Question - I’m looking at getting a couple of 30" displays for softproofing but strictly for quality control purposes not daily proof generations. While I’m keen to get something, I’ve been looking into what is available. Im also keen to find out if there is any truth in the rumor that the Apple cinema is an unreliable product. Obviously there is the problem with the colour gamut but does anyone know if they have no long life capacity?
The Eizo CG 21 comes in strongly but there is also the new Eizo CG301 W. I don’t know anyone with this monitor yet.
Also there is the Samsung XL30 but I’ve yet to see that working.
I don’t know if anyone has responded yet, but I will donate my 2-4 cents:
Although a decent price, the Apple panels suffer from uniformity and brightness regulation issues. These issues furtherexacerbatewith size, so especially on the 30".In most cases this is a physical limitation, in some few cases the situation can be slightly improved for Apple LCDs with refined Gray Balance and better Luminance Control by a product called ColorEyes Display Pro.
The other significant issue is that the Apple LCD monitors typically also fall out of visual gamut range around 18 months. So, as it ages and approaches or gets into the 18 month range, the monitor will suffer permanent loss of visual data in some tonal ranges, an increasing degeneration, and behavior that becomes non-linear. Non of these is good for consistent visual color observation.
Not to bash Apple (as I’m a strong advocate of their products), but, for color management and color critical viewing, Apple LCDs are not considered the best investment. Laptop LCD screens perform lower than their stand-alone brethren, so the problem is worse on these for every manufacturer (Apple, Dell, HP, etc.).
The Eizo ColorEdge CG211 is probably considered the best LCD monitor in the market (for traditional 4.3 aspect and sRGB color performance). It’s a bit pricey (~$2599) as it was made with a super IPS panel which are rare these days on new products. You will see the CG211 model in the high-end labs and prepress shops. It’s the only LCD product that can really be considered comparable to the great CRT’s of yesteryear (Sony Artisan or a Barco RefCal with a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro tube).
The Eizo ColorEdge CG301W is a new Wide-screen LCD product. It differs from the CG211 in that it has a 16:10 viewing aspect and covers a higher percentage of AdobeRGB (~97% versus ~78%ofCG211). There seems to be a need for this type of product and there are some justifications, but the price tag is rather high still at ~$5000. The CG221 is similarly priced and is considered the definitive Adobe RGB product on the market today exhibiting ~99%. Much more affordable is the CG241, a 24" Wide screen that exhibits ~96% AdobeRGB. It’s around $2k or so. A new and much more affordable model that we’re excited about is the CG222W for around $1399 or so. It covers ~92% AdobeRGB, has a 16:10 aspect, has great contrast and other valuable capabilities.
I know and have many customers with all of the above ColorEdge models. (Trying NOT to sound like anadvertisementhere) CHROMiX is an authorized Eizo ColorEdge VAR reseller. We also sell NEC’s new 26" and 30" MultiSync Spectraview models and all of the LaCie LCD’s. I’d be happy to talk with you about any of the issues involved with LCDs, monitor calibration, models in question for purchase, or even to help guide you to the best LCD choice for you. Our philosophy and approach is to provide you with enough information to help you make a better decision.
Overall, we tend to favor and recommend ‘hardware calibratible’ monitors like Eizo. Big advantage over traditional monitor products that simply rely upon video card LUT and basic controls.