Apple’s new 27-inch iMac also designed to work as an external display

Apple Store“Apple has designed its new 27″ iMac model to serve as an external display for DisplayPort devices such as recent MacBook and MacBook Pros,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider.

“The high end iMac now supplies a screen larger and with significantly more pixels than [Apple’s] standalone 24″ LED Cinema Display model (which for $899 sports a 1920×1200 resolution), providing a 2560×1440 native resolution nearly as large as the company’s 30″ Cinema Display HD (which delivers 2560×1600 but costs $1799),” McLean reports. “With all those pixels on the new 27″ iMac, Apple couldn’t resist giving users the option to use the screen for more than just the iMac (note that the 21.5″ iMacs do not support video input).”

McLean reports, “Being able to support DisplayPort input also opens the possibility for users to connect a Blu-Ray player, TV tuner, or other device to their iMac for non-computing display purposes. The wide screen display is now a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio, the same as HDTVs.”

More info in the full article here.

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


  1. This makes it convenient to hook up other computers, but I’m not sure if the display will work for a Blu-ray player, due to the onerous DRM shackles required by Blu-ray licensing.

    And, by the way, MDN, Apple closed today at an all-time high. I’m anxiously awaiting your celebratory article, together with the Laura Goldman quote and all…

  2. Hmm, I was wondering about replacing my aging powermac (yes, that’s correct!) with a new computer–either an iMac or a mac pro. The big issue for me has been the longevity of the iMac. I’m at 6 years and counting on my powermac, so I keep my computers around for a while… This makes the iMac much more appealing as my main desktop for about 3-4 years: I could then use it as a monitor if I decided to go with a new mac pro at that point.


  3. It’s just a pity the only thing you can connect is a Macbook.
    If I have a screen that good, I want to use it for a few other things too.
    Normally I’m against lots of connectors but really something like HDMI input was a winner here as many would be eying their PS3s and DVRs etc and seeing lots of reasons to excuse the cost.
    Oh well, never mind. Maybe next year MacBooks will get a Page Up key that actually moves the cursor.

  4. This great, but it should definitely be extended to the 21″ iMac as well! It really changes the economics for those of us that like to keep using a display longer than the computer.

  5. There’s no information available from Apple here in Canada about whether the mini DisplayPort input includes audio. The mini DisplayPort spec. seems to indicate a pin-to-pin passthrough from standard DisplayPort, so one might think that the mini DP input should be able to accept audio. Would that it could, because I’ve found a few HDMI output to DP input converters for a handful of dollars. This means (in theory at this point) that HDMI can be used as a source for the iMac display. Even if there’s no audio into the mini DP, a splitter (cobbled or manufactured) should do the trick.

    Finally, HDTV on my iMac. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. @PXT,
    Why would you say, “the only thing you can connect is a Macbook”? It has a DisplayPort input, which means you should be able to connect a wide variety of sources with DisplayPort and DVI, including MacBooks, MacBook Pros, minis, and PCs (God forbid).

    I highly doubt the connector will support audio… It would need decoding/downmixing hardware, which is unlikely. As for whether you can connect an HDMI source like an HDTV receiver or Blu-ray player, it depends whether the input supports HDCP. I highly doubt that, too.

    I’ll be very surprised if the display input capability isn’t relegated to use as computer monitor or as a display for only non-HDCP sources (no HDMI).

    Oh, and if you want HDTV on your Mac, just get an eyeTV hybrid from elgato.

  7. @John,

    My God, man! Throw the old PowerMac on a shelf, because only $599 stands between you and a Mini w/Snow Leopard and a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo!

    With the modest amount of money a mini costs, you don’t have to worry about using the same computer for 6 years! Put the money in a nice keyboard, mouse, display and storage, and you can upgrade the computer every year or two if you want.

  8. About time, frankly. I have an iMac G5 with a dead motherboard, it would’ve been nice if it could have continued life as an external monitor. Instead, it’s cheap parts (very cheap, since many iMac G5s suffered the same fate)

  9. @ ecrabb: “just get an eyeTV hybrid”

    I have one, but HD off air is all but non-existent here in Toronto (and I’m 43 floors up and should have good access to the signals). Six channels, with only 1.5 worth of reception is not HD. The Hybrid does not accept HD cable or other HD inputs. 🙁

    Apple has some ‘splainin’ to do about what the mini DP input port can and cannot accept. There’s no point in saying it accepts mini DP video, if it can’t accept all video coming down those wires. Video is/should be video, even if some lawyer or techie wants to intermix licensing.

    Either that, or Apple should make clear which formats the mini DP input can and cannot accept. To say, without caveats, that the port can accept video is hugely disingenuous, even misleading, if the port cannot accept some forms of video.

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