A Tale of Two Displays, Part One: What Are They Thinking?

This week, Apple has announced that the new delicious 24″ monitors are ready for ordering and shipping. These are the brilliant-looking monitors that will only attach to MiniDisplayPort enabled devices, which means you can only attach this new beastie to one of the new laptops from Apple. There’s no love for the MacMini or MacPro, both of which are DVI-based machines, nor for the older laptops out there.

On the heels of that announce, Apple also announced that they are discontinuing the 23″ Apple Cinema Display. While this isn’t a huge surprise, the things that are missing are.

What this seems to mean is that if you have a DVI-based Mac — essentially any recent Mac before the latest laptop announcements — the only two monitors available from Apple for you are the 20″ Apple Cinema Display ($599) and the 30″ Apple Cinema Display ($1799). The 23″ ACD came in around $899, and was a nice compromise for folks like me that wanted more real estate than the 20″, but didn’t want to spring almost two-kilobucks for the 30″. For some folks with twenty Benjy’s burning a hole in their pocket, it might’ve made sense for those in the MacPro crowd to put a pair of 23″ ACD screens on the desk for the same price as the 30″. That’s all personal choice however. 🙂

The key log to breaking this display logjam is a DVI to MiniDisplayPort adapter, something Apple hasn’t announced, and something that no one seems to have created (although it appears Amazon may have some third party dongles). From what I gather in reading other folks’ interpretation of the specs, this kind of dongle is possible, but was just never something anyone needed before. That’s the only way an Apple laptop older than a month will be able to connect to the new 24″ display.

For MacPro users, this would work, of course, but I suspect that the best path here would be a new video card. However, Apple has also not announced any DisplayPort-based cards, and even if they were available out there, I don’t know if they’d be compatible with the MacPro or OS X. And then there might still be the DisplayPort to MiniDisplayPort question — is there an adapter that will go between these two sizes of the same video standard?

If anyone from Apple is reading this — and I know Uncle Steve checks this blog daily — please, please, please get your collective product lines together so I can put the new panels on my MacPro!!!! Doc Oc needs new eyes…