What's Special about Apple's Thunderbold Display?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sonicrobby, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #1
    So Ive seen Apple's 27" display. Looks nice, thunderbolt support, even a charge station for your macbook. But a $1000 price tag seems way to much for just a monitor. Might as well go for an iMac at that point. But my question, is there something about it that Im missing?
     
  2. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

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    #2
    It is expensive, but it basically offers everything you'd ever need from a display (except USB 3 - may be coming in an update)

    It lets you have a portable laptop with the size of a desktop, and many MacBooks are now as, if not more, powerful than iMacs.
    It has a speaker, mic and webcam which you don't usually get with other monitors, it plugs in via one cable and gives you lots of expansion options.

    And it looks great :p
    It is pricey but you are paying for quality and convenience no cheaper display can bring.
     
  3. madsci954 macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    It's not "just" a monitor. It has

    - a IPS display
    - a Thunderbolt hub
    - built-in speakers
    - built-in HD webcam with mic

    All that plugs in with 2 cables, one to power your MacBook and the other is a Thunderbolt cable.
     
  4. hkoster1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    About that lack of USB 3.0 ports on the present Thunderbolt Display: that won't be any problem when attaching it to a MacBook (Pro)
    with USB 3.0 ports, like my 15-inch Retina MBP. An expected upgrade of the Thunderbolt Display to retina standards may double the
    present price or worse, with perhaps a smaller (21.5-inch?) size remaining in the $1000 neighborhood.

    Anyway, I don't see these coming in 2013, so I just bought the present model. There are aftermarket Thunderbolt hubs with USB 3.0
    ports for those who need them. Just my 2 cents...
     
  5. sonicrobby thread starter macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #5
    Ok, I was just curious. I just thought i was missing something. There are other monitors out there with built in speakers and webcams that are just as large (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236101&IsVirtualParent=1) but I guess the extra $700 of quality is might be worth it to some people. It looks really good, and I would like to have one, but its just not the kind of money i can spend on a display :[
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #6
    You're comparing Apples to lemons :)

    Compare it to another 27" IPS display with 2560x1440 resolution (the one you linked is 1920x1080) and you'll find that while the TBD is still more expensive, it's only by a couple hundred dollars - justifiable by the added docking elements (powers Apple laptops, has Ethernet, firewire, USB, iSight, etc)
     
  7. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

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    Dec 22, 2008
    #7
    I'm a bit confused as to why you're comparing a 2560 x 1440 resolution to a 1080p? and the Asus is a TN panel. Also not sure how you came to a $700 difference just because the Asus is $300? If you still think the TBD is overpriced, then that is totally fine, but you just don't seem to know exactly what you're comparing.
     
  8. WMD macrumors regular

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    Florida, USA
    #8
    You can get a refurb TBD from the Apple online store for $800. Should look brand-new, has the same warranty; just comes in a plain cardboard box instead of retail packaging.

    Most of the value comes from the docking capabilities (Thunderbolt pass-through, USB, MagSafe power). Still, it seems to be the exact same panel (and reflective glass!) that was used in 2010/2011. It could use an update.
     
  9. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #9
    It also has three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

    So if you have a MacBook Air, the ATD serves as a full docking station in addition to being a monitor.
     
  10. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #10
    You see Apple Thunderbolt Display has only a few things in particular: Thunderbolt hub, built in webcam (can be added for cheap), and speaker (don't know why I'd listen that low quality of a speaker). So yes it's one of a kind but the worst part is it does not connect to any video signal other than that. Not even a regular mDP connection on older Macs so I could barely call it a monitor? All of that for $999.

    While Dell and a few another OEMs such as ViewSonic, Philips, or Asus shares the same 1440p panel with Apple, some of their displays also has USB 3.0 hub (ATD does not), it also has versatile, multiple video inputs (HDMI, DVI, DP, mDP which works nicely even with Thunderbolt Macs), real buttons/switch and detailed settings for calibration (ATD does not).

    All in all something like Ultrasharp may be less aluminey :rolleyes: in return it gives you much better run for the money, packs more useful and practical features as a professional monitor should, all for $649. I'd say it's a lot cheaper for what you get than ATD.

    Don't know why would I pick the ATD over Ultrasharp, maybe if I'm in drug or plainly in the mood to spend my money pointlessly.
     
  11. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #11
    Except for graphic. You just don't fit something like GTX 680MX, let alone "true" GTX 680 into that thin chassis. The highest end would be something like 650M and for a retina resolution, it's truly lacking to make even the most expensive MBP to be "the one computer to rule them all".

    Except Ferarris go with diesel I don't see trucks vanishing anytime soon. :cool:
     
  12. pesawyer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #12
    The other vendor monitors don't give you the capability to daisy chain two monitors together to double the already enormous real estate provided by just one 27" TBD. All of the latest MBP and MBA support two external displays. All with just one TB connection to your laptop. Now that's worth something....yeah I know 2k for all that, a bargain a twice the cost.

    Yes, there are quirky adapters and devices that you can add to your other vendor display solutions to get dual displays, but really, do you think it's better than letting Apple be the integrator? When you get one vendor creating the end to end solution "things just work" like they are suppose to.
     
  13. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #13
    It's basically the same as the dell monitors only it is glossy instead of matte and doesn't come with the horrible anti glare coating that dell smears all over their ultrasharps.

    The only reason you'd want a dell ultrasharp is if you are in a room with lots of sunlight/light, otherwise the ATD will show off much better colors.

    Personally, I'd just get a cheap 27" korean monitor off ebay.......
     
  14. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #14
    The main point of the ATD is to be a 'desktop dock' for a MacBook - so the fact that it will do display, webcam, microphone, audio, 1GB ethernet, firewire, USB2 (fine for your keyboard, printer and mouse), thunderbolt thru for extra (fast) HDs etc... - all with just two wires - is a killer feature.

    The speakers aren't going to satisfy an audiophile, but they are much better than the built-in speakers in a notebook, with a sub that can actually put out some base.

    Yup - that's the deal-breaker for me, too. But if you are buying it primarily as a dock for your TB-equipped Macbook, that's not necessarily an issue.

    ...like many Apple products it was reasonable value when it came out (other 1440p monitors cost nearly as much without the TB features) but hasn't really kept up - they can get away with it because nothing else offers the same features.
    [/QUOTE]
     
  15. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #15
    PC monitors (Dell, HP, NEC, etc.) need all those different video inputs because they have to support the plethora of display connectors currently in use in the PC market.

    All current generation Apple Macintosh hardware supports video over the Thunderbolt port so the Apple Thunderbolt Display need only support that one standard.
     
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #16
    Did you take into account the "Apple tax"? :D
     
  17. mslide macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 17, 2007
    #17
    No. The ATD is overpriced. Name-brand monitors with the same resolution can be had for around $700 or less. Personally, I don't think a fancy hub, a webcam and speakers are worth the extra $300. Plus, the alternatives are more versatile since some include USB3 hubs and all support non-Apple computers.
     
  18. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #18
    Korean monitors on ebay use the same panels (A- as opposed to the a+ that apple uses) for less then $300...
     
  19. lbhskier37 macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2011
    #19
    Same panel doesn't mean same calibration or same calibration tools. If all you care about is a big screen, get a 27" 1080p TN panel or a 1440p Korean panel with the possibility of out of whack color and little to no way to correct it. For those who value color accuracy out of the box and the ability to adjust it, the Apple panel is about $200 more than equivalent models. Add in a thunderbolt hub and MagSafe power connector and you have a docking station that would retail for $300+ else ware. It all depends what you are looking for. It may fit your needs and be a descent deal or be more than you need and seem expensive.
     
  20. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #20
    That's the problem with ATD. It's a specific accessories for specific type of computer products made on specific time frame with specific ports and charger.

    So much .. specificity for $999, don't you think?

    Might as well call it [Mac Thunderbolt Hub with Built in Display] rather than being a "display" itself. At least Apple should have the decency to support regular mDP or even add HDMI 1.4 input for versatility. It's a computer display anyway. So why not make it useful as intended.

    And why supporting a wide range of products is such a bad thing? That way you can target more demographic, more market and so .. more sales number means more money. Maybe because of the classic reason "Apple is all about integrated, strong part of hardware and software" ?

    And no, actually some of Mac hardware also supports native HDMI output i.e: Mac Mini, rMBP so it means Apple actually ease off with connectivity than ever. The ATD is a stupid move and product, left it out with USB 2.0 port is bad enough. Sell it at $999 with less "functionality" than the good old 27" Cinema Display is even more ridiculous.

    Agreed. Look at Viewsonic or Dell. For $700 or even less you can get the same display or better (PLS anyone?), same resolution, more inputs, more versatility, more in-depth settings and tweaking, also USB 3.0 hub which just marvelous.
    With ATD you have to look carefully or "beg" for refurbished items just to get a decent cut. Not really that decent actually. It's still more expensive.

    Yeah well how about not buy the cheap Korean knock off? Try Dell, Samsung or Viewsonic. Less $$ to waste and more flexibility to enjoy.
     
  21. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #21
    Funny should you say that because relevant competitor products actually supply you with more tools and refinement to calibrate your display correctly. You know other monitors have setting buttons and power switch so if something went wrong, you have control over your monitors.

    It's not uncommon to find an Apple display stuck in a power state, or it wouldn't turn on unless you restart the computer yet you can't do anything because it's ... buttonless and therefore it's also less convenient to do necessary adjustments :rolleyes:
     
  22. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #22
    I have two Korean monitors. They are exactly the same, 27" ips LG 1440p monitors. The difference is that the korean ones are A- (meaning untested) while the Apple and Dell ones are A+ (Tested and certified).

    I haven't had a single issue, or even a dead pixel on my korean monitors.

    And Both were around $300, so it's more like a $700 difference....
     
  23. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #23
    It's not a bad thing. It's just not relevant to Apple, who have a standard video interface on all of their current computers.

    And besides, even if the ATD had DVI, HDMI and DP in, most PC users would not buy it, anyway, because they could not make use of the FireWire and Ethernet ports, so they'd select a cheaper option (like the Dell) that omitted them.


    HDMI out on those machines are not intended to drive computer displays, but to drive televisions - be it for home theater (Mac Mini) or corporate boardroom (MacBook Pro).


    The Apple Cinema Display lacks FireWire and Ethernet ports, so not sure how it has more functionality than the Apple Thunderbolt Display. :confused:


    If you're a Mac user - and let us remember the Apple Thunderbolt Display is designed for use with Macs, not Windows PCs - then those extra inputs aren't of any use to you. And when it launched, the Dell was a USB 2.0 hub as well and it stands to reason the next ATD will have USB 3.0 now that the entire Mac line will soon have it.



    I agree that a Windows PC user buying an Apple Thunderbolt Display would be a waste of money as they can't use all the features. But I do not agree that a Macintosh user buying an Apple Thunderbolt Display would be a waste of money. In such a scenario, I'd argue buying the cheaper PC display could be the mistake (especially if that user owns a MacBook Air or Mac Mini).
     
  24. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #24
    Having another input actually would attract a bunch of PC users. Yes PCs cannot make use of the hub unless using Thunderbolt but that's not the scenario here.

    How about John owns a Windows gaming PC for fun (because Macs certainly lacks one), and a Thunderbolt Macbook for on-the-go machine? How if John wants one display and home station for both his PC and Macbook while making use of Thunderbolt hub?

    Now if only ATD has this one little thing called "extra video input" .. hmmm
    Can you imagine how attractive it would be for non Mac users? They could start buying ATD for the nice display/design alone, and finally because they can't stand Thunderbolt input being unused, they finally buy a Macbook with TB? Another halo-effect, sir! :D

    I'd rather have a display which works with choice of connections rather than having a bunch of ports on its rear side. You see Cinema Display connects to basically all Macs with mDP (Thunderbolt or not), even to PC using appropriate adapter. Now that's a [display] to crave for.

    Oh and another funny story is, Apple decides to start killing FireWire just a year after finally Apple could have it for the first time on their 27" display. Talking about quick death.

    Yeah well that's what ironic about Apple. Despite released ahead-of-the-game Thunderbolt display, which no one did back then admittedly, they decide to use old and stuck-in-the-past USB 2.0. It's like build a solar energized car engine but still plant a carburetor inside. :eek:
     
  25. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

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    California
    #25
    The best bang for your buck would have to be the ASUS PB278Q.
    It has a PLS panel, is LED backlit, has a 2560X1440 resolution and a semi-glossy finish!
    Not to mention it can support multiple inputs.
    Oh and the best part, it's only $550 new!
     

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