I’ve always been a brand name snob when it comes to Mac displays. I’ve always insisted on Apple monitors. That probably won’t change, but
Formac has certainly made me rethink my position with its Formac Gallery 1740.
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The Gallery is a 17.4-inch flat-panel display with an Apple Display Connector (ADC). You can also get the Gallery with a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connector.
Formac claims that the Gallery outperforms comparable LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors due to its Vertical Alignment (MVA) technology. According to company specs, the active matrix LCD yields higher brightness (220 cd/m2), increased contrast (400:1), a fine dot pitch of 0.27 mm, and “industry-leading pixel response time (10-25 milliseconds)” as compared to in contrast to Apple TFT response of 40 milliseconds.
In all honesty, I noted no perceptible difference between it and the Apple Studio Display in terms of color and video performance, but the Gallery certain goes toe-to-toe with Apple’s own monitors in these areas. And I’ve had other folks who insisted that the Gallery 1740 does offer an edge in image definition and smoothness when viewing fast-paced, high-contrast video.
Its viewing angle allows you to view images with accurate colors from a viewing angle of up to 160 degrees. The Gallery’s palette serves up 16.7 million colors and a true resolution of 1,280 by 1,024.
The Gallery is also aesthetically pleasing for the most part. It goes well with the clear and silver plastics of the Power Mac G4 line. And like Apple’s own ADC monitors, it reduces cord clutter since it draws both power and images from a single cord. You just plug it into your Mac’s ADC port, and that’s it. The ADC connector also supplies the signals for the monitor’s two powered USB ports.
There’s really only one quibble I have with the Gallery: it simply doesn’t feel as sturdy as the Apple displays. Its plastic casing doesn’t feel as rugged and its adjustable rear foot (it “stands” on three feet) feels a bit flimsy.
Though I haven’t personally tested the bundle out, Formac, ColorVision (a division of Datacolor), and Pantone offer special promotion that bundles the Spyder monitor calibrator from the Pantone ColorVision product line with the Formac Gallery. The bundle should entice professionals working in color-critical applications where viewing angle, picture quality and accurate on-screen color are crucial.
The Spyder is an all-digital, seven-filter colorimeter designed for LCD display. It has seven sensors and seven long pass filters that purportedly let it closely match the human eye response to serve up highly accurate monitor calibration. To accommodate the antiglare coatings and mutable nature of LCD monitors, the LCD Spyder comes with an accessory that allows “gentle and flat placement” on screen. The bundle has an estimated suggested retail price of $1,149 (ADC) and $1,199 (DVI).
If you have to have — or, more likely, really want — a flat panel display to go with your Power Mac G4, you may want to check out the Gallery. It’s good looking, offers great viewing, is reasonably priced and touts a great three-year warranty.