UPDATED: December 04, 2006 I am making this thread to help those that are on the fence over which display to get and who have only heard the misinformation so far. There's more to the displays than just on-paper specifications and Dell has tricked you with their higher brightness & contrast values. In reality, these screens are very different and are targeted at two different markets; Consumer-quality (Dell) and Pro-quality (Apple). Almost all the discussions (but not all) have completely disregarded everything but the brightness and contrast and argued that "Unless you are a total mac fanboy incapable of buying anything without an apple logo on it, then go for the Dell. Because paying more for an Apple monitor and getting less brightness and contrast is ridiculous". I'm going to be talking a lot about S-IPS vs S-PVA, so please read both of those paragraphs in this Wikipedia article to learn the difference. Now, let's jump right in; Apple Cinema Display 23" Screen: 23" (.258mm Pixel Pitch) LCD Panel: S-IPS (super in-plane switching) (made by LG-Philips) (Note: the recent Apple-display update bumped the contrast, suggesting a likely move to AS-IPS which is even better), the S-IPS panel type has less brightness and contrast compared to Dell's S-PVA-panel (Note: S-PVA is a consumer-grade panel type), but Apple's professional-grade S-IPS-panel pays off with its very accurate and stable (no shifting) color reproduction, which is why Apple uses it. Professionals expect no less than S-IPS for their graphics work. Note that all Apple monitors have been SWOP-certified; which ensures that the colors on the displays are so good that you can use them in a SWOP-certified soft-proofing workflow (ie. print). This along with the expensive (to manufacture), very high-quality S-IPS-panels make it worth the higher pricepoint, at least if color accurcy matters to you. This display shouldn't be compared to the Dell based on price; it should be taken for what it is, a high-end display for professionals while Dell's is for general users. Further testimony to Apple's amazing color quality are colorimeter tests that showed it to have an almost identical color spectrum to an expensive, reference-quality EIZO display! Forum user "ATD'" sums it up very well and provides links to the results. Dell UltraSharp 2407FPW Screen: 24" (.270mm Pixel Pitch) (Same amount of pixels, wider gap between pixels to spread them out an extra inch.) LCD Panel: S-PVA (super patterned vertical alignment) (made by Samsung), higher brightness, higher contrast (only perpendicular, contrast sharply diminishes if you look off-axis at S-PVA-based panels, including severely warped colors), much less color accuracy due to the S-PVA characteristics. S-PVA-panels gives great brightness and contrast at the cost of acceptable (from an artists standpoint) color reproduction. Not much else to say. How do they stack up against each other? There's more than meets the eye when it comes to monitors, and specifications such as brightness and contrast mean little compared to the color quality or panel type. Make no mistake: Apple's (S-IPS) photo-professional displays are much better for graphics work with their accurate and stable colors, but at the cost of slightly lower brightness and contrast. If you don't need color accuracy, then Dell's (S-PVA) may be better for you with their great brightness and contrast. With the Dell you also get a lot more connectors, but then again; if you are a professional you don't hook up s-video, composite, component and other such TV-signals that it provides; you just need DVI to hook it up to a computer and that is exactly what Apple gives you. The Dell is a consumer-grade product that doubles as a TV-set, and even contains a deinterlacer by Faroudja to deinterlace interlaced TV-signals. Incidentally, Dell forgot to disable that chip even when the display was hooked up to a computer, leading to severe dithering (watch any gradient and you'll see "banding/stepping" in it) due to the Faroudja chip processing all graphics. This has been fixed in the (new) revision 3 of the monitor which now bypasses the Faroudja chipset whenever connected through VGA or DVI; phew! So make sure you ask for a rev. 3. UPDATE: The information that the new 2407WFP was only 6-bit turned out to be misinformation spread by a Dell product manager who didn't do enough research when he answered the communitys questions about the 2407WFP a while back. He has looked into it again and found that it is indeed true 8-bit. Therefore this paragraph should be disregarded. (more information) [You should also be aware that there's a difference between Dell's new and old 24" monitors, the new 2407 model is dithered and only shows 18-bit (3x6-bit cells) colors, while the older 2405 has full 24-bit (3x8-bit cells) colors. Dell has reduced the color depth of each subpixel from an 8-bit to a 6-bit LCD so they could lower the response time (ms) from 16ms to 6ms by having less data to process, and I'm not in favor of sacrificing color depth for speed. A 6-bit display can only show 262,144 colors natively while an 8-bit display is able to show 16,777,216 colors natively. The 6-bit displays then dither those few colors in order to artificially show up to 16.2 million colors, a fake way of achieving "more" colors but it looks terrible. Therefore the older Dell 2405FPW is better than the new version. Decide which version you want, I'd try to find a 2405 if I were you no matter what you are going to use it for, as it has a deeper color range.] Finally, the looks are very different between Dell and Apple monitors; and the one that obviously matches the aluminum Mac/MacBook Pro's is Apple's own ACD's, and that's enough for some to get the ACD while other's aren't as picky, or may even prefer Dell's more PC-like look and exterior. Ultimately you shouldn't base your decision on looks, it's much more important that you consider: am I in need of professional-grade color reproduction, or is a cheaper consumer-grade monitor enough? Pixel Policy Note that might be of interest: Since Apple's displays are aimed at professionals they have a pretty good pixel-policy, I have been able to instantly replace a defective display with a single dead pixel just by calling them and having them arrange a pickup, and didn't even have to explain why the dead pixel was annoying. They wouldn't release any numbers but rather said "we work with our customers on a case-by-case basis instead". So if you get a dead pixel you can just call them and convince them to send you a new monitor. This beats other manufacturer policies such as "a minimum of 5 dead pixels before a screen is deemed defective". I have read the same policy on several sites, including one that contains a constantly updated rundown of every manufacturer's pixel policies, as collected by the team by calling the different companies regularly (in other words: it's reliable and up-to-date). I forgot the URL though. HDCP, High-Definition Content Protection? As you may know, the new Dell monitors support HDCP (the "-CP" stands for "Content Protection", HDCP is encrypted HDTV-video over DVI, to prevent piracy) while Apple's do not, and many discussions revolve around the lack of HDCP on Apple displays. Truth is, this only matters if you are going to hang the monitor on the wall and use it as a HDTV connected to a HDTV receiver with HDCP-output. You probably won't buy a professional photography LCD (Apple) and use it as a TV, but if you want to then you are out of luck (unless you buy a HDCP-remover to connect between the source and the monitor). It's also important to note that almost none of the computer-LCDs that exist today support HDCP, and the main reason the Dell supports it is because it's a TV/monitor hybrid; so they added HDCP in order to future-proof it for emerging TV-standards. It's your choice if this is a dealbreaker or not. What about the contrast and brightness? We're nearing the end now. Let this be a guide for the future; you shouldn't compare monitors using only on-paper specifications such as contrast and brightness, there is so much more depth to it than just using such a one-dimensional comparison. Speaking of which; you can't really compare those two aspects between these particular monitors in the first place since both monitors use different technology and would therefore look different even if they had the exact same brightness & contrast, since the Dell still uses an inferior display panel (S-PVA) to the Apple Cinema Display (S-IPS). As a way to compare the brightness of the two, I would best describe it as looking at a Dell 2407WFP at full brightness felt like I was looking into the sun, whereas the Apple 23" ACD felt like I was staring at a brightly lit lightbulb. Both of them had to be turned down a lot, so brightness is not an issue on either of them. I'll leave you with the specifications and features of each monitor so that you can see what accessories you receive with the Dell. Hopefully I haven't bored you too much and you can now make an informed decision based on your needs rather than the current misinformation ("the Dell has better brightness & contrast so it's foolish to pay more for Apple"). You get what you pay for and Apple's professional LCD-panel is what gives it the higher price; professionals should look beyond the price difference and instead consider how vital it is that the colors they see on screen will come out the same in print, or that their graphics design is not done on a monitor with inaccurate colors. Please spare us any "I can't see how the Dell colors could possibly be worse", if you are happy with the Dell then you're not in the target market for professional displays and should keep your opinion to yourself. The difference is kind of like going from 16-bit to 32-bit colors but not as extreme.