MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2008 (#37)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 143 of 178

MacDirectory 143 COVER STORY era. Are Americans too fixated on Wi-Fi to see the future clearly? Or is this just one of those things that's going to be different between the two continents? Frankly, with the difficulty cellular suppliers still have in providing decent call quality — anywhere in the world — we don't think cellular broadband is going to be bulletproof for quite some time to come. Eizo's 30-inch ColorEdge CG301W Display In a year crowded with advances in LCD monitors, the crown belongs — as so often — to Eizo, for its long-awaited 30- inch wide rival to Apple's flagship Cinema Display. But at nearly twice the price, it's a display for those who need and can afford its special level of quality. What you're paying for is increased color gamut, particularly in the darkest shades of black and near-black. The dirty secret of LCD screens is that they don't come anywhere close to showing the range of color gradations that the very best CRTs can. Most LCD monitors available today show something like 80 percent of the color gamut that a CRT can. Eizo's ColorEdge CG301W shows 97 percent. The same technology lets Eizo achieve an unprecedented level of monitor-to- monitor consistency — something no CRT can match. This is the display of choice for those working in image editing, and for those in groups where monitor consistency is at a premium. For those who can't afford Eizo, Viewsonic deserves a special mention for consistently providing good monitors at low prices. When you need a high-resolution 19- or 24-inch screen and can't afford to pay for the extras and refinements, Viewsonic's value line is your best bet — and keep in mind that its higher-end monitors are just as fairly priced. Finally, Apple deserves consistent praise for the high quality and fair prices of its display line. You can't buy SWOP- certified monitors for less — the 30-inch Cinema Display is only $1,799. Keep in mind, though, that for just $200 more, the new Dell 3008WFP is a formidable competitor in the 30-inch arena, with four times the contrast ratio of the Cinema Display, and just half the response time. Apple's MacBook Pro 17" with 1920x1200 BTO option For eight years, Apple has lagged behind Dell in producing laptops with High- resolution displays. Dell offered a path- breaking 133 dpi 15" 1600x1200 display in 2000. In 2003 Dell offered its first 15" 1920x1200 display, achieving an astonishing 150 dpi, and Dell's first 17" 1920x1200 display (133 dpi) came out not long thereafter. Apple offered nothing comparable until 2007 with the 17" MacBook Pro and its 1920x1200 option. At last Mac users have a laptop display worthy of the operating system. This is by far the most capable Mac laptop ever — truly a portable graphics workstation. However, we would be happier if Apple made it possible to buy a 17-inch 1920x1200 laptop at a lower starting point. Take Dell, for example, again. By letting customers choose the option of slower processors and slower graphics, Dell can offer its 17-inch 1920x1200 Inspiron 1720, minimally configured, for an astonishing $950 at press time. By contrast, Apple's only high-res 17-inch laptop display starts at three times the price: $2900. Once you configure a Dell with the same processor and graphic options that Apple starts out with, you're creeping closer to Apple's price. But Dell's philosophy, to offer maximum screen resolution at the lowest possible price point, is one we're in favor of. Because who needs high resolution displays if Mac users don't? Apple of course would respond that it is not interested in working with anything but the very best hardware components available today. Fair enough. Speaking of which, we find the new Apple notebook keyboards reminiscent of the notorious IBM 'chicklet' keyboard. Of course they aren't as bad as the chicklet, but they aren't very good either. What gives? Display and keyboard issues aside, the latest Macbook Pro models are among the first notebooks to be equipped with Intel's new Penryn processors; they offer substantial speed gains over previous models. Recently released fourth quarter 2007 analyses show that Apple's laptop Eizo's 30-inch ColorEdge CG301W Display

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