So, anything bad about the 27" Thunderbolt Display?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MiataMac, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. MiataMac macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Here in Europe where I'm living, a new 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display is just over €1000, making it a little bit expensive.... but I see that they sometimes pop up at just below €700 for a used one (less than 1 year old usually), and I've been considering jumping on one of those, when one nearby comes for sale so I can check it in person first (dead pixels etc).

    But before I make my decision - anything "bad" about these huge expensive displays that I need to know about?

    I do hobby photo editing in Aperture (RAW files) and use a Spyder3Pro to do display color calibration. Then I also work with website design and coding, currently I'm feeling a little cramped on my 24" 1920x1200 display, and was hoping the 27" with 2560x1440 would give me a good amount of real estate.
  2. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    The only two real downsides I can think of for the Thunderbolt display are the glossy screen and the lack of ports. The first I don't find so much of an issue, but for such an expensive display, the lack of connectivity is a real shame.

    I had the last refresh of the 27" Cinema Display display, but sold it and got a Dell 27" because the lack of other ports became a real annoyance. The Apple display was aesthetically much better, but in every other way the Dell either matches or exceeds the Apple one in my opinion.
  3. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    What type of Mac do you have? If it's one of the new MBP's or MBA's then the chief problem with the TB Display is the lack of USB 3. Personally I'm holding out for a silent refresh when the new iMacs come out.
  4. Joseph Farrugia macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2011
    Malta (EU)
    may I ask where can you find a used one in the EU for just below €700 please?

    I've tried ebay but with no luck, the fact that I am in tiny Malta (EU) at the moment doesn't help either (shipping costs, etc).

    Thanks in advance for any help you might wish to share.
  5. clumeng macrumors member

    May 14, 2010
    I switched from a 24" iMac to the 27" TBD and a rMBP. The odd thing that I'm finding is that the width of the 27" takes getting used to. Full screen mode for writing apps isn't happening for me as I actually have to move my head back and forth.

    What mac are you connecting to? If it's a TB equipped laptop it's great. I have a FW drobo, Ethernet, and USB drive connected and I can get it all on my rMBP with 1 chord. No audio jack but have an USB sound card on order.

    The increased $ is really for the connectivity so it really depends on your use case and the peripherals you have if the $ is worth it.
  6. MiataMac thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Thanks for your replies (which I didn't notice until now because Gmail put the e-mail notification into spam).

    I've decided to wait with the Apple Display until next version comes out, for several reasons:

    1) I never heard back from one of the few sellers who had it for sale at €750 and the only other seller at that price is at the other end of the country so I won't be able to see it live first.

    2) We're probably only a few months away from a refresh, according to the Buyers Guide here on MR.

    3) No USB 3.

    4) Glare. Apparently Apple has improved glare on the new Retina MacBook Pro's, so if they can do it there, hopefully they can do it on the next version of Display too.
  7. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    Also: AFAIK there's no headphone jack, and when you plug your headphone into the mini (or other device driving the display) the speakers don't auto-mute.
  8. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    The problems I keep hearing about:

    - issues going to and waking from Sleep, users have to disconnect their Mac and restart it to fix it
    -USB and FW drives un-mounting without proper ejection

    Although I'm not sure how common or widespread these problems are.
  9. Joseph Farrugia macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2011
    Malta (EU)
    just got a used 27" ACD

    Just got a mint used :apple:27" ACD (non-thunderbolt) for my photographic work, could not be more pleased.

    The fact that I found one in pristine condition (touch wood!) for €470 sweetened up the deal:D

    ⎯⎯⎯>Just tried it out with my (non-thunderbolt) ACD: the sound coming through the display's speakers is muted a second or two after I plug in an audio jack into the audio in port of my early 2011 15" MBP;
    so that info you have is not correct as regards to the ACD; I would think the thunderbolt display exhibits the same behaviour (anyone can test this?)

    Hope this helps somebody.
  10. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    On the rMBP they simply removed a piece of glass. The other result is that the surface of the display is less resilient. I think I'd prefer durability on my expensive display, personally.

    Of course I work in a cave so glare isn't an issue anyways.
  11. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    The headphone thing - the display does indeed mute if you plug headphones in. Unfortunately, you cannot change the output device in System Preferences. I used to have a nice little Automator action that would allow me to keep my headphones plugged into my Mini and flip back and forth between the headphones and USB speakers whenever I wanted.

    Apparently, however, Apple considers it to be a feature, and blocks me from doing this with a Thunderbolt display. When you click the Display Audio from Preferences, it will autoflip straight back to the headphones. Only with the didn't do that with my cheap USB speakers.
  12. buffalo macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2005
    Colorado Springs / Ohio
    USB keyboard

    So I've had my TBD for a few weeks now... I love it except for USB occassionally dropping out.

    On the three ports I have a smart card/CAC reader, a printer, and a Logitech USB keyboard. As far as I can tell the reader and printer have never dropped, but fairly often the keyboard will drop off and become unresponsive. Unplugging and plugging in again fixes the issue, but annoying nonetheless.

    Any fixes that anybody knows about? I'm usually running Windows 7 on my MBP.
  13. forza1976 macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2007
    Denver CO
    Waking and sleeping has been fixed with mountain lion. I was disappointed before the upgrade because I had this problem. But no longer :)

  14. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Some folks like a matt screen. But editing photographs I want as crisp display as possible. That means no matt layer diffusing the lines and edges I want to clearly see. If glare is a problem, fix the room lighting.

    Yes TBD is expensive. But compare a Dell U2711 at around $800. And if add a docking station, such as the one announced by Delkin, you would closer to $1200 for both. And even that combo will not recharge your MBP/MBA.

    So lets hope for a TBD refresh this fall that replaces USB 2 with USB 3, adds a second Thunderbolt port, adds native Magsafe 2 connector, and if it drops FW...that would be OK by me.
  15. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    I recently sold my iMac for a rMBP. I tried a dual monitor setup using the rMBP and a couple different screens, but none of them felt right. Today I picked up a TB display and it's perfect! I tested for dead pixels, uniformity, and backlight bleed and it was all good. I am really happy with the display, but definitely would like to see a refresh with USB3.

    Its really cool that you get 3 extra USB ports! Any other monitor would have to use a USB port in order to give you more ports, but the TB display simply uses TB to interface to all the extra ports. Also, the included magsafe cable frees up the cable that came with your macbook to use as a spare.
  16. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Using them w/ bootcamp can be a bit of a pain FWIW, they only initialize on boot (no hot plugging) and it disables suspend when using them in Windows... Also about 1 in 5 times mine boot up in Windows @ 800x600, requiring a reboot to fix it. Also you can't daisy chain the monitors in Windows, only one display works.

    Also, occasionally in OS X if i'd suspend my machine at night, then disconnect the TBD in the morning and wake up, my screen on my mbp would be black requiring me to do a hard shut down and reboot.

    About 1 in 100 times in OS X plugging in my daisy chained TBDs the second one wouldn't light up, unplugging and replugging fixed though...

    those are some of the bad things i guess off the top of my head
  17. GoSooners macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
    If you can't daisy chain in Windows, can they be ran with separate miniDP to TB cables with a rMBP which currently has more than 1 TB port?
  18. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    good question, but i don't know the answer.
  19. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I've owned one since roughly the day Apple released them (connected to a 27" iMac) and no complaints here.
  20. DF1234 macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2012
    I have a rmbp connected to the 27" Thunderbolt display and it is a fantastic setup. Like having an iMac that I can take with me. I have had no problems with lost USB or Firewire 800 like in other posts. Have had it for 3 weeks and no problems at all. A must buy in my opinion (although expensive)

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