Most helpful critical review
97 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Big screen, Great Price
on November 28, 2012
I've had this monitor for exactly one week now. I bought it to use in addition to my 15" MacBook Pro for working at home. Also, I wanted something relatively inexpensive, thinking that I may make a significant upgrade in a year (Thunderbolt?) and wanted to save my pennies until the Retina display is available on large screens. I reasoned that this will make a good TV attached to a Mac Mini in the future when I'm ready to make the switch, where the resolution won't be such an issue when you're watching from several feet away.
My first impressions are that is it very bright, nice and big, great for video (and I suppose video games), and great for reading text because text is 'bigger' at the given resolution/27" screen-size combination.
The text seems 'blurry' relative to my 2010 MacBook Pro (non-Retina) because the pixels are essentially stretched-out at the same number of pixels per screen-width, but I've gotten used to that after a while. Also, I really needed to turn down the brightness because as a writer/researcher/coder I spend most of my time reading black text on white backgrounds. Mostly, I would recommend not worrying about brightness issues when choosing a monitor as it seems that they're generally brighter than they need to be for people who sit roughly 2 feet away from the screen. My brightness setting is currently set at 10 (out of 100) and setting it even to zero doesn't make the screen go black, so you don't really have full control over the brightness range. (Maybe you need another app like Shades for the Mac to get full control over the brightness from 0 to 100%.) Setting the "Eco Setting" to "conserve" seems to help lower the brightness a few extra notches.
Another slight negative is the lack of height control. I knew this going in, but the monitor is even shorter than I expected. The bottom of the frame is 1 7/8" off the desktop and the bottom of the screen area is 3 7/8" off the desktop. I managed to adjust this by sitting the stand on a thick book for now.
My monitor did not come with an HDMI cable. It comes with DVI, VGA, and sound cables, but no HDMI cable even though I thought previously the various reviews/website specs said all of the cables were included. Regardless, I would've needed to get an adapter of some kind for the MacBook Pro since it only has a Mini DisplayPort, so I'm using the VGA/Mini-DisplayPort adapter with the VGA cable.
The SRS sound driver works as a plug-in on iTunes, and it drops the sound between songs. This happens even when I have another set of speakers playing over my Airport Express. The song will drop on the computer/monitor but not on the speakers that are playing in the living room, so it's clearly an issue with the monitor sound driver software.
Another gripe: I paid $279 a week ago and now it's at $249, so this monitor seems to be losing its value pretty quickly. Maybe this just has to do with the holiday sale season; however, that's probably something to keep in mind while you are shopping for a monitor.