Buyer's remorse: Bought Thunderbolt Display after buying RMBP

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
Wirelessly posted

It looks hideous. Colors seem muted, text and images are blurry and it has lots of glare. I'm just not impressed. Should I sell it?

The only reason I've kept it is because I think the physically larger display will somehow increase my productivity and I like listening to music from it after I get headphone fatigue (it sounds really good in spite of what people say about monitor speakers).

Should I keep it? What would you do?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,494
31,526
Boston
Unhappy - return it. I'd first try calibrating it, to see if that helps but in the end, not happy, return it.
 

appletechpro

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2012
111
0
After calibrating my rMBP to better match my TB display, I have had no issues.

I run my rMBP in 1680x1050 mode, and the sharpness doesn't bother me when I switch to the TB display. The TB display is still very impressive in my eyes.
 

sordan

macrumors member
Apr 26, 2011
34
0
I purchased the rMBP as well as the Thunderbolt Display in one purchase recently. I actually had a much difference experience. I felt that the Thunderbolt display, although not as sharp/detailed as the Retina, is still very, very good. I'm extremely happy with my purchase so I would assume there could be some messed up settings with yours? I just have it set to "best for display" on mine. Good luck.
 

mzjin

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2011
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Wirelessly posted

It looks hideous. Colors seem muted, text and images are blurry and it has lots of glare. I'm just not impressed. Should I sell it?

The only reason I've kept it is because I think the physically larger display will somehow increase my productivity and I like listening to music from it after I get headphone fatigue (it sounds really good in spite of what people say about monitor speakers).

Should I keep it? What would you do?
Hilarious. The tb display has vastly superior everything except pixel density. It will take years for the retina notebook displays to even come close.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,721
1,820
You might try a calibration
I love mine and wouldn't give it up
This doesn't really make sense relative to the OP's complaints. Calibration or really just rewriting a profile for the display may even out some weirdness in color and gamma. The colors seem muted thing is subjective. If he regards the rMBP as looking correct, the others will be seen as dull. This is really just based on the way we see things, and taking measurements won't really change that. It's a very high level adjustment. The rMBP does seem to have less glare than the prior glossy macbooks. It might be less than the TB display too. Again it wouldn't change. The complaints about text wouldn't change. That's most likely an issue of display resolution. Typically notebook displays are viewed just a bit closer, but depending on positioning I could see this.

Overall I see little reason for the guy to keep anything he doesn't want. If he dislikes it, it's unlikely that he'll use it regularly. It'll probably sit there until he replaces it when something new comes out. While I don't totally agree with the assessment, it makes the OP unhappy.

rMBP basically ruins all displays. I'm waiting on a Retina Cinema Display!
I don't agree with this at all. Shadow detail and a number of other factors do remain ahead on some other displays. That being said, it's an enormous step up from the older notebook displays.
 

sweetbrat

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,443
1
Redford, MI
This doesn't really make sense relative to the OP's complaints. Calibration or really just rewriting a profile for the display may even out some weirdness in color and gamma. The colors seem muted thing is subjective. If he regards the rMBP as looking correct, the others will be seen as dull. This is really just based on the way we see things, and taking measurements won't really change that. It's a very high level adjustment. The rMBP does seem to have less glare than the prior glossy macbooks. It might be less than the TB display too. Again it wouldn't change. The complaints about text wouldn't change. That's most likely an issue of display resolution. Typically notebook displays are viewed just a bit closer, but depending on positioning I could see this.
Calibration can make colors seem brighter and sharper, and can increase contrast which in turn makes most text look crisper. If it's done properly, it can make a huge difference in how the display looks. It still might not be what the OP wants, but is at least worth a try. Anyone willing to spend that much cash on a display should be more than willing to calibrate it properly, in my opinion; that especially goes for people using both displays at the same time. If they're not calibrated, everything will look vastly different on one display than on the other.
 

rocanlover163

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2012
74
0
I've had my TBD and rMBP a little over 3 weeks, and I'm more than satisifed with both of them. I'm sorry this isn't the same case with yours.. Like everyone else is saying, if you aren't happy with it, then return it or sell it. There is no point in keeping it if you aren't going to use it, especially given the amount of $$$ you probably spent on it.

Am I the only one who has no problem switching from the TBD to the rMBP display without any problems. I mean the TBD looks georgous, and Yes the rMPB is even better, but it doesn't bother me. I don't get everyone who says "once you use the rMPB, every other screen will look like crap"..:confused:
 

Mojo1

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2011
1,236
13
The Apple TB display is simply not as good as some comparably-priced displays from companies such NEC.

It lacks basic ergonomic adjustments. It is not possible to calibrate it to a decent state, the brightness is not uniform from corner to corner, it offers only the sRGB colour space, and the glass panel suffers from glare and reflection issues.

I suspect that Apple display designers don't actually do their work using the TB display or they would do a better job designing a display for people who use it for hours every day doing color-critical work...

But it sure is purty! And lots of ports! Oboy!

I think that 24" is the sweet-spot size and price-wise. You can snag a superior NEC 24" display at a discount for around 60% of the cost. A 27" NEC will set you back around $150 more than a TB if you pay the MSRP. And the NEC has a four year warranty vs. a one year warranty for the Thunderbolt. Figure in the cost of an extended AppleCare warranty and the displays cost about the same.

So I say return that sucker and get a display that is about excellent performance vs. a design aesthetic.
 

GoreVidal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2011
597
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Wirelessly posted

It looks hideous. Colors seem muted, text and images are blurry and it has lots of glare. I'm just not impressed. Should I sell it?

<snip>

Should I keep it? What would you do?
Why would you sell it when you can return it? Why would you keep it if you aren't happy with it?
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,621
243
Why would you buy an external monitor that has less dpi than your rmbp, it negates the point of purchasing retina mbp. I would love a retina display, but at 15 inch the display is to small for me to work with, might wait till retina display available for the 27 inch.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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1,820
Why would you buy an external monitor that has less dpi than your rmbp, it negates the point of purchasing retina mbp. I would love a retina display, but at 15 inch the display is to small for me to work with, might wait till retina display available for the 27 inch.
I'd still take screen real estate over dpi to a certain point. If they're buying both of these items, hopefully they do intend to take the notebook with them at times.

Calibration can make colors seem brighter and sharper, and can increase contrast which in turn makes most text look crisper. If it's done properly, it can make a huge difference in how the display looks. It still might not be what the OP wants, but is at least worth a try. Anyone willing to spend that much cash on a display should be more than willing to calibrate it properly, in my opinion; that especially goes for people using both displays at the same time. If they're not calibrated, everything will look vastly different on one display than on the other.
It will still look different unless you're taking steps to match them specifically. I realize you probably think I'm being argumentative here, but whenever someone says "calibration" it sounds like hardware values are being tuned to some kind of reference graph. It's not really the case. The colorimeter attempts to measure the output and organize a description of that hardware for the gpu. This can even out weirdness in gamma, which would achieve the effect you mentioned. It cannot actually increase contrast ratios. These software bundles have no direct ability to apply hardware instructions, so what you're seeing is a change in gains there by what is fed to the framebuffer. I could still see the argument of it improving text, but I don't think it will make up for such a huge level of disdain.

If you're trying to match displays, this really requires that kind of feature in the software, otherwise it's too annoying. This means whichever one has a greater range will be compressed to the level of the other. I'm pretty sure the thunderbolt display is technically higher in overall contrast ratio. This has nothing to do with opinions on which is better. I'm simply referring to a ratio between black and white point luminance at greater than 50% brightness. If you go really low, the behavior might go a little more weird. At that point I don't know which would hold up better.

I've tested most of the available calibration/profiling software including i1 profiler, basicolor, coloreyes, spectraview (US version), and some of the older versions of Datacolor's software. I haven't tried all of them in their most recent versions, but I've spent more time messing with this stuff trying to figure out what grants the best shadow detail and greyscale than I wish to remember:p. It makes a difference. It's just that given the TB display's slightly restricted options and the complete disdain of the OP, I think he'd be best off not getting stuck with such a display. The colorimeter isn't a bad buy either way. It's worth using on the rMBP.
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
789
19
I purchased the rMBP as well as the Thunderbolt Display in one purchase recently. I actually had a much difference experience. I felt that the Thunderbolt display, although not as sharp/detailed as the Retina, is still very, very good. I'm extremely happy with my purchase so I would assume there could be some messed up settings with yours? I just have it set to "best for display" on mine. Good luck.
I have the same assessment as you as well. the TBD looks fine to me.
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,621
243
I'd still take screen real estate over dpi to a certain point. If they're buying both of these items, hopefully they do intend to take the notebook with them at times.
I agree, thats why I always use external monitor with my mbp.

To the op: it doesnt make any sense really to purchase an external display with your retina mbp and dont make use of that wonderful retina display (meaning if you use it on a desk 90% of the time with your mbp lid closed).
 

clyde2801

macrumors 601
Why would you buy an external monitor that has less dpi than your rmbp, it negates the point of purchasing retina mbp. I would love a retina display, but at 15 inch the display is to small for me to work with, might wait till retina display available for the 27 inch.
Unless the rTBD starts to carry it's own onboard graphics card, I don't see this happening. 27" external retina would be a helluva massive load for any notebook GPU to handle.

If they release it with those specs for the current price, I could see a lot of people getting onto that ride. Hell, even if it didn't have a retina display!
 

macuserx86

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2006
622
3
Unless the rTBD starts to carry it's own onboard graphics card, I don't see this happening. 27" external retina would be a helluva massive load for any notebook GPU to handle.
Whoa, that's a great idea! It's already connected via TB so Apple could pack a decent GPU inside the monitor so when you plug into it, the GPU inside the display would render for the panel and the computer's GPU would be free to render the native display and help with OpenCL accelerated tasks. I really hope Apple does this; would be the perfect usage for TB.
 

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
You clearly have no technical understanding of how display technology works. I would be very surprised if they can create it in one year; in any case, it's more to do with the progression in GPU technology.
clearly that is the case, in internetz land.

Guess you clearly didn't realize that when you go to "looks like 1920x1200" mode on the current gen rMBP it actually renders the desktop at 3840x2400. GPU's can handle extremely high resolution output. It's an OS not a video game.