Customer Reviews: Apple M8893ZM/A 20" Cinema Display
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on March 10, 2003
I'd always been very happy with my 17" Apple LCD monitor, which I'd run in a dual LCD setup with my Samsung 17" flat panel. However, as is so often the case, it died within a couple of months of the warranty running out.
Repair wasn't really an option - when the panel itself dies, the out-of-warranty repair cost is in the same league as the cost of a new one. So I had two choices - I could buy another 17", and retain my two monitor setup, or go for a larger LCD monitor and recover some desk space.
Since Apple's 17" display is getting a little elderly, I decided to go for the latter option. The Samsung replaced the CRT display on the household PC and Apple's 20" Cinema display was duly ordered.
It wasn't going to give me quite as much screen space - each of the 17" monitors had been 1280x1024 - but I'd found the differing brightnesses of the two displays distracting, and two 1280x1024 monitors are *not* the same as a 2560x1024 monitor. I figured that in practical terms, the 1680x1050 of the 20" display would give me as much usable space, plus it'd be better for watching movies on.
The monitor is, in appearance, very similar to my old 17" display. It's got the same clear plastic legs, the same touch sensitive "buttons" and power/sleep, and it's got a built-in USB hub just like the 17" had. It also requires an ADC connection, which'll annoy those who only have DVI output, but which is great if you have ADC output, since you end up with the video signal, power and the USB connection all going through a single cable, eliminating clutter.
As for the display quality itself - I can't really compare it directly with my 17" on account of that being rather dead, but other than the considerably increased size, the 20" appears to be a lot brighter - too bright if you leave the brightness up full - and to have a higher contrast. The overall result of this is that things look a lot crisper.
I've also noticed that the display sleeps/wakes more quickly than the 17" did. The 17" had a clear "warmup" period when you awoke the system, where the display would be rather dim for the first 20 seconds or so before jumping to full brightness. The 20" has a similar 2-step sequence, but it takes just a couple of seconds to go from sleep to full brightness.
Any downside? Well, there's still quite a price jump from the 17" display, you'll need a decent graphics adapter (since the display resolution is too much for the DVI output from some older cards), and it's strictly OS X 10.2 or later only.
If your Mac meets those specs though, and you want more space than the 17" display but don't feel quite rich enough for one of the really huge Apple displays, the 20" Cinema Display is an excellent compromise.
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on March 2, 2003
I do a lot of graphic and video work with my Mac, using some Photoshop, Illustrator and Maya, but mainly Final Cut Pro (Apple's video editing package). After using Lacie's electron19blue III (19" CRT) monitor for some months, Apple introduced this 20" LCD, and lowered the price of their 23" LCD... I decided to buy this 20" and continue using the CRT, in a dual-monitor arrangement. I'm so glad I did. I was worried about the font-smoothing (anti-aliasing) Macs use, and thought it would defeat the LCD sharpness advantage. I shouldn't have worried. The smoothing does add a TOUCH of blurriness to text, but it's still clearer than the CRT. Images & icons & such are not smoothed, and are startlingly sharp. I didn't realize how blurry the CRT would look in comparison!
The monitor is a work of art, and looks great next to my G4 tower. There's absolutely no flicker whatsoever. The colors look as true as my calibrated Lacie, right out of the box. I only have a small gripe: it's just TOO bright. A pure white page is BRIGHT. You can lower the brightness using the software control, but even when brought down to a reasonable level, there is still a TOUCH of light bleed-through with pure black. It's really only noticable in a dark room - the black of the Lacie is blacker than the black of the Apple. Again, this is small, since any amount of ambient light is enough to miss it. Still, it's something to be aware of.
The single-cable setup is pure genius - anything to get rid of cable-clutter is welcome. If you have an ADC video connector (I believe any recent Power Macs do) you'll love it. There are two USB 1.1 ports on the back of the monitor, where I plug in my keyboard & memory stick reader.
I highly recommend this monitor - I find myself only using this monitor & just using the Lacie for odds & ends (iTunes and program palettes) since the LCD is just plain easier to read & much sharper.
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on May 22, 2003
I had the 15" Display. (Nice but small) The 17" Display (Nice) And now the 20" Display. (Nice and awesome). In my opinion as far as resolution, aethetics, flicker free operation and quality all three have been pretty much indistinguishable. Apple puts out a quality product here. Better I believe than anyone else. And they should. You pay more. It's not easy justifying the cost...until you watch a DVD and you feel like you're in the movie. Wow. In a word. Awesome. True plug and play. It makes watching a DVD on television archaic. I didn't get the 23" cause I really couldn't afford to or in any way justify that but it's really, really something to behold. Albeit if you sit too close it's too much of a good thing. For my needs the 20" is the answer. Great screen real estate, stunning, perfect graphics and it even looks good turned off. Now how many displays can boast that? And of special note: The only thing better the 20" was buying it at Amazon. Amazon was so incredible. I had a problem they took care of me like nobody's business. So thanks Amazon. You guys rock!
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on May 29, 2005
The Good:

This monitor has the BEST image quality I have seen on a 20" LCD display. I have used it side by side with a wide range of LCD displays. There is no comparison.

Apple has released a new 20" cinema display and phased this one out. The new displays use different parts, and do not have the same image quality as this one. This phased out display, has better image quality than the newer displays.

The price of the display is about twice that of the next highest price display. I purchased mine for about $1600 (with dvi converter). Pretty much all other 20" displays at that time were about $800. I did not mind the price because of the image quality, and the company name.

The Bad:

After owning the display for 16 months, it stopped working properly. One of the boards that controls the backlight went out. This is a very common problem (thousands of posts in the apple boards). It is a design flaw. Apple will not admit to this design flaw, though. How can so many displays go bad in such a short period of time?

You would think that with thousands of people reporting problems on their $1000+ device that apple would take care of them. You would think a $1000+ monitor would have more than a 1 year warranty. You would hope that a $1000+ device lasts longer than 1 year. Apparently Apple wants to have premium prices without premium service.

The cost to repair the display is roughly $500. This is pretty expensive. Apple's cost for a brand new display is less than $500. They now sell new ones for about $800.

I have looked up the price of repair parts, and it is roughly $20. Labor would be about 1 hour so add $100. Take account for liability $80? It should not cost more than $200 to fix this. I do not know where the $500 comes from. Perhaps Apple just wants to put a stick in our eye and twist it.
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VINE VOICEon August 23, 2003
Well, what else can this review say? My wife purchased the Apple Cinema Display (20") as an early birthday gift for me, and it arrived immaculately packed. The monitor was extremely easy to set-up, and, when compared to my CRT monitors, absolutely blows them away. The monitor displays crisp, colorful images and text is a breeze to read, even at the highest resolution.
There were no pixel problems - the screen is uniformly bright all around. It's also incredibly light -- well, it's definitely lighter when compared to the previous Sun 19" CRT I was using.
I spend a LOT of time in front of my Macintosh - and the ACD is definitely very easy on my eyes. Don't forget that there are two handy USB 1.1 ports on the back of the monitor -- I only recently discovered these -- but it's extremely convenient for those of you who have need to connect tablets, or other USB peripherals.
If you are seriously considering a good, high quality monitor to go with your Mac, look no further than the Apple Cinema Display. You will love it! Highly Recommended.
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on August 29, 2006
I have always loved the look of this display, in part because it looks good next to the cpu. Apple does a great job of packaging and design. When I received the monitor I found I had 2 dead pixels. Fortunately, that has never really bothered me too much. I have lived with this monitor for about 2.5 years and just after the 2 year mark I suffered the same problem other users have reported . . . dimmed light bars at the top of my screen. Since I have seen those lights display at normal power when I was having a hard drive failure, and in combination with other research I have done, I know it's not the lights, but the transformer, or power connection for the two upper bars. I have an Apple Store about 10 minutes away, and I get the normal "it's not worth repairing" reply. For over $400 and a 90-day warranty, I would agree. I will probably always be a devoted Apple customer . . . as far as CPU's is concerned, however monitors is a different thing now. Unless you are okay with buying a new monitor every 2 years, you need to seriously consider other monitors from LaCie, HP, Sony, NEC and Viewsonic, which have gotten better ratings on text rendering, color graphics and viewability at angles. If you want to look cool, the Cinema Display is the way to go. It boils down to if you use this as a design/production tool, or just to have fun and impress your friends. You can do both for a while. A short while.
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on December 1, 2003
I write from the college newspaper and we use this monitor to work on the lay-out for the paper each week. This monitor is great because the graphics are clear. We also run programs like Adobe Photoshop, and the graphics are awesome with that program as well. This monitor just works great. We haven't had any problems with it!
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on June 19, 2013
It my favored! Never before and never after Apple produce those type of screens. All new Apple screens becomes the same is other companies screens and badly influence our health. Still many years later I use only this screen.
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on October 18, 2012
To this day, I still have this monitor hooked up to an older computer as print server. Looks great, built well, and served its purpose and much much more.
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on December 30, 2014
never worked. Cost too much to return...
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