Apple's big new LED display
The spotlight may have been on MacBooks at Tuesday's Apple press conference, but there was one other product on the stage: Apple's new 24-inch Cinema Display.
Admittedly, a monitor is hardly as exciting as an aluminum MacBook, but I do find myself intrigued. The 24-inch display is Apple's first with LED backlighting, which is not only thinner but also reportedly produces more accurate colors while using less energy than traditional monitors. It incorporates an iSight camera, built-in microphone, and speakers. And it includes a second cable at the rear of the display with branches for a MagSafe adapter, USB, and mini-DisplayPort connector.
This last feature is what appeals to me most; combined with three USB ports on the back of the display, it turns the display into a de facto dock for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The end result is just one cord on your desk, and no more than three connections to unplug when you leave.
Of course, as Apple has shown us time and again, simplicity like that doesn't come cheap: the 24-inch Cinema Display costs $899. To quote CNET Labs' Eric Franklin, "There is no way a 24-inch monitor is worth 900 dollars." Indeed, the HP w2408h is just $500 at HP.com, and Dell currently sells the UltraSharp 2408WFP for $619 on its site. Even the Lenovo ThinkVision L2440x, which also uses LED backlights, costs $750.
So is the unified look and docking function of Apple's 24-inch Cinema Display worth the extra dough? You'll have a little time to decide, because it doesn't start shipping until November.
For complete coverage of the Apple notebook news, see "Apple polishes up its MacBook line."