Display Recommendation since there's no new Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by j-a-x, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. j-a-x macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #1
    I have been waiting to get a new display until Apple released the next iteration of the Thunderbolt display. I was either going to try to get the current Thunderbolt display at a discounted price once they announce a new one, or consider getting the new version if Apple had announced one at WWDC. Since that didn't happen, and I see no signs that Apple is going to release a new display any time soon, can anybody recommend a good alternative?

    Everyone, including Apple Store sales reps recommend against the current TBD because it has the old style MagSafe and is pretty thick compared to iMacs and really expensive for how old it is.

    I like the Thunderbolt dock integration which is why I was hoping to get an Apple display. I'd ideally like to bring my MacBook home and plug it into one device which connects all of my USB devices plus my display with a universal power supply if possible. It doesn't need to have speakers as I have a set of vintage Apple Pro speakers with a custom USB amp which sound pretty good. I'd like to avoid having to connect a separate USB hub with its own set of cables and power if possible. I like to keep things clean.

    I'd also like to have as good color accuracy as Apple's displays as I would like to use it to do some serious photo editing.

    Is there any comparable display which also acts as a Thunderbolt dock/hub? If not, are there any other displays that anyone can recommend with good color accuracy etc?
     
  2. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    #2
    It's hard for me to imagine Apple not releasing a new TBD this year with the announcement of the new MacPro. It just doesn't make any sense.

    As for alternative, I am pretty sure there are none out there with a built in Thunderbolt dock. There are a few displays out there with really good (may be better) color accuracy. I think Anandtech has some reviews. Belkin and Matrox makes Thunderbolt docks, and there are others announced, but by the time you add all the pieces up, the price comes out probably about the same as a Apple TBD.
     
  3. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #3
    Yeah the Thunderbolt Express Dock from Belkin is $300! And you can buy an Apple TBD for $799.00 refurbished. So in order for it to be worth it, the non Apple display would need to be < $500, probably much less in order for it to be worth the hassle of having a separate dock, no built in camera, etc.

    I'd buy the display now if I wasn't thinking Apple might release a new one / drop prices on the old one soon. I've been waiting since I got my rMBP about a year ago. That's a long time to wait. I think it was also about a year ago Apple announced the new MagSafe and they have still not updated their displays to use it.
     
  4. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #4
    It says on Apple's webpage that the TBD was originally released September 2011. I wonder what the typical product cycle is for this display.
     
  5. Giuly, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #5
  6. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #6
    That's what I've been doing. Waiting for it.... Probably won't wait another year though.
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #7
    I have been using my corporate MBA with an ATD at home, and a Dell U2711 at work. Recently, I stumbled upon a spare 27" ACD at work... so I started using that and gave my Dell U2711 to a coworker.

    I *REALLY* like both the ATD and even the ACD. For the most part (at work)... I do not use any TB peripherals... so the only downside to the ACD is having the extra wire (USB) to plug in. Three wires instead of two.

    I am not rushing out to buy a new ATD, because I think it will be refreshed... but if I *HAD* to buy a new monitor tomorrow, I would not hesitate to get the ATD. For me... it is still the best one out there.

    /Jim
     
  8. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #8
    I bet you 100 internets that, when the Mac Pro launches, it will be demonstrated plugged into a third-party, 30" 4k display or three.

    The Unique Selling Point of the new Mac Pro is support for 4k displays. Now, if Apple brings out a 4k 27-30" thunderbolt display for <$1000 it will definitely be "'Shut up and take my money!' time" but somehow I don't think so... I'm sure they'll 4k/Retina it eventually, but 4k at the price point of the ATD seems some way off.

    Also bear in mind that the TB display is more of a laptop accessory (where the docking ability & magsafe comes into play) than a Mac Pro companion. Not saying that Mac Pro users never use TBDs, but an awful lot of them will be using third-party monitors.

    My guess (and who isn't guessing) is that either the TBD will be upgraded if/when Haswell MacBook Pros come out this summer, or it will stay unchanged until next year when Thunderbolt 2 controllers are widely available (even if the display isn't 4k, people are going to want TB2 pass-through).
     
  9. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Price - maybe (there are no other displays with TB docks)
    Thickness - who cares? I use the physically identical LED Cinema display, and it looks far better than any other monitor.
    MagSafe - doesn't it come with a Magsafe-to-MagSafe-2 adapter?

    The real sticking points:

    1. It only has USB2, not USB3 - so if you have ext. USB3 disc drives etc. you'll still want to plug them directly in to your Mac,

    2. I like glossy screens, but not everybody does - the new iMac screen (which they'd presumably use) is less glossy.

    3. Unlikely to be fixed in an upgrade - it only works with post-2011 macs. No DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI/VGA inputs. Want to plug in your old Mac, XBox, PC, Raspberry Pi, BluRay player... nope. Most third party monitors have multiple, switchable inputs.
     
  10. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #10
    There must be something in the Thunderbolt spec that needs to clear before Apple releases the new monitor, and you can bet it will not have a wide variety of ports to cover video from old machines.

    Agree with Giuly, the Dell is quite good and at least one of the newer models has USB3 & a mini display port. Back in the Day of G5 and first gen Mac Pro I used one of the gen2 Dell 30s and it was great for it's time. Didn't care about the name on the panel when the Apple was an insane 2400 to 3200 bucks at the time.
     
  11. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I am wondering about 4K display too. It seems that many people would be happy with the current TBD with USB3 instead of USB2, and some would want a 4K display. Why not make both?

    I bet that is exactly what Apple going to do.


     
  12. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #12
    Thanks for the feedback guys. It sounds like the refurb TBD isn't a bad deal. I'd probably mount it on the wall behind my desk to save a bit of space. I don't mind not having the retina pixels. I'd have my retina MBP by its side and I'm not sure how it would perform pushing too many pixels anyway. If only it was a little cheaper it would be a no brainer. I am just worried that they will announce a new display and drop the refurb price of the old display significantly.
     
  13. Napolke macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    #13
    LG 27EA83-D at newegg.com with promotion $700
     
  14. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Asus has just introduced a 4K monitor (31.5") at a price of $4000. Even if Apple can bring out a smaller one at $3000, that's not a viable solution to the Mac Mini or MacBook owner who wants an Apple-branded monitor with Thunderbolt to hook up to. Of course introducing a new TB *and* a 4K is a possibility.
     
  15. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #15
    Which Mac, besides the new Pro, is going to use a 4K monitor? Do we really think the fall MBPs will have retina redefined as 4k?

    Far more likely that a new 27" retina ATD is released....that can be driven by a MBP. But is that at current retina resolution...or even higher? I seriously doubt 4k.
     
  16. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #16
    A guy on Craig's List in my neighborhood is trying to sell me his TBD for $750 (1.5 years old, used). The refurbished one from Apple is $799. Only a $50 discount for the fact that it is used with no warranty? I'd buy it right now if I could get it for a few hundred cheaper than Apple's refurbished price.

    Has anybody had any experience with Apple monitors out of warranty? They probably don't randomly die like some cheaper displays do but I guess you can never be too careful when spending this kind of money on a display.
     
  17. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I've been around enough of these to know there is no perfect model. Some have cinema displays years old and working fine. Others die in 18 months. The 2 Thunderbolt displays I had here (not mine) were just fine at 14-16 months, but if I were buying one, I'd want a warranty. Remember, it's the same panel used in the 09 to 11 iMacs that had many returns.
     
  18. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #18
    Yeah.. Thanks for the advice. I guess his price isn't right either... $50 cheaper than an Apple refurbished model isn't really a lot of savings.
     
  19. mm201 macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #19
    Retina (Apple's marketing term) means a pixel doubled user interface where the sizes of things stay the same, so 4K is a retina version of 1920x1080, no redefinition. Retina was around before 4K became a buzzword. A 21.5" Retina iMac would have 4K resolution.

    The Asus 4K monitor supports dual HDMI inputs so should be driven by any Mac with at least 2 Thunderbolt ports. Expect similar "dual input" arrangements from other third parties.
     
  20. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #20
    Could a 27" Thunderbolt iMac be used as a display? I found one for sale for a bit less than that TBD I was looking at. If I bought it I believe I could use target display mode to use it as a display for my MacBook Pro. Does anybody have any experience with this? I also don't think it would be any bigger than the TBD, at least not significantly larger.

    If you are using an iMac in target display mode with a Thunderbolt connection, can you also use it as a thunderbolt hub and use its ports, or is it only used as a display in this mode?
     
  21. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #21
    So I got my thunderbolt display. Got it at a local electronics store for $799 new (open box items but really it hadn't been used. I'm loving it so far.
     
  22. hkoster1 macrumors regular

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    The Netherlands
    #22
    I just ordered a Thunderbolt Display on Friday night from the NL Apple Store, will be delivered Tuesday in 2 business days, so there's no apparent shortage hinting at an upgrade any time soon. Lack of USB 3.0 ports is no big deal for me, since my 15-inch Retina MBP already has two. The thickness of the case doesn't matter, don't see it when I'm sitting in front of it -- besides, it gives extra room for the speakers. So, in all, there was no sense waiting for an upgrade that may not come until next year...:)
     
  23. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #23
    Also, you know Apple products maintain their value pretty well, so I think that using this display for a year and then selling it if I feel like upgrading will probably be a good possibility.
     
  24. chaseychasem macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2012
    #24
    Wouldn't the U2713HM make more sense, given that OS X uses RGB? Anyway, apart from the fact that I have display #3 on the way (this time without defects, I hope), the U2713HM is a nice monitor. I was able to get it for $585 via Newegg.
     
  25. pwfletcher macrumors regular

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    May 2, 2002
    #25
    I have been waiting for the new thunderbolt display too. I have one, but I really need two side by side. I have been holding off so that I can buy two new ones and ebay the old. I really thought they would be coming at WWDC ..
     

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