Sorry Apple Cinema Display, Your New Cousin Is a Cheaper Date

cinemaview_24I don’t think I’m alone in visiting the Apple Cinema Display official product page every now and again and saving carts for later filled with LED goodness, even though I never intend to cash out because I can’t afford to. Apple’s displays are sexy, functional, and of tremendous build quality, but that price tag is a little beyond my monitor budget, so I’ll usually end up opting for a Dell that’ll give me the same real estate for far less dough. Plus, I’ll often look for something smaller than 24 inches, since I rarely do graphics-intensive work that requires a larger screen.

Recently, I’ve been looking for a second monitor for my Mac mini since the Mini DisplayPort hook-up is just sitting there empty, and I’m often inclined to play video games and watch TV at the same time, despite the question of whether I can actually enjoy either activity while doing so. New company CinemaView looks to have come along at just the right time. They recently announced a new line of LCD displays designed just for Macs, at a price that won’t break the bank, and with a Mini DisplayPort connector cable out of the box.

That’s not all. It’s actually a combined 1.2-meter Mini DisplayPort/USB/3.5mm mini-stereo composite cable, so you can make use of the three powered USB ports on the rear of the display, and the built-in speakers. And with aluminum construction and Apple styling, you’re basically getting the closest thing to an Apple Cinema Display you can find without actually buying one.

According to the company, the displays were created because they were tired of using “plastic junk” from companies like Dell and Samsung but wanted a lower cost option to Apple. Modesty clearly isn’t the company’s strong suit, as you can tell from this quote from the site’s FAQ:

Q. Are these just copies of Apple’s displays?

A. No. Frankly, we think our design looks better than Apple’s. We think our component and materials selections are superior. And, we think our tilt mechanism (patent pending) and Aluminum base design are sexier than Apple’s.

Without seeing the thing in person, I can’t make any assertions regarding these displays and how they compare to Apple’s on the sexiness scale, but they do look better (and more functional) than the Samsung Touch-of-Color I recently picked up as a gift for my girlfriend, which is a fairly good-looking monitor. Three models are available: a 19-inch for $299, a 21-inch for $399, and a $24-inch for $499. The ship date is currently listed as some time before Sept. 1, but you can reserve one now at their web site, with no obligation to buy.

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