General Question

Dog's avatar

If one cannot afford an Apple monitor what is the next best one for absolute color to print accuracy?

Asked by Dog (25152points) March 15th, 2011

The computer is OS-X and I had hoped to use my old iMac as a monitor but alas it will not work.

My budget is under a thousand.

Since I am a professional I need the colors to be dead on- like an Apple display.

Help please!

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5 Answers

simpleD's avatar

I’ve recently began to tackle color management after avoiding it for years and wasting a lot of ink unnecessarily. X-rite i1 makes it really simple. A color expert I met recommended either NEC or Eizo monitors for critical color accuracy. Thought the Apple monitors are brilliant, they don’t allow for adjustments to the RGB gain so cannot be calibrated as precisely.

bolwerk's avatar

Oh, goodness. Don’t waste money on Apple products. You’re guaranteed to get an inferior, shoddier product at a higher price and a great deal of vendor lockin (the Genius Bar is clearly named to make you feel good about spending hundreds of dollars on something that you should be able to handle yourself for free). If you’re married to MacOS X, you’re better off putting together a Hackintosh of some sort.

Anyway, Apple monitors aren’t all that great for “professionals” anyway. They tend to have contrast ratios of 1000:1 (take this 27” example). This Samsung 27-incher (link goes to NewEgg) has better specifications for a fraction of the price – a trait you find when you compare market products to Apple products in nearly all categories.

funkdaddy's avatar

I’ve tried different brands and actually really like the Dell Ultrasharp line 24 inch here (their basic line is quite a bit cheaper, but isn’t as good) They list that 24” for $500, but you can find it quite a bit cheaper if you use online coupons, ebay, get a refurb or wait for a sale. Using any of those you could probably get the 27” for under $1000 as well.

Little things like the stand they come with and configuration options really make them easier to use in my opinion. I think a lot of brands tend to skimp on those areas in favor of saving a bit on the price. For me, easier to set up and configure means I’m more likely to get it done each time it needs to be.


A note on the Apple vs Samsung comparison above. I’m no Apple fanboy, but the two monitors shown are very different in quality and purpose. Other than a common size they don’t seem to share much.

The Samsung is meant as an affordable entertainment center, uses a different display technology, and comes with a TV tuner built in. It’s meant to be a place to do a little bit of everything. You can watch TV, use the included remote, listen on the built in speakers and also use it as a monitor.

The Apple is a dedicated display, has about twice the resolution, is brighter, has better viewing angles, and is built for creating and editing (which seems to be what you’re looking for)

I’m not saying one is better than the other, they just have different purposes so can’t really be compared directly on price alone.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Here’s a graphic designer specific site with helpful information about the specifications you need to look for.

Dog's avatar

Thank you all so much! Off to investigate leads!

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