Hi-Tech Studio: Workstation To Go

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24-Inch LED Cinema Display

This latest model in the Cinema Display line features a new LED-backlit LCD—it’s a big advance in display technology. Unlike fluorescent backlight, which can be uneven and needs a warm-up to come to full brightness, LED lights up instantly and at full intensity from corner to corner. The monitor is compatible with MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models with the new Mini DisplayPort (late-2008 models). An all-in-one tether connects the display to the Mac’s USB and MagSafe power ports, powering the laptop and providing a data connection to three USB ports on the back of the display, as well as its built-in speakers, a microphone and the iSight camera.

The display has a max resolution of 1920×1200 and a viewing angle of 178 degrees. Like iMac and previous generation Cinema Displays, the stand is hinged to allow an adjustable tilt from -5 to 25 degrees. A VESA mount adapter kit is available optionally if you would prefer to mount the display to a wall.

MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro features what Apple calls the unibody enclosure. The chassis is hewn from a solid piece of aluminum, reducing seams and weight while increasing durability. (As of this writing, the 15-inch model is available, and a new 17-inch model has been announced.)

MacBook Pro Multi-Touch Trackpad. One of the first things you’ll notice when you pick up the new MacBook Pro is that Apple has reimagined its trackpad. The new generation is made of glass, and the whole pad is one big button (you can set the right corner of the pad to act as a secondary click). Apple’s emphasis on touch technology has been working its way into the trackpad over the last few generations, and this one recognizes multi-finger gestures using up to four fingers. The two-finger gestures are the most useful for photographers and allow you to rotate, zoom in and out, and pan around images, all without accessing a menu or typing a command. While I still prefer a mouse generally, these gestures definitely advance the functionality of a trackpad.

Display. The 15-inch screen uses the same LED backlit LCD technology under glass used in the 24-inch display and renders 1440×900 pixels at maximum resolution. Some (myself included) may lament that this generation is no longer available with the “anti-glare” matte surface as an option; still, it’s unarguably a stunning display, and in most circumstances, you can slightly adjust its angle to reduce reflections on the glossy surface. What’s more, because the laptop monitor and the 24-inch Cinema Display feature identical attributes and technology, they can be closely matched when profiling. The benefits to a mobile professional photographer are obvious. Whichever monitor you’re using, what you see is what you get.

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