Should I go for a $1,000 Thunderbolt Dispaly or a $300 Monitor/HDTV?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Star Nuts, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Star Nuts macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #1
    I could afford a Thunderbolt Display but I'm wondering if it's worth it. How much better is the TBD on your eyes and do you notice a decent difference in clarity?
     
  2. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #2
    If you can afford it, go for the Thunderbolt Display! It is an awesome display for consumers!
     
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #3
    You can search for other threads on this topic -- there are many of them.

    Be sure you understand the resolution differences and how they're going to affect you.

    Pixel density is important.

    The TBD is 2560 x 1440, and a $300 TV/monitor is almost certainly 1920 x 1080.

    Basically, 1920x1080 at 27" is going to give you large pixels. Maybe you'll be OK with this, and maybe not, but you should check it out yourself.
     
  4. blufire95 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
    If you have a Thunderbolt MacBook, you get a great Docking Station with a power supply.
    The panel is crisp and has brilliant colours, I love it in my iMac, but it's not Retina. I guess next year we will see a 27" Thunderbolt Retina Display with 5120x2880 and Retina iMacs ;)
     
  5. Elijen macrumors 6502

    Elijen

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    #5
    I like quality of the Apple Thunderbolt display, but I wouldn't buy it unless they do something with the horrible GLARE. Also it's very prone to dirt (you spot a micro dot of dirt immediately and it's disturbing).

    Apple definitely needs to do something with the display surface then it will be a perfect monitor.
     
  6. blufire95 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    Sry for Double Post, its Tapatalks fault^^

    If you have a Thunderbolt MacBook, you get a great Docking Station with a power supply.
    The panel is crisp and has brilliant colours, I love it in my iMac, but it's not Retina. I guess next year we will see a 27" Thunderbolt Retina Display with 5120x2880 and Retina iMacs ;)
     
  7. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #7
    Go for the HD/Monitor, and spend the $700 you saved on peanut M&Ms and Root Beer , its the only sensible option :D
     
  8. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #8
    Note: my experience is of the 27" Apple Cinema Display (with DisplayPort for older Macs without Thunderbolt) rather than the TBD but AFAIK the actual displays are identical.

    Pros:

    + The ACD/TB blows any $300 TV/monitor out of the water in terms of colour, clarity and screen real-estate.
    + If you have a MacBook Pro then even the docking facilities of the ACD are handy (built-in Magsafe PSU, USB 2 hub, not-half-bad sound system, FaceTime camera). The TBD adds even more with Ethernet and Firewire

    Hmmms:

    ~ Glossy display is a love/hate thing: some people get bugged by the reflections, other people don't notice them and enjoy the contrast & vivid colours. As long as you can position it so it doesn't directly reflect a light or window, it's actually better in bright light, as light hitting at an angle gets cleanly reflected away rather than smeared over the screen. Others don't like the "sparkle" you can get on anti-glare screens (like the Dell U2711). Unfortunately an Apple Store with all those spotlights is a pretty pesimal place to try one out. (Oh, and your cheap TV/monitor might be glossy anyway).
    ~ Docking facilities not such a big deal if you have a Mac Mini. TBD won't work with a Mac Pro.

    Cons - just one big one:

    - That $300 TV/Monitor will probably have HDMI (and hence DVI) and maybe VGA inputs, so it will work with PCs, XBox/Playstation, Blu-Ray player, media streamer, older Macs etc. Heck, it may even get TV... It might have multiple inputs that you can switch between. The TBD is Mac-only (until/unless TB takes of on PC) and then only works with newer Macs.

    If the latter isn't an issue for you, and you've got a grand burning a hole in your pocket then I'd be tempted to go for the TBD.

    The middle way would be to go for a 24" 1920x1200 display rather than a 1080p telly.
     
  9. chaseychasem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #9
    I thought I'd want an antiglare external monitor, but since it arrived two days ago I've found the combination of the HP ZR2440w (allegedly the Dell AG treatment is even worse) with OS X font rendering so terrible that I'm almost looking forward to a glossy mess. Since this means sharper text, apparently. I do a lot of writing and already find the internal HR AG display borderline, though definitely convenient for mobility, versatility and more workspace on the go.

    I don't understand all the speculation about a Retina TBD, to be honest. If the pixel volume on its own weren't too much for the Thunderbolt connection, the task of output would at least overtax the gfx hardware on any current MBP. The amount of screen real estate is already massive without Retina. Not everyone has complained, of course, but the experience of some users with the v1 rMBP is plenty instructive on this front.
     
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Why not get a $400 2560x1440 display using the same panel as Apple's.

    $400: http://www.microcenter.com/product/384780/EQ276W_27_IPS_LED_Monitor

    Or for $470: http://www.amazon.com/Nixeus-Resolution-2560x1440-Monitor-NX-VUE27/dp/B008M08SN6/

    Or LED backlit:
    $707: http://www.amazon.com/HP-ZR2740w-27-inch-Backlit-Monitor/dp/B005MR4P0W/
     
  11. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #11
    Agreed. In fact, the 112ppi TBD should have roughly the same 'retina' effect as a 220dpi screen viewed from half the distance.

    However, a "retina" TBD might not mean double resolution (5120x2880): what might make more sense is to replace it with a 16:10 display, of comparable size to the 27", but with the same 2880x1800 resolution as the rMBP.

    My guess, though is that the TBD just gets USB3 ports (if it changes at all) and the existing iMacs just get Ivy Bridged. Then, at some stage, the iMac equivalent of the rMBP appears in parallel, with a 21-22" screen, no optical drive and flash-only storage.
     

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