Say one thing for them: Apple’s Cinema Displays might be high-quality, but they also aren’t inexpensive, with Apple’s 24-inch and 30-inch LCD flat panel displays currently retailing for $899 and $1,799 respectively. Unfortunately, they’re essentially the only displays on the market (so far) with Mini DisplayPort connectors, so unless you want to live in a swarm of cable adapters to get other displays working, Apple’s screens are the only game in town for Mac owners.
But maybe not for long. Collins America has just announced its CinemaView displays, which are aimed at being Mac-savvy right out of the box with Mini DisplayPort connectors—and sizes and price tags that are a little friendlier on the wallet. Collins America plans to offer 19-, 20.1-, and 24-inch CinemaView displays for $299, $399, and $499 respectively. The 19 and 20.1-inch models will offer 1,650 by 1,050 pixel resolution, while the 24-incher sports 1,920 by 1,080 resolution. The displays will all include a powered 3-port USB 2.0 hub, a passthrough stereo audio jack, and an all-in-one- cable that takes USB, DisplayPort, and stereo audio to the Mac. What’s more, the CinemaView displays uniframe construction matches the look of Apple’s Cinema displays, although the CinemaView back panels is a composite plastic where the Apple displays sport aluminum backs. Collins America plans to offer a VESA wall mount for the displays as well.
Collins America says the first three CinemaView displays will be available before September 1 from the CinemaView site as well as independent Apple Specialist retailers; the company doesn’t plan to offer the displays through major retails like Fry’s and Best Buy because the markups would be too steep. And as for quality? Collins America makes no bones about calling displays from Samsung, Dell, ViewSonic and others “plastic junk,” and they seem to have a pretty good handle on the quality Mac fans expect from their hardware.