Thunderbolt display - almost in but...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mrdm, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. mrdm, Nov 18, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    I love my MBA 13". I was looking at getting a TB display for a bit more screen real estate but at $ is almost the cost of an entry level 21" iMac ($999 versus $1199). The iMac has quad core, AMD graphics, HD FaceTime camera and more. Now I'm thinking - maybe I should figure out how to have both computers and share my data between the two. I cart the MBA between work and home everyday so need the portability but with the price delta so small between the two I'm finding it hard to justify the TB display. Is there much of a difference between the 27" TB screen and the 21" iMac? I suppose a trip to the apple store is in order to check them out.

    Any thoughts or anyone in a similar situation?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Rip City
    21" to me seems small. Do you need the power of the iMac?
  3. macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Why not buy a third party screen? Plenty of better displays out there for half the price. If it must be a TB i would get the imac for the price.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    I have the TBD and it's nice. However I'm returning it because for 1k I'm better off waiting for the new iMac. Plus the TBD causes myMBA to run hotter and fan louder.
  5. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    How big of a display do you need? That is an important decision. Also you can look at more than just the thunderbolt display if you are cost conscious. There are plenty of quality displays on the market. For what it is, the thunderbolt display isn't bad if you don't do color correction or graphics work. It's a little high relative to similar designs from competition. The dell equivalent is irrelevant as it's come down in price and its design is quite a bit more geared toward the prosumer market like photographers and independent graphic artists.
  6. macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I was debating between the 21" and the 27"...ended up to get the 27", the 21" seemed too small :). The screen estate is huge for the 27"...well worth it! :)
  7. macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    Do you really need 27"? If you are only running things like Safari/word processors, then its a waste of money imo.

    The thing about the 27" screen is that you can work with multiple apps at the same time. It really isnt comfortable to work in fullscreen mode with one app.

    Look at other manufacturers screens, you can pick up a nice 24" for $200 or so.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    There's another reason to go for a 27in TBD that might not be so obvious.

    If the eyes are not so good, then a BIG screen at two meters is about the same focus point as 13in MBA screen at half a meter.
    So with bifocals, the top glasses can be used for the TBD and the bottom glasses for the MBA.
    That way it avoids the need for a third focal distance just for a computer screen.

    I have a 19in screen attached to the MBA - normal 1400x900 text is too small, but is fine on the MBA.
    When I have upgraded to a TBD, then this should be OK.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I absolutely love the TBD. I had a 15" MBP and 30" Dell display up until this past month when I bought a 13" MBA and the TBD. Much cleaner setup and the MBA has plenty of power. Its limitations are resolved with the TBD.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009

    Get a refurb 27" imac and you can use it as a display for your air. You can get a base 2010 model for 1269
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2010
    I am also buying an iMac to compliment my 13" air. Data transfer shouldn't be a problem, invest in an external had drive if you haven't got one already.
  12. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    I owned TB Display for one week and just returned it yesterday. Typically, it has serious reflection problem. The glossary screen does annoying me… :( and its speaker sounds not really good. The bass makes sound a little bit like someone's humming.

    I personally think that Apple has not resolved some performance issue between 2011 Macbook Air with TB Display. I had experienced some movies' frames drop, which converted by Handbreak. In addition, the Dock wouldn't hide itself at the first time you dock MBA to TB Display.

    The TB Display has ONLY ONE TB port for you. You would need 2nd TB device to chain in future. But if you had read the review from, there is some difference between iMac and TB Display while you want to chain other TB devices or use the target disk mode. Better check the article before you make purchase.

    In my case, I would like to go for TB display instead of iMac in future. The only reason is that the TB doesn't have any addition hole. It does keep the inner circuit away from dust.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    you buggers!

    There was I having convinced myself that an iMac isn't necessary with my MBA (thus saving me £1000) and you lot start me thinking about buying an iMac again.

    Please have some consideration for other people!

    Rant over (other than some low muttering).

    PS I agree that an iMac seems better value
  14. macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009

    the iMac also would likely be far easier to resell due to it being much more popular than the cinema display
  15. macrumors 6502


    May 19, 2009
    I'm creating this post on a 27" i7 iMac.

    Trust me when I tell you that the difference between a 21.5" iMac and the 27" TBD or 27" iMac is substantial.

    At $1K, the TBD isn't exactly a bargain, but it isn't overpriced either. If you have an newer MBP or MBA, the TBD effectively turns your laptop into a desktop ... but unlike the iMac, you can unplug and walk away with your notebook. The iMac is a little too hefty to carry under your arm.

    If you can live without the additional 5.5", then the iMac is obviously the better value. If you can't, the TBD is certainly a cheaper alternative than buying a 27" iMac for those times when you're tied to the desk.

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