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Ready For Their Closeup, Mr. DeMille
The Ultimate Screen Test



Apple Cinema Displays

The Lowdown: When you’ve got the world’s top-selling mobile music player, why not show off your other high-tech masterpieces while you’re at it. Apple doesn’t disappoint with its new Cinema Displays, available in 20-, 23-, and 30-inch sizes. The monitors feature a thin film transistor active-matrix liquid crystal display with 16.7 million display colors, 170-degree horizontal/vertical viewing angles (easily adjusted with the smooth-motion hinge design), and sleek anodized-aluminum cases that match Apple’s Power Mac G5s, PowerBooks, and new MacBook Pros.

What Makes These Monitors Stand Out: View your latest photo shoot in stereo—the new displays can be placed side by side for a seamless picture, sure to please professional photographers and designers. Thanks to the industry-standard DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connector, which transmits a pure digital signal, users achieve maximum visual quality. An optional VESA mount lets you nix the desktop stand and install your Cinema Display virtually anywhere. The new displays are good for the environment, too—the 20-inch model uses about two-thirds of the power of a 21-inch CRT designed for color professionals and generates less heat, saving your studio electrical and HVAC costs.

EIZO FlexScan S2410W

The Lowdown: EIZO’s new widescreen display is now available for the Apple crowd, offering increased horizontal viewing space with its 24.1-inch widescreen format. Users can choose from one of five imaging modes (Text, Picture, Movie, Custom, or sRGB); toggling from one mode to the other is achieved by touching a single switch on the front panel. The ArcSwing 2 stand offers an arc-shaped range of movement, and the base swivels 172 degrees.

What Makes This Monitor Stand Out: With its 16:10 aspect ratio (with 1920x1200 native resolution), this monitor offers more horizontal space than you’ll usually find with conventional monitors. The screen is wide enough to open two A4-size pages at full size, as well as tool palettes placed on the perimeter of the screen with no resulting overlap. EIZO’s application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) boasts 14-bit color processing for accurate grayscale rendering, especially in the dark area of the image, while the OSD menu offers adjustment of gamma, saturation, hue, gain, and color temperature.

Gateway FPD2185W

The Lowdown: High-def viewing has made its way onto the screen of Gateway’s latest entry. The 21-inch widescreen display offers high resolution that’s necessary for today’s pro photographer, as well as high-definition 1000:1 contrast ratio for a crisp, clear image. The 1680x1050 widescreen aspect offers more viewing space, while advanced picture-in-picture technology allows users to watch TV while working on a project.

What Makes This Monitor Stand Out: This display was the world’s first computer monitor to employ a new Genesis Microchip controller with a suite of DCDi by Faroudja video processing technologies. Proprietary EZTune software provides on-screen PC controls for adjusting monitor settings and allowing for software color calibration.

LaCie 321

The Lowdown: This 21.3-inch winner of a 2005 CNET Editor’s Choice award provides the accurate color renderings on-screen that are crucial to commercial and other high-end photography. The monitor features a contrast ratio of 500:1, an SA-Superfine TFT panel, and 176-degree horizontal/vertical viewing angles.

What Makes This Monitor Stand Out: The 321’s 10-bit gamma control correction expands the tonal range to 1024 (compared with the 256 tonal options available with 8-bit gamma), smoothing color gradation and improving image accuracy.

LG M203WX

The Lowdown: Digital photographers will want to check out this 20-inch widescreen display with 1680x1050 resolution and 300cd/m2 brightness. Several viewing options are available, including picture-in-picture, picture-by-picture, and picture-on-picture.

What Makes This Monitor Stand Out: Memory cards can be inserted directly into the monitor’s 4-in-2 memory card slot. At this year’s CES, LG introduced the second generation of the company’s proprietary f-ENGINE technology. The chip built into the M203WX enhances brightness and color independent of each other, and enables users to zone in on any segment of the screen they wish to enhance.

NEC Display Solutions’ SpectraView LCD2180WG

The Lowdown: NEC’s advanced TFT technology creates an ultrawide color gamut, reaching more than 100 percent of the Adobe, RGB, and NTSC color scales, while Xtraview+ technology allows for a 176-degree viewing angle from all directions (a plus when reviewing images with clients). Dual DVI inputs allow two systems to be connected to the same display.

What Makes This Monitor Stand Out: Welcome the first display to the market to feature a light-emitting diode (LED) backlight: The technology strives to produce more detail and greater nuances on digital images than what you’d get on fluorescent-based LCDs. See sidebar (below) to learn how one professional printmaker uses this monitor.

Norcent LT-2090WPL

The Lowdown: Norcent’s new collection of VION (pronounced VEE-ohn) LCD TVs feature beefed-up audio, with SRS sound enhancement and BBE High-Definition Sound, and a graceful combination of high-end design and video quality. The 20-inch widescreen LT-2090WPL LCD display features a high contrast ratio of 1000:1, a 176-degree horizontal/vertical viewing angle, and a panel resolution of 1366x768.

What Makes This Monitor Stand Out: Yes, it’s technically an HDTV, but this pearl-white widescreen beauty made quite a splash with professional photographers looking for new monitors at this year’s CES. With a 16:9 view, the LT-2090WPL can expertly make the transition from television to computer monitor.

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