Well then, I've done it. Yikes, and gulp!
My first three computers were all-in-ones, successive versions of the basic original Macintosh. The last of those, called the "Classic," didn't last very long—it was conservative, casting backwards, and progress was afoot in the computing Universe. After that came an early Powerbook, which was revolutionary in its own way but still an all-in-one. As screens got larger, I began to wish for what by then was standard in the PC world but persistingly antithetical for Apple: a separate computer and monitor. Serious and luxurious.
Can't recall when that started. I know I very much wanted a Power Mac G4 Cube, the first of Steve Jobs' design-driven CPUs. It was very expensive—the hazy figure of $2,000 comes to mind—and of course I didn't already own a display. As the Cube came out in the Summer of 2000, that means I've been wanting a separate computer and monitor for at least 16 years.
And I've finally done it! Encouraged by certain friends who are now on the hotseat (no they're not—just kidding), and after weeks of research into the arcana of displays (I don't quite understand half of some of the reviews), I gulped hard, took the plunge, and ordered an NEC PA272w-BK-SV. That's the one with the included colorimeter. (The ColorMunki Photo with any monitor is also a very powerful contender.)
A nice thing happened, though. Just as I was getting set to order the NEC at $1,549—literally that minute—the screen refreshed and the price dropped by $300.
I have high hopes for the NEC's non-glare screen
It's the Rolls-Royce option, at least for me. But it's a business expense, and certainly my computers give me back more than my money's worth—my current one has been on and working all day almost every day since 2010 (I do mean almost every day—one year I worked 352 days. I even packed it into the car and took it on vacation with me one year—Lulu and the giant box of the 27" iMac shared the back seat). But it's always tough to part with such vasty bergs of cash.
So I have thirty days to figure out if a) it's an improvement when printing with the Epson P600 and b) if I can figure out how it works. Meanwhile, I still haven't decided what to do about a new computer; given the expense of the monitor, I'm back to looking at Mac Minis. Along the winding way of my long life with Macs, though, I've learned that trying to get away on the cheap can sometimes be false economy; I'll be wary of that.
More updates anon, if you care.
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Featured Comments from:
Antonis: "I have spent a year with this exact monitor (and spent $30 more than you!) and I can assure you it's a pleasure to look at all day long—and, yes, to work with as well. My calibration setup has to anticipate how my Photoshop files will print not just on my trusty old Epson 3800, but, crucially, in the pages of the New York Times and such for movie ads. I don't miss my old Eizo and saw no reason to spring for the latest from that brand. If you are looking to buy a Mac 'on the cheap' don't neglect to look at refurbs from Apple or OWC."