Apple Cinema HD
Products from Apple are always special, covered with a veil of legends and myths. Thanks to superb marketing and original design solutions they leave no one indifferent. Like products from no other brand, Apple’s ones have a large army of fans that are ready to buy any device from Apple and a larger army of adversaries who can’t even think of buying an Apple. Moreover, Apple provokes an interest among people who do not even belong with either of these camps!
From a technical standpoint, the Apple Cinema HD is a 23” monitor with an S-IPS matrix from LP Displays (also known as LG.Philips LCD). This makes it different from the other monitors in this review that are based on *VA matrixes. To remind you, S-IPS matrixes are superior to every other existing technology in terms of viewing angles and are held in great esteem by people who need the best reproduction of colors possible (its quality is determined by the viewing angles among other things – the colors must not get distorted when you deflect your head from the center of the screen). They also have a reasonable response time even without RTC. The drawbacks of S-IPS matrixes are their rather low contrast ratio and characteristic violet hue that appears in black when viewed at an angle.
The monitor looks splendid, standing out of the mass. It’s got an aluminum case with rounded-off top and bottom edges and white plastic sides. It is perfectly smooth, without buttons or labels, save for the Apple logo. Many manufacturers try to make the front panels of their monitors clean and free from labels, buttons, etc, often at the expense of the device’s ergonomics, but Apple surpassed everyone. Simplicity of form is the main design concept implemented in the Cinema HD.
The stand is designed in the same style: it is a curved metallic plate without a single sharp angle. It complements the monitor’s case but, unfortunately, is very simple functionally, allowing to change the tilt of the screen only.
The stand is fastened to the case by means of an original cylindrical hinge. This stand is detachable, by the way. Apple sells (separately from the monitor, for $30) a mounting plate for fastening the monitor to a standard VESA mount. You can buy it and replace the native stand with a VESA mount to hang the Cinema HD on the wall, for example.
The monitor’s connectors are designed in an original manner, too. The monitor has a cable that is dead fixed in the case and splits into four connectors at the end: DVI (Apple’s monitors used to have an exclusive Apple Display Connector but transitioned to the standard DVI since 2004; now you don’t need an adapter to connect the Cinema HD to a regular PC), USB, FireWire, and a power connector.