Anyone use a non Thunderbolt display?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
I'm thinking of getting the last gen 27 Apple Display. Anyone use any other displays with their MBA? If so please post pros and cons


macrumors regular
May 3, 2011
Surrey, UK
I use the dell U2711 and I like it. Easy to connect through mini display to display port. You can easily add other things to it (ps3 or Xbox). Same res as apples display. And it's matte and can adjust tilt height erc more easily.

But it doesn't look anywhere near as good as the apple display. You need two cables - one for mini disp and other for USB hub. No speakers or camera. Though I use headphones always so don't need this.

The main reason I went for the dell was because I can attach both my ps3 and MBA on it


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)

Im using my dell display and sometimes my hdmi tv for watchin films


macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2007
How much are you saving getting the 27" LED over the TB one?

The thunderbolt display add a lot of ports and expandability to your Air, a massive cash saving would be the only way to justify an LED over a TB!


macrumors 68040
May 6, 2008
If you have a MBA, the TBD is kind of a no brainer to me (for now). First off, it cost the same as the Cinema display and adds all the ports, so compared to the other Apple option, for the same price you get a lot more.

- Gigabit Ethernet (no way to day to do that other than TBD)
- FW800 (no way to do that today other than TBD)
- HD camera
- USB ports that work with Superdrive (SD doesn't work with other USB hubs)
- Same price as Cinema but provides more stuff important to MBA
- Gorgeous on your desk

- More expensive than some 3rd party displays, but factoring in the thunderbolt hub it is not
- In 2012, there should be some other 3rd party thunderbolt hubs
- Wish it had audio in and out... but not a huge deal because I added a cheap USB sound card that is connected to my USB hub
- Wish it was available in matte

My prior display was a Dell 30" that was a fine monitor, but no thunderbolt and Dell is just a horrible company so will never buy from them again. I was one of the unfortunate class action victims of their business practices that led to them being sued my many states. I got some of my loss reimbursed, but no where near as much as they took.


macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2011
I bought an HP 27" off Newegg. It was $299. For $700, I can do with less resolution and less integration. (But I'd love to have that TB display).


macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2008
Savannah, GA
I'm thinking of getting the last gen 27 Apple Display. Anyone use any other displays with their MBA? If so please post pros and cons
I have the Apple LED Cinema. Personally owned and I think its fantastic. Its not even 5 months old yet. I didn't know about the Thunderbolt until last night. Thats when I decided to do some research and compare. My findings tell me that theres no difference in the display other than the added features--ethernet, etc. In my personal use, I hardly rely on those features and depend mostly on the screens' visual quality. With that said, I'm fine with the one I have.

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk


macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2010
West of England
Mine gets plugged into a BenQ 24" and HP 30" monitor on a semi-regular basis. I use an adapter (Mini DP to DVI) and it works well on either monitor.

I'd love the Thunderbolt Display but I already have two big monitors plus the lack of connectivity options for other systems (it would be just a 27" MBA dock and nothing else) makes the TD a difficult choice to justify...

That's not to say I won't get one eventually, though! :D


macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2011


macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2011
Dell 3008WEP no issues so far

- I like how it looks
- 2560x1600 resolution
- Matt 30 inch screen
- Lots of connection options
- It's not an apple product and does not fit as well in the whole apple theme(macbook air, iPhone, iPad) when compared to an apple cinema display.

All the best, hope you find the perfect screen to go with your macbook air. :D
Last edited:


macrumors 68040
May 6, 2008
Thank you!

No way the integrated TB hub is worth $700. I mean please!!!!

No way the HP display matches the Apple... I mean please!!!!

The poster for the HP display mentioned that its lower resolution, so its apples to oranges... no pun intended.

Epic Xbox Revie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
Washington, D.C.
I found the TB display to be reasonable and competitively priced compared to 27" monitors with 2560 x 1440 resolution. Advantage of the TB versus something like the Dell is that it only takes two wires, that are already attached to the display for it to work, tied into Apple's ecosystem ( firmware updates happen quickly & everything just works), and the number of ports is fairly comparable to a Dell display.

Get the Thunderbolt Display, you'll enjoy it. ;)


macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2009
I'm using my macbook air with the 27" mini display port ACD. It works just fine. That being said, unless you are getting a deal on a used one I don't see any reason not to get the Thunderbolt Display. Same price and more features.


macrumors member
Jul 14, 2011
the only reason why i didnt buy ATD is due to that i still have a windows PC that im using as well :D


macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2009
The day Apple pull their finger out and make the TBD available in an anti-glare/silver bezel version is the day they get their grubby hands on my hard-earned cash. Not a day before.

They finally bent to pressure to provide the anti-glare option on the hi-res top spec MBPs (albeit at a in-principle annoying surcharge), so it's not as if "matte is dead" as many proclaim.


macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
No way the integrated TB hub is worth $700. I mean please!!!!
No way the HP display matches the Apple... I mean please!!!!
Price out 2560 x 1440 27" IPS displays such as the Dell U2711, or NEC PA271W. Pricing not far off of the Apple Thunderbolt display.

If you don't need IPS or 2650x1440 resolution, then there are much cheaper ways to go.

I'd consider a Thunderbolt display, but I also need to connect to my work laptop which doesn't support thunderbolt.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.