The other day I was considering the whole MacBook Air affair, while reading here and there more criticism about its apparent closure to the outside, wired world. Then a thought struck me: connecting the MacBook Air to an Apple Cinema Display could be a nice step up in regard to expansibility. Those displays have, in fact, 2 USB and 2 Firewire ports. But alas, having never owned one of such displays, I didn’t know that, for those ports to be operative, you need to connect the display to the Mac’s Firewire and USB ports.
Page 4 of the Apple Cinema Display User’s Guide shows how to connect your display to the Mac.
Of course, such connection scheme works well with all Mac models… except the MacBook Air. I suppose that a Cinema Display can still be used without connecting it to the Firewire and USB ports on the Mac – you just lose the funcionality of the Firewire and USB ports on the back of the display. With the MacBook Air it’s a pity that one cannot take full advantage of the added benefit of those ports on the Cinema Display. Perhaps one could connect just the USB cable and therefore ending up with 2 USB ports instead of one. But still, no Firewire.
Speaking of Cinema Displays, it’s been a while since the current lineup was introduced. As John Gruber said at the end of his Macworld Expo predictions, I too have been expecting Cinema Displays with better resolution, brighter screens (their contrast ratio and response time could be better, for instance), and built-in iSight for a while now. Perhaps this year? Perhaps a model specifically designed for the MacBook Air with added, usable ports and perhaps with a built-in optical drive à la iMac? Now, that would make a nice Dock.