Apple Thunderbolt Pro Display Concept - Display + Graphics + Multi-connectivity Hub

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by pgiguere1, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. pgiguere1, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    So I had a little fun in Photoshop this morning. I made a mockup of a "Thunderbolt Pro Display", an Apple product I wish existed, that is basically a 27" monitor that does everything missing from the MBA once it's connected with a single Thunderbolt cable. Discrete graphics, multi-display, Firewire, Ethernet, SuperDrive, SD card slot, good speakers, MagSafe charging, FaceTime HD, IR receiver, Audio in and out...

    The coolest thing is that nothing in this is technically impossible (at least I think so), so we may (or not) see this kind of product in the future.



    (Click to enlarge)

    Would you buy this? I know I would!
  2. idroid84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    Please make the image a link as it breaks the forum layout.

    It certainly is technically possible. Someones designing an external Thunderbolt graphics card as we speak. This could indeed be intergrated into displays with many more Thunderbolt connections.
  3. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    It would be pretty sweet if they did this and made different sizes of the screen. It would be cool to see 21.5" and 24" Cinema Displays. The smaller models would have less room, but maybe they could fit smaller cards? idk, it is a sweet concept!
  4. AppleTech22 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    I just think for at least 2 more years the price would be WAYYYY out of anyone's range. Good concept, but I think if you scrape off the superdrive and ethernet, it seems more realistic.
  5. smeade macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2011
    I've been clicking on [Buy Now] but nothing's happening. :)
  6. rkahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2010
    I have finally met someone who has more time on their hands than me!
  7. SaddleSC macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    One more thing...

    There are only two things I would change/add:

    1) Let's make the display non-glossy (matte) so that it can truly be considered a professional grade LCD.

    2) How about we add an external SSD built into the display for time machine backups and additional storage for projects, photos, video, etc.

    Great job on the mock up BTW...
  8. weespeed macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2010
    New Sony Vaio Z already does this with a media dock.. They use USB 3 ports for their thunderport port.
  9. pgiguere1 thread starter macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Is this a big deal? I'm genuinely asking since I'm on a 24" screen and it looks ok. Does it make horizontal scrolling on laptop screens?

    Thanks! I think a smaller screen model would be a good idea to have a more accessible model. Apple is aiming students with the new MBA so a model under 1000$ would certainly be a good thing for everybody.

    The Ethernet port is already on the regular Thunderbolt Display and I believe optical drives cost next to nothing, you can get them for under 20$ on Newegg so Apple must pay less than that. I'm not sure 1299$ is a realistic price (if it was released now) but if it's not it probably has more to do with the cost of the graphics card and the bigger power supply needed alongside.

    1) I'm sure professionals prefer matte screens but I'm not sure Apple cares about professionals anymore... Even very expensive Apple gear is bought more by non-professionals with cash on their hands than professionals now, and they prefer shiny stuff, so I think glossy is more realistic.

    2) I thought about adding storage when making this, since the MBA doesn't have much, but thought it would drive the price too high. Maybe as an option? Offer the choice between no storage, HDD or SDD for example. Then you basically get an iMac without the motherboard, processor and RAM.

    Thanks BTW!
  10. HunterMaximus macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Cool idea, this sort of stuff is why Thunderbolt is such a promising tech. However I wouldn't hold by breath for this sort of thing to actually come from Apple. It's too niche, and as the other replies in the thread indicate - at this point in the pro/enthusiast market, everyone has slightly different needs and requirements. I'd wager what we'll get from Apple is pretty much what we've got now - Thunderbolt Display providing a pretty solid level of connectivity that satisfies most of the market, and if you need beefier graphics you've got to go with a 15" or 17" MBP, iMac or Mac Pro. Maybe the next rev. of Airs will get the ability to daisy-chain multiple displays, but I think that's as far as it would go.

    However, all is not lost. Because of the daisy-chaining elements of Thunderbolt, it shouldn't be hard to piece together a comparable (or even more powerful) modular system that does the same thing: one cable gets you an external GPU + display(s) and extra connectivity.
    One company is already developing an external enclosure for Thunderbolt that will allow you to use the GPU of your choosing:

    Take that, daisy-chain on a GigE/USB 3/Whatever adapter once they come out, and whatever monitors you like, you've got a system that gives you a powerful and expandable docking solution. Perhaps lacking in the integrated beauty of an Apple-only solution, but what you give up in that, you make up for in power and flexibility (which is pretty much the standard Apple vs. 3rd party tradeoff for most things these days).
  11. clyde2801, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

    clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I keep seeing THIS scenario in my fevered little head:

    <Jonny Ive, with a worried look on his face, walks hurriedly down a series of increasingly whiter hallways and automated doors until he reaches the center-no, the heart-of Apple's new spaceship campus, the office of the CEO.

    Ives enters the office, a brilliant luminescent white room containing nothing but a shining white raised platform twenty feet off of the ground. The CEO sits with his back to Ive.>

    "Sir? We've received some disturbing reports of third parties making thunderbolt accessories allowing consumers to externally attach solid state drives your haven't approved to their machines. A thirteen year old in Omaha now has the fastest iMac on the planet. It's....faster than....yours."

    <The CEO, still with his back to Ive, suddenly sits upright.>

    "Worse yet, users can use actual desktop graphics cards with any thunderbolt machine. Our analysts predict this will greatly disrupt our forced upgrade path for consumers; many iMac, Air and thirteen-inch Macbook Pro users may keep their machines instead of annually trading up for the next marginally improved mediocre card we foist upon them."

    <The raised platform turns and the CEO looks down at Ive, frowning.>

    "Shall I call out the iThugs to remedy this situation?"

    <The CEO shakes his head.>

    "The iLawyers?"

    <The CEO nods, and Ive turns around to leave.>


    <Ive abruptly stops and turns around.>

    "Yes, sir?"

    "Didn't Otellini promise this could never happen when we allowed him to develop Thunderbolt?"

    "He did."

    "Idiot. Have him iRadicated."

    "With pleasure, sir."

    <Ive turns and leaves the office while the CEO's platform slowly turns around out of view.>

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