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Formac Gallery 2010

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At a Glance
  • Formac Gallery 2010

The arrival of Apple's gorgeous Cinema Display was probably accompanied by the painful realization that it was financially out of your reach. A couple of years later, it still costs more than $2,000, despite its aging original specifications. Formac's new screen, the Gallery 2010, outperforms the original Cinema Display, looks the part, and comes close to the specs of the 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display -- at a fraction of the Cinema Display's price.

At a mere $1,699, the Gallery 2010 is set to take on the competition: it's by far the least-expensive large LCD. Don't let the low price fool you, though -- the state-of-the-art Gallery 2010 looks fantastic. Its 20.1-inch viewable screen area has a 1,600-by-1,200-pixel resolution, compared with the original 22-inch Cinema Display's 1,200-by-1,024 widescreen format. That means you get 281,600 more pixels from the Gallery 2010, for $800 less. The display comes in two versions: ADC and DVI. The ADC version can be plugged straight into ADC-compatible Macs, but your graphics card will need at least 32MB of video memory to support the giant resolution.

If you have a card with a DVI connection, you can get a Gallery 2010 to match. The DVI version has a power connection on the computer end of the display's cable, so you get a minimalist screen with a single neat cable. USB can also be carried through the main cable, either as part of the ADC or via a connection on the DVI interface.

Formac claims that the Gallery 2010 has a 600:1 contrast ratio -- double that of Apple's Cinema Displays, so highlights and lowlights in images you edit will be more visible. It also comes with a three-year warranty, and Formac guarantees that the display will have no more than two dead pixels. This is much better than the Apple one-year warranty and the maximum ten dead pixels that it deems acceptable.

The dead-pixel issue is a thorny one. A dead pixel -- one that is stuck either in the on or off position -- doesn't render the screen useless, but it's annoying.

The Gallery 2010's color is good, but as with all LCD screens, there can be slight color shifts as viewing angle changes. However, LCD screens are still unsuitable for the highest level of color correction.

Macworld's Buying Advice

If you're looking for an impressive replacement for a big CRT, the Gallery 2010 is definitely a great display. It will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of users, and we recommend putting it on your wish list immediately.

At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Big
    • Bright
    • Beautiful design


    • Image quality not as good as that of Apple Cinema HD Display
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