New 27-inch iMac Supports Dual External Display Output

The dual Thunderbolt ports on the 27-inch iMac are very exciting. Not only because it provides a lot of potential I/O transfer power, but more importantly because it also allows the new iMac to output to two external monitors simultaneously, Apple confirmed to me this morning.

Goodbye, 20″ Cinema Display. No Hello, 20″ LED Cinema Display?

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Another one bites the dust. Another in Apple’s (s aapl) line of Cinema Displays, that is.

Apple pulled the 20″ entry-level model of their popular professional caliber display line Thursday, leaving behind only the legacy 30″ model and the 24″ newly updated LED Cinema Display with DisplayPort that was introduced alongside the new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros at the notebook event late last year.

Last time a model was pulled, its replacement was already available, since it was the mid-range 23″ display and the 24″ had already been announced and was available via the Apple Store. The discontinuation of the 20″ leaves a significant hole in the existing line-up, since the mid-range 24″ display is a full $200 more expensive than its smaller sibling. Curiously, AppleInsider is also reporting that all backlogs are to be cancelled and that no replacement is to be offered to fill those orders already existing. Read More about Goodbye, 20″ Cinema Display. No Hello, 20″ LED Cinema Display?

Mini DisplayPort Could Become Standard

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DisplayPort got a big boost as a video connection standard when Apple decided to use it across its entire notebook line.

Of course, being Apple, they couldn’t use it as is, and instead introduced the Mini DisplayPort version, which was more compact, and, sadly, would also require special adapters to be purchased by MacBook owners. Now version 1.2 of the standard is poised to bring some improvements that will likely make it more attractive to consumers and manufacturers alike.
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Apple Providing Free DisplayPort Licenses

Ars Technica are reporting that Apple has taken the decision to offer no-fee licenses to companies that develop products utilizing the DisplayPort connection, with the aim of accelerating the port’s ascension to a ‘de facto’ standard. Having recently announced that they will be transitioning their entire hardware lineup to DisplayPort, Apple is firmly backing the new standard.

DisplayPort does have several advantages over older standards such as DVI, based on more open protocols and reducing the need for control circuits built in to displays. It’s easier to use as a plug (not requiring thumbscrews), offers the possibility of connecting multiple monitors and also works well in computers where space is an important factor (the slimline MacBook Air for instance).
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Mini DisplayPort to Dual-DVI Delayed Until December 23

As if it wasn’t aggravating enough that new MacBook owners had to go out and replace all of their video adapters since Mini-DVI has been phased out and Mini DisplayPort introduced, today those lucky enough to have a 30-inch external monitor are now out of luck…again.

In an email to customers who’d purchased the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-DVI adapter, which is required to get full-resolution support on 30-inch external monitors, Apple regrettably informed those affected that they wouldn’t see delivery of their items until December 23. At least it’s before Christmas, right? Still leaves you time to wrap it and stuff it in that stocking.
Seriously, this is a significant delay for a product that many users depend upon for professional and work-related purposes. The original timeline for the adapter’s release already saw it coming a full month after the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros shipped, which had many users already complaining. With another month added, accusations that Apple is dropping the ball will only get louder.
The adapter, which costs $99, also occupies an additional USB slot to fulfill its power needs. The product’s ordering page at the Apple Store now shows expected shipping time at 4 to 5 weeks. In the letter notifying purchasers of the new shipping date, Apple cites only “an unexpected delay” as the cause of the additional wait time. They also offer the option of canceling your order in exchange for a full refund, but that’s not really an option if you need the adapter. Read the full notification email at 9to5mac.
It appears as though they’re having trouble dealing with their rapid growth. Has this delay affected you in any way?

Apple Taking Orders for the 24″ Cinema Display

Apple has today started to take orders for their new 24″ LED Cinema Display. Shipping is stated to start sometime in November, and the screen is priced at $899. We have previously covered the announcement of the new displays and detailed their features.

This new device is the first display designed to make use of the new Mini DisplayPort currently only present in Apple’s notebook line. It sports Mini DisplayPort, USB and MagSafe connectors to really expand the experience of using a notebook. There’s also a built-in iSight camera, microphone, and speaker system that provide a “true desktop experience” — something not present on previous cinema displays. The addition of a notebook charging cable has been well received, and in-built DisplayPort may go some way to alleviate the problem with a shortage of converters.
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