Apple or Dell 30″ Monitor (subtitled: how the new iMac validates my Dell Decision)

I have been looking at 30” monitors for some time. I feel constrained on the 19” monitor I use and get easily excited by those that report productivity improvements on 30” monitors (even if the productivity benefits are dubious, it can’t hurt).

Black or Silver?

In reading reviews of the two monitors, several reviewers point out the beautiful looks of the Cinema display. Especially important to Apple fans seems to be the silver casing instead of Dell’s black. It’s just a matter of personal taste though, and personally – I like a black case. In my environment, a black case better disappears into the background.

Yet as I kept reading reviews, I started to wonder if something was wrong with me for preferring a black border over silver. Then, at just about that time, Apple rolls out the new iMac and – what do you know – its screen is encased in a black border. Not that I needed Apple’s validation, but at least I know I’m not crazy for thinking a black border is a good idea. Now I feel better about buying the Dell. Even without an anodized aluminum case.

The one place I would recommend the Cinema display is in an area that presents an image to customers or clients or that you simply want to look sharp from the back. I use it alone in my office, so I only look at the front and no one ever sees the back. From the back, where visitors or co-workers would see it in an open environment or reception area, the Cinema display looks more professional.


I love Apple, love my MacBook Pro and OS X. I couldn’t imagine having to go back to PC and Windows. But little appeals to me about the Cinema display. Dell has as good or better specs (higher contrast and nominally faster response time), 3x the warranty, and many happy users. And, as a bonus, is at least $300US less.

I hate to say it, because I am a Mac fan. I love hanging out at the Apple store and can no longer stand to go to any other “computer” store or electronic big-box. So I do reward Apple with my pocketbook on their other innovative and beautiful products. I just don’t see them getting it for this monitor purchase.

The Dell 30” monitor is ordered and I’ll let you know how it works out.


For the detail inclined, here are comparison of current specs:

Apple M9179LL/A

Viewing angle: 178° horizontal; 178° vertical

Brightness: 400 cd/m2

Contrast: 700:1

Response time: 14ms

Pixel pitch: .250mm

Case: anodized aluminum – silver

Warranty: 1 year

Price: $1,799.00 US

Cinema Display product page

Dell 3007WFP-HC

Viewing angle: 178° horizontal; 178° vertical

Brightness: 300cd/m2

Contrast: 1000:1

Response time: 12ms

Pixel pitch: .2505mm

Case: plastic – black

Warranty: 3 years

Price: $1,499 from Dell or $1,388 at Sam’s Club

Dell Monitor product page

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