Apple Multiple Scan 20: A Vintage Display Ahead of Its Time


In the ever-evolving world of technology, it’s easy to overlook the groundbreaking products that paved the way for the devices we use today. One such gem from the past is the Apple Multiple Scan 20, a monitor that may have had a mundane name but possessed impressive capabilities for its time. Manufactured by Sony in 1994, this monitor offered a range of features and specifications that made it stand out among its competitors.


One of the standout features of the Apple Multiple Scan 20 was its 20″ (19″ viewable) dark tinted Trinitron tube, which was reminiscent of the high-quality tubes used in professional video monitors. This tube technology, known for its excellent color reproduction and sharp image quality, gave the Multiple Scan 20 a significant advantage over other monitors in its size range. Whether you were working with 480p or HD resolutions, the picture quality was noticeably superior, comparable to that of a multiformat BVM.

The monitor boasted a maximum scan rate of 83 kHz, which allowed it to display a resolution of 1024×768 at an impressive 100 Hz refresh rate. This was a remarkable feat for a monitor of its time and provided users with smooth and flicker-free visuals. The Apple Multiple Scan 20 also supported a range of resolutions, including VGA, SVGA, XGA, and SXGA, catering to the diverse needs of users.

The convenience of the Apple Multiple Scan 20 extended beyond its display capabilities. The front-mounted buttons provided easy access to advanced features such as digital convergence controls. This allowed users to fine-tune the display and achieve optimal image alignment effortlessly. The monitor’s design incorporated HV Sync and Sync on Green sync options, ensuring compatibility with various systems and making it a versatile choice for different setups.

The Apple Multiple Scan 20 was built to last, with a robust chassis and high-quality components. Its Sony Trinitron tube, model M49KZK16X, offered superior color accuracy and crispness. The tube’s .26mm pitch and shadow mask technology contributed to sharp image reproduction and minimized distortions. While lacking removable glare film, the dark tint of the screen helped reduce reflections and improve viewing comfort.

Weighing in at 66 pounds (30 kilograms), the Multiple Scan 20 was a sturdy piece of equipment. It lacked built-in speakers, which might seem surprising in today’s context, but back then, dedicated speakers were often used for audio output. The absence of speakers contributed to a more streamlined design, focused solely on delivering exceptional visual performance.

Manufactured in the United States, the Apple Multiple Scan 20 served as a reliable computer monitor. Its compatibility with a wide range of resolutions and sync options made it a versatile choice for both professional and personal use. Whether you were designing graphics, working on spreadsheets, or simply enjoying multimedia content, this monitor had the capacity to meet your needs.

Additionally, the Apple Multiple Scan 20 featured automatic degaussing upon power-on. This functionality ensured that the display remained free from magnetic interference, guaranteeing optimal performance and longevity.

While newer monitors have since surpassed the Apple Multiple Scan 20 in terms of resolution, refresh rate, and overall visual quality, it’s essential to appreciate the innovation and capabilities it brought to the market during its time. This vintage display from Apple, with its Trinitron tube, advanced features, and robust construction, deserves recognition as a trailblazer in the evolution of computer monitors. The Multiple Scan 20 remains a testament to Apple’s commitment to delivering high-quality products and pushing the boundaries of technology.

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