Apple Thunderbolt Display 27in monitor
Review After Apple’s hoo-ha about the Thunderbolt port on its newest Macs and MacBook Pros, it’s great to finally have something to plug into it. But I began testing this monitor with tainted expectations: less ‘OK show me what you can do’ and more ‘oh lordy, yet another locked-in connectivity standard’.
It ended with tainted love.
The 27inh Apple Thunderbolt Display looks and feels just like the 27in (non-Thunderbolt) Apple Cinema Display. It’s like a sawn-off 27in iMac. And like both these other products, the sheer visual quality of the screen is absolutely outstanding.
No really, the visuals are as perfect as I’ve seen on any pro-class display anywhere - ever. They are sharp, contrasty, easy on the eye, accurate. Tilting and swivelling the display on its perfectly smooth-moving stand causes no deterioration of what you see.
Even more ports
In fact, the visuals remain usable from the most oblique angles: the only way you’d be unable to make out what’s on-screen would be to turn it round so you’re facing the back.
The back is revealing, though. In addition to the plug-in power cable, moulded in to the case at the rear is a pair of daisychain cables: one MagSafe power cable and a Thunderbolt pass-through cord. These enable you to power a MacBook Pro or Air with the MagSafe - effectively powering the computer from the display - while mirroring or expanding the laptop's video capability.
The array up close
Thunderbolt is designed to carry more than video, of course, and so the connection here also carries data to support the display's hub of ports: three USB 2.0, one Firewire 800 and an Ethernet socket. Also provided is another Thunderbolt port, so you can continue daisychaining additional Thunderbolt peripherals.
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@Marvin the Martian
It uses the same IPS panel, but with a proper backlight, so that it displays almost the whole AdobeRGB colourspace, as apposed to almost all of the sRGB colourspace.
Apart from DisplayPort, it also accepts inputs from HDMI (with HDCP), VGA, 2xDVI, component video, composite video. Oh you can also tilt the display with the Dell too, and adjust the height without needing a hacksaw to reduce it, or telephone directories to raise it :) Oh, and the Dell has a non-reflective screen, so you get to see what you want in all it's good-ness, instead of the hagged unshaven face that also looks at you in the bathroom mirror.
As for all the output ports? My MBP has them already, thanks so I don't really need them.
Oh, and sorry but it's not quite £750. More like £600 or less (and worth EVERY penny)
I don't understand Apple
This screen is clearly aimed at rich, cool people who live in quasi-industrial penthouse lofts in once-rough-but-now-quite-posh city quarters. Why, then, make it so shiny that it's only of real use in a nerd's windowless basement hermit cave?
Could it be because Tarqin Trustfundington and his artisinal yoghurt-eating chums on the top floor actually just use it as a mirror? The proof will be whether it tilts back 90 degrees so you can do a line off it.
Even the marketing pictures of these monitors have a dirty great big glare across them.
Shiny screens are terrible.
Maybe I'm missing something but...
What's wrong with a plastic monitor case? It's cheaper, a plain black monitor goes with just about anything, and it really shouldn't need to be moved all that often (especially one that's 27"). Do a lot of people have trouble with dropping their monitors? If so, I suspect the aluminum still wouldn't help much.
You've been to Tarquin's parties, then?
Frankly, darling, we generally just use an iPad. There's an app, you know.