Apple Studio Display: Get the picture

In a style similar to Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh G3 computer, the Apple Studio Display arrives bearing the company's signature translucent blue-and-white shell. Its most remarkable feature, however, is neither its color scheme nor its space-saving flat-panel design. What makes this display special is that users with PCs can enjoy it too.

The Apple Studio Display uses TFT active-matrix LCD technology to create sharp images on its 15.1-inch screen. With its flicker-free screen, interchangeable desktop, portable "picture frame" stand, and S-Video and C-Video ports, this latest Apple offering can rival any flat-panel display on the market.

But there is more to the Apple Studio Display.

In addition to its manual controls and on-screen display, special Apple software that accompanies the monitor enables users to adjust screen settings internally. With the Apple Displays Software, users can adjust color and basic picture and sound settings without ever touching the monitor.

However, the software's control panel features are available only to those using the Macintosh operating system. The display otherwise is fully compatible with any Microsoft Corp. Windows-based computer, as long it has a graphics or video card that operates at least one of 14 predefined resolutions.

The Apple Studio Display package includes a VGA adapter, which attaches easily and connects the monitor to your PC. The display is recognized automatically, but, just in case, Apple has included Windows-based setup information in the CD-ROM that accompanies the display.

The screen was sharp and clear. Apple claims to have eliminated screen flicker, and indeed we found none, although time will be the only true test.

The Apple Studio Display saved desk space while producing a surprisingly clear picture. All this, and it was painless to set up and use. The only real drawback is its plastic casing, which is light but not as sturdy as the casing of many of its competitors. Regardless of how you use the Apple Studio Display - on a PC or a Mac, for graphics or multimedia - you can be sure it will brighten up your desktop.

The display works with Power Macintosh or other PowerPC-based systems running Mac OS 8.0 or later and with Windows 95/98 and Windows NT-based systems.

-- Armstrong is a free-lance writer based in Boston.

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Apple Computer Inc.

(800) 538-9696

www.apple.com

Price and Availability

Available on the open market for a suggested retail price of $1,299.

Remarks

This unit is a great screen with good flexibility and mobility. It is easy to set up and comes with great documentation. The case construction should be more sturdy, however.

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