Monday, August 23, 2010

A Caution To Snow Leopard Users . . .

Dell UltraSharp 2007WFP 20.1" S-IPS LCD Monitor Wide
If you are a Mac user, this monitor is a good IPS display technology alternative to buying an Apple Cinema Display. These displays calibrate nicely, especially if you are using the System Preferences / Display Calibration Assistant in Mac OS 10.4 Tiger or Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.

The Apple & Dell IPS LCD displays don't have external contrast adjusters. With the IPS LCD, there is no contrast adjustment on the display or in the Mac OS. It stays in the right contrast all the time. Only Brightness and RGB levels can be adjusted externally as well as selecting PC Mode and Mac Mode. So with Tiger and Leopard, the contrast is about right so that I can begin the calibration process, starting with adjusting the External Brightness Control on the monitor to get the black levels to match, in System Preferences / Display Calibration Assistant.

But in Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, the default-fixed contrast setting is too bright in the black and shadowed areas, so it's impossible to manually adjust the brightness to get the black levels to match in System Preferences / Display Calibration Assistant. So, all of the monitors' external controls are functioning in Snow Leopard but Snow Leopard's new default brightness is beyond the Dell monitor's external adjustment range as it is with most older Apple CRT displays and most other non-Apple third-party Mac-friendly LCD displays.

So this monitor is great for calibrating with Mac OS 10.4 Tiger or Mac OS 10.5 Leopard but Snow Leopard will render this monitor un-usable. It's almost like Apple is treating all third party-non-Apple displays like "Jail-Broken" iPhones. 

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