Apple Cinema Display (27in) Review



  • Beautiful design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good image quality
  • Great Macbook integration


  • Overpriced
  • Limited adjustability
  • Limited inputs
  • Glossy screen coating
  • No physical controls

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £835.00
  • 27in screen
  • Superior IPS panel technology
  • High 2,560 x 1,440 resolution
  • LED-backlit
  • All-metal chassis

There’s no doubt that the iMac is a pretty, pretty thing. Indeed for us, it’s the Natalie Portman of computers (high praise indeed – Ed); beautiful, stylish and intelligent, and the all-in-one desktop computer by which all others are judged. Back in November 2009, Apple introduced the upsized 27in version, and it’s fair to say we fell in love all over again. What’s particularly special about the 27in iMac is not just its size though; it’s that it makes full use of its generous screen area with a mightily impressive 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, a sizable 60 per cent more pixels than the 24in, 1,920 x 1,200 iMac.

However, if you already have a portable Mac or a Mac Mini and want to hook it up to a display of this resolution, do you really want to compromise the aesthetics of your Mac by using a standard PC style monitor from the likes of Dell? Perish the thought. Naturally, Apple has just the solution in the guise of the 27in Cinema Display. It’s the same panel as that of the 27in iMac, only without the computer inside it. Naturally, all this extra space does not come cheap – and the LED Cinema Display currently costs £835 – a sizable chunk of change for anyone.

It’s not a completely outrageous price, but to compare to its most popular competitor, Dell’s CCFL-backlit UltraSharp U2711 (which is equivalent in terms of size, resolution and panel technology, if not backlighting), can currently be had for £699.99 and offers a lot more features and connectivity into the bargain.

Apple used to offer a 30in Cinema Display, which offered even more pixels (2,560 x 1,600 of them, to be exact), but the 27in seems like a fair compromise in terms of resolution, while its smaller size makes it more manageable on a desk. It also has the advantage of featuring an edge-lit LED backlight, which enables it to be thinner and use less electricity, though colour accuracy takes a minor hit.

Having sat in front of this display for a couple of days, it seems churlish to complain of only having 1,440 vertical pixels to play with. In fact, it makes working with longer documents and web pages a joy.

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