How does a 2009 MBP screen compare to New iMac?

Started Jun 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jacques Cornell
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,505Gear list
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iMac for glossy, mini + NEC for matte
In reply to Greg Eddinger, Jul 2, 2013

Greg Eddinger wrote:

At this point I'm leaning toward the mini due to it's value and ability to be placed away from a microphone but an iMac with iOS 7 might tip me the other way. At this point the only variables that are keeping me from a final decision is will my Lacie 321 drivers work with the mini and if not can I get a good large monitor for under $500?

A refurbished NEC 24" EA244 with IPS panel is currently available direct from NEC for $309. See all of NEC's refurbished displays here:

http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors?Refurbished=1

As for your LaCie Blue Eye, even if updated drivers are available for newer versions of OS X, the calibration software and hardware will only work with LaCie displays. If you want to calibrate an iMac or third-party display, you'll need a new calibration kit. The X-rite i1 Display Pro ($249) seems to be the way to go these days for cross-brand support.

If you like glossy displays, the iMac would seem to be a good choice. I prefer matte displays and wouldn't give up my NEC display (PA271) for anything. If I were in your shoes and keeping costs down, I'd go for a Mac mini with i7 and Fusion drive plus 16GB of third-party RAM, the refurbed NEC 24" EA244, and an X-rite i1 Display Pro.

If you've got the scratch and want the best possible display, the NEC sRGB P-series and wide-gamut PA-series displays with add-on NEC Spectraview calibration kit ($300) are great options. Spectraview supports only the P and PA series. I've worked with lots of high-end displays, and in my experience, NEC's P and PA series displays with Spectraview are noticeably better than anything else and very easy to use, much like the dedicated LaCie Blue Eye. Spectraview works only with NEC displays, so if you need to calibrate both NEC and non-NEC displays, the solution is to buy the X-rite kit and the Spectraview software ($100). You can use the X-rite i1 Display Pro hardware with the Spectraview software on P/PA displays and with X-rite's i1 Profile software on other displays.

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