back to article Apple unveils 'World's First Thunderbolt Display'

What with all the hoo-hah on Wednesday over the release of Mac OS X Lion and updates to the Mac mini and MacBook Air, one nice new piece of Cupertinian kit slipped in under the radar: what Apple calls the "World's First Thunderbolt Display". Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Display That's Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Air sitting in …

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  1. Buzzword
    Thumb Up

    Cheap!

    For once that's actually not a bad price for an Apple product! NEC offer a monitor with the same size and resolution, currently $1,199 on Amazon US. Dell also offer a similar monitor for $899, but it doesn't have LED backlighting or built-in speakers. Well done Apple!

    (Though I'd still prefer a matte anti-glare screen, not glossy.)

    1. JC_
      Meh

      Hmm...

      CFL (Dell's monitor) actually gives a much wider colour gamut. And have you seen the size of these monitors? Any depth saved from LED doesn't stop them from being *huge*. The Dell has the matte finish and no crappy built-in speakers.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      I don't think cheap is the right word

      In Australia the Apple is 50% more expensive than the Dell, and that rises to 75% if you use an autoclub membership to buy the Dell. I think the new bezel is an improvement but it's still got that glossy surface finish.

      An LED backlight is not automatically better than a CCFL one. The equivalent Dell monitor has a high gamut CCFL backlight, so it's (ironically?) a far superior choice for creative types, photographers etc.

      For those that like low quality speakers the Dell supports the full range of clip on soundbars.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    So what's the point?

    I think I missed the reason why we should have another video port. Especially considering that we have three MacBooks which all have different video ports (HDMI this, mini that, whatever), and it is a pain in the ass.

    1. Justa
      Facepalm

      Isn't it obvious?

      In order to be incompatible with everyone else. Apple have a lifetime achievement award in it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        title

        And yet still lag Sony as a very distant 2nd on incompatable, proprietary shit often marring what was an otherwise fine bit of kit.

        atrac only supporting, checkin to checkout songs first gen NetMD, I'm lookin at you buddy. 80 hours playtime from a single AA battery spoilt by having to hunt down which frigging MD I had a song on if I wanted to juggle what I had on a disc >.<

        1. Paw Bokenfohr

          @AC 20:24GMT

          It's not like that any more - not been for a while actually - the current SonicStage (I use v4.3 and an MZ-RH1) doesn't do the check-in and check-out stuff, and allows you to, for example, record something on your MD recorder to disc in Linear PCM and then pull it off the MD recorder directly as a WAV using the USB connection. All very civilised now.

          But I don't think anyone would argue that Sony have made DRM mistakes in the past, not even Sony... And if they do, they deserve a slap.

          On the Apple / Thunderbolt front, they're not trying to make things less compatible I don't think - you can actually just use the the Thunderbolt port as a DisplayPort if you want to with your existing display; Thunderbolt is just a single connector for DisplayPort and PCI Express really, which does make it ideal for what they've done with this screen and it being a break-out for peripherals too.

        2. Giles Jones Gold badge

          It's PCI express over a cable

          Given many graphics chips and other ICs are designed to interface to either PCI express or USB then if you want to provide a high end expansion bus then making it supply PCI express signals means you need very little additional components.

          Thunderbolt is not proprietary, anyone can use it, although PC makers won't as they only like to fit cheap crap to their computers. There is plenty of need for something better than USB as even USB3 is lacking DMA, something that even an Amiga 1000 from 1985 had.

          Do you remember how much faster EIDE discs became when they went from PIO to UDMA? well that's the sort of difference between USB and a decent bus like Firewire or Thunderbolt.

          Not to mention Thunderbolt is like SCSI in that you can daisychain multiple devices from one port. So no need for 6 USB ports wasting valuable space.

          1. Ru
            Stop

            Re: PCI express over a cable

            You're answering the wrong question. What is its worthiness as a display interface?

            I can see it saving a bit of hardware and connector real-estate in compact machines, especially ones with a graphics core in the CPU. At that point, it becomes useful to have it even on discrete graphics cards, for the sake of having a common interconnect on everything, even if it doesn't necessarily offer any technical benefits to things like discrete graphics cards.

        3. Ommerson
          Stop

          Comparing apples with pears

          You might have missed the point that Thunderbolt does quite a bit more than any of the other display connector standard. You can't, for instance, double head a laptop with a pair of these displays of this size using anything else.

      2. Ted Treen
        Trollface

        @Justa

        I seem to remember the same things being said about the inclusion of USB on the original iMacs way back...

        Anti-Apple bigots never change.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Doubt they said that- USB was already common on PCs

          @Ted Treen; "I seem to remember the same things ["In order to be incompatible with everyone else"] being said about the inclusion of USB on the original iMacs way back... Anti-Apple bigots never change."

          Given that the unremarkable PC I bought several months *before* the iMac came out already had two USB ports- as did many others- this sounds like a strawman argument.

          Granted, USB peripherals weren't that common back then, and the iMac probably helped boost the *use* of the interface.

          However, your argument- that people were supposedly attacking Apple for being proprietary with USB when the interface was *already* common on many bog standard beige-box PCs- sounds like nonsense.

    2. ThomH

      It's not a video port; it is backwards compatible

      The new port, codeveloped with Intel, can be used to interface to displays, storage (at better-than-eSata speeds), peripherals, external graphics cards, etc. That's why it has been developed. The objective is to further shrink the number of ports on computers, and a secondary benefit taken advantage of by this monitor is that the monitor can act as a break-out box since it provides USB, Firewire, ethernet and Thunderbolt ports while connecting to the computer via a single cable.

      If you have any mini-displayport peripherals, you can plug those directly into your Thunderbolt port instead. It's backwards compatible.

      1. Flaco Dude
        Headmaster

        better-than-eSata speeds?

        Is that parroted marketing or measurement? 1% better or what? Under High-Speed I/O Performance Apple says 10 Gbps (but of course that's just theoretical), but if you scroll down you can see Apple's table for Promise Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt Performance, and notice that it omits eSata and ExpressCard/34 from comparison and instead chooses the lowly FireWire 800 [A].

        MacWorld measured 2GB writes between 161.8 to 215.6 MB/s with a Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt under RAID 0 and between 160.1 to 210.5 MB/s under RAID 5. For 2GB reads, the figures were between 133.5 to 178.6 MB/s under RAID 0 and between 160.1 to 183.5 MB/s under RAID 5 [B].

        What would a SATA "6 Gbps" ExpressCard do with a eSATA III drive? I don't know, but hopefully you get the point.

        The future looks great though and it is a nice edition to hardware ecology.

        [A] http://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/

        [B] http://www.macworld.com/article/161139/2011/07/thunderbolttests.html

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re

        Shrink the number of ports?

        I still have just as many peripherals. Giving me less ports is just stupid.

    3. Flaco Dude
      Headmaster

      HDMI this

      Jobs don't do HDMI bro.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Helpfully,

      XKCD has come up with a timely reason that Thunderbolt is a good idea:

      http://xkcd.com/927/

    5. Cyberspice
      Happy

      Its not a video port!

      Its a data port. Its basically an extension of the PCI-E data lines with interleaved video with backwards compatibility to mini display port. I have a brand new iMac with thunderbolt and yet I can plug my old Dell monitor in to it with the mini display port to DVI adapter I bought for my old MacBook.

  3. JC_
    Meh

    £899 in the UK

    It'll be a lovely screen, judging by the Dell U2711, which it shares a panel with. Not sure that it's be worth the extra £250.

    1. Puck

      re Dell U2711

      Thanks for the heads-up about the identical display panel.

      Does anyone know what would be a good quality 24 or 26 incher? I gather the price jump up to 27 is something like double!

      1. John Molloy
        FAIL

        Yes, but...

        The Dell appears to be a monitor.

        The Apple product contains an HD camera, high-quality audio, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining additional high-performance devices.

        So you get what you pay for I suppose.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
          Meh

          Hmm

          I'll grant you that the Dell doesn't have ethernet or firewire ports, but if you use those the computer you'll plug in to it probably does already. A few seconds of convenience for *how much* extra money?

          The Dell certainly has built in USB ports, and you should see the hilarious number of different inputs on the back of it. An HD webcam costs $40.

          High quality audio? Built in to a monitor? Surely you jest.

          <troll>I see Apple still haven't worked out how to allow the user to adjust the height of their screens to optimise their workstation ergonomics without phone books.</troll>

          1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            High quality audio? Built in to a monitor? Surely you jest

            ROFL! New keyboard please :)

            The one advantage I see of LCD / Plasma screens is that I can place nice speakers next to them without getting big purple patches.

        2. Stephen 10

          Yes but, yes but

          it doesn't work with the Mac Pro - the only Mac other than the Mini which doesn't already include a camera... So why is the camera there?

          And the in-built speakers will be at the same level as TV speakers, maybe useful for previewing work but useless for critical listening.

          My Mac Pro will stay connected to the A$500 cheaper Dell, it does only one thing but does it well which keeps the cost down.

          1. Cyberspice
            Happy

            Why the camera?

            So you can use your laptop in clamshell mode of course. I didn't buy the old apple monitor preferring to get a dell to work with my apple laptop but the I found the lack of camera in the monitor inconvenient.

        3. TeeCee Gold badge
          FAIL

          Re: Yes, but....

          "...high-quality audio..."

          Using in-built monitor speakers? 2.1 only? 49 watts? Yeah.......right....... Kool-aid tasty is it?

          Of course in the non-Apple world, monitors with additional USB ports, built in speakers, webcams and such have been around for some time. The thunderbolt port would seem to be a novelty, but since nobody else uses it that's hardly surprising.....

      2. Magius
        Angel

        27" lcd displays are affordable

        Nah, you can find a decent 27" lcd if you don't care about the delicious high resolution panel. If you stay at 1920x1080 the displays are rather affordable taking into the extra-size.

        http://www.google.com/search?q=27%22+lcd+screen&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=lyu&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=djQoTq7_Lsrl0QHL5IzrCg&ved=0CFgQrQQ&biw=1501&bih=838

  4. NoneSuch Silver badge
    FAIL

    Only 1000 to 1 Contrast Ratio???

    Blah... My three year old LG has 10,000 to 1 and Samsung has a 23" 16:9 LED backlit monitor which it claims has a 5,000,000 to 1 dynamic contrast ratio.

    On and BenQ has a 12,000,000 to 1 LED.

    Blah. Blah, I say...

    1. Ilgaz

      Mine is 20000:1

      Here is a hint. Someone does lie and it isn't companies like Apple who does it.

      People kept their CRT "monsters" for years for some reason and they either moved to high end Apple or very high end plasma displays.

      I have seen/used an Apple display with no calibration applied, that was the day they earned my respect.

      Of course if someone will pay such price, better add something like Pantone Huey (rgb version unless you are dtp pro) so they will get best out of it. It is the least expensive option, way more higher priced calibration solutions exist.

    2. FIA

      Which BenQ?

      Just out of interest which BenQ is that?

      I can only see 1 27" on their site, the M2700HD, and this has a much lower resolution and the same contrast ratio of 1000:1. It does have a better brightness figure too. Oh, and I suspect it's CCFL rather than LED backlit too. I'd be suprised if it was an IPS display also, but I've no evidence either way as they don't seem to mention the panel tech used.

      Even dropping down to the 24" the largest contrast ratio is 3000:1 (same res as the 27" too, and LED backlit.)

      Dynamic contrast ratio doesn't really mean much, as it's just dimming the backlight in mainly dark screens. (Although modern zone based LED backlight dimming is supposed to be quite good.) I'd be suprised if any of these are doing that though, LED often seems to be used to make things thinner (so they're edge lit.)

      1. Ilgaz

        wow facts hit hard

        So, I dared to say 3 Taiwanese brands openly lie about their contrast ratio which itself sounds absurd (10000!) and got 3 thumbs down.

        Please ask a person who knows about human eye just how many tones of gray can one see.

        They do lie and nobody stops them, that is the trick. Dynamic contrast is also part of trick. My "acer" monitor also claims 20.000/1 ratios but I really didn't buy that claim which a very basic test pattern can show almost instantly.

        Btw, consumer/gamer/non specialised video cards can only output 256 shades of gray. For more, you go with Matrox etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re

      I have the 5 mil : 1 monitor. I can guarantee the screen quality is better than this one.

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Static vs Dynamic Contrast Ratio

      NoneSuch: The numbers you're quoting are dynamic contrast ratio. This is a system that dynamically adjusts the backlight brightness, while watching a movie for example, to make the dark scenes very dark and the bright scenes very bright. It is a meaningless metric when looking at a static image on the screen, and I generally turn it off because it usually likes to make white "brighter than the surface of the sun" to get those ridiculous numbers.

      Meanwhile, Apple has quoted the static contrast ratio, and based on the previous 27" Cinema Display it's most likely telling the truth, although unlike most CCFL monitors that monitor has a very wide range of contrast ratio depending on brightness.

  5. corestore

    Profoundly unimpressed...

    If Apple want to impress me...

    Where's the damned Apple 4K Cinema Display they loaned to Intel to demo Thunderbolt when it launched??

    *That* I would get in line at the Apple store for tomorrow, if the price was half reasonable. And that's something you won't hear me say very often!

    Mike

  6. The Mighty Spang

    i think

    the mini displayport on your macbook will probably work, check it out.

    just a shame they don't stick a proper dvi port on the back so you could use it with a non apple product. they'd get some more sales through that.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Only half-right

      You need the € 100 mini-display port to dual-link DVI for anything over 1900. I know I just had to shell out for one for the Dell U2711. Nice as the Apple screens are they, for desktop use the Dell (comes pre-calibrated and a nice certificate to prove it) is better, and, for films, well you can get a 1900 x behemoth for about half the price.

      Interestingly the LED backlight doesn't do much to reduce the power draw on the screens with Apple's current 27" quoted as having well over 100 W when in user.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Displayport

        I've got the Dell U2410 (not enough space for the 27" unfortunately).

        Got it connected up using a mini-displayport to displayport lead from Toshiba fo £8. Works a treat. The U2711 doesn't have displayport input?

        Actually went for the Dell after seeing the results of someone trying to calibrate one of the larger cinema displays (Maybe 30"). When you calibrate one part of the screen, another part is not calibrated because of the colour spread across it. The Dell on the other hand was pretty consistent and was much cheaper than an NEC or EIZO.

        1. JC_
          Thumb Up

          DisplayPort - Check

          Yep, it's got it, plus dual-DVI, HDMI & VGA.

  7. Mediocrates
    Headmaster

    Boring pendantic crap

    "A single two-ended cable attaches to a..."

    Don't all cables have at least two ends?

    1. Ralthor
      Windows

      Pedant baiting

      It also has a circumference which when plugged into a fairly simple formula with the distance between the two aforementioned ends will give an area. Of course allowing for variances in the curcumference along the length introduced by manufacturing imperfections is a whole other kettle of fish best left to those who actually know what they are talking about.

      1. Mediocrates

        Pedant baiter baiting

        "It also has a circumference"

        Circular logic will only make you dizzy.

    2. deains
      Trollface

      Re: Boring pendantic crap

      I'm sure you can pick up a möbius cable from somewhere...

    3. scarshapedstar
      Holmes

      Not so much "at least" as "only"

      My dad has an Apple Cinema display and its cable is like a white cat o'nine tails -- power, USB, and DVI sprawling from both ends.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      No.

      Not all cables have two ends. I've had a monitor that used a cable that was permanently attached to the monitor, thus it only had one end. I would agree the the contained wires had two ends though.

      Also, I would not be too surprised to find "terminating" cables; similar to the plug thingys used for old SCSI connections.

      1. steviesteveo

        VGA to monitor cable.

        I would argue that you could say one of the ends of your cable was a monitor.

    5. Toggi3
      Pint

      two-ended cables are old hat

      The Apple mobius cable interface will be invented soon enough

  8. McMoo
    Thumb Down

    Totally unusable

    Why do Apple (and many others) insist on making everything as glossy as sin.

    I don't want glare, reflection, or shine. I want quality matt screens.

    1. corestore

      If you want a matt screen...

      ...put an anti-reflective coating or screen protector on it.

      Glossy gives you the choice; you can make a gloss screen matt, but you can't make a matt screen glossy. Apple got that right.

      Mike

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        what if your favorite car came only in white and you fancied it red?

        Well just get a can of paint, a brush and get busy. Sure there's some trouble and it won't look as good as a proper job, but that's academic - who'd want a color other than white anyway?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Lord Kelvin would be proud

    Apple reinvented the coaxial cable.

    1. scarshapedstar
      Megaphone

      Yep

      And patented it, so nyah nyah.

  10. umakegoodcookies

    missing the point

    No, the Dell does not have better colour gamut. The Dell and Apple appear to actually be using the same panel. You cannot buy a better monitor at close to the price. You can get similar monitors for a similar price (and very few at that) or a better one for a lot more.

    All in all it's pretty cool that you can now get a monitor that doesn't replicate your ports but gives you all new ones on their own high speed bus with a simple tiny serial cable connection, that is then mirrored on the monitor!!! While everyone is arguing about whether it's overpriced or is a good monitor they missed the whole point. It does something no other monitor has ever done in the past.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Colour Gamut

      "The Dell and Apple appear to actually be using the same panel."

      This is correct.

      "No, the Dell does not have better colour gamut."

      The Dell uses a higher gamut CCFL backlight. Anandtech tested the Dell at 96% of the Adobe RGB colour space and the 27" Cinema Display at 83%. I don't know whether they've bumped it up in the Thunderbolt Display, but they've made no noise about doing so so I doubt they have.

      "You cannot buy a better monitor at close to the price."

      No, but you can buy a better monitor for much less. As a docking station the Dell doesn't compare because it isn't one, but as a monitor it's much more versatile.

  11. Quixcube
    Meh

    you folks missed the point

    It is a slick docking station in addition to being a beautiful monitor. We have 8 MacBook air/CinemaDisplay setups in our department right now. The biggest complaint we get is that there are too many cords to plug in every morning when users bring in their MacBooks Air. They have to connect magsafe, ethernet, USB, and Firewire 800 (for external hard drives).

    This fixes that problem! Now they have to plug in 2 cables. They can handle that.

    Show me another display that has Firewire, USB, gig ethernet, Thunderbolt, speakers and a camera for $999 (or any price) and I will be unimpressed by this display too.

    1. scarshapedstar
      Paris Hilton

      Meh

      Doesn't have a touchscreen, doesn't have any wifis or megahurtz, and I can't even run Instagram on it. What kinda iDevice is this?

    2. jonathan keith Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Diddums

      "They have to connect magsafe, ethernet, USB, and Firewire 800 (for external hard drives)."

      Poor them. That must take at least the morning, and then there's the difficult question of where to go for lunch. It's amazing they get through the week at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        @Diddums - Oh shut up!

        When you support kit that users, cack-handed, ham-fisted users, who know it's not their kit and don't give a toss about it, plug in and pull out several times a day, you'd better make damn sure those plugs are Tonka standard durability 'cos they are going to get broken very, very quickly! If they only have two cables, they will still get broken but it's less grief for the techs having to support them!

        Got all that?! Now piss off back under your bridge until you find out what it's like in the real world with real users who manage the most surreal things with their tech kit!

        1. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down

          @AC 08:39

          Right, so the problem here *isn't* that your users are costing your department money by insisting on high-cost equipment that they then treat like crap. Nor is it that you've clearly not investigated the possibilities offered by other providers. Nor is it that you can't differentiate between legitimate complaints (can't run software package x, can't access network y) and non-legitimate complaints (Wah, there are *so many* cables, by which I mean 4).

          A non-Apple product along these lines wouldn't be offered on a "if you're lucky you get CAR support and about a week's turnaround time", nor would it involve cables that cannot be removed from the back of the monitor in the event that the connectors get damaged. But hey, don't let that stop you from projecting the blame for your office woes onto others...

  12. Chris 171

    The Day....

    Apple started on the road to making TV's... #feeltheicloud

  13. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Nice

    I see it as part display, part docking station. Very nice. However, it'd be even nicer if it had an optical drive and SD card port. The Mac Air is missing an optical drive, and it's not a giant logical leap to assume that future MacBooks will miss it too.

  14. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Other inputs

    It'd also be nice if it could take HDMI input - my biggest annoyance about my iMac is that I also have to have a TV for my xbox. The iMac can handle freeview TV, streaming TV, everything else, except video input :(

  15. Ilsa Loving
    Thumb Up

    Missing the point

    This isn't a monitor. This is a docking station with a screen. The whole point of getting a device like this is because you want to drop your macbook on your desk , plug in two cables and be done. Right now you have to plug in your usb devices, your power, your ethernet (unless you're using wifi) external speakers, etc etc.

    This is the kind of capability that has been hinted at since the original DisplayPort spec was unveiled. I'm glad to see it finally come about.

    The only thing that dissappoints me is the 2 display limit. I was hoping to see someone plug one of these into a macbook and see what happens. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuIXoK0DeBk

    1. AceRimmer
      Windows

      Docking station?

      sounds like a docking station - been using one on non-apple equipment for years (possibly close to a decade infact)

      They are very handy , simply get to the office, put laptop on docking station and away you go!

      1. Ru
        Happy

        Not quite.

        How many docking stations use a standard interface to connect to the laptop? Will a laptop by one manufacturer support docking stations made by another? Can you still pick up docking stations for older models of laptop? Can you upgrade your old docking stations to new ones that will support interconnect standards invented since the original was released?

        I'd not considered thunderbolt/light-peak's use as a docking station connector for any capable device, but it seems like a pretty useful one to me.

  16. Jan Hargreaves
    WTF?

    power problem

    correct me if i am wrong but if you are running low on battery you can't use it... if the monitor goes into your magsafe port how can you charge the laptop?

    1. Gareth 18

      power problem

      The laptop is powered by the monitor, not the other way around. Power goes from the underbolt port on the monitor to your thunderbolt/mini display port on the laptop and the magsafe port to provide the power.

      Have to say i really like it, and I am no Apple lover. It's smart, easy and actually useful.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    But Can it Play Crisis?

    After all, the world revolves around that game, apparently.

  18. Chezstar
    FAIL

    Great idea, but!

    So you have a lovely thin(ish) cable going from the screen to the magsafe connector for charging, and the thunderbolt port on the mac.

    Eeeexcept, Apple have put those ports on OPPOSITE sides of the laptops.

    So you have a lovely thin(ish) cable going from the screen to 3/4 of the way to your laptop, where it splits in two and snakes around the place looking like a leftover pipe cleaner from your BA degree art project (Aren't they the ones who buy Apple gear?) and make your desk look cluttered.

    Why didn't they make the magsafe connector and the thunderbolt port right next to each other, and offer a cable with either a single plug that fits both ports, or a cable with only a 2 inch pigtail to fit into both ports!

    Apple are great at some things, but it's just that final step that they fail on.

    Great docking station, great screen, stupid integration into your other (Apple) peripherals (The Laptop).

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      New MBP

      On the new MBP, I'm sure that the power connection and thunderbolt port are almost next to each other (only separated by the ethernet & Firewire). I can't guarantee it, because the MBP is at home.

      So not so bad there at all (except that the screen has a stupid reflective front, is not that great for photo work, and can't be adjusted for the correct height)

  19. Spongibrain
    Thumb Down

    Err, so how is this different from the previous version ?

    It has a better camera. And is incompatible with DisplayPort sockets.

    Is that it ?

  20. Select * From Handle

    Doesnt LED Contrast ratio start in the millions?

    "The 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has an LED-backlit, 2560-by-1440 pixel, 16:9, in-plane swtiching (IPS) screen, which Apple says has a brightness of 375 cd/m2 and a 1000:1 contrast ratio." - not sure if that is a type and meant to be LCD or the CR is meant to be 1.000.000:1.

    also i couldn't see a response time on that artical? or is that just as shocking for a £1000 monitor?

    a quick look on overclockers.co.uk and i can see the same size monitors with better specs at half the price (yes no thunderbolt port but i only know of macs having them atm so i dont see the benifit)

    on the upside. it does look nice, why not make it more competitive with other monitors so if window's users were to buy them they would have an apple logo in their face?

  21. Ascylto
    Big Brother

    23456

    Price in US = $999

    Price in £sterling = £618

    add VAT @20% = £866

    UK Price £899.

    £33 Mark-up

    Not bad, Apple. For once.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      That'll account...

      for export cost and duties then. Not quite as black and white as many of you suggest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Not so good...

      £618 plus 20% VAT is £741

      A mark up of £157 I think you'll find

      1. Ascylto
        Big Brother

        He's right, you know.

        Yes. I worked it out on the calculator on my iPad (apple). I shouldn't have pressed the plus sign.

        £157 is correct.

        Apple are thieving Bastards!

  22. James Hughes 1

    Bad article

    As I had to read the comments to understand this wasn't just an expensive monitor. As is, sounds quite interesting.

    More details next time (like, WTF is this Thunderbolt thing?). And queue all the pedantards saying I could have looked it up. Had Thunderbolt been a popular I/F then perhaps yes, but since this is the first product to use it, perhaps some more detail would have been appropriate.

  23. Mr Blobby247

    There is only one 27" IPS panel available (made by LG)

    So everyone (Dell, NEC, Apple, Lacie) selling a 27" display with IPS tech is using the same panel. Its how you use it that makes the difference. I think Apple have made the perfect companion for the Macbook Pro, Air and Mac Mini (and even iMac) and Mac Pro once it gets Thunderbolt output. But it means an end to sales to owners of windows laptops, I dont know of any that feature a mini displayport.

    1. JC_
      Facepalm

      Looks Sideways...

      ...sees colleague's XPS15 with mini-displayport.

  24. Psymon
    Mushroom

    It's just Apple ADC all over again

    Pretty nice monitor.

    Very nice Docking Station.

    Unfortunately, the Apple price looks even more ludicrous when you realise that, just like every other Apple 'innovation', they, will drop support for it within a few years.

    When you buy a peice of expensive kit such as this, one of the biggest factors to take into consideration is its product lifespan, and I'm afraid you can expect a maximum 5 years of slowly whittling support for this standard before you won't be able to plug it into anything without first purchasing a massively overpriced adaptor from Apple, in turn completely defeating the point of the single wire system.

    "But it's based on Displayport!"

    Really? Oh, you mean the outside runner of the video standards? The one intended to improve on HDMI, but couldn't get off the starting blocks fast enough, so HDMI had already equaled resolution capabilities?

    Seriously. How many non-Dell monitors do you see with DisplayPort? Don't get me wrong, it's a nice standard with the daisy-chaining and latching connector, but then again, Betamax was a nice standard too. Phillips System 2000 was even better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      non-dell monitors with displayport?

      This fine pair of 24" HP IPS panels I'm sitting in front of have Displayport connectors. (They also have DVI, HDMI, VGA, Composite, and S-Video)

  25. David Barr

    Thunderbolt is pretty good

    At least the way it is used here. Normally I'm hating teh mac... But in this case it's pretty well designed. You have a monitor, which becomes a docking station so when you bring home your Mac you can just stick the cable in and everything is connected, USB devices, LAN etc, and with plenty of bandwidth.

    It doesn't seem too expensive either. Sadly it offers nothing for PC users, unless you can get laptops with a thunderbolt port.

  26. Alistair MacRae

    Isn't 1000:1 contrast pretty low?

    As my title says. Isn't 1000:1 contrast a little low for a fancy gadget?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      It's just honest

      They've quoted static contrast ratio, i.e. the one that actually means something.

      The previous incarnation of this monitor had a contrast range of 850:1 to 2,400:1 depending on brightness, although those were at extreme ends of the range that you'd never use (maximum and minimum brightness respectively). In practice it's probably closer to ~1,200:1 (see the two last figures on this page http://www.anandtech.com/show/3946/apple-27inch-led-cinema-display-review/5)

  27. Matthew 17

    Daisy-chaining displays

    I heard that with TB you could plug a display into a display into a display to create a huge desktop.

    Does anyone know how many it'll do?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

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