The new Apple Thunderbolt Display is an amazing monitor that performs incredibly and looks great, too. If you have an Thunderbolt-enabled Mac, we say, what are you waiting for?
The new display trumps the previous 24-inch Cinema Display. Sure, that one was nice, but this one is much better. And here’s why.
The new Thunderbolt Display has the same basic design as the previous Cinema Display. It it 27 inches with an IPS screen, and a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. It has a brightness rating of 375 cd/m2, supprt for displaying 16.7 million colours, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, and 178 degree viewing angles.
Looks-wise, it’s a beaut. It has Apple’s notable smooth, aluminum gray finish, with an ambient light sensor, built-in microphone, built-in camera, two 2.1 built-in 49-watt speakers, and three USB 2.0 ports. The built-in camera has been updated from what was previously a standard iSight to a newer FaceTime HD camera.
The panel itself it 2 1/2 inches deep and about 25 1/2 inches wide. The bezel is flush with the screen, and about an inch wide on each side. The distance from the bottom to the desktop is about 3 1/2 inches. The foot stand sits at about 7 1/2 inches wide and a little over 8 inches deep.
The Thunderbolt Display is also home to a Gigabit Ethernet port, a Thunderbolt connection, and a FireWire port, all of which weren’t on the previous one.
This Thunderbolt connection is a new twist from Apple, and because there is no current support for Thunderbolt on PCs, the display won’t work for PC users (so… get a Mac?). It does work with Macs running Windows, however, through Boot Camp or Parallels.
In order for the Thunderbolt Display to work in Boot Camp or Parallels, though, the program/computer must be restarted and connected to the display for it to work properly. There is also currently no support for non-Thunderbolt enabled Macs.
When plugged in and ready to go, the display includes a 20 degree back tilt with no screen-height adjustment. It also cannot pivot or swivel. You can go into the OS X, though, to calibrate brightness, color temperature, gamma, and contrast. These options can be found once turning on the Expert mode from the Display Calibrator Assistant.
For those who own a MacBook Air, you can plug the display into an Ethernet connection which lets you take advantage of full wired Ethernet speeds instead of just Wi-Fi.
The Thunderbolt Display requires OS X 10.6.8 or later, and, of course, a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac. In addition to the 2011 MacBook Air, others include the MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and the iMac. The MacBook Pro is the only one that has yet to be updated with it.
There are some other perks, too. The 2011 27-inch iMac, for example, has two Thunderbolt ports. You can connect a Thunderbolt Display to one of the ports, and then connect another Thunderbolt Display to the first one. You can also connect an LED Cinema Display or a third Thunderbolt to the iMac’s second port. With that, four displays in total! Yep, there is definitely a lot you can do with this.
The Apple Thunderbolt is a great choice for those who can use it. It has great features with a glossy finish, built-in camera, and huge display – among others that we really love. We highly recommend this to MacBook Air users who want that iMac-like feel.