Apple 27-inch LED Cinema Display: 2560×1440 IPS LCD LED Backlight

On July 27, 2010 Apple unveiled its new 27-inch LED Cinema Display (press release). The 27-inch LCD is of the IPS (In-Plane Switching) variety featuring a wide 178-degree viewing angle. The pixel format is 2560×1440 making it a 16:9 display, probably the same found on the 27-inch iMac. Of course, as the name suggests, the backlight is of the LED variety that should provide instant-on capabilities.

FAT BEZEL: The industrial design remain unchanged from the smaller 24-inch LED Cinema Display sporting rather thick black bezels. LG Display (LGD) is likely the display supplier for the 27-inch LED Cinema Display and the same company supplies LG Electronics (LGE) the amazing LED-backlit LCD panels for the Infinia LX9500 LCD TV. The Infinia LX9500 sports the thinnest bezels I’ve ever seen. Looking at displays with fat bezels (except for the iPad since it has a functional purpose) degrade their premium feel. Would it be rocket science to incorporate the thin bezel technology into the 27-inch LCD? Maybe Apple is working with LGD to incorporate an incredibly thin bezel in the next version.

AIR GAP: There seems to remain an air gap between the LCD and the cover glass, which is most likely Corning’s Gorilla glass. That air gap will allow dust particles to wander in resulting in a most frustrating experience once you’ve noticed them. Like the iPhone 4 I would hope Apple would make use of optical lamination to remove this possible annoyance.

MAGSAFE OPTIONAL? iSight is built-in along with a microphone, speakers, and a USB 2.0 hub (3 connectors). There is also a MagSafe connector to keep MacBooks charged. Although MacBook (and Pro) users would appreciate the MagSafe connector non-MacBook users might not want to pay extra for something they will not use. There must be a way to make the MagSafe connector an option and bring down the overall price of the already competitive 27-inch LED Cinema Display even further.

MANUAL BRIGHTNESS: Connectivity is via Mini DisplayPort, which I think is not becoming quite the standard Apple hoped it would be. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness, a feature that my eyes really don’t like as the modulating brightness levels force my eyes to adjust not only to the environment but also to the display. I’m sure there is an option to turn it off.

TERRIFIC PRICE: I wanted to write: “A major downside is the lack of pivot capabilities. For that you’ll need to get a third-party mount.” But upon thinking about it, I don’t think many folks would want to pivot a 27-inch display: there are plenty of vertical pixels (1440) to work on most documents. The 27-inch LED Cinema Display is US$999. You have until September to get funds ready.

ONE MONITOR: The 24-inch LED Cinema Display is now priced $799, originally $899. The 30-inch Cinema HD Display price is unchanged at $1799. Both are available only while supplies last. I don’t think most folks would want to pay $800 extra for three additional inches and 160 additional vertical pixels. Although there is one thing going for the 30-inch that I really appreciate: a non-glossy matte display.

The IPS LCD Monitor database has been updated. Note: IPS LCD Monitor is no longer being updated.