After what seems like ages, I’m back in action, and sporting some new
toys equipment. After initially figuring on a fabulous looking 20″ Apple LCD (There was no way I could justify the outlay for a 23″ monitor), I started to get second thoughts. I had seen a brief blurb on MacMinute (I believe) about the updated LCDs from ForMac. On first glance, the monitors looked like knock-offs of the old version Apple Displays, except now they had a black surrounding bezel, as opposed to the Apple’s “pinstripe” look. I hadn’t really given the monitor much thought, but when my monies (I’ve always hated when people use that term… monies… I’m including it just to annoy you) came together, the price of the 20″ Formac “Gallery Xtreme”—I have to admit, the name is ludicrous—grabbed my attention.
The Apple 20″ LCD rings in at a whopping $1300USD (or around 1200 if you’re a student). After sales tax (which, Apple, despite not really having a business presence in Utah, decides to tack on for good measure) and expedited shipping, the display would tip the scales at over $14-1500, which was about what I had planned on. The Formac, by contrast, is based at $899.
I had been looking at another product by Formac, the Studio TVR, a nice little DVR, for some time, when, lo and behold, I found that Formac were selling the TVR in a bundle with their new Dual Layer DVD burner at a $100 discount for the holidays. Interesting…
I started reading up on the “Gallery Xtreme” (henceforth to be called the “GX” to save you from the inanity), checking its tech specs, comparing it to the Apple. They both were technically 20″ monitors, but the Apple is a widescreen, and thus shorter (and obviously wider) than the Formac, and has an unusual resolution of 1680 x 1050, which, horizontally is roughly the same pixel count as the GX (at 1600px), but vertically, the Apple is only slightly “taller” (resolution-wise) than my outgoing 17″ LCD. The GX, but contrast, is 1200px vertically, which is the same vertical resolution as the larger 23″ Apple LCD. Basically, the way I look at it, the GX is like having the 23″ monitor with a few inches lopped off the side.
I had been using my brother’s old generation 23″ Apple LCD for a few weeks, and I didn’t really feel like downgrading the space that much. Plus, looking at the technical details, the brightness, colour and contrast are superior to the Apple Display. Plus, I would be able to get the TVR with the DL DVD burner, and Formac’s $99 “Zero Dead Pixel” guarantee, for precisely what I would be spending on the Apple Display alone. I mulled it over for a night, and decided to go with the Formac.
I am extremely happy with the display so far. This is one of the brightest, best looking displays I have ever used. One of the only features of the Apple that the GX lacks is the new firewire ports on the back, but seriously, I have quite a few of those, and, lest we forget, you can always daisy-chain firewire devices. I am quite experienced in that department (with an iSight, iPod, two external hard drives, two external DVD burners, and a TVR). 🙂
I’ve even resurrected my old 17″ LCD to play backup. It seems to be doing well after a few weeks of rest. Let’s hope it can continue strong.