Much to the delight of Cinema Display users of years past, today Apple announced their new 24-inch LED Cinema Displays that will be shipping in November for a smooth $899. For a normal display, even if it is 1920×1200 resolution, that is a lot of money.
Apple sweetens the deal by offering something closer to docking options. It is not the hoped-for slide-your-MacBook-into-the-side display that Tom wrote about yesterday, but it does offer some good features.
The LED backlight will provide higher contrast which leads to better colors. If you compare a MacBook Air screen to a screen from a MacBook that is a couple years old, you can see how much better the LED-backlit screens are. They are so vibrant and rich. The old cinema displays are pretty good, but these will be gorgeous.
First, it doubles as a three-port USB hub to help you have a clutter-free desktop. Second, it uses the new mini display port that Apple will include on all of their devices, which will make it very easy to connect any Apple computer to this display (the mini display port will allow connections of up to 30 inches). Though they didn’t announce it, I would assume that the Mac Pros and Mac Minis will soon be shipping with this new port as well, and Apple will probably still include adapters for VGA and DVI.
I think the best innovation for this display is the MagSafe connector for charging your notebook. This is my favorite feature because I hate taking out my power cord. I like to have one plugged in at my desk at work, and one at home at my desk so I don’t have to pack that extra accessory. With the longer battery life promised by the new notebooks, this is a very welcome addition, because you won’t need to take your power adapter to your display.
The other great features that many have been hoping to see for a long time are the built-in iSight and mic. When you plug in the USB cord, it will hopefully act like a second camera and microphone. The second microphone is not too big of a deal, but being able to switch on video calls between two cameras would be pretty neat. It also has stereo speakers built in, much like the iMac speakers.
It will be interesting to see whether these extra components play nice with the new notebooks. I think that this new Cinema Display is awesome, and way better than the previous version. It adds a lot of funtionality to the regular display setup. Who is going to buy one?