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.


Jeff Malone

Does the Cinema display auto dim in synchronization with your MacBook display? I can’t seem to find an answer to that. I haven’t asked at the Apple store because that place takes my money every time I go there! ;)


i have been using big monitors with closed lids for about 2 years on my macs.

works fine.


To make the big monitor the main – in System Preferences – Display. Click on Arrangement and drag just the white bar to the big box. Voila.

Joe Montgomery

I’m running the same setup, but was unaware of the ability to move the menu bar to the larger display. This was the only issue I was having and now it’s fixed. This is just like my previous 20″ iMac with external display setup as far as what I’m used to.

Salaryman Ryan

Another feature I discovered in my ACD 24 LED is its ability to run off the Macbook even without the power plugged in (which is good for draining your battery. Just pull out the monitor to macbook power cable and restart! It will blank out for a while during boot up but wait for it.


Can anyone confirm the ability to run the external display(any) with the lid closed on previous models of the MacBook Pro?

I was using the Griffin Elevator to support the laptop in a dual display config, but never tried to close the lid…


andy, in the monitor arrangement screen did u set the big monitor as defualt? by dragging the menu bar to the bigger box in the arrangement panel?

Also, James I think Apple is pretty much assuming you can always get an extension cord.

I agree tho, big monitors are awesome and I love my dell 3008!

Dave Zatz

I had problems with Bluetooth waking up the system and the kyeboard working with the lid closed. (Using a 19″ Samsung LCD.) Not sure if an OS update has resolved it or not. Which is why I would hesitate before spending $900…

James Kendrick

Andy Abramson, I don’t have any of those issues with the Apple monitor. That all works fine for me, except I’m not using Entourage.

Rick Huizinga

I have a similar setup, but with a Dell 24″ monitor that I’ve owned for a number of years now.

One thing that I dislike about a multi-monitor setup on a Mac is that the menu bar for an application is only on one of the monitors, which can be very annoying if you are using an application on the other monitor. I prefer how Windows keeps the menu bar with the application – its much more intuitive on a multi-monitor configuration.

Andy Abramson


I have the same set up. Here are some issues I found:

1) The menu bar for apps doesn’t move to the big monitor, even if you move the app to the 24″ monitor. It would be great if that would happen. Then we really would have an extended desktop

2) When I use the split monitor and Spaces, and try to email a file via Entourage it just doesn’t work. Solution has been trial and error for me and I’m not sure I hit on it yet.

3) Skype uses the monitor on the laptop in version 2.7 and does not see the monitor web cam. I expect this will be fixed in 2.8 if it hasn’t already.

Beyond these three nits, I love my 24″ Cinema display. Watching HD video is amazing.


James, The Mac platform is great for processing the video files. The last time I checked the mobile media edtion was of your beloved P1620 Fujitsu Tablet PC. That is how long it has been sice you have produced and uploaded a encoded m4v file. I like having itunes check for new content. Just have not seen any lately.


Hoohza!!! Happy for you James the MacGeek. Would like to see more video reviews with the iSight and iMovie. Of mobile products of course.

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