24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display arrives- man this thing is big!

cimg1245The FedEx guy (Ralph) showed up this afternoon with a big honking box from Apple.  I was expecting the Apple 24-inch LED Cinema Display so it wasn’t a surprise other than the size of the box.  It was darn heavy too and I had to wrestle it into Mobile Tech Manor and futz around with getting it unboxed.

Setting it up physically was a breeze as is most things Apple with cables laid out neatly and other than the weight of the thing (about 20 pounds) it was sitting in its new home on my desk in short order.  The only real complaint I have so far is how short the power cord is.  Given the thoughtful arrangement of all the cords and cord management on the monitor itself I find it odd that Apple would include such a short power cord.  It definitely restricts how far you can place the monitor from an outlet.

The three cables that plug into the MacBook are well laid-out for neat cable management.  They aren’t very long either but it’s not likely you’d want to set the MacBook very far from the monitor.  I do find it amusing that Apple has made the MagSafe connector that powers the MacBook much better constructed than the one that came with the MacBook.  I guess they felt they needed to given the high price of the monitor ($899).

I have to tell you it is absolutely friggin’ awesome to have a monitor this big to work with!  I have windows all over the place and none overlapping as usual which makes it better for working.  I am finding that I have to catch myself from minimizing windows all the time as I’ve been in the habit of doing so on the MacBook.  No need to do that anymore, at least at the desk.

I currently have the Cinema Display to the right of the MacBook as I often use the trackpad on the notebook even at the desk.  I’m not sure I’m going to leave it this way though as I believe it would be more ergonomic to have the big screen directly in front of me even with the external keyboard.  I’ll have to experiment with it.

One cool feature of the Cinema Display is the ability to use it with the MacBook closed.  Since I am using the display with an external keyboard and mouse I may try that too.  All you have to do is close the MacBook and then use the external keyboard or mouse and the display wakes up and is ready to go.  The MacBook works with the display turned off in this mode.

I’ve been able to get rid of the USB hub on my desk and have three peripherals plugged into the ports on the display now.  That has freed up a bit of desk space and simplified the desktop.  The integrated speakers sound pretty good too.  One cool feature that I have not seen mentioned anywhere has to do with the Cinema Display’s iSight camera.  It is way at the top of the monitor and I was curious how well it would work as a result.  I have tested Skype with it and was surprised to discover that the iSight webcam is tilted down and is slightly zoomed in compared to the iSight of the MacBook.  My image appears more centered and closer in the webcam window than it does when using the iSight in the MacBook.  Skype lets me easily toggle between the two cams which is cool too.

So far I am happy with the display which is very bright and vivid.  It’s even brighter than the display on the MacBook which surprises me as that one is very bright.  Working with it so far has been sweet but I will have to get used to all the screen real estate to determine the best practice for using it.