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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:11 AM   #1
Squilly
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Why Get The Thunderbolt Display?

I never understood this. Why get the Thunderbolt display when the iMac costs just $200 more (base) and does more than provide a display? It would make a laptop a desktop for those that want to connect it to their laptops. So, why do you Thunderbolt owners/fanboys like it so much?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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I never understood this. Why get the Thunderbolt display when the iMac costs just $200 more (base) and does more than provide a display? It would make a laptop a desktop for those that want to connect it to their laptops. So, why do you Thunderbolt owners/fanboys like it so much?
I think you are mistaken:



ATD is a 27". Try $799 more and not $200. Thanks.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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I never understood this. Why get the Thunderbolt display when the iMac costs just $200 more (base) and does more than provide a display? It would make a laptop a desktop for those that want to connect it to their laptops. So, why do you Thunderbolt owners/fanboys like it so much?
As 53X12 stated, comparing a 21.5" iMac to a 27" thunderbolt display is silly. Further, you can get a refurb TBD display for $830 which makes it less than half the cost of a base 27" iMac (currently no refurb iMacs). Further, even for desktops it will add additional USB/Firewire/Ethernet ports so that is also a benefit.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Squilly View Post
I never understood this. Why get the Thunderbolt display when the iMac costs just $200 more (base) and does more than provide a display? It would make a laptop a desktop for those that want to connect it to their laptops. So, why do you Thunderbolt owners/fanboys like it so much?
The 27" Thunderbolt Display costs $999. The 27" iMac starts at $1,799. That's an $800 premium for the computer inside.

If you have a MacBook Pro and would like to "dock" it to a big, beautiful desktop display at home, then you get the Thunderbolt Display. It is more expensive to have a MBP+TBD vs an iMac, but you get the added benefit of being able to unplug your Mac and take it on the go, in bed, or on your couch. That's why people get it.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:27 AM   #5
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My bad... was comparing it to the 21.5" at first. $800 difference*
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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My bad... was comparing it to the 21.5" at first. $800 difference*
Or $970 if you go with a refurb Thunderbolt Display directly from Apple (and there are no refurb iMacs). So for a $1000 savings, I'd say it is worth going TBD over iMac especially since you can upgrade the Mac Mini/Macbook and keep the monitor unlike the iMac.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 08:06 AM   #7
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I have a TBD and love it. It lets me take my computer wherever I go, but still have a desktop experience at home.

I can't carry an iMac around, can I?
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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Also, a display is more versatile. What happens to the un-upgradeable iMac in a few years when it is obsolete and increasingly bloated software won't run on it? It's a waste of a beautiful display!
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 08:22 AM   #9
utekineir
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also has a mag safe plug integrated


kinda nice to free up the charger that came with the laptop for other things.


i'm still holding off till a refreshed tbd with usb 3, and refurb

getting an old 27" imac and running as target display is tempting though.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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Also, a display is more versatile. What happens to the un-upgradeable iMac in a few years when it is obsolete and increasingly bloated software won't run on it? It's a waste of a beautiful display!
Well technically you could still use it in Target display mode..... But then you are running a full fledged computer (feeding the CPU/GPU/etc power) just to use it as a display. Waste of energy! The whole Target Display mode was the reason I bought my 2009 iMac, then I realized after about a year or so that the idea of using an iMac solely as a monitor was just silly. It's one thing to use it occassionally as a screen for a Macbook Pro or something, but to ONLY use it for that one purpose is kind of a waste!
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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Also, a display is more versatile. What happens to the un-upgradeable iMac in a few years when it is obsolete and increasingly bloated software won't run on it? It's a waste of a beautiful display!
What happens when new resolutions surpass the resolution of the current display? Like 4k resolutions... hmm?
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:12 AM   #12
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TBD vs. generic display (Dell)

I'm tempted to buy a TBD, but then a Dell display of the same size costs less than half the TBD price. There must be something nice about TBD that I don't know (no sarcasm intended). Could you share your experience?
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:26 AM   #13
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I'm tempted to buy a TBD, but then a Dell display of the same size costs less than half the TBD price. There must be something nice about TBD that I don't know (no sarcasm intended). Could you share your experience?
Have you ever used a docking station for a laptop? If you haven't, then you probably wouldn't understand. Apple's TBD is basically their form of a docking station. You plug in all of your peripherals into the screen (ethernet, speakers, keyboard, mouse, printer, external hard drives, etc. etc. etc.) and all you have to do is hook up power and the thunderbolt cable to your laptop. Gives you a the desktop feel when at your desk, but a laptop when you are away with almost no mess. Otherwise if you just use a regular monitor you have: 1. Monitor cord, 2. Powercord, 3. USB (assuming you have a hub with all of your USB devices plugged into), 4. Ethernet, 5. Speaker Cable 6. Firewire. Further, if you want to use multiple monitors, you might end up with a 7th cable you have to plug in (if you have a new 15" Retina Macbook Pro, otherwise you can't use multiple monitors).....

The TBD while more expensive, is near perfect for those using 2011 Macbook Pros or newer.

Edit: If you live in the States, you can get a refurb TBD display for only 829 so that helps.... http://store.apple.com/us_epp_141196...isplay-27-inch
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:58 AM   #14
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Ok, I get it. Thanks. I use a docking station all the time, so I appreciate it. It's still quite expensive ($500+) for the docking station functionality.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:42 AM   #15
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Ok, I get it. Thanks. I use a docking station all the time, so I appreciate it. It's still quite expensive ($500+) for the docking station functionality.
The Dell monitor you are referring to probably doesn't have the same quality IPS panel as the TBD. Even if it does, you are forced to stare at a clunky, creeky, hunk of cheap black plastic with that tired Dell logo on it next to your beautifully designed aluminum MacBook. Yuck...

I'd rather invest a little more money in the perfect companion for my MacBook Pro that I will actually be proud of for years to come. The updated TBD cannot come soon enough...my money is waiting patiently
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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Ok, I get it. Thanks. I use a docking station all the time, so I appreciate it. It's still quite expensive ($500+) for the docking station functionality.
A dell 27" monitor that does 2560 x 1440 that costs less than $500? Please point us to this monitor. I can only find them for $700 on their website and if I compare that to the Apple Refurb TBD makes the difference only $130 for the "docking station"....

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I'd rather invest a little more money in the perfect companion for my MacBook Pro that I will actually be proud of for years to come. The updated TBD cannot come soon enough...my money is waiting patiently
I'm waiting for the USB 3.0 update and then will seriously have to consider it....
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 01:07 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=I'm waiting for the USB 3.0 update and then will seriously have to consider it....[/QUOTE]

USB 3.0 is nice, but I have a 1TB LaCie Thunderbolt external drive, so more looking forward to having a permanent Thunderbolt port to plug that into.

Also, I'm holding out more for the laminated screen to glass. I had a 27" iMac before getting my 13" rMBP, so I know how that small gap between the screen and glass can create problems (unnecessary glare, dust, etc). I saw the new 27" iMac at the Apple Store recently and really like how the new adhered screen looks in comparison.

Now, if they can just make them faster so Apple can ramp up Thunderbolt Display production, I'll be happy.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 01:54 PM   #18
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What happens when new resolutions surpass the resolution of the current display? Like 4k resolutions... hmm?
I think that 4K is (1) years in the future before they become common and (2) not hugely useful except for the "retina-esque" usage in presenting clearer pixels. Though technology can produce smaller and smaller pixels, human eyes are not evolving to be able to resolve them any better. At standard viewing distances, the current ATD already appears *nearly* retina (by this, since it's an undefined non-standard, I mean in comparison to an rMBP 15" at effective ppi as it has roughly half the ppi of that screen but you use it twice as far away). We are rapidly nearing the point where we cannot differentiate pixels anymore, so screens can get better than that, but it won't do a damn thing for anyone.

I'm not saying screens don't go obsolete, you're certainly right that it will eventually, and likely for a number of reasons including new display tech and resolution. But screens have longer usable shelf-life than the computers that drive them, often several-fold in fact. I know I still use several "ancient" LCDs, including a classic aluminum Cinema Display and a Dell 15" that just won't die, and while they may not be as nice as new ones, they are nowhere near unusable. To me, I guess, it just seems like Apple is limiting the life of the display in the iMac to that of the iMac itself, and I feel that's a shame.

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Well technically you could still use it in Target display mode..... But then you are running a full fledged computer (feeding the CPU/GPU/etc power) just to use it as a display. Waste of energy! The whole Target Display mode was the reason I bought my 2009 iMac, then I realized after about a year or so that the idea of using an iMac solely as a monitor was just silly. It's one thing to use it occassionally as a screen for a Macbook Pro or something, but to ONLY use it for that one purpose is kind of a waste!
This is a very good point as well, but especially in the future, where who knows what kind of tech there is, I wouldn't want to burn all those watts just to use it as a screen. I hear now at least you can run it in full-res instead of 1080p.

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Ok, I get it. Thanks. I use a docking station all the time, so I appreciate it. It's still quite expensive ($500+) for the docking station functionality.
Buy refurb. It's the dirty little not-so-secret about Apple. Same product, same quality, same warranty, different price.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 02:19 PM   #19
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Buy refurb. It's the dirty little not-so-secret about Apple. Same product, same quality, same warranty, different price.
Perhaps for some, but if I'm going to be dropping over $800 on a computer monitor, I'd rather pay full price to know someone else's grubby little hands haven't been all over it before me.

If you're going to buy what amounts to a used (even if it's slightly used) display, you might as well just buy one off of Craigslist or eBay for like $600 and save even more. (plus avoid sales tax)

Want the fancy box and pleasure of peeling the protective plastic off of every corner of the product? You pay full price, and I'm fine with that because it's worth it to me.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 03:12 PM   #20
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Have had nothing but fantastic experience with apple refurbs, other than the plain box.

It isn't like buying a tool or something with a big refurb stamp permanently etched into the device.


A box isn't worth nearly a 20% premium imo.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 03:20 PM   #21
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Perhaps for some, but if I'm going to be dropping over $800 on a computer monitor, I'd rather pay full price to know someone else's grubby little hands haven't been all over it before me.

If you're going to buy what amounts to a used (even if it's slightly used) display, you might as well just buy one off of Craigslist or eBay for like $600 and save even more. (plus avoid sales tax)

Want the fancy box and pleasure of peeling the protective plastic off of every corner of the product? You pay full price, and I'm fine with that because it's worth it to me.
Agreed. Unless the discount is deep enough
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 04:04 PM   #22
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Perhaps for some, but if I'm going to be dropping over $800 on a computer monitor, I'd rather pay full price to know someone else's grubby little hands haven't been all over it before me.

If you're going to buy what amounts to a used (even if it's slightly used) display, you might as well just buy one off of Craigslist or eBay for like $600 and save even more. (plus avoid sales tax)

Want the fancy box and pleasure of peeling the protective plastic off of every corner of the product? You pay full price, and I'm fine with that because it's worth it to me.
To each his own, but buying off Craigslist or Ebay is a vastly different thing than buying a refurb directly from Apple. The Apple refurbs are clean, guaranteed to be working properly, they look like new, and they carry the same warranty as a new product.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 04:15 PM   #23
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To each his own, but buying off Craigslist or Ebay is a vastly different thing than buying a refurb directly from Apple. The Apple refurbs are clean, guaranteed to be working properly, they look like new, and they carry the same warranty as a new product.
Not necessarily. My brother never buys refurbs. Every single one he had was in some way defective.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 04:18 PM   #24
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To each his own, but buying off Craigslist or Ebay is a vastly different thing than buying a refurb directly from Apple. The Apple refurbs are clean, guaranteed to be working properly, they look like new, and they carry the same warranty as a new product.
True, and you save about $150 in exchange for it not being 100% new.

But, with a used display on CL or Ebay, you could save more than double that (including saving sales tax) in exchange for the risk of buying it as-is.

Some may say this risk isn't worth the savings to them just like I'm saying the $150 off a refurb isn't worth the trouble in my head knowing it's been used by someone else and was returned for a reason I don't know about.

To me, when you're making a purchase of this magnitude (close to $1,000), another $150 doesn't seem like much for the thrill of owning a factory fresh brand new product.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 04:30 PM   #25
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Perhaps for some, but if I'm going to be dropping over $800 on a computer monitor, I'd rather pay full price to know someone else's grubby little hands haven't been all over it before me.

If you're going to buy what amounts to a used (even if it's slightly used) display, you might as well just buy one off of Craigslist or eBay for like $600 and save even more. (plus avoid sales tax)

Want the fancy box and pleasure of peeling the protective plastic off of every corner of the product? You pay full price, and I'm fine with that because it's worth it to me.
To each his own, and I certainly understand the appeal of the unboxing. For me though, I'd actually rather have a refurbished believe it or not because I know an Apple tech has personally gone over it and built it by hand (and fully replaced every defective/damaged component) as opposed to some clueless factory worker.

I suppose this is more true for a computer than a monitor, but I also have no problem taking things apart. I've completely disassembled many of my computers and usually repair parts on my own rather than paying Apple (they can't tell the difference) as I am probably more competent than most of their geniuses/techs.

But that said, while the novelty of unboxing has worn off for me and I'll take the money saved any day, part of the allure of Apple's products is the packaging itself.

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Not necessarily. My brother never buys refurbs. Every single one he had was in some way defective.
That's some pretty crummy luck, unfortunately. What's the sample size? Over the last ten years, I've probably purchased for myself, others, or work well over a hundred Apple refurbs (granted about half of them were iPads/iPhones). Not one defective one, they all look and work as good as new.

Plus Apple refurbs have a full warranty, and statistically are not more likely to be defective than a new unit.

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Agreed. Unless the discount is deep enough
Everyone is free to spend their money as they please, and if you prefer new, by all means go for it. But on just my own personal expenses from Apple (not for work/friends), I've probably saved enough by going refurb to buy a rMBP (new!) over the last three years.
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