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Apple wins battle of 30-inch displays

updated 09:50 pm EST, Fri March 24, 2006

Battle of 30-inch displays

Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display wins by a small margin over Dell 30-inch UltraSharp 3007WFP display, in a new report by CNET "The tale of the tape shows that each offers impressive resolution, contrast ratio, and connectivity. The Dell LCD owns the edge in price, costing $2,199 to the Apple's $2,500. To crown the true champion, we took a closer look at each LCD's features, devised a series of performance tests, and let the combatants go toe-to-toe." The Dell display wins in the 'Connectivity & Features' round with more adjustment features and more connectivity options and the 'Day-to-Day' category with better text display, while the Apple's offering wins the Gaming, Video playback, and DisplayMate-based performance tests. Despite taking three of five rounds, the review concludes: "That said, if adjustability is important to you, the Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP has a lot more going for it; in fact, Apple doesn't really compete in this category. Dell also delivers a better variety of input options and better text performance for everyday tasks. Finally, at $300 less than the Apple, the UltraSharp 3007WFP may be the better deal, dollar for dollar."

by MacNN Staff





  1. mattsgotredhair

    Joined: Dec 1969



    seems like apple lost to me.

  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds good

    The way Dell displays drop pretty quickly in price, it shouldn't be long before that display can be had on eBay for $1200. Hopefully, by then there'll be an equally reasonable display card that can drive it available for Intel Macs.

  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cost a BIG factor

    As much as I hate Dell, and as much as I love Apple, when I was looking for a 30" display to pair with my new quad G5, the best price I could find for an Apple was around $2200. I was able to get a Dell for about $1650 direct, and can't say that I am that dissatisfied. 720p and other progressive sources look great, while 1080i is at times only marginal, but that is sort of to be expected for an LCD of this size and resolution. No regrets really, and the thin black border on the Dell is actually a nice asthetic touch. Surprise surprise.

  1. IvoryTower

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hate to say it, but in a way it was a foregone conclusion. Dell uses LG screens, which are by and large, the best available. Don't get me wrong, Apple's screens are top-notch (I recently attended a rather detailed presentation on Apple's screen technology) and are very well suited for the visual arts environment (among others), but given the professional quality and commodity price of LG's wares ... they're tough to beat.

  1. awcopus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's the OS, right?

    In round 2 of the test, CNET complains that Apple's 30" displays text with jagged edges whereas the Dell apparently has built-in antialiasing.

    Doesn't OS X provide antialiased text all on its own? In other words, since they tested the Dell and the Apple using Windows XP, doesn't the jagged text on the Apple just point out XP's ugly text display limitations?

  1. SiliconAddict

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The real difference?

    Wait 6 months after the demand for the Dell monitor dies down. You will be able to find it for $1,500 with coupons. I've been using my 2405FPW for about 8 months now. The money saved went into other things such as my MBP.

  1. SiliconAddict

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "doesn't the jagged text on the Apple just point out XP's ugly text display limitations?"

    XP has cleartype which runs rings around OS X's antialiased "stuff". I say this as someone who is running both OS's now.

  1. Homer1946

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It was my understanding that "cleartype" was basically MS's take on sub-pixel rendering (plus other smoothing methods for CRT's) and that OS X also offers a pretty good sub-pixel rendering scheme.

    Considering some of the options for customizing such things, and Quartz's reputation for having very good text rendering, I wonder if the poster that stated XP's smoothing is better just needs to adjust OS X Font Smoothing Style in the preferences.

    IMHO I do not think XP's font smoothing is better, but I have also found that satisfaction with font smoothing is VERY subjective with different users preferring different methods. Also XP's GUI irritates me so much I may just miss minor quibbles such as font smoothing techniques.

  1. spyinthesky1



    Get the facts straight

    Cleartype is based on an Apple patent from the 80s (one of Woz's I believe) which lapsed years ago and not surprisingly picked up by Microsoft. Apple's text smoothing technology now is of an order more advanced though one has to accept superior technology will never ensure that the result is preferred by all, which is why people still ride Harleys.

  1. itguy05

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not surprised

    I'd rather pay the $300 for the Apple which will: 1) have better resale (if you want to upgrade) 2) match my Macs perfectly 3) Not put any money in Dell's pocket (I _HATE_ Dell)

    I seriously doubt you will see either panel decrease in price for a long time. Why? Most large LCD's are going into TV's and have a much lower resolution than these. That translates into lower production and higher cost.

    The 30"s are great, but I'll stick with Apple - don't want to ever support Dell in any manner.

    "XP has cleartype which runs rings around OS X's antialiased "stuff". I say this as someone who is running both OS's now."

    I _HATE_ Cleartype on XP - so much so that I turn it off. Why? Rainbow halos around characters. On OSX with it set to auto I get no rainbows - just pure AA'ed text.

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