By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
If you find Apple’s stunning displays envious, did you know that you can enjoy the same displays without paying the “Apple tax?” That’s because third-party manufacturers are able to offer the same panels in their displays, but at a third of the price. And not only that, they could have a better warranty as well. Here’s how.
The way it works is that Apple gets first choice on the LG display panels they order. But they don’t order all of them, only those they need. Then, LG is free to offer them to third party monitor manufacturers and usually at a lower price. One such seller is Monoprice, which this march will offer a 27-inch IPS LED CrystalPro Monitor, made from the same LG panel, with a 2560×1440 resolution for $390. The panel comes with a one year warranty and Monoprice will provide a complete replacement should up to five dead pixels be found upon receipt.
… we are so confident of the quality of these displays that we are guaranteeing these monitor will have less than 5 dead pixels. If you can count 5 dead pixels anywhere on the screen, we’ll give you a new one. By comparison, the industry standard, even for industry leaders like Apple and LG, is 10 dead pixels or even more. – Monoprice
Another manufacturer that employs the LG panel is the Crossover 27q monitor, although that monitor is sold on eBay and comes from overseas in Korea. So the chances of getting the same support or warranty would be unlikely.
How can these panels be offered so cheaply when Apple or even Dell charges up to four times more? The answer is that Apple gets the monitors rated at A+ only, leaving the rest for the third party manufacturers. Additionally, the monitors don’t usually have HDMI connections, a built in webcam, or anything else but the bare bones monitor connectors like VGA and DV-I. And you can get you won’t have a Thunderbolt connector, but for many, that’s just fine because those monitors are over $1,000.
The catch to get such a great deal is to know what you’re getting into. If price is your sole criteria, then you can find these monitors on eBay. Course, buying on eBay can be a roll of the dice, so make sure you take a look seller ratings and comments so you know you’re working with a reputable dealer. Also be familiar with both eBay’s and Paypal’s safe harbor provisions, as well as the escrow options available to you for not releasing the funds until the item has been received and verified as working.
Frankly, I think I would wait until MonoPrice starts selling them and buy directly. Having a direct support behind it is well worth the money, especially if the item arrives DOA or has issues in that first year of use. And I like the idea of being able to have the same panel performance, without paying extra for the Apple nameplate. Then again, who wouldn’t?
Hat tip: NoFilmSchool