Apples and Oranges

Apples and Oranges

Summary: With machines like the MacBook Apple has come a long way in closing the price gap between it and its PC competitors. But there's still a large divide with some of their peripherals that is simply too hard to justify, specifically: monitors.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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monitors.jpgWith machines like the MacBook Apple has come a long way in closing the price gap between it and its PC competitors. But there's still a large divide with some of their peripherals that is simply too hard to justify, specifically: monitors.

I've been in the market for a new external monitor to connect to my MacBook Pro for about three months and I've been eyeing Apple's 23-inch Cinema HD Display. It's a gorgeous all-digital, flat panel display with 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution that sells for US$1299.

Recently I saw a special on the Dell 2405FPW 24-inch flat panel LCD monitor that caught my eye. Originally selling for US$949 (US$350 less than the Apple LCD) it was on sale for US$759.20, an amazing US$540 less than the Apple monitor.

Both come with free shipping and have an optimum resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels.

The Dell monitor has 24 inches of viewable screen area, inputs for S-Video, Composite, Component, DVI & VGA connections, four USB 2.0 ports, 500 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast. The Apple monitor has 23 inches viewable, two USB, two FireWire 400 ports, 270 cd/m2 brightness and 400:1 contrast.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Apple's hardware and especially like the aluminum bezel on their LCD displays, but when you consider that the Dell has analog inputs, better brightness and contrast and costs almost half of what the Apple monitor costs I'm forced in the direction of the Dell.

What's your take on the price gap between Apple and PC peripherals? Will you pay more for the Apple logo?

Topic: Hardware

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10 comments
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  • Apple Monitors

    Get Dell. I used to buy Apple monitors - the dells have more
    features (Video in a PIP window is nice), they are adjsutable, they
    give greta deals if you ask (I have the 30" for $1500) and they have
    a 3-year versus a one-year warranty. You get a better monitor, a
    better warranty and you pay a greta deal less.

    You buy Apple for the OS and better user S/W. Not a factor with
    the monitors.
    BermudaAl
  • This is typical

    I feel your pain, and went through the same experience myself. Early 2005 I decided to buy a 20" Cinema Display to go with a Mac mini I had recently purchased. At the time I paid $750. A month later Dell offered a coupon special for its identical 20" Widescreen display (which uses the very same LCD as Apple's unit), and I paid a mere $430, nearly half the price that I paid for the Cinema Display. Gutting.

    That said, there is something about Apple's design aesthetic that always makes the premium pricing somewhat palatable. I'm not saying the price is fair, but it's hard to imagine hooking a beautiful PowerMac up to an ugly looking Dell display. I have both sitting on my desk right now, and the Apple display is much more visually appealing.

    In the end it comes down to the personal preference of the end user. In some ways it relates to clothing purchases. Do you buy your wardrobe at Wal-mart or Tommy Hilfiger? You may look well dressed either way, but the later provides more style.
    Elitist Snob
  • Dell vs Apple

    I must disagree, having the same LCD is only part of the equation,
    the interface electronics are every bit as important...an analogy
    would be the over focus on number of pixels in cameras and
    ignoring the fact that the lense quality is also very important. I have
    had 2 bad experiences with the Dell's in both 20 and 23 inch
    sizes...stuck pixels in the mid double digits...I have replaced both
    with Apple LCD and regret having wasted the $$ on the Dells...
    urapns
  • Dell Monitor vs Apple

    I own a Dell 20" widescreen that's been happily attached to my G4 tower for two years. I could buy another one today, and still be ahead in price if I had bought the Apple 20" back then. It's been a great monitor for the price, but at one point I just couldn't stand staring at that Dell logo anymore. So, I carefully cut out the white Apple logo from my iSight box and taped it over top of the Dell at the bottom of the screen. Friends who visit constantly do a double take when they see it. Then they laugh.
    graul3
  • HIgh priced.

    Yes, it's time for Apple to reduce their monitor prices again. Unlike
    Dell, Apple fails to continually adjust for falling prices in materials
    and supply, and, quite literally, chooses to adjust their prices "once
    in a blue moon".

    That said, your comparison fails to mention a few things like
    brightness and contrast ratios, key elements in choosing a flat
    panel, and much more indicative of a monitor's quality than the
    number of USB ports.
    zhmlco
    • Brightness and Contrast

      I included the brightness contrast info in my piece and the Dell kills the Apple monitor:

      "The Dell monitor has 24 inches of viewable screen area, inputs for S-Video, Composite, Component, DVI & VGA connections, four USB 2.0 ports, [b]500 cd/m2; brightness and 1000:1 contrast[/b]. The Apple monitor has 23 inches viewable, two USB, two FireWire 400 ports, [b]270 cd/m2; brightness and 400:1 contrast[/b]."

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
  • Brightness and contrast are in the story

    " The Dell monitor has 24 inches of viewable screen area,
    inputs for S-Video, Composite, Component, DVI & VGA
    connections, four USB 2.0 ports, 500 cd/m²
    brightness and 1000:1 contrast. The Apple monitor has 23
    inches viewable, two USB, two FireWire 400 ports,?270 cd/
    m² brightness and 400:1 contrast. "
    rodneypetersen
  • Sharpness was not mentioned

    Whenever I see a new PC or monitor the first I do is calculating the
    "sharpness" or pixel per inch (ppi). Apple 23" has 98 ppi, Dell's
    montor has around 94 ppi.
    The production of 94 ppi panels is cheaper.
    Jörg Straube
    • Sharpness was not mentioned

      So you're saying that not only is it cheaper, it is sharper as well,
      right?

      Can anyone confirm, having seen both monitors, that text is
      equally easy to read?
      StevenOz
      • sharpness uses higher numbers

        The "pixels per inch" number he mentioned is higher on the Apple
        display. Bigger is better, like fps in games. That is one reason the
        Apple monitor is more expensive.
        Mr_Dave