market for the 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display is limited. Until third-party adapters are released, the display is only compatible with MacBooks that have Mini DisplayPort connections. And even if you have that, you will pay $900 for a display that can’t be used with other devices. It has a beautiful and clean design, great performance with movies and games, phenomenal sound, and a good viewing angle, but the monitor’s lack of versatility makes it a product we are reluctant to recommend, even to its target (and only) market,” Eric Franklin reports for CNET.

MacDailyNews Take: The abundance of morbid stupidity in the world today depresses us. CNET seems dedicated to attracting it, concentrating it, and then publishing it online. For MacBook owners with Mini Display Ports for whom this monitor is solely designed (Apple even advertises it as “The first display made for the new MacBook family.”), CNET’s hack should clearly be recommending this monitor which the reviewer himself describes as offering, “beautiful and clean design, great performance with movies and games, phenomenal sound, and a good viewing angle.” No, CNET, you can’t connect it to your fugly, OS-limited Dell craptop. Don’t blame Apple: Get a real computer.

Franklin continues, “The Apple LED Cinema Display impressed us the most in its color reproduction and contrast results. In our Extreme Grayscale Bars and Intensity and Grayscale tests, the display scored higher than any previous display we’ve tested. In these tests, the display was able to produce pure white as well as very light grays–a challenging feat for most displays, but the Cinema Display does it nearly perfectly. On the same token, it was able to display near true black while showing very dark grays. Also, it reproduced the grayscale (the shades of gray between black and white) accurately without any signs of other colors. This indicates that it does not have any color-tracking errors.”

Franklin reports, “The display performed perfectly in most of our color tests, as well. Apple LED Cinema Display was able to scale dark shades of specific colors into lighter shades of the same color without compressing the shades in between. This indicates a very accurate representation of color all around.”

Franklin reports, “We were very impressed by the built-in speakers; the sound was loud when taken up to its maximum output, and showed no signs of distortion. The bass is deep and the quality is clear and full. These are some of the best speakers we’ve ever heard on a monitor.

MacDailyNews Take: And, yet, the fool is “reluctant to recommend” such an obviously stellar monitor, “even to its target (and only) market.” Puleeze.

Full review – not recommended due to appalling idiocy – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Cathy V.” for the heads up.]


  1. I saw the 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display in an Apple Store and the glare of the store lighting created reflections on the screen that made it very unpleasant to look at. Having said that, if I were in the market for a new MacBook I’d want one of these monitors and I’d find a way to solve the glare problem when I set it up in my home.

  2. The only thing worse than the review is all the idiotic comments and customer reviews that follow it. What a bunch of maroons! as Bugs would say.

    Reviewers are also forgetting that the Mac Mini is way overdue for an overhaul and is rumoured as recently as a couple of months ago to be undergoing a huge redesign. What are the odds that this thing might connect to the mini as well? Or even the new iMacs also expected in the same period?

    While damning the thing for what MDN rightly points out is it’s actual designed purpose (to connect to the new laptops), they also ignore the possibility that other products expected soon might also be able to connect to it. Dumb.

  3. Yeah, I’m all set with AppleCo’s ludicrous monotheism.
    Why on earth would they create a monitor that works only on current laptops and upcoming products?
    What on earth are these people smoking?
    It is a pricey but beautiful but crippled piece of equipment. Why?
    Why not add some other inputs?
    It is not an unfair criticism for CNET to question the logic of purchasing a monitor designed to compliment only a laptop. That is a dumbass limitation to place on a monitor–
    Glossy Screens? Yeah, see above…
    I am no sheep. I love OSX and Apple hardware–as far as it goes—why they insist on shipping pies with a piece sliced out and no cake whatsoever is beyond me. If they were bakers they would be out of business.

  4. @ccap1

    Apple skate to where the puck will be, not where it is right now.

    DisplayPort is the new USB – remember when Apple pioneered USB? Every bugger complained that their peripherals no longer worked. No one will notice once the rest of the industry has caught up…as usual!

    Apple have always been at the vanguard of function, design and technology. That’s why they are who they are today. To paraphrase Truman, if you can’t stand the smell, stay out of the shithouse!


  5. I own this monitor because it interfaces perfectly with my new MacBook Pro.

    I don’t care if it doesn’t have other inputs.
    a) I’m not going to hook up some old computer to it. (With all due respect to my iMac, G5, Mini, Cube, and wife’s MacBook).
    b) It’s not going to double as my home theater. I have a home theater for that.

    I tend to like my equipment optimized to do their primary function best as opposed to multifunctional and possibly compromised

    It’s screen and colors are gorgeous at all angles. It looks great on my desk next to the MacBookpro. No issues with glossy. Every time I look at it whether it is on or off it looks beautiful and I feel good. CNET, duh.

  6. Sure Jeremy:
    Now explain to me please, why would an iMac user need two iSight cameras side by side? Sure, the Mac mini is one thing, but the iMac, nope, this monitor is not for that market. This monitor was introduced with the Apple portables. It is designed from the ground up to work with these models. Do I see Apple slipping a mini connector to the mac mini to give this monitor support? Maybe, maybe not.

  7. …because they give a truer picture than matte screens. Matte screens have coating on them that distort the image, whereas glossy screens do not. Plus, glossy screens have much higher contrast with deeper blacks.

    For professionals dealing with color, glossy screens are better.

  8. What a foolish response to the CNET article.

    I have a 17 inch MacBook pro, and I desperately…….desperately want one of those LED monitors (and I’ll likely get one tomorrow anyways). But the main issue I have is, I live in the real world and do a lot of work. If I boot into Windows via Bootcamp, will the monitor even work?

    Also for the comment about “get a real computer”, those sorts of responses re: Mac devices vs PC have always struck me as idiotic. I love OSX, but unfortunately 50% of the time I still need to use Windows to do most of my programming.

    Macs really aren’t built for the poweruser, but rather the home user and design professional. Microsoft has outplayed Apple for years in the corporate world.

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