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Apple Cinema HD Display 30” Widescreen LCD

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By Tom Nelson and Mary F. O'Connor

Apple Cinema HD Display 30” - Review of the Apple Cinema HD Display 30”

Apple Cinema HD Display 30”

Courtesy of Apple

The Bottom Line

The Apple Cinema HD Display has a few flaws, but you can’t quibble with its stunning image quality, consistent color, sleek design, and generous collection of video inputs.

On the down side, it requires a dual-link DVI-capable graphics card (around $150-$250), so it may not be quite plug-and-play ready for all systems. And unlike many other modern displays, it only supports one input, so you can’t share it between two computers.

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  • Consistent color from edge to edge, corner to corner.
  • Extremely high-resolution display
  • Bright, clear images, with vivid, true-to-life color.
  • Rich blacks and crisp text.
  • A single cable provides all connections.


  • Expensive.
  • A little large for desktop use.
  • Requires a dual-link DVI-capable graphics card.
  • Only supports one input.


  • 2560x1600 native resolution
  • 16 ms pixel response rate
  • DVI input
  • Two-port USB 2.0 hub
  • Two FireWire 400 ports
  • 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles
  • VESA mount compatible

Guide Review - Apple Cinema HD Display 30” Widescreen LCD

]If you’ve been yearning for a nice, big display, you won’t find much bigger (and certainly not many better) than the 30” Apple Cinema HD Display, at least not if you want to be able to put it on your desk. If desktop space is at a premium, you can mount the display on a wall. You’ll need the Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter ($29) as well as a VESA mount kit.

Despite its commanding presence, the Apple Cinema HD Display isn’t as heavy as you might expect. Weighing in at about 27.5 lbs., the display is easy to set up and fairly easy to move, although you probably won’t want to move it often. The power and brightness controls are tucked out of sight, so they don’t mar the display’s flawless exterior and brushed aluminum bezel. A single cable keeps thing neat by providing a unified connection to the graphics input, a FireWire 400 port, a USB 2.0 port, and power.

The Apple Cinema HD Display has a native resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, a viewable area of 29.7 inches, and support for up to 16.7 million colors. Viewing angles of 170 degrees horizontal and vertical allow you to view the display off-axis without distorting the image.

The 16 ms pixel response time is impressive for a display of this size, and helps reduce, if not eliminate, blurring and ghosting in fast-moving images. The Apple Cinema HD Display is a good choice for playing fast-action 3D games and viewing your favorite movies, as well as graphic design, photography, and video.

The Apple Cinema HD Display has two FireWire 400 ports and a two-port, self-powered USB 2.0 hub, so you can connect a variety of peripherals, including a digital camera, scanner, camcorder, or iPod dock. It also includes a DVI connector, so you can hook it up to a Mac or a PC, although you won’t be able to share it between two computers, because it only has one input.

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