New MBA 11" with 24" Cinema Display - Will I regret it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JulesK, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    Having abandoned the idea of getting a Dell U2410, I just saw that Apple has put a few of the 24" Cinema Displays on the refurb site, so I picked one up. (I'm sure that they appear from time to time, but I wanted to grab one while they were available.) I realize that it's not the Thunderbolt display with all the nifty ports and HD iSight, but a 27" monitor was going to overwhelm my desk, and I mostly just want a larger monitor that connects easily and has built-in speakers.

    Does anyone have this setup? How have you liked it, particularly the speakers? Many thanks!
  2. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    Does it come with the 3 in 1 cable as it depicts in one of the pictures or do you have to buy that separate?
  3. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    Great screen you won't regret it. The acd come with the cable.
  4. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    Personally, I would regret it...

    If I'm going to get a bigger screen than my laptop, it needs to be BIG, have a webcam for video chatting, and be easy to set up every time I want to connect my computer.

    One TB cable, then I'm done. So yeah, I'm saving the money for a TB display, and I wouldn't find it worth it to buy anything else.
  5. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have Dell U2410 and its lower pixel density (about 100 PPI) makes everything so fuzzy in comparison to 130+ on portable Mac.
  6. Hey Jude, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    I have a similar setup, and the ACD speakers are nothing to write home about, unfortunately. I have a large desk that I am waiting to set up before purchasing desperately needed computer speakers.
  7. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I got the same setup for my wife, albeit she has a 2010 11" MBA. She also uses a Magic Trackpad and the wireless keyboard. The setup works great. The ACD speakers are fine for Skype calls, etc. Clearly, the ACD audio is not designed for a discerning audiophile, but it is fine for an occasional music listening.
  8. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    new joisey
    i think you should be fine, the graphics in the mba are strong enough to fuel that large screen
  9. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I've got a 24" ACD and it's great, I use it with a 11" and 13" MBA and also a Mac warned though, there are issues with the thunderbolt port and the 24" display. Some flickering....I don't use the computer for extended periods of time but it exists, something I'm sure that apple can fix via firmware.....
  10. JulesK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    Thanks for that info. If there's flickering, that would be a deal-breaker. I sure hope I can return the monitor, because I'll just get the Thunderbolt monitor, or another monitor I can run through DVI-D. I just didn't want something as large (or expensive) as the Thunderbolt monitor, but maybe I should just bite the bullet.
  11. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I didn't at first, but after I thought about it I actually agree with you..

    Never researched so wasn't aware the display comes with a built in mag-safe charger for the apple laptops as well as thunderbolt cable.

    I think I'm going to be purchasing this.
  12. laff2 macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    I use the Apple 24" with a MacBook Air 11" great and I have no flickering. I do use external speakers as I always have.

    I am thinking of going to the Thunderbolt 27" soon as I like the idea that the Ethernet port, FireWire connection is in the monitor.
  13. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    I wish Apple made a mid-size display (21-24") version instead of only a 27" now. I have a 27" iMac on my desk and would love a second Apple monitor for my second computer. A grand for a second monitor is pretty pricey, not to mention the massive desk space it would takes up.
  14. velleity macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Funny, I have almost your exact setup - I have a last-gen 11 inch MBA and I just got a 24-inch Cinema display from Craigslist. Kind of kicking myself because I paid more than I should have, but that's another story.

    Anyway, I have the display at work and (after using it for a week now) I love it - I plug it in and it works; no flickering, and my machine has far less power than yours. I also have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, so it really feels like I have a machine that goes anywhere. No regrets at all. Most of the time I want the form factor of the baby machine - sometimes I need to do layout.

    I do think it's time to sell the MBA 11 and the iPad and go buy an MBA i7...

    Also, since you asked about speakers: I'd not tested them (I use headphones at work) so I tested it just now. So much for the "plug it in and it works" thing - sound only seems to play from the MBA. Weird.
  15. omgitscro macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    Hey velleity. The flickering issue occurs not because of a lack of speed, but due to an issue with using the displayport display with a thunderbolt port. I'm glad to hear that the 2010 Air can push all of those pixels, though.

    To have the sound play though the display, go to the sound preference pane in system preferences and select the monitor under the output tab.
  16. JulesK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    First thoughts

    OP here: I got the monitor, and it is fantastic. I suspect that the pixel density is lower than the Thunderbolt display, but that's actually fine with me as it is easier to read. But the display is very bright and crisp, sound is more than adequate for my needs, and I have zero flickering or other problems that have been reported by those using a Thunderbolt mac with a Display Port monitor. If I had to have an Ethernet or Firewire connection, I'd have gone with the Thunderbolt, but I can live with a USB 2.0 connection to an external HDD for back-up purposes. My monitor did come with one stuck (magenta) pixel :(, but it's not noticeable unless I'm thinking or looking for it. All in all, very happy with the purchase.
  17. DieterRams macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    Glad you like the display, but what you wrote above makes me curious and I've heard the same from other sources - doesn't higher pixel density make everything much more crisp, tighter and nice to look at? For example, the retina display on an iPhone 4 vs the others. I guess I must be missing something, can anyone fill me in?

    About the stuck pixel, I suppose you said it's minor but can't you exchange it?
  18. JulesK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    I'm trying to find the information, and I'm sure someone more technically inclined will provide a better response, but what I know is that I really regretted getting the "Hi Definition" (or whatever it was called) display option when I got my 17" MBP 3.5 years ago. Maybe everything was crisper, but it was also so small on the screen that it was difficult to use some programs (MS Terminal Server, which I use to connect to work, was one glaring example). There was simply more information on the same size screen, too much in that case. Here, there's no issue with sharpness with the 24" ACD. I'm also hoping that the lower pixel count will make the graphics performance of the 11" Air a little better.

    As for the 1 stuck pixel - If I could be guaranteed getting a replacement refurbished 24" ACD that did not have a flickering issue with the Thunderbolt port and no dead/stuck pixels, then I might return the one I got. (That's assuming Apple would accept it without a re-stocking fee, as I don't think one stuck pixel is grounds for a return per Apple's support site. For all I know that one stuck pixel is why this unit was a refurb.) But there's no guarantee of that, and given the hassle of returning this unit, not worth it. Unless I actively look for it, I don't really notice it at all. It truly is tiny (similar to having a speck of water on the screen).
  19. DieterRams macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm pretty sure that if you're within your two week period, you can exchange it, even for refurbs. I've done it before for a refurb (more than once for the same one), at least.

    As for pixel density, I guess I get what you mean but I suppose I kind of like higher density myself. I opted for the higher res 17" myself and don't find it to be bad.
  20. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    Problem is, OSX doesn't scale the UI, so higher pixel density means everything is smaller as well. with the iPhone 4 it wasnt a problem because they doubled the resolution and doubled the UI as well.
  21. JulesK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    I've got another week to go to run it through its paces, but I'm at a point in my life (small kids) where spending a lot of time trying to get the "perfect" unit isn't worth it, I think. We'll see.

    I did drop by the Apple store (great place to let a toddler play with an iPod touch to her heart's content) and took a look at the 27" monitor. Didn't look too big on the big tables that they have there, but back at my desk, I realize how large that screen would be.
  22. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    quit being a wuss and get the 27. :D

    really you quickly get used to the size and it doesn't seem that big any more.
  23. JulesK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    If it were the same price, I probably would have. I get a discount through work, so the Thunderbolt display is only $920, but that's still over $300 more than the ACD from the refurb store. That $300 got me a lot of peripherals (new Apple wireless keyboard and Magic trackpad, Logitech mouse (love them), superdrive and the BookArc stand for my laptop).

Share This Page