back to article Apple unveils 'World's First Thunderbolt Display'

What with all the hoo-hah on Wednesday over the release of Mac OS X Lion and updates to the Mac mini and MacBook Air, one nice new piece of Cupertinian kit slipped in under the radar: what Apple calls the "World's First Thunderbolt Display". Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Display That's Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Air sitting in …

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Megaphone

Yep

And patented it, so nyah nyah.

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missing the point

No, the Dell does not have better colour gamut. The Dell and Apple appear to actually be using the same panel. You cannot buy a better monitor at close to the price. You can get similar monitors for a similar price (and very few at that) or a better one for a lot more.

All in all it's pretty cool that you can now get a monitor that doesn't replicate your ports but gives you all new ones on their own high speed bus with a simple tiny serial cable connection, that is then mirrored on the monitor!!! While everyone is arguing about whether it's overpriced or is a good monitor they missed the whole point. It does something no other monitor has ever done in the past.

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Colour Gamut

"The Dell and Apple appear to actually be using the same panel."

This is correct.

"No, the Dell does not have better colour gamut."

The Dell uses a higher gamut CCFL backlight. Anandtech tested the Dell at 96% of the Adobe RGB colour space and the 27" Cinema Display at 83%. I don't know whether they've bumped it up in the Thunderbolt Display, but they've made no noise about doing so so I doubt they have.

"You cannot buy a better monitor at close to the price."

No, but you can buy a better monitor for much less. As a docking station the Dell doesn't compare because it isn't one, but as a monitor it's much more versatile.

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Meh

you folks missed the point

It is a slick docking station in addition to being a beautiful monitor. We have 8 MacBook air/CinemaDisplay setups in our department right now. The biggest complaint we get is that there are too many cords to plug in every morning when users bring in their MacBooks Air. They have to connect magsafe, ethernet, USB, and Firewire 800 (for external hard drives).

This fixes that problem! Now they have to plug in 2 cables. They can handle that.

Show me another display that has Firewire, USB, gig ethernet, Thunderbolt, speakers and a camera for $999 (or any price) and I will be unimpressed by this display too.

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Paris Hilton

Meh

Doesn't have a touchscreen, doesn't have any wifis or megahurtz, and I can't even run Instagram on it. What kinda iDevice is this?

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Mushroom

Diddums

"They have to connect magsafe, ethernet, USB, and Firewire 800 (for external hard drives)."

Poor them. That must take at least the morning, and then there's the difficult question of where to go for lunch. It's amazing they get through the week at all.

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Stop

@Diddums - Oh shut up!

When you support kit that users, cack-handed, ham-fisted users, who know it's not their kit and don't give a toss about it, plug in and pull out several times a day, you'd better make damn sure those plugs are Tonka standard durability 'cos they are going to get broken very, very quickly! If they only have two cables, they will still get broken but it's less grief for the techs having to support them!

Got all that?! Now piss off back under your bridge until you find out what it's like in the real world with real users who manage the most surreal things with their tech kit!

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@AC 08:39

Right, so the problem here *isn't* that your users are costing your department money by insisting on high-cost equipment that they then treat like crap. Nor is it that you've clearly not investigated the possibilities offered by other providers. Nor is it that you can't differentiate between legitimate complaints (can't run software package x, can't access network y) and non-legitimate complaints (Wah, there are *so many* cables, by which I mean 4).

A non-Apple product along these lines wouldn't be offered on a "if you're lucky you get CAR support and about a week's turnaround time", nor would it involve cables that cannot be removed from the back of the monitor in the event that the connectors get damaged. But hey, don't let that stop you from projecting the blame for your office woes onto others...

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The Day....

Apple started on the road to making TV's... #feeltheicloud

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Nice

I see it as part display, part docking station. Very nice. However, it'd be even nicer if it had an optical drive and SD card port. The Mac Air is missing an optical drive, and it's not a giant logical leap to assume that future MacBooks will miss it too.

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Other inputs

It'd also be nice if it could take HDMI input - my biggest annoyance about my iMac is that I also have to have a TV for my xbox. The iMac can handle freeview TV, streaming TV, everything else, except video input :(

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Missing the point

This isn't a monitor. This is a docking station with a screen. The whole point of getting a device like this is because you want to drop your macbook on your desk , plug in two cables and be done. Right now you have to plug in your usb devices, your power, your ethernet (unless you're using wifi) external speakers, etc etc.

This is the kind of capability that has been hinted at since the original DisplayPort spec was unveiled. I'm glad to see it finally come about.

The only thing that dissappoints me is the 2 display limit. I was hoping to see someone plug one of these into a macbook and see what happens. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuIXoK0DeBk

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Bronze badge
Windows

Docking station?

sounds like a docking station - been using one on non-apple equipment for years (possibly close to a decade infact)

They are very handy , simply get to the office, put laptop on docking station and away you go!

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Ru
Happy

Not quite.

How many docking stations use a standard interface to connect to the laptop? Will a laptop by one manufacturer support docking stations made by another? Can you still pick up docking stations for older models of laptop? Can you upgrade your old docking stations to new ones that will support interconnect standards invented since the original was released?

I'd not considered thunderbolt/light-peak's use as a docking station connector for any capable device, but it seems like a pretty useful one to me.

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WTF?

power problem

correct me if i am wrong but if you are running low on battery you can't use it... if the monitor goes into your magsafe port how can you charge the laptop?

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power problem

The laptop is powered by the monitor, not the other way around. Power goes from the underbolt port on the monitor to your thunderbolt/mini display port on the laptop and the magsafe port to provide the power.

Have to say i really like it, and I am no Apple lover. It's smart, easy and actually useful.

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FAIL

Great idea, but!

So you have a lovely thin(ish) cable going from the screen to the magsafe connector for charging, and the thunderbolt port on the mac.

Eeeexcept, Apple have put those ports on OPPOSITE sides of the laptops.

So you have a lovely thin(ish) cable going from the screen to 3/4 of the way to your laptop, where it splits in two and snakes around the place looking like a leftover pipe cleaner from your BA degree art project (Aren't they the ones who buy Apple gear?) and make your desk look cluttered.

Why didn't they make the magsafe connector and the thunderbolt port right next to each other, and offer a cable with either a single plug that fits both ports, or a cable with only a 2 inch pigtail to fit into both ports!

Apple are great at some things, but it's just that final step that they fail on.

Great docking station, great screen, stupid integration into your other (Apple) peripherals (The Laptop).

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Gold badge

New MBP

On the new MBP, I'm sure that the power connection and thunderbolt port are almost next to each other (only separated by the ethernet & Firewire). I can't guarantee it, because the MBP is at home.

So not so bad there at all (except that the screen has a stupid reflective front, is not that great for photo work, and can't be adjusted for the correct height)

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Joke

But Can it Play Crisis?

After all, the world revolves around that game, apparently.

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Doesnt LED Contrast ratio start in the millions?

"The 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has an LED-backlit, 2560-by-1440 pixel, 16:9, in-plane swtiching (IPS) screen, which Apple says has a brightness of 375 cd/m2 and a 1000:1 contrast ratio." - not sure if that is a type and meant to be LCD or the CR is meant to be 1.000.000:1.

also i couldn't see a response time on that artical? or is that just as shocking for a £1000 monitor?

a quick look on overclockers.co.uk and i can see the same size monitors with better specs at half the price (yes no thunderbolt port but i only know of macs having them atm so i dont see the benifit)

on the upside. it does look nice, why not make it more competitive with other monitors so if window's users were to buy them they would have an apple logo in their face?

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Err, so how is this different from the previous version ?

It has a better camera. And is incompatible with DisplayPort sockets.

Is that it ?

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Big Brother

23456

Price in US = $999

Price in £sterling = £618

add VAT @20% = £866

UK Price £899.

£33 Mark-up

Not bad, Apple. For once.

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That'll account...

for export cost and duties then. Not quite as black and white as many of you suggest.

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Not so good...

£618 plus 20% VAT is £741

A mark up of £157 I think you'll find

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Big Brother

He's right, you know.

Yes. I worked it out on the calculator on my iPad (apple). I shouldn't have pressed the plus sign.

£157 is correct.

Apple are thieving Bastards!

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Silver badge

Bad article

As I had to read the comments to understand this wasn't just an expensive monitor. As is, sounds quite interesting.

More details next time (like, WTF is this Thunderbolt thing?). And queue all the pedantards saying I could have looked it up. Had Thunderbolt been a popular I/F then perhaps yes, but since this is the first product to use it, perhaps some more detail would have been appropriate.

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There is only one 27" IPS panel available (made by LG)

So everyone (Dell, NEC, Apple, Lacie) selling a 27" display with IPS tech is using the same panel. Its how you use it that makes the difference. I think Apple have made the perfect companion for the Macbook Pro, Air and Mac Mini (and even iMac) and Mac Pro once it gets Thunderbolt output. But it means an end to sales to owners of windows laptops, I dont know of any that feature a mini displayport.

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JC_
Facepalm

Looks Sideways...

...sees colleague's XPS15 with mini-displayport.

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Mushroom

It's just Apple ADC all over again

Pretty nice monitor.

Very nice Docking Station.

Unfortunately, the Apple price looks even more ludicrous when you realise that, just like every other Apple 'innovation', they, will drop support for it within a few years.

When you buy a peice of expensive kit such as this, one of the biggest factors to take into consideration is its product lifespan, and I'm afraid you can expect a maximum 5 years of slowly whittling support for this standard before you won't be able to plug it into anything without first purchasing a massively overpriced adaptor from Apple, in turn completely defeating the point of the single wire system.

"But it's based on Displayport!"

Really? Oh, you mean the outside runner of the video standards? The one intended to improve on HDMI, but couldn't get off the starting blocks fast enough, so HDMI had already equaled resolution capabilities?

Seriously. How many non-Dell monitors do you see with DisplayPort? Don't get me wrong, it's a nice standard with the daisy-chaining and latching connector, but then again, Betamax was a nice standard too. Phillips System 2000 was even better.

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FAIL

non-dell monitors with displayport?

This fine pair of 24" HP IPS panels I'm sitting in front of have Displayport connectors. (They also have DVI, HDMI, VGA, Composite, and S-Video)

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Thunderbolt is pretty good

At least the way it is used here. Normally I'm hating teh mac... But in this case it's pretty well designed. You have a monitor, which becomes a docking station so when you bring home your Mac you can just stick the cable in and everything is connected, USB devices, LAN etc, and with plenty of bandwidth.

It doesn't seem too expensive either. Sadly it offers nothing for PC users, unless you can get laptops with a thunderbolt port.

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Isn't 1000:1 contrast pretty low?

As my title says. Isn't 1000:1 contrast a little low for a fancy gadget?

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Silver badge

It's just honest

They've quoted static contrast ratio, i.e. the one that actually means something.

The previous incarnation of this monitor had a contrast range of 850:1 to 2,400:1 depending on brightness, although those were at extreme ends of the range that you'd never use (maximum and minimum brightness respectively). In practice it's probably closer to ~1,200:1 (see the two last figures on this page http://www.anandtech.com/show/3946/apple-27inch-led-cinema-display-review/5)

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Daisy-chaining displays

I heard that with TB you could plug a display into a display into a display to create a huge desktop.

Does anyone know how many it'll do?

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