24" LED Cinema Display, to buy or not to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Reiger, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Reiger macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Guys, I need your help. Please read on or scroll down for the short version. I got a bit carried away :rolleyes:

    I've got a 13" unibody Macbook with, of course, the mini displayport connector. The problem is I currently don't have a screen. But working a full day behind the laptop is bad for my posture and just bad for my body overall. So I've got to buy an external screen and keyboard. I've already got the mouse. The keyboard is easy, Apple Wireless Keyboard :D

    The main problem is that I always work in the living room. So if I place a monitor here, it has to look good. You're all Apple enthusiasts, so many of you must also care about design.

    I will use the screen, mainly for browsing (Safari), writing a lot (Pages), music (iTunes) etc. I'm a heavy multitasker, so the extra screen estate well be more than welcome (although Expose is brilliant). I'm not into digital photography or anything.

    First I contemplated buying a relatively cheap 23" of 24" TN panel. However, I worked with some TN panels, and especially the larger screens I've seen are hideous. The colors shift even when your sitting still and just turn your head, backlight bleeding is terrible and so on. Still... since they are making so many of them with 1080P screens, they must have made some improvements? I know they are cheap. But they must have improved over time? The ones I worked with are 22" and probably two or more years old.

    Anyway, so I am considering the P2310H and the ST2310 from Dell. The P2310H is adjustable in hight and almost every other way. The back, which will be in plane sight, because of my living room setup, is hideous. However, there is cable management. It has a displayport connector, there is a mini displayport (male) to displayport (male) cable for sale.

    The ST2310 is not adjustable and is probably too low to improve my posture. The design, however, is quite nice. It has a glossy bezel with a white back. However, it doesn't allow for any cable management. And I will have to use an adapter (mini displayport to DVI) and a DVI cable. This will probably look like a mess :)

    So last but not least is the Apple LED Cinema Display. The design is absolutely stunning. From all sides, the monitor is just beautiful. It has a power connector and is just a perfect companion for my unibody Macbook. The cable management is nice and it would look nice in my living room. It isn't hight adjustable. But the hight seems to be good.

    But... But... But...

    It is so expensive. I mean, it is well over two times (almost three times) as expensive as the other monitors. Yes, I know it uses a superior panel and LED backlighting. But still, it is a huge difference.

    Furthermore, I have one other gripe: the glossy display (or to be more accurate the glass). I love the glass screen on my Macbook, but I can easily adjust it or just sit somewhere else. This is more difficult with the Cinema Display. I've only found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPDbpIaL_AM. However my situation is the exact opposite, the light is coming from behind the screen (when I'm behind the screen, I can look out the window) and some is reflected by the wall behind me. I hope that is clear.

    Finally, the LED Cinema display has been on sale for almost a year. Do you feel they might lower the price in the coming month? There are some whispers about an iMac and Macbook line refresh.

    So in short, I need a monitor for my living room to connect to my unibody Macbook. I'm having trouble deciding between a cheap 23" 1080P monitor with TN panel and the Apple LED Cinema display. The price difference is huge. Furthermore I am a bit worried about glare, because of the glass panel. Finally, the LED Cinema display was introduced almost a year ago, do you think they will lower the price or update the specs some time soon (maybe together with the rumored iMac and Macbook updates)?

    What would you do? Or maybe you had to make the same decision, what did you choose?
  2. = bluntman = macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Accurate colour reproduction was first and foremost for me. I looked around to other monitors that used IPS panels, but they were difficult to come by over here (and even more difficult to test drive before buying). A website listed the LED Cinema Display as using an H-IPS panel so my interest was peaked. The fact that it also included 2.1 speakers (?) and a webcam were also bonuses in my books.

    What sold me were the vibrant colours from the display, especially when compared to Apple's 30" display with the matte screen. Glare from the 24" was always a big concern, but it immediately became a non-issue as soon as I got it home and plugged in. I guess as long you don't have a window or a light source pointed directly at the screen, glare will not be a problem for you.
  3. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    i toyed with the same dilemma for the past few weeks and decided to get a dell 24" LCD from best buy(i know they are evil, but it was a decent price on the monitor) anyways.. i had heard that dell monitors have pretty good image and the quality was good too and i must say i am not disappointed. for $229 this was a great grab in contrast to the ACD. I also have an iMac and the glare from the screen is tolerable, but this dell matte display really is nicer than the glass covered iMac IMO. one big thing though is that i already had a surround sound system im using for audio so the speakers were not necessary, if you dont have speakers then the ACD has an extra point going for it, but there are much more affordable and better speaker solutions if you dont require them being built into the monitor.

    in all, id say a dell or HP monitor would suit you well and you wont be sorry.
  4. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    What he said and its highly unlikely to see an update soon...the 30" maybe but there really isn't anything to update in the 24", its specs are relatively modern
  5. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    There are differences between TN panels, but if you want quality, go with a good brand with a known good model. You'll probably be very happy with it, and you'll save half the price of the Apple even with a semi-expensive IPS panel.
  6. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    I am very pleased with mine and do not regret my purchase, as expensive as it is. (I am *super picky* about image quality and went through many screens before settling on this one). However, I don't have a glare problem where I have it set up, so my conditions are pretty much ideal for this particular display.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'd check out the new Dell 24" monitor; is a great deal, offers lots of connectivity, and has a great panel.
  8. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    I bought a ACD 23 inch three years ago for 900. Now they want to charge the same prince for a closed system.:mad: Thanks but no thanks.

    The nice thing about the previous generation was that you could hook them up using DVI or HDMI to any computer, provided the source was outputting to one of the few resolution that the ACD can accept. However now they lock the screen to one poorly adopted input type, do not offer an adapter, and them have the balls to ask you to spend 900 dollar to invest in such a closed platform... thanks but no thanks.

    Personally, I'm looking at a Dell 3008 once my ACD dies. However, it still makes an awsome image and looks good externally in the process.
  9. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    No one should buy the ACD at retail, do refurb or look for reduced prices on ebay. Also i'd only buy it if i had a mac with display port

    These are the conditions met that allowed me to get one. That an ACD monitors hold their resale value extremely well compared to the competition.
  10. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    Agreed. In fact, one wouldn't be hard pressed to find a nice 30" panel on eBay for the prices Apple is trying to push. If you don't want to go that large, buying a Dell 24" would be a much better option, and you would have so much money left that you could easily replace all of the functionality of the ACD 24" with peripherals for cheap.
  11. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are fine with going the route of a TN panel (they are perfectly fine displays if you don't care about colour accuracy), definitely consider the Samsung T240 or T260. I got mine for $359 CDN and I've seen them for under $300 US. It is a beautiful display, 16:10, 1920x1200, has 1080p, every connection option you could ever want, AND it has an HDTV tuner and comes with a full TV remote. It also supports 1:1 pixel mapping which comes in handy for a PS3 or 360.

    The colours look fine to me, the viewing angles aren't terrible and there is no backlight bleeding. I've heard this uses one of the higher end TN panels.
    Seriously, consider it. I did a lot of research on displays vs price, looked at ACDs, looked at the Dells (the U2410 for $599 US was $750 CDN -- no thanks). I got a super awesome monitor for $400 after taxes (and TV).

    This thing is beautiful. Also, it is a matte screen so there is no glare/reflection for you to worry about!

    Also: It comes with a VGA and DVI cable... apparently some monitors these days don't? It also has speakers (fine for what you would expect in a monitor or TV and get quite loud)
  12. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    Couldn't love my 24" ACD more. :cool: If you have a Mac notebook, it's a no-brainer thanks to the Magsafe power.
  13. krimsen macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2005
    If you've got the money, why not?

    I decided against it, because compared to other displays I feel its overpriced. I don't need color accuracy, but I need connectivity, and for just a little bit more I can get a Dell 3008WFP. Seems like a much better deal to me.
  14. Reiger thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Thank you for all your respones! I've quoted a few people below, to address some questions, however I've read them all and I value them all :) It's funny to see how the opinions differ...

    Thanks, that's one less thing to worry about :)

    I've found some models with an IPS or a PVA panel, such as the Dell 2408WFP, Dell U2410, HP LP2475w and the Samsung 245T. In the Netherlands, they are all so expensive that I'd just as well buy an Apple LED Cinema Display. In terms of connectivity and design, the premium for me is worth it. Besides I will also receive a student discount. So the aforementioned display's are all ranging from 550 to 600 euro's. The Cinema Display is about 730 euro's with discount.

    I'm planning on going to a shop to get a better look at some of the TN panels. I'm really unsure about their performance. My experiences aren't too positive, some reviews are downright negative, however user experiences state that it isn't too bad.
  15. expand macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008

    Glare is a VERY serious issue for me. I love the screen but have had to customize my environment to suit. This includes
    ..a large (black sliding curtain behind me (this was first and foremost)
    ..a black vinyl matt mat on the table to reduce any light transmission
    ..paint any nearby walls matt black
    ..remove any shiny or reflective objects in the obvious path of reflection.
    ..if you have any overhead lighting by sun or other then you have to cover it or your blacks will suck.
    ..This might sound daft but wearing an Apple black T-shirt will help a great deal :rolleyes:

    This stuff worked for me and I am a happy editor again. Just imagine trying to adjust a black point in curves when there are two obvious blacks in the reflection !?!?
  16. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    +1 To Buy

    I own the 24" LED-backlit Apple Cinema Display, and I only have great things to say. It is absolutely a perfect docking station like center for any Mac notebook. The IPS display has amazing colors and is super sharp. The speakers sound really nice over the Mac notebook displays. The webcam is a nice feature, but the USB hub makes the system complete. I leave all my peripherals plugged into it. Finally the power cable for your Mac notebook makes it hassle-free as you can leave your Mac's power adapter in your bag.

    I have found the 24" LED ACD to really complete the Mac system. Another consideration is to use an Apple Wireless Display for a near desktop like experience. I only have a MBA w/SSD, and it feels like a Mac Pro to have such a large display with plenty of screen real estate. The LED-backlit display adds so much in quality, color, and performance.

    Also consider that the Apple.com refurbished section has this display for only $599. Most find it to look and operate as new, including me. I bought a second one to leave at my office; I wish I would have bought my original refurbished too as I paid full price for it.

    I have used Dells and nearly every other brand imaginable over the years and none of them compare with the 24" ACD nor complete the Mac experience like Apple's ACD.

    Best wishes with whatever you ultimately decide to purchase.
  17. Reiger thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Unfortunately there are no refurbished items offered in the Dutch online Apple Store.

  18. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    As others have stated, if you do fork out the extra money for the ACD you won't be disappointed. I got mine about a month after it came out. Sure it was a tough decision because of the price, but in the end I went for it for the ease of connectivity. I couldn't be happier, and my MBP almost never leave it.
  19. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    +1, What he said.

    I'm extremely happy with my T260 and would highly recommend it.
  20. Akitakoi macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2008
    Love mine!
    Glare is not an issue for me. The picture quality is stunning.:)
  21. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    While I agree that the 24" LED ACD is a beautiful display, I found that the price is too much for me personally to justify. In the UK, with Higher Education discount, the 24" ACD is £528 which is cheaper than the Dell 2408WFP/2409WFP and the new U2410(?). However, as I currently have a custom built PC, I need a screen than can connect to my PC and MBP.

    I decided on a Samsung SM2333sw which is a TN panel but it has a glossy black bezel and a gorgeous back (although that didn't matter to me) and it only cost £160.

    My situation's now changed and I am looking to replace it with 2 screens that have a thinner bezel for dual displaying.

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